What a circular, paradoxical, and maddening election cycle. Conservatives have been sandwiched in between a group of establishment candidates on one end and a French revolution on the other end without the ability to stand out or garner enough attention from the media. As such, so many conservative voters who are tired of the status quo have gravitated to the only revolution that is evident to them – the Trump French Revolution while the remaining 60 percent of the votes have been split between the other candidates.
Watching Rubio block Cruz’s path in Florida by refusing to exit the race even though it was crystal clear for weeks he was unable win is similar to watching a slow motion train wreck. We all saw it coming. What was the point? Florida is what happens when voters are presented with the false choice between the status quo and a revolution, albeit a French revolution in the form of Donald Trump. Rubio lost every county except for his home base of Miami-Dade. With that said, Rubio gave an extraordinary concession speech, which was probably his best message of the campaign.
Last week, I laid out an optimistic scenario where Cruz could win more delegates than Trump if the other candidates drop out. But by staying in this long they have allowed Trump to net more delegates, not only by preventing the one man with a path from competing in Florida and Ohio, but by denying him wins in states all across the map.
Further, North Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois were all open primaries with Democrats crossing over to vote for non-conservative candidates. All of tonight’s states also had early voting, which clearly worked against Cruz. Many votes were already banked in before Cruz surged and while Rubio was still relevant at a national level. The early voting is likely to dog Cruz in the next big state – Arizona.
If Kasich gets out of the race there is still a path to Cruz winning more delegates and coming into the convention with a real mandate. There is a path to finally making this a race between a true outsider and a true conservative vs. a charlatan who is the epitome of an insider liberal. This is the race that has been denied to us all along and it will continue to be denied to us so long as Kasich is in the race. The choice is very clear.
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