The Pronk Pops Show 638, March 8, 2016, Story 1: Part 1: Trump Troopers (TT) Take The Trump Pledge — Raise Your Right Hand — I Swear I Will Vote for Trump — Ejecting The Protesters — Silent Majority Stands With Trump — Trump Is Not A Nazis (National Socialist) — He Is A Golfer — Springtime For Trump — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 638: March 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 637: March 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 636: March 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 635: March 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 634: March 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 633: March 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 632: February 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 631: February 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 630: February 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 629: February 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 628: February 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 627: February 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 626: February 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 625: February 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 624: February 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 623: February 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 622: February 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 621: February 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 620: February 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 619: February 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 618: February 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 614: January 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 613: January 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 612: January 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 611: January 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 610: January 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 609: January 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 608: January 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 607: January 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 606: January 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 605: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 604: January 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 603: January 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 602: January 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 601: January 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 600: January 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 599: January 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 598: January 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 597: December 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 596: December 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 595: December 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 594: December 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 593: December 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 592: December 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 591: December 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 590: December 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 589: December 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 588: December 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 587: December 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Story 1: Part 1: Trump Troopers (TT) Take The Trump Pledge — Raise Your Right Hand — I Swear I Will Vote for Trump — Ejecting The Protesters — Silent Majority Stands With Trump — Trump Is Not A Nazis (National Socialist) — He Is A Golfer — Springtime For Trump —  Videos

