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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Super Tuesday narrows the Republican field to two thoroughbreds

The waiting is finally over to see how Super Tuesday might have changed the dynamic in the Republican presidential nomination race and the result was to unquestionably determine it’s down to two men.

Donald Trump is one of them, of course, having added seven wins to his previous three to take an impressive but not insurmountable lead in the overall delegate count. Ted Cruz is the other man still standing, taking three Ted Cruzvictories – a huge seventeen-point win in his home state of Texas and solid showings in neighboring Oklahoma and the great northwest territory of Alaska as well.

It’s funny how Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump didn’t stop Cruz from prevailing in her home state. Yet another curiosity to add to this year’s contest.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio did manage to get his first win in insignificant and liberal Minnesota and also came within three points of Trump in Virginia, a result which he and the media tried desperately to spin into some sort of a big deal, but nowhere else was the Florida senator even close to beating the bombastic reality TV star or Cruz. It looks like Marco finished second in a few other states but even in those he was competing closely with Ted Cruz for the runner-up spot.

Most notably, Rubio failed to break the 20% minimum threshold for delegates in Texas and Alabama, meaning he was completely shut out in those states.

By far the biggest overall loser on Super Tuesday, however, was the Washington Republican establishment -- again. As has been the case throughout the campaign, the “outsiders” (Trump, Cruz and Ben Carson) took well over 60% of the vote just about everywhere that matters and there’s nothing the elites can say or do to bring their numbers up.

For example, former Senator Tom Coburn even endorsed Rubio ahead of the Oklahoma primary the other day and Cruz still ended up beating Trump by over six points there. If anything, Rubio might have taken votes away from Trump in Texas’s northern neighbor.

The pundits were quick to blame John Kasich’s continued presence in the race for Rubio’s lackluster performance on Super Tuesday, but even if Kasich had gotten out two weeks ago it wouldn’t have changed the ultimate outcome – at least not by very much. Kasich was competitive with Trump in Vermont, but that’s of very little consequence.

Kasich also took nearly ten percent in Virginia, but who’s to say all of those voters would have gone to Rubio alone?

The establishment can’t and won’t break the 40% threshold in the biggest Republican states – including Florida -- and if that’s the case, how can Marco possibly win?

Delusional Rubio was interviewed by Fox News shorty after Cruz spoke from his headquarters in Texas and he even had the nerve to argue Ted underachieved on Super Tuesday.

“I am the only one who can stop Donald Trump and I’m the only one who can unify the party,” Rubio repeated his oft-used talking point.

Marco Roboto resurfaced again, spouting his 25-second speech no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. The serial loser is still making an electability argument even though he’s down by double-digits in his home state polls and has no realistic path to the nomination.

If you don’t have delegates, you can’t win, Marco.

Is a win in the Minnesota caucuses going to turn everything around for Rubio? Don’t bet on it.

The full weight of the establishment has been on Marco’s side for almost three weeks now and the best he has to show for it is one puny win and a few distant second places in states that aren’t solid in the Republican category anyway.

Minnesota didn’t even go for Reagan’s landslide in 1984 (the only state Reagan lost that year). It’s only appropriate Rubio should win there. Even with a crappy candidate like Hillary Clinton as the leader of the Democrats, Republicans can’t hope to compete in the Gopher State in November.

Rubio will try and make hay out of it, but it doesn’t change anything.

Ted Cruz survives media antagonism to win big in Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska

Ever since winning in Iowa, Ted Cruz has endured a month-long onslaught of negativity against his candidacy.

First there was Donald Trump’s accusation that Cruz “stole” the Iowa caucuses because of the infamous mistaken email sent out by his campaign regarding Ben Carson’s withdrawal from the race.

Then there was the two-pronged “liar” assault from Trump and Rubio in South Carolina, left unchallenged by most in the media.

Things got even worse for Ted when Cruz’s Communications Director, Rick Tyler, resigned after distributing a video which questioned Rubio’s religious faith.

In other words, Cruz has done remarkably well considering the entire world has appeared to be against him.

Even Megyn Kelly pointed out on Tuesday night that Cruz has still managed to win several states despite getting no help whatsoever from the media, unlike establishment golden boy Marco Rubio and TV ratings machine Donald Trump.

