Hillary Clinton’s narrow win in the Nevada caucuses yesterday suggests that she has resumed her death march toward the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. For me, Clinton’s possible upset in Nevada represented the only sliver of hope in what figured to be an otherwise dismal day. As it proved to be (a dismal day, that is).
On the Republican side Donald Trump won in South Carolina with 32.5 percent of the vote. That doesn’t seem like an impressive result, yet in a splintered field it represents a famous victory. So long as the Republican opposition to Trump remains divided among several candidates, he will retain an advantage moving toward the nomination. Apart from Texas, it’s difficult to think of a state that Senator Cruz has a reasonable prospect of winning.
How will Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich do when the process moves beyond the so-called SEC states? It seems to me that they will continue to divide the opposition to Trump, to Trump’s advantage. Following Jeb Bush last night, John Kasich and Ben Carson need to leave the race as well.
Putting to one side the merits of what would be an utterly dispiriting contest, does anyone in his right mind seriously think that Donald Trump stands a chance of beating the Democratic nominee in a general election? I don’t, and I think Trump will take the Republican majorities in Congress down with him (UPDATE: not to mention the Supreme Court, of course).
But Trump is just the worst and most destructive candidate remaining in what has turned into a weak field. As Fred Barnes put it in his excellent Wall Street Journal column last week “Republicans are campaigning to lose” (accessible here via Google, I hope). I should add that Barnes’s column provides poll data giving ground for disagreement with one or two of my assessments above.
In her dreadful victory speech yesterday (video below), Clinton played some oldies but baddies in her slow-it-down-for the-slow monotone. In a throwback to the days of Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, Madam Hillary was peddling racial disparities in mortgage denials. And that wasn’t the worst of it. Unbelievable.
Get ready for much more of this.