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trump wine 2

Election Results

The Green Papers

2016 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions

Copyright www.flags.net/UNST.htm Republican Convention
Presidential Nominating Process
Debate –  Fox – Cleveland, Ohio: Thursday 6 August 2015
Debate – CNN – Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California: Wednesday 16 September 2015
Debate – CNBC – Boulder, Colorado: Wednesday 28 October 2015
Debate – Fox Business News – Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Tuesday 10 November 2015
Debate – CNN – Las Vegas, Nevada: Tuesday 15 December 2015
Debate – Fox Business Channel, Charleston, South Carolina: Thursday 14 January 2016
Debate – Fox – Iowa: Thursday 28 January 2016
Debate – CBS – South Carolina: February 2016 (presumably)
Debate – NBC/Telemundo – Texas: Friday 26 February 2016
Debate – CNN – TBD: March 2016 (presumably)
Debate – Salt Lake City, Utah (announced 20 February 2016): Monday 21 March 2016
41st Republican National Convention: Monday 18 July – Thursday 21 July 2016
Republicans
Candidate Popular
Vote
Delegate Votes
Soft
Pledged
Soft
Unpledged
Soft
Total
Hard Total
Trump, Donald John, Sr. 4,344,559  34.86% 463  19.54%   463  18.73% 463  18.73%
Cruz, Rafael Edward “Ted” 3,579,363  28.72% 362  15.28%   362  14.64% 362  14.64%
Rubio, Marco A. 2,427,029  19.47% 155   6.54%   155   6.27% 155   6.27%
Kasich, John Richard 1,089,221   8.74% 54   2.28%   54   2.18% 54   2.18%
Carson, Benjamin Solomon “Ben”, Sr. 610,700   4.90% 8   0.34%   8   0.32% 8   0.32%
Bush, John Ellis “Jeb” 182,708   1.47% 4   0.17%   4   0.16% 4   0.16%
Uncommitted 59,854   0.48% 7   0.30%   7   0.28% 7   0.28%
Paul, Randal H. “Rand” 40,593   0.33% 1   0.04%   1   0.04% 1   0.04%
Christie, Christopher James “Chris” 40,377   0.32%        
Huckabee, Michael Dale “Mike” 30,463   0.24% 1   0.04%   1   0.04% 1   0.04%
Fiorina, Carleton Sneed “Carly” 26,779   0.21% 1   0.04%   1   0.04% 1   0.04%
Santorum, Richard John “Rick” 10,140   0.08%        
Gray, Elizabeth 5,455   0.04%        
Graham, Lindsey Olin 4,503   0.04%        
No Preference 3,233   0.03%        
Gilmore, James Stuart “Jim”, III 2,078   0.02%        
(others) 1,979   0.02%        
Pataki, George E. 1,712   0.01%        
Others 1,583   0.01%        
Cook, Timothy “Tim” 272   0.00%        
Jindal, Piyush “Bobby” 221   0.00%        
Martin, Andy 202   0.00%        
Witz, Richard P.H. 109   0.00%        
Messina, Peter 77   0.00%        
Cullison, Brooks Andrews 56   0.00%        
Lynch, Frank 47   0.00%        
Robinson, Joe 44   0.00%        
Comley, Stephen Bradley, Sr. 32   0.00%        
Prag, Chomi 16   0.00%        
Dyas, Jacob Daniel “Daniel”, Sr. 15   0.00%        
McCarthy, Stephen John 12   0.00%        
Iwachiw, Walter N. 9   0.00%        
Huey, Kevin Glenn 8   0.00%        
Drozd, Matt 6   0.00%        
Mann, Robert Lawrence 5   0.00%        
Hall, David Eames          
Lynch, James P. “Jim”, Sr.          
(available)   1,313  55.42% 103 100.00% 1,416  57.28% 1,416  57.28%
Total 12,463,460 100.00% 2,369 100.00% 103 100.00% 2,472 100.00% 2,472 100.00%
Democratic Convention
Presidential Nominating Process
Debate – CNN – Nevada: Tuesday 13 October 2015
Debate –  CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register – Des Moines, Iowa: Saturday 14 November 2015
Debate – ABC/WMUR – Manchester, New Hampshire: Saturday 19 December 2015
Debate – NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute – Charleston, South Carolina: Sunday 17 January 2016
Debate – Univision/Washington Post – Miami, Floria: February – March 2016 (presumably)
Debate – PBS – Wisconsin: Monday 1 February – Thursday 31 March 2016 (presumably)
Automatic selection of unpledged delegates: Tuesday 1 March 2016 (presumably)
47th Democratic National Convention: Monday 25 July – Thursday 28 July 2016
Democrats
Candidate Popular
Vote
Delegate Votes
Soft
Pledged
Soft
Unpledged
(source)
Soft
Total
Hard Total
Clinton, Hillary Diane Rodham 5,022,949  58.78% 769  18.98% 460  64.43% 1,229  25.79% 707  14.84%
Sanders, Bernard “Bernie” 3,376,904  39.52% 552  13.63% 23   3.22% 575  12.07% 485  10.18%
O’Malley, Martin Joseph 38,074   0.45%   1   0.14% 1   0.02%  
Uncommitted 33,277   0.39%       714  14.98%
De La Fuente Guerra, Roque “Rocky” 17,786   0.21%        
Judd, Keith Russell 8,291   0.10%        
No Preference 8,149   0.10%        
Wolfe, John 7,100   0.08%        
Steinberg, Michael Alan 6,946   0.08%        
Wilson, Willie L. 6,860   0.08%        
Locke, Star 5,220   0.06%        
Burke, Steve 4,889   0.06%        
(others) 2,942   0.03%        
Hawes, Calvis L. 2,016   0.02%        
Valentine, James 1,710   0.02%        
Hewes, Henry 825   0.01%        
Supreme, Vermin 265   0.00%        
Thistle, David John 223   0.00%        
Schwass, Graham 142   0.00%        
Adams, Jon 53   0.00%        
Kelso, Lloyd Thomas 46   0.00%        
Others 44   0.00%        
Elbot, Eric 36   0.00%        
French, William D. 29   0.00%        
Greenstein, Mark Stewart 29   0.00%        
Moroz, Raymond Michael 27   0.00%        
O’Donnell, Edward T., Jr. 26   0.00%        
Lovitt, Robert 21   0.00%        
McGaughey, William H., Jr. 19   0.00%        
Sonnino, Edward 17   0.00%        
Hutton, Brock C. 14   0.00%        
Lipscomb, Steven Roy 14   0.00%        
Sloan, Sam 14   0.00%        
Weil, Richard Lyons 8   0.00%        
Cohen, Lawrence “Larry Joe”          
Farrell, Paul T., Jr.          
Stewart, Mark          
Touchett Gess, Michele Ann          
Wilson, Maria T.          
(available)   2,730  67.39% 230  32.21% 2,960  62.12% 2,859  60.00%
Total 8,544,965 100.00% 4,051 100.00% 714 100.00% 4,765 100.00% 4,765 100.00%

Latest Election Polls

 

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton
10.5k Shares

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample MoE
Clinton (D)
Trump (R)
Spread
RCP Average 2/11 – 3/6 47.3 41.0 Clinton +6.3
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 3/3 – 3/6 1200 RV 2.8 51 38 Clinton +13
ABC News/Wash Post 3/3 – 3/6 864 RV 4.0 50 41 Clinton +9
Rasmussen Reports 2/29 – 3/1 1000 LV 3.0 41 36 Clinton +5
CNN/ORC 2/24 – 2/27 920 RV 3.0 52 44 Clinton +8
FOX News 2/15 – 2/17 1031 RV 3.0 47 42 Clinton +5
USA Today/Suffolk 2/11 – 2/15 1000 LV 3.0 43 45 Trump +2

