Spinning Wheels While Spinning the Spin
Bill Quick

Today, Nate Silver said something over at 538 that I agree with 100%:

GOP Deathmatch: Three Men Will Enter. The Winner Will Probably Lose To Trump Anyway. | FiveThirtyEight,

natesilver: SURE WOULD BE NICE IF SOMEONE TRIED CONDUCTING A PUBLIC OPINION POLL IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Yep.  Yet another GOP primary that is shaping up as The Most Important One Yet, and we haven’t seen a legitimate poll out of there in nearly three weeks.

Oh, sure, over at NRO, Charlie Sourkraut is peddling some unsourced, anonymous piece of crap from a friend of a friend or somesuch, and given that Charles hasn’t become a Donor Class party boy hack to the bone (oh, wait – yes he has) I sure the poll – if it even actually exists – is entirely legit and trustworthy.  Just like Charles is.  (Oh, wait.  He’s not).

Sundance at Conservative Treehouse put on his paranoid chapeau and hazards the notion that if there is no polling, it’s because the polls they are doing aren’t telling them what they want us to hear.  And, frankly, there could be something to this idea.

However.  The IA and NH primaries sucked up a lot of resources.   Everybody was focused on those two races, so there was not much urgency about SC.   However, the mixed messages coming out of Iowa and NH have suddenly made SC look very crucial – so they will be polling it, and polling it hard.

But keep in mind that the NH primary occurred on the 9th, day before yesterday.  The ridiculous scam Krauthummer is peddling was apparently a one-day poll done on the tenth, yesterday.  That, by definition, makes it almost worthless, because folks in SC hadn’t by yesterday had time to “price in” the results of NH.  Heck, they barely had time to digest Iowa.

Also, most legit polls run over a multiple day period, usually three to five.  That helps smooth out the jagged edges in the numbers, and it also give very recent events time to influence the newer polls.

So if, say, Q-Pac started polling in SC yesterday, you won’t expect to see any results from them until Friday at the earliest, and more likely Saturday.  And that’s if they jumped in with both feet early yesterday morning.

I would expect a slew of polls to drop in SC by next Monday.  Of course, that only leaves five days to go before SC heads off to the polls on the following Saturday.

Could get crowded.

Meanwhile, with no true hard data, what remains is all the campaigns spinning everything to their own favor as hard as they can (I’m winning, really! – John Kasich;  No, it’s me! – Ben Carson;  Me, me, me! – Jeburrito Bush), and all that we poor, wretched bloggers and other such human refuse are left with is to speculate on their speculations, and spin their spins.

Which, frankly, bores the crap out of me.

Data!  I want some legitimate data!

BTW, didja check out that hed on the 538 piece?  Man, has the entire tone over there changed all to hell, or what?

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
nemo paradise

“Is this something yet,” asks our publisher. Oh, yes. It’s really something, and he’s right (for once) that there actually is a very important technical event out there. Will we break through 15,500 on the Dow in a convincing selloff?

This particular downleg (past couple months) has been marked by dizzying downdrafts erased by inexplicable recoveries. The “fundamentals” are all strong, but the fundamentals are measured by numbers we no longer trust to any degree. Unemployment, inflation, trade flows, earnings — all digits on a screen that have been