Where does the Republican presidential race stand?

Here, via FiveThirtyEight, are the new betting market odds on the GOP race:

Trump 43
Rubio 20
Bush 17
Cruz 16
Kasich 3
Christie 1

In my opinion, the Bush number is way too high and the Cruz number way too low. But then, Bush has been overestimated and Cruz underestimated ever since the race began.

Almost everyone’s two takeaways from the New Hampshire primary are (1) Trump is now the clear frontrunner and (2) the “establishment lane” remains clogged and the “establishment” is thus in disarray.

I agree with both propositions up to a point. However, the extent to which Trump is riding pretty depends on the extent to which the establishment is behind the eight ball.

The establishment does seem stymied. One potential establishment candidate, Chris Christie, looks finished. Another, Jeb Bush, seems barely to be hanging on.

The establishment candidate who has always seemed the least suited to be its champion is the only establishment candidate who comes out of New Hampshire looking good. But John Kasich’s showing will likely be viewed as an anomaly, as it should be.

This leaves Marco Rubio. In my view, he’s not really an establishment guy. However, he would, I assume, be acceptable to the establishment at this point.

Can Rubio right his ship? That’s the $64,000 question. He’may be doomed in South Carolina because (1) he’s wounded and (2) Bush will compete with him for votes there.

But that’s okay from his perspective, it seems to me. What Rubio needs to do is reverse the new perception of him (mainly by having good debates in which he seems genuine) and start beating Bush handily again. If he accomplishes these things, he can become the choice of the “establishment” and compete with Trump and Cruz in a three-man race, in which he would have a chance.

Otherwise, he’s finished, as, I suspect, are establishment’s hopes of seeing someone other than Trump or Cruz get the GOP nomination.


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