All General Election: Trump vs. Clinton Polling Data

Tuesday, March 8
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Florida Republican Presidential Primary News 13/SurveyUSA Trump 42, Rubio 22, Cruz 17, Kasich 10 Trump +20
Florida Democratic Presidential Primary News 13/SurveyUSA Clinton 61, Sanders 30 Clinton +31
Illinois Republican Presidential Primary Chicago Tribune Trump 32, Rubio 21, Cruz 22, Kasich 18 Trump +10
Illinois Democratic Presidential Primary Chicago Tribune Clinton 67, Sanders 25 Clinton +42
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Clinton 53, Sanders 44 Clinton +9
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination ABC News/Wash Post Trump 34, Cruz 25, Rubio 18, Kasich 13, Carson Trump +9
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination ABC News/Wash Post Clinton 49, Sanders 42 Clinton +7
Monday, March 7
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Florida Republican Presidential Primary Monmouth Trump 38, Rubio 30, Cruz 17, Kasich 10 Trump +8
Ohio Republican Presidential Primary PPP (D) Trump 38, Kasich 35, Cruz 15, Rubio 5 Trump +3
Ohio Democratic Presidential Primary PPP (D) Clinton 56, Sanders 35 Clinton +21
Michigan Republican Presidential Primary FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell Trump 41, Kasich 23, Cruz 18, Rubio 8 Trump +18
Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell Clinton 61, Sanders 34 Clinton +27
Michigan Republican Presidential Primary Monmouth Trump 36, Kasich 21, Cruz 23, Rubio 13 Trump +13
Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary Monmouth Clinton 55, Sanders 42 Clinton +13
Michigan Republican Presidential Primary Trafalgar Group (R) Trump 41, Kasich 23, Cruz 23, Rubio 8 Trump +18
New York Republican Presidential Primary Siena Trump 45, Rubio 18, Kasich 18, Cruz 11 Trump +27
New York Democratic Presidential Primary Siena Clinton 55, Sanders 34 Clinton +21
Idaho Republican Presidential Primary Idaho Politics/Dan Jones Trump 30, Cruz 19, Rubio 16, Kasich 5 Trump +11
Idaho Democratic Presidential Caucus Idaho Politics/Dan Jones Sanders 47, Clinton 45 Sanders +2

Abe Foxman Former Anti Defamation League Director Accuses Donald Trump of ‘Fascist Gesture’

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Springtime for Hitler

Abe Foxman Smears Trump: Voter Pledge Was Hitler-Style ‘Fascist Gesture’

voking the specter of the Holocaust, Abe Foxman described an informal group pledge at a Donald Trump rally as Hitlerian. The pledge, conducted in Trump’s signature comedic fashion typically on display his rallies, asks supporters to commit to voting him regardless of potential and unanticipated inconveniences. Former head of the left-wing Anti-Defamation League, Foxman’s statements on anti-Semitism still carry weight within the media landscape.

Speaking to supporters at a campaign event in Florida, Trump began the light-hearted vow.

“Who likes me in the room?” asked Trump, receiving enthusiastic applause from his supporters.

“I’ve never done this before. Can I have a pledge, a swearing? Raise your right hand. I do solemnly swear that I, no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever – that’s good enough – will vote on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for President! Now I know. Thank you,” said Trump.

The happy crowd intermittently repeated the various segments of the brief pledge in good cheer.

Drawing on his escaping and survival of the Holocaust, Foxman cast the playful pledge as dark and ominous.

“As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, to see an audience of thousands of people raising their hands in what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America,” said Foxman.

“We’ve seen this sort of thing at rallies of neo-Nazis. We’ve seen it at rallies of white supremacists. But to see it at a rally for a legitimate candidate for the presidency of the United States is outrageous.”

As if the raising of one’s right hand is a Nazi-exclusive, the Times of Israel dutifully carried water for Foxman’s narrative. In so doing, Foxman and the like-minded cheapen genuine anti-Semitism by dishonestly weaponizing it as a tool against political opponents.

Commentary Magazine’s John Podhoretz jumped in, as well.

Last week, the ADL misrepresented “praise” from Nation of Islam cult-leader, racial nationalist, and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan to push the same narrative of Trump as guilty of (non-existent) association with haters of Jews.

Left-wing media is ramping up the narrative of Trump-as-Hitler-2.0 and his supporters as Nazi acolytes. This narrative will be fused with the racial and ethnic agitation at the core of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in the general election, which builds on the growing fiction of blacks, Hispanics and other minority groups as forming the neo-proletariat in need of paternalistic protection from Democrats.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/3933/abe-foxman-smears-trump-voter-pledge-hitler-style-robert-kraychik

 

What We’re Watching as 4 States Vote and Both Parties Court Michigan

Is Trump Fading?

Mr. Trump had a rough week. He faced attacks from the party establishment and criticism for his debate performance on Thursday before barely outpacing Senator Ted Cruz of Texas on Saturday in Kentucky and Louisiana, and losing to him in Kansas and Maine, where Mr. Trump was considered a favorite.

But it is not clear whether he struggled to win because he had lost ground or because anti-Trump voters had consolidated around Mr. Cruz. Mr. Trump’s share of the vote on Saturday was roughly in line with what he had won on Super Tuesday; Mr. Cruz finished with a far higher share of the vote than his Super Tuesday total.

The outcome on Tuesday could be telling. If Mr. Trump were to replicate his Super Tuesday performance, he would take about 35 percent of the vote in Michigan and 42 percent in Mississippi. If he were to lose significant ground from last week’s vote, it could present an opening for one of his rivals.

Will Rubio Continue His Slide?

It seems clear that Mr. Cruz benefited on Saturday from the somewhat sudden slide of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Mr. Rubio managed only 17 percent in the Kansas caucuses on Saturday — and that was his high-water mark across four states for the day. He bounced back with a decisive victory in Puerto Rico on Sunday, but that might not stop him from dropping in the states with the two largest delegate hauls on Tuesday: Michigan and Mississippi.

Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio has devoted substantial time to Michigan, and, according to local Republican officials backing Mr. Rubio, he has cut into the core of Mr. Rubio’s support: upscale, suburban Republicans. Mr. Rubio also faces the prospect of losing similar voters in Mississippi to Mr. Kasich, while anti-Trump conservatives drift to Mr. Cruz there.

The good news for Mr. Rubio is that he could fare much better in the two other states that vote on Tuesday: Idaho and Hawaii. But as any West Coast Heisman Trophy contender knows, late-night success can often be missed by a press corps faced with Eastern time zone deadlines.

Who Will Win the Race Within the Race?

Though Mr. Cruz benefited from Mr. Rubio’s weak performance in Kentucky and Louisiana, it is not clear whether he can make the same gains in Michigan. It is a blue state with relatively few evangelical voters, and Mr. Cruz has struggled so far in such states.

Instead, Mr. Kasich could be the candidate who benefits from Mr. Rubio’s struggles. He is a relatively moderate governor from a neighboring state, and polls show he has moved into a tight race with Mr. Cruz for second place.

 

The race for second is a test for both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich as each looks to present himself as the strongest Trump alternative. The second half of the primary season includes many Democratic-leaning states, like California, New Jersey and New York. A strong second-place showing in Michigan would ameliorate concerns about Mr. Cruz’s ability to compete in blue states; if Mr. Kasich were to fare better, it would set him up for a strong showing in his home state next week.

Is Michigan Sanders’s Best Bet?

On paper, Michigan should be a good state for Mr. Sanders. It is a white, working-class state that has been ravaged by outsourcing and ought to be receptive to Mr. Sanders’s message on economic issues. It is also a fairly liberal state, with big college towns like Ann Arbor and East Lansing. The state is whiter than the nation as a whole, and black voters — who have turned out in droves for Mrs. Clinton in the South — make up roughly the same share of the electorate there as they do nationally.

The burden for Mr. Sanders in Michigan is even higher because he needs to make up for losses in the first part of the primary season with even stronger showings going forward. The polls suggest that Mrs. Clinton is on track for a decisive victory, so Mr. Sanders needs a surprise win to show he still has a path of his own.

Is Mississippi a Southern Bellwether?

Mr. Trump rolled through the Deep South on Super Tuesday, winning every state in the region, some of them in landslides. In Alabama, he routed his nearest competitor, Mr. Cruz, by more than 22 percentage points. But when the race came to Louisiana on Saturday, the outcome looked markedly different. Mr. Trump beat Mr. Cruz by about four percentage points, and he fared far worse among voters who cast ballots on Saturday than those who voted early.

