Members of the conservative intelligentsia are all pulling their hair out over Donald Trump. For the entire week, they lectured us on the need to save the Republic and stop Donald Trump from destroying it. They told us that whoever comes in third place tonight must drop out so the second place winner can have a shot at consolidating support to beat Trump. It is clear that anyone who held that view coming into tonight’s election desiring to retain a shred of intellectual honesty must call on Rubio to drop out.
First, let’s say off the bat that Trump was still the clear winner tonight – both in states and delegates. No matter what happens he will be tough to beat. Name ID matters and Trump has gotten an incalculable degree of media coverage over the past year.
However, there are signs of vulnerability. In almost every state, according to exit polls, the late deciders broke against Trump. In Oklahoma, a closed primary state where Democrats can’t vote and where Cruz actually spent some time and money getting his message out, Trump was beaten pretty uniformly across the state. If Trump continues to deflate and someone goes up against him mano-a-mano, the Donald can at least be challenged for his plurality in the delegate lead going into the convention.
What is also clear is that, while it will be hard for anyone to beat Trump, there is zero chance of him being beaten with Rubio and Cruz (and Carson) splitting the opposition. Of the two, who should be the person tasked with taking down Trump?
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