If the vampires in the status quo see Trump’s candidacy as their garlic, then Cruz is the Cross. A reminder of all the lies, deceptions, and treachery they have foisted upon their conservative base from the moment Reagan left the national stage. Garlic is but a painful repellant to the vampire, but the Cross is an existential threat that leaves a permanent mark. Sort of like a scarlet letter that reminds everybody you’re a child of darkness.
And now that the race is down to these two, this is the choice before the Republican Party. Will it go with the French Revolution of Trump, as in the bloodthirsty revolt of the peasants with pitchforks? Or will it go with the American Revolution of Cruz, and pledge its lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to advance a party platform it’s been willfully ignoring since before Al Gore invented the Interwebs?
Currently, Trump has only won 43 percent of the delegates needed to secure a majority of at least 1,237. Cruz sits comfortably in second place with 34 percent of the delegates, and is even closer to Trump when measuring the percentage of the vote won so far: Trump 34, Cruz 29.
Trump’s lead really begins to look tenuous when you consider how it has been built with the help of Democrats and Independents voting in “open” primaries that have consistently drawn larger-than-normal turnout. Moving forward, 21 of the remaining 34 contests are closed primaries of only Republican voters — amounting to 792 delegates (or more than half of what is still available). And in the “closed” primary and caucus states held since Iowa kicked things off, Cruz has outperformed polling expectations in every single one of them.
Not a bad trend line, indeed, as we move into the realm of “Winner Take All” states on March 15 and beyond. Where nine states and territories are winner-take-all in the strictest sense, and most of the remaining 18 states left on the primary calendar are winner-take-all by congressional district.
In fact, if you tally all the delegates earned by Cruz, Rubio and Kasich combined at this point, they lead Trump by more than 100. And if #NeverTrump is indeed what increasingly motivates voters as candidates bow out and alternatives are chosen, it isn’t a stretch to say Cruz could soon move into the pole position for securing the nomination. Heck, Cruz would have the delegate lead right now had Rubio dropped out after Super Tuesday mortally wounded his candidacy.
But if principle won’t finally, now, with the future of the country potentially hanging in the balance move the status quo, perhaps its survival instinct will? Two more national polls this week have Hillary Clinton spanking Trump, and Trump now has the highest unfavorability of any domestic politician in the history of the ABC News/Washington Post poll. And that comes after months of Trump receiving the best media coverage he could’ve hoped for.
So the ball is now in the Republican Party’s court. It can either unite behind Cruz and finally keep its word to advance conservativism to its base for once, or face the guillotine this Fall with Trump as a cancerous standard-bearer who will metastasize all the way down the ballot.
For the GOP its salvation or annihilation — and there is no middle ground.
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