The Mississippi primary will offer some insight into whether Mr. Trump is slipping with some of the party’s most conservative voters. Demographically, the state resembles its two neighbors, which had such different results. It is also filled with Christian conservative voters: 83 percent of those who cast ballots in the 2012 Republican presidential primary called themselves evangelicals. The good news for Mr. Trump is that, unlike Louisiana’s primary, Mississippi’s contest is not limited to Republicans, so he could benefit from the Democrats and independents who have been drawn to his candidacy. But if Mr. Trump is starting to slip with Christian conservatives — whether because of his innuendo about his manhood, Mr. Cruz’s growing strength, or both — it could be evident here.

Who Can Win the Bare Minimum?

Candidates must meet a minimum percentage of the vote in certain states to receive any delegates, which are allocated proportionally in the Republican race until March 15 (starting then, states can decide whether to hold winner-take-all or proportional contests). The more candidates who meet the threshold, the more delegates are scattered — and the less likely it is that any candidate can reach the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the convention.

Three of the four states where Republicans are voting on Tuesday have thresholds: To win delegates, a candidate must receive at least 20 percent of the vote in Idaho, and at least 15 percent in Michigan and Mississippi.

The two candidates most in danger of not reaching the minimum are Mr. Rubio and Mr. Kasich. Mr. Rubio learned how much that can hurt on Super Tuesday, when he failed to meet the threshold in three states and was denied all but a handful of delegates. If Mr. Rubio and Mr. Kasich are shut out entirely on Tuesday, it will push the Republican contest closer to a two-man race.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/09/us/politics/primary-elections-preview.html?_r=0

Cruz and Trump seek a two-man fight to the finish

The leading GOP contenders agree on one thing: It’s time for their other rivals to drop out.

Marco Rubio’s campaign is dangling on the edge of a cliff, and Ted Cruz is stomping on his fingers.
The Texas senator is angling to squeeze Rubio out of the Republican presidential primary, and two dominant victories in Maine and Kansas – as well as narrow misses to Donald Trump in Kentucky and Louisiana – added juice to his argument that he’s the only candidate capable of competing with Trump for the nomination.
Story Continued Below

“If you want to beat Donald Trump, we have to stand united as one,” Cruz said as he savored his two caucus wins and welcomed his rivals’ supporters — many of whom had already defected to him on Saturday night.
Now, Cruz is pouring resources into Rubio’s home state of Florida, where polls show Trump leading – and where a Rubio loss would effectively end his campaign.
Cruz’s maneuvering is even more striking because he’s is unlikely to compete for a win in Florida, which awards all of its delegates to the top finisher. Instead, his decision to open 10 offices there on Friday seems aimed at suffocating Rubio’s support and knocking him out of the race.

Trump, viewing Florida as one of the few states standing between him and the nomination, is piling on too.
“I would like Marco to drop out,” Trump said at a press conference after Saturday’s wins. Earlier in the day, at a rally in Orlando, he suggested that if he wins Florida, the fight for the nomination is over.
Cruz’s wins this week position him as the leading anti-Trump figure in the Republican primary, while Rubio has faded – and he’s creeping up on Trump in ways that could become disconcerting for the front-runner.
“By my count, Cruz has snuck by Trump in four contests … that Trump could have/should have won, but Cruz’s superior strategy, organization and structure is stealing states from under the Trump team’s nose and they don’t even see it coming,” said Tony Fabrizio, a national Republican pollster. “If Team Trump doesn’t rethink and readjust their strategy, organization and structure, Cruz will steal the nomination too.”
Cruz has proved dominant in most of the states holding “closed” caucuses – contests in which only registered Republicans can compete. That dynamic could be an essential formula to deny Trump the delegates he needs to secure the GOP nomination in July. Though most of the early primary contests have been “open” — allowing crossover voting from independents, and in some cases, Democrats — the remainder of the calendar is tilted toward closed elections.
“The closed primary/caucus shows that Trump may not be as strong among conservatives as some people like to tout, which may be a real problem for him going forward,” said Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee. “And Cruz can now solidify his argument that he’s the conservative to not only beat Trump but to take down Hillary.”
On Saturday, Cruz won caucuses in Kansas and Maine, demonstrating his organizing strength – while Rubio languished in a distant third in Kansas and last in Maine, behind Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Rubio finished a distant third in Louisiana and could get shut out of the delegate race there.
If Rubio and Kasich exit the race, the Cruz team believes it will have the opportunity to defeat Trump in a one-on-one contest. The New York businessman, they note, has not been able to notch a majority of the vote in any of the nominating contests so far (though he came close in Massachusetts). Trump, speaking after the polls closed Saturday, called for Rubio to drop out of the race and said he’d welcome the head-to-head with Cruz.
“I would love to take on Ted one-on-one,” he said. “He can’t win New York. He can’t win New Jersey. He can’t win Pennsylvania. He can’t win California.”
The prospect of a Trump-Cruz fight to the finish is a nightmare for Republican elites, who despise both primary leaders and worry about either man’s ability to beat Hillary Clinton in a likely general election matchup.

