IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4 Mar. 2016
Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column, Founded 1932
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift
WASHINGTON – This is the year of firewalls. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s firewall to slow the surging Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., campaign was the South Carolina primary, followed by Super Tuesday because she correctly counted on the African-American vote in those regions.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., looked upon conservative voters in those same states to be his firewall against the seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump, but his wall failed him.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is counting on the March 15 primary in his home state as the critical firewall to not only slow Trump but also to keep his own candidacy alive. The polls indicate otherwise.
Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, is looking to do likewise in his home state on that same critical date.
Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich together are hoping to deny Trump a majority of Republican delegates, thereby throwing the nomination into the convention. But the math is against them because so many states from March 15 forward are winner-take-all contests that Trump can take with a plurality as low as 30 percent.
All of the above make up Plan A in the stop-Trump gambit, and they are going to fail. That brings us to Plan B.
Republican leaders are desperately raising money to stop Trump, but they have not yet coalesced around a unified idea. There are those who would mount a conservative third-party campaign and those who would do likewise with a centrist who is more likely to attract Independents. And, of course, there are diehards who believe they can haul out their 2012 candidate Mitt Romney and their 2008 candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others to denounce Trump. Perhaps they haven’t noticed that establishment denunciations only make Trump more popular with anti-Washington voters. Even Pope Francis took a turn, condemning Trump’s plan for a border wall, and he, too, failed.
This conflict between conservatives, moderates, and jaw-boners is going to doom Plan B. This brings us to Plan C.
This plan is actually a variation of Plan B without the jawboning. By mounting a third party campaign, the anti-Trumps might just prevent either Trump or the Democratic candidate – presumably Hillary Clinton if she survives the FBI investigation – from winning a majority of the electoral votes in the general election. This would throw the decision into the House of Representatives where each state is allowed one vote. That body would then have choice between Trump, the Democrat, or a third party candidate. Assuming the large majority of Republican representatives will side with the rest of the anti-Trump Republican establishment, the Republican-dominated House will elect the third party candidate.
But it must be remembered that to most Republican members of the House both a moderate Republican and a tea party conservative are considered extremists. What they will want is a mainstream conservative, and Plan C is predicated upon the idea that their third party nominee will be such a person. Good luck on that.
Douglas Cohn’s new book, “The President’s First Year: None Were Prepared, Some Never Learned – Why the Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency,” is available in book stores.
© 2016 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND