After last night

Featured image A few notes and queries after last night’s primary results, as always in the spirit of inquiry that has animated my occasional reflections on the morning after the debates and primaries of this campaign season. 1. Donald Trump won impressive victories in Michigan and Mississippi. In Michigan, however, Trump won 25 delegates while Ted Cruz and John Kasich split 34. In Mississippi, Trump approached 50 percent of the vote; he »

Tonight’s GOP primaries and caucus [updated periodically]

Featured image Remember the night that Donald Trump won both Alabama and Massachusetts? It was an impressive feat given the difference between the two states when it comes to politics (and much else). Tonight, Trump seeks another impressive double: Mississippi and Michigan. He’s heavily favored in Mississippi and is off to a good start in Michigan — leading John Kasich 37-30 with about 7 percent of the precincts reporting. The focus tonight »

Cruz surges; Trump may be stalling

Featured image Ted Cruz and Donald Trump split the four states that voted today, with Trump winning the only primary. Trump was victorious in Louisiana (primary) and Kentucky (caucus). Cruz won caucuses in Maine and Kentucky. Cruz’s victories were resounding. He defeated Trump 48-23 in Kansas, picking up 24 delegates compared to 9 for Trump, 6 for Marco Rubio, and 1 for John Kasich. In Maine, where apparently fewer than 20,000 people »

Have I become too pessimistic about stopping Trump?

Featured image Maybe. Consider some math, brought to us by Rich Lowry (via NBC’s first read): The delegate math: How a contested convention could happen: Want to see how the Republican Party is likely to wind up with either 1) Donald Trump as the clear favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination, or 2) a contested convention? Well, here’s the delegate math: Trump holds an 88-delegate lead over his closest competitor, Ted »

A good night for Ted Cruz; a good enough night for Donald Trump

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate was not a game-changer. In fact, I’m not sure it will have any impact on the race. Obviously, this is a bad outcome for those of us who are anti-Trump, so I wish I could report otherwise. But I just didn’t see anything that seems likely to (1) cause Trump to lose support or even (2) cause the considerable anti-Trump sentiment in the party to deepen. »

One Man’s Experience on Caucus Night

Featured image This year, I was asked to be the convener of (i.e., to preside over) my precinct’s Republican caucus, which took place tonight. I agreed, largely in hopes of making the caucus shorter. My wife served as the caucus’s secretary. Republican turnout in our area was overwhelming, as it has been around the country. GOP caucuses are usually held in one high school; this year, there were overflow crowds at two »

What is Telemundo running for?

Featured image There were five official presidential candidates in tonight’s GOP debate, but six debaters. The sixth was a female reporter from Telemundo. She was running a single-issue campaign. Her issue was relief for illegal immigrants. Her performance was nauseating. The Telemundo woman, María Celeste Arrarás, asked the candidates this question: “Do you [or your fellow candidates] get it?” By “it,” as she made clear in a speech masquerading as a question, »

Trump battered, but is he bruised?

Featured image Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, their campaigns in danger of extinction within a month, came out swinging at Donald Trump tonight. Many of their lines of attack have not been used in previous debates, as far as I can recall. Here is a list of tonight’s attacks, new and old, that I compiled: Trump has hired illegal workers and was fined $1 million for doing so. Trump ran a “fake »

After last night

Featured image Donald Trump prevailed by an impressive margin over his remaining opponents in the Nevada caucuses last night. Although only a few delegates have been chosen so far, Trump’s substantial win in advance of the Super Tuesday primaries next week gives his campaign the appearance of a juggernaut in the making. RealClearPolitics gives Trump the lead in 9 of 13 Super Tuesday states. Trump’s candidacy is a byproduct of the Obama »

Report: Not much discussion, some cheating in Nevada caucuses [UPDATED] [TRUMP WINS]

Featured image The GOP is holding its presidential caucuses in Nevada tonight. The Las Vegas Sun is live-blogging the caucuses. The Sun says that caucus-goers are encountering long lines and little discussion at caucus sites. It also reports that double-voting has occurred at one caucus: The Republican National Committee says it is concerned about reports of double voting at a troubled caucus site in Las Vegas. RNC spokesman Fred Brown acknowledges there »

Can the GOP field be reduced, in time, to two?

Featured image David French at NRO looks at polling data for upcoming GOP presidential races. He finds the numbers “great for Trump [and] terrible for everyone else.” There’s a paradox at work here, however. If the numbers are terrible for two of the three candidates in the credible non-Trump field (Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich) and merely bad for the third candidate, then that’s not so good for Trump. Here’s why. For Trump »

The GOP race, two scenarios [UPDATED]

Featured image Earlier today, John laid out a plausible and optimistic scenario for how the Republican presidential race will play out. He suggested that even if Ben Carson and John Kasich do not drop out of the race, their voters will start to fall away and most of them will gravitate towards Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (probably more to Rubio than Cruz). In this scenario, the race will become effectively a »

WSJ/NBC: Cruz surging, Trump falling

Featured image Yesterday we took a brief look at the latest Quinnipiac national poll of the standing of the candidates in the races for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations. The Quinnipiac poll covered the period February 10-15. Today’s Wall Street Journal reports the results of a new WSJ/NBC poll conducted nationally since the GOP presidential candidates’ debate on South Carolina this past Saturday, from February 14-16: Support for Donald Trump among »

Trump and Sanders surge

Featured image The big political news this morning comes via Drudge in the new Quinnipiac poll that is posted here. Quinnipiac notes that it conducted its survey over the period February 10-15. Donald Trump’s outrageous performance at the South Carolina debate on the evening of February 13 is therefore not fully factored into this poll. As of the dates covered by this poll, Trump continues to surge. Quinnipiac provides this summary of »

Obama’s dishonest assessment of the GOP presidential race

Featured image Today at his press conference, President Obama was asked about the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. His response could hardly have been more dishonest. Echoing a favorite talking point of Hillary Clinton and the DNC, Obama asserted that Donald Trump merely expresses in “more interesting ways” the views of the GOP field as a whole. This is untrue. To my knowledge, no other Republican candidate proposes a ban on »

Lincoln, Reagan and Cotton [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Tonight my wife and I attended Minnesota’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner. It was an impressive event, with a turnout of around 600. We went largely because Senator Tom Cotton was the keynote speaker. Regular readers are aware of the high esteem in which we hold Senator Cotton. He is, I think, one of the foremost leaders of his generation. He has as good a chance to be president as anyone. So »

After last night

Featured image The Republican presidential candidates’ debate in South Carolina last night must have warmed the hearts of Democrats everywhere. I would say you have to see it to believe it. I am posting a video of the entire event below. As usual, I want to offer a few thoughts and brief observations in the spirit of inquiry. CBS hosted the debate. Moderator John Dickerson acted as a Democratic operative seeking to »