While many GOP higher-ups have cringed at Trump’s harsh rhetoric, some speculate that he may be a stronger general election candidate than Cruz, whose hard-edged conservative rhetoric may turn off independents and moderate Republicans.
For all his negatives, Trump’s focus on deal-making and compromise — and his appeal to blue collar voters that have powered him to wins in 12 of the first 19 states to vote — may allow him to expand the party’s vote share, a theme he has been pounding in recent speeches.
“Trump gives the party the best chance to defeat Hillary. Who knows how he’ll govern? That’s a given. But looking past his ability to defeat Hillary is a mistake,” said one senior Republican strategist.
Rubio and Kasich now face the urgent task of notching wins – anywhere. Rubio anticipates a victory Sunday in Puerto Rico. But his biggest test comes in his home state of Florida on March 15. Polls have consistently showed the senator trailing Trump, often by double digits, though one recent poll shows him behind by a narrower margin.
Kasich, too, needs a home-state win on March 15. But he’s also staked his campaign on a strong finish in Michigan, which votes on Tuesday. Polls there show him in fourth place.
The pressure on both Rubio and Kasich is only likely to mount in the 10 days between now and the critical March 15 primaries, when 358 delegates are at stake across five states.
“I think Kasich and Marco still have until the 15th to prove they can continue,” said Mike DuHaime, Chris Christie’s top political adviser.
In Ohio, Kasich has tapped Matt Borges, the man he handpicked as state GOP chairman, to oversee his campaign there, and a pro-Kasich super PAC, New Day for America, is spending $1 million to prop him up in his home state.
Kasich, like Rubio, is now openly conceding he has no path to an outright majority — and is banking on denying Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.
In a memo to reporters, Kasich’s senior strategist John Weaver outlined what the campaign considers its path to the convention in July — a scenario in which no candidate wins enough delegates to claim the nomination outright. Weaver suggested that although Cruz showed strength Saturday, the remaining contests present him with few opportunities, and he needed even stronger finishes across the south to present a credible challenge to Trump.

“Ted Cruz needed to get more delegates out of the southeast and caucus states than he was able to get, and his path is closing,” Weaver wrote. “The Marco Rubio hype machine is winding down and his bubble will completely pop on March 15 in Florida if he doesn’t win.”
Preventing Trump from winning Florida and Ohio, delegate-rich states that award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis, is seen as critical for those intent on stopping him. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, even encouraged voters in those states to support their home-state candidate to deny Trump victories.
The stop-Trump forces are also focusing on Illinois, which also holds its primary on March 15. The Club for Growth, a small government group that has been hammering Trump, has placed a $1 million-plus TV buy in the state.
Cruz scoffs at the idea of a contested convention, dismissing it as a “pipe dream” of the GOP establishment. But shoving Rubio and Kasich out of the race could backfire, as he, too, faces difficult math in trying to secure an outright majority of delegates if Trump picks up Florida’s 99 delegates and Ohio’s 66.
Saturday’s results showed Cruz closing the gap with Trump, however, as he picked up Rubio’s collapsing support – and possibly voters who would otherwise have backed Ben Carson, who exited the race on Friday. Cruz appeared poised to win Saturday’s delegate battle against Trump, inching closer to Trump’s overall lead, though precise distribution was still underway in Louisiana and Kentucky.
“Cruz took another big step forward,” said DuHaime. “He is the only one other than Trump who is showing he can win consistently.”
No matter what happens, though, many senior party figures worry that wounds from divisive primary will be difficult to heal. With a substantial portion of the primary electorate both in support and in opposition to Trump, many envision a civil war that will play out for months to come – perhaps into the summer convention.
“Deny Trump, there is division. Accept Trump and there is division. Not a good scenario,” said Mel Martinez, a former Republican National Committee chairman.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/ted-cruz-donald-trump-marco-rubio-drop-out-220319#ixzz42RsBwjoV

 

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