Maybe everybody except Ben Carson should drop out. I mean, it seems as plausible as any other plan to stop the current frontleader of the GOP race for the abnomination. Whoops—too late, he’s finally bowing out. Maybe the Super PACites can hold a meeting and turn everything around? Maybe throw a Romney speech at the problem.
The junior varsity candidates tried variously to out-bully a bully, to paint him as non-conservative, and to scare their voters with tales of a Clinton victory, but it’s yielded no fruit. How should they proceed?
Maybe they can paint the leader as too potent. They can claim that a Trump victory, with America winning so much that we have to change our name to the United States of Win, would make the country complacent. Losing builds character, they could say.
Or maybe they can look to Walt Disney and promise, not a wall, boring concrete with razorwire atop? Promise a coast-to-coast rollercoaster. Get people with a thing for adrenaline pay for it! Biggest coaster ever. $20 per ride times the population of the USA is six, seven billion. Add in the T-shirt revenues and a mandatory annual pilgrimage to the coaster, they could solve our tax imbalance while they’re at it.
Okay, maybe not. They hate mandates. What else is there, though?
What’s that? Behind the glass? A book of new talking points and policies. The risk of alienating their base (who have already defected to join the Trumpercoaster wing). The risk of sounding reasonable on issues from immigration to abortion to tax to climate. Nah, too much like the Churchill quote (‘… after they’ve tried everything else.’).
They have no strong way to get Kasich to drop out. States from Super Tuesday where either Kasich or Carson could be described as spoiler:
But you can’t pin it on either one, as if Rubio had gotten either’s votes in Virginia he would have won; same for Cruz in Arkansas. But with Carson leaving, Kasich may be harder to oust: he did get some silver medals, and he can say that Carson, the spoiler, is gone. But Carson’s small share may not go all to Cruz or Rubio.
Cruz and Rubio have their horns locked together (in the contests, if not the debates) even as they feebly kick in Trump’s direction. And even if they all ganged up on Trump, it doesn’t appear that the voters would change their minds that much.
If Rubio dropped out, it might not even help if the votes split or went to Kasich instead of Cruz. If Cruz dropped out, it’s not clear that Trump wouldn’t pick up a lot of his votes.
Rubio came in second in two contests (narrowly in Georgia, over Cruz, and Virginia). Cruz came in second in four (Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Minnesota). Trump in three (Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska). Kasich in two (Massachusetts and Vermont).
It’s just hard to see what the Republicans can really do here. Rubio won’t drop out. Cruz won’t drop out. And Kasich may, but it probably won’t help.
It’s really hard to see how Rubio could win, as even if he takes Trump down, he has to do it in a way that doesn’t benefit Cruz. If Cruz could take Trump down, he might actually win, but his politics make it a tougher task.
That leaves the convention rules. Good luck with that brokered convention.