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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Cruz, Sanders, and the Road After Wisconsin

by Newt Gingrich: Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders both had very big wins on Tuesday in Wisconsin.

Cruz had the bigger victory. He won more delegates and, in a three-way race, by as big a margin as Sanders did in a two-way race.

The campaign season is weakening the frontrunners in both parties at a time when the favorites should be consolidating their support.

A large number of Republicans say they would not vote for Trump.

A large number of Sanders supporters say they would not vote for Clinton.

The Wisconsin victory will help both insurgents, Cruz and Sanders, raise more money.

In Sanders’s case, he is already out-raising Clinton and this victory will translate into even more online donors sending even more money. The internet is allowing non-establishment candidates to gather resources even if the major donors refuse to help them. Without the stream of $27 donations pouring in over the internet, Sanders could never have sustained his effort to defeat Clinton.

Wisconsin fatally undermined John Kasich as the alternative to Cruz to stop Trump. Kasich did not win a single delegate in an upper-midwest state which should have been tailor made for the Governor of Ohio.

The news media will increasingly ignore Kasich. His donors will dry up. He can stubbornly continue the fight (as I did for a good while in 2012), but he can’t fight his way back into contention.

Cruz and Trump each face big challenges.

Cruz has a great technical campaign with solid professionals who have been building grassroots operations in every state. He is winning the guerrilla war to elect delegates pledged to Trump but loyal to Cruz for all procedural fights and for any votes after the first ballot at the convention.

If Trump can’t win decisively before Cleveland, it is likely that Cruz will become the nominee on the second or third ballot.

Trump has to confront the crisis of what has up to now been a remarkable campaign. Reagan faced a similar crisis after he lost Iowa to Bush in 1980. There was a profound shakeup in the campaign as Nancy insisted that they needed a bigger, better team. Without that change, Reagan would not have won the nomination.

Trump’s style has made him the frontrunner. It will now stop him from becoming the nominee if he is not able to grow and expand on his achievement.

Trump’s very frugal focus on rallies, social media and television have carried him far. But they have also left him unprepared for the much more complex battle at the delegate level.

The New York primary will be an important test for both Trump and Cruz.

Trump has to win a big enough victory to clearly establish a path to 1,237 delegates. That means sweeping or almost sweeping New York.

Trump also has to move toward being more presidential and give several substantive speeches that are as strong his AIPAC speech.

Finally, Trump has to build on the convention organizing talent of his recent hire, Paul Manafort, and develop a grassroots delegate operation that can compete with Cruz.

Cruz has to target key New York districts and try to actually win them. Particularly in some of the overwhelmingly Democratic districts in New York City, he may be able to target the very small number of Republicans effectively. Every delegate Cruz could win in New York would be a blow Trump’s effort to regain momentum.

Cruz has to continue the intensely focused and organized grassroots delegate hunt that is currently serving him well in setting the stage for a shocking upset on the second or third ballot for the nomination if Trump can’t get to 1,237 before then.
Finally, Cruz has to gather up money and endorsements from the establishment wing of the party without becoming the “establishment” candidate himself. If voters think the establishment is coming to Cruz, he will be ok. If they think Cruz is moving toward the establishment, it could ruin his campaign.

One last prediction on the Republican side: the Republican nominee will be named Donald or Ted. No one else will emerge. The rules imposed by the Romney team were designed to create absolute control of the convention. They will now block the emergence of a new candidate.

For the convention to nominate a candidate, he or she must have earned majorities of the delegates from at least eight states before the first ballot. No one other than Trump and Cruz will have done that, and there is no provision to enter new names for nomination later on.

All the folks who are talking about changing the rules simply don’t know what they are talking about.

The Rules Committee could propose changes, but they would have to go to the floor of the convention to be voted on by the delegates. More than 80 percent of the delegates will be for either Trump or Cruz. Why would Trump and Cruz agree to change the rules to encourage a new candidate?

Changing the rules to the disadvantage of both contestants is an absurd idea. It simply won’t happen.
----------------------
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, Wisconsin, Cruz, Sanders, Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:37 PM - Post Link

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