In saying this, there’s no pie-in-the-sky here. Cruz’s road ahead is still very difficult, especially since it looks like Rubio and Ben Carson remain obstinate about staying in the race.

Unlike Kasich, who challenged for the win in Vermont and second place in Massachusetts, Carson didn’t smell victory anywhere. There’s no doubt Carson’s base consists of the most conservative evangelicals in the Republican Party and these folks would probably be inclined to support Cruz if Ben wasn’t still in the race.

Carson is hanging around for pure spite after what happened in Iowa, having apparently decided that he’d prefer Trump to Cruz.

And the willfully cooperating media doesn’t figure to help in this regard. Cruz’s message of being the most consistent conservative resonates with tea partiers but it doesn’t appear to be winning over the bulk of evangelicals.

Something could still happen to change the race in the next couple weeks, but if things remain the same, Trump is looking awful strong as long as Rubio foolishly stays in it.

As expected, Trump was gracious in victory

Donald Trump took the somewhat unusual step of holding a press conference instead of a victory party on Tuesday night, so the atmosphere was more subdued than it would have been if he’d been surrounded by hundreds of his dedicated followers.

That didn’t stop The Donald from pontificating about how great he and his wins were on the very important evening. And the fact he chose to speak to the press from Rubio’s Florida spoke volumes about his intention to smash Marco on the senator’s home turf.

Trump graciously congratulated Ted Cruz for his huge win in Texas, pointing out that Ted had “worked very hard” there and admitted that he’d tried to win in the Lone Star State too.

The frontrunner remarked that he wasn’t intimidated by the $25 million Rubio and the establishment intended to spend on anti-Trump ads in Florida – and why should he be? Polls show Trump with a big lead there, and there’s no reason to doubt the same forces that propelled him to victories in ten states thus far will once again work magic in The Sunshine State.

As a last note on Trump, he said the race is effectively down to two candidates – and he’s right. If only Rubio, Kasich and Ben Carson would see it that way, Republicans and conservatives might have a real choice in what remains of the nomination race.

But don’t bet on them getting out, unless the establishment decides to go all-in on Trump. That could very well happen.

Super Tuesday did more to maintain the status quo than alter the balance

Finally today, Super Tuesday didn’t do a whole lot to alter the trajectory of the Republican race. Donald Trump remains the clear leader and Ted Cruz solidified his grip as the lone viable “not Trump” contender.

Cruz’s wins don’t put him on an even keel with Trump in terms of delegates or even momentum, but they do grant him legitimacy in making the argument that he deserves a chance to go at Trump one-on-one.

As I argued above, if Cruz can weather the storm of negativity that’s come at him in the past month, he can overcome anything. Hopefully people will give him a chance to prove it.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the best part of the entire evening was when Karl Rove lost his microphone when analyzing the returns on Fox News. If only it would disappear permanently, we’d all be better off.

The bottom line is the race goes on. If Marco Rubio fails to win in Florida, he should bow out (if not sooner). But by then it might be too late to stop the Trump train.

Let the establishment weep.

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The Republican Race Narrow To Two

As the Republican race heats up Donald Trump is still gaining momentum by continuing to appeal to the conservative grassroots and Ted Cruz hanging on to be an alternative to Donald Trump. Ted Cruz appeals to most conservative base because he's a Constitutional conservative that protects and defend the Constitution that attracts grassroots conservatives. Donald Trump is the Fiscal Conservative and National Security conservative that also attracts the conservative grassroots movement because Donald Trump is a political outsider a successful businessman that isn't going to make any deals with the Washington cartels or special interest groups that's why the RINOS establishment don't want him to become the next President. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz also attract social conservatives because they both will protect pro-family values,2nd Amendment, protect the unborn and the sanctity of marriage.
However, Donald Trump should win the Republican Party nomination because he's in the position to revitalize the crippling U.S. economy including, creating jobs roll back Obama's disastrous domestic and foreign policies that makes America standing in the world weak. Defeating ISIS and securing the borders will be one of his priorities when he takes office. He's also going to continue to stand with Israel our strongest ally in the Middle East ,rein in on Russia, Syria, Iran and Pakistan for their support of terrorists groups like ISIS and Al-Qaida also roll back on Obama's disastrous Iranian deal. Donald Trump is what the American people need to lead this country back to greatness.