Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Establishment Has Too Many Candidates

This is why they are in so much trouble. Chris Christie supposedly had a great debate on Tuesday. I wasn't impressed and still think his bragging about shooting down Russian planes was the nadir of the night-though Lindsay Graham's 'I miss George W Bush' was close.

I mean how can someone say Trump lacks the temperament and than claim that they think Chris Christie has it?

But let's assume Christie did well. This is at Rubio's expense. This is one big difference-certainly not the only one-between this year and 2012. Then you had just one main Establishment candidate, Mitt Romney and some other more conservative opponents.

This time it's the opposite. We have just three outsider candidates-and Carson seems to be over with-with all these Establishment candidates. Ideally, you'd like to convince some of these candidates to bow out-Kasich, Fiorina, maybe Jeb.

As it is, Christie, Jeb, Kasich, and Fiorina all have the same strategy-going all in for NH. Then you have Rubio who needs to win in NH but isn't campaigning hard there. If you were to add up the polling averages of the five Establishment candidates they poll at 41 percent. Trump is at 27 percent-though if you add in Cruz and Carson's support the outsiders are net ahead of the insiders.

But it's the problem of composition. It would be in the interest of the Establishment for at least a few of these candidates to drop out before NH. But it's in the interest of the various Establishment candidates obviously to stay in the race.

To be sure, let's be clear-for the GOP Establishment field to winnow is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for an Establishment candidate to win. In the national polls, the combined Trump-Carson-Cruz numbers are in the 60s. So even if the Establishment settled on a pick it wouldn't give them the race on a silver platter as at some point they'd have to win over Trump and Cruz supporters. How does an Establishment candidate take Trump and Cruz supporters?

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