What to expect tonight.

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: it’s looking hard for Ted Cruz to win Arizona at this point. Not impossible, but we don’t know how the early voting went and people are legit worried that Marco Rubio banked too many of those. Keep an eye on how well John Kasich does in a vacuum: he didn’t bother to campaign in Arizona, so that’s useful info to know.  Utah looks better.  Heck, Utah looks like an easy Cruz win at this point. And Kasich did spend money there.  As for American Samoa… nobody knows, and anybody who says that he does is just lying to you.

Bottom line is, whatever happens tonight – maybe late tonight, so be prepared for that – the race goes on and everybody moves on to Wisconsin. Unless Kasich runs out of money before then, which would be frankly lovely for both the Republican party, and the Republic itself.

A very quick update on the 2016 Democratic race.

This was asked in comments, so here goes: On the Democratic side, it’s basically like ’08, except Hillary is an unloved Obama, Bernie is a less-competent Hillary, and everybody on the Dem side not-so-secretly wishes that Obama could run again because those two candidates are horrible.  …I could pad this up more, but that’s basically what’s happening.  The Democratic campaign this year is where enthusiasm and energy come to die.

Lemme just say this now. Even assuming a 2/2 split today…

…Donald Trump had a bad night tonight and Ted Cruz had a great one.  This was supposed to be a four state sweep for Trump with maybe a squeaker in Kansas. Instead what we got was a hard win for Cruz in Kansas and a legitimately surprising (to people who didn’t notice the polling issues) one for Cruz in Maine. We won’t know for some time whether the night will get any worse for Trump; nobody wants to call Kentucky while its two biggest counties (by far) are out, but observers are dubious that the expected gains for Cruz there will make up the difference. And everybody assumes that Louisiana (which is still voting) will go for Trump because, well, who knows?

But as a proof-of-concept… yeah, I think that if you don’t like negative political attacks then you should probably go live on a pillar for a couple of weeks, because they’re just gonna keep happening. Gonna be a slog. Gonna be a lonnnnng slog.  Rubio (who is having a bad night himself, even if he doesn’t care because Florida*) probably will win Puerto Rico tomorrow, and then there’s Michigan, and then it just goes on and on and on. And yes, there is a strategy there.  Or so I suspect.

[UPDATE: Trump won Kentucky (by only 3) and probably Louisiana (by probably 5 or so), but not in a fun way for him: Louisiana in particular demonstrated the drastic difference between early and same-day voting. They called LA right away because the early voting had Trump ahead by 20, and since then horrified political scientists across the spectrum watched as that lead drained in a way not hitherto seen by mortal eyes. Ted Cruz had a really, really good night tonight.]

Moe Lane

*That’s a post for another time.  Suffice it to say that Florida is gonna be a warzone, and the Rubio campaign already sees the right kind of movement for them.

Primary Day Today! – and besides SC/VA.

There are primaries in Maine, North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Virginia, and a runoff primary election for the Republican nominee for Arkansas Attorney General (all of this via The Green Papers).  It appears that that last one in Arkansas has gotten kind of heated; I have absolutely no idea who the better nominee is, except of course to note that any Republican beats any Democrat.  PARTICULARLY when it comes to Attorney General spots; we have been seeing a bad habit among Democratic AGs lately to refuse to defend laws that the populace likes, but Democrats do not.

OK, soapbox rant over.  Make sure you vote today, if you’re in one of those states.

Moe Lane

Bunch of primaries this week.

Iowa and Mississippi are probably the most interesting to my readers, but there’s also ones in Alabama, California, Montana, New Jersey (special election primary there too for NJ-01), New Mexico and South Dakota (list via The Green Papers). Keep an eye on New Mexico: it’ll be interesting to see whether New Mexico Democrats will reward that Alan Webber fellow for his race-baiting of Susana Martinez. I’m betting ‘yes,’ but not to the point of actually putting up money on it.

On the merits of fear as a motivator, part 2.

As usual, Jim Geraghty is thinking along the same lines that I am.

The usual suspects will argue that this result is one more sign of the decline of the Tea Party. But this continues the chaotic classification system, in which all a candidate needs to be considered the “Tea Party” candidate in the narrative is to say, “Hi, I’m the Tea Party candidate.” Tillis is hardly a squish, and 59 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters felt positively about Tillis; 24 percent felt unfavorably.

A more accurate interpretation is that “Establishment” candidates – read, those who have actually been elected to office before – are getting better at adapting to a political environment shaped by “Tea Party” supporters and making the case that they will indeed fight for conservative reforms.

I am frankly just going to be happy when all of the primaries are over. They’re getting in the way of me trying to make Democratic politicians’ lives miserable.

Moe Lane

RNC formally resolves to make CNN/NBC choose between Hillary Clinton & primary debate access.

Whatever cuts down the number of debates, frankly.

The Republican National Committee unanimously passed a resolution here Friday to not partner with NBC or CNN on 2016 primary debates if they air Hillary Clinton projects.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus got an extended standing ovation from cheering state chairmen during the party’s summer meeting for spearheading the push.

“We’re done putting up with this nonsense,” he said. “CNN and NBC will just have to watch on their competitors’ network … The media overplayed their hand this time.”

I’d advocate Thunderdome if I thought that it would help.  Seriously, though: it needs to be made clear to all of the serious candidates that what Reince Priebus and the RNC is doing resonates with a very large swath of the Republican party.  The Media went gunning for the GOP in 2012 with those debates.  They did everything that they could – which turned out to be a lot – to savage our candidates.  The Media, in fact, hates the Republican party, and wants us to die in a fire.   Continue reading RNC formally resolves to make CNN/NBC choose between Hillary Clinton & primary debate access.

#rsrh …Oh, right, MS/AL/HI primaries/caucus tonight.

I heard a rumor that Romney was going to do better than expected in the first two; darned if I know who will win the third.  And I’d say that I didn’t particularly care who wins in Hawaii, except that it would imply that I cared who will win in Alabama or Mississippi, either.  Any of the three will do, so let’s get this over with already.

Not to mention fix our primary system.

#rsrh Obviously, AZ & MI primaries tonight.

My gut’s telling me that if Mitt Romney wins, it’s going to be by a bit; if Rick Santorum wins, it’s going to be by a hair; if Newt Gingrich wins, it’s going to be a miracle; and if Ron Paul wins, it’s going to be this.

Mind you, there’s a big dividing line between ‘Rick Santorum wins’ and ‘Newt Gingrich wins.’

Moe Lane

PS: As to who will win? Don’t know, don’t really care.

#rsrh Structurally speaking, this GOP primary system has a problem.

Tell me again why we let certain states go early?

  • The results from Iowa’s caucuses were within the state GOP’s margin of incompetence, leading to a result where Mitt Romney was able to claim the largely symbolic win over Rick Santorum (truthfully, it was a tie either way, but headlines don’t care).
  • The South Carolina establishment reminded us, yet again, that they smear raw sewage on the knives before they put them in candidates’ backs.  Every year we think: Gee, they can’t go any lower.  Every year, they surprise us.
  • And now we have Nevada.  Nevada has a caucus.  Nevada had less than 33K votes to count in that caucus.  It took them a day – and if you’re wondering what the delay was, save yourself some trouble and just pick a random plausible-sounding screw-up, because it probably happened anyway.

Continue reading #rsrh Structurally speaking, this GOP primary system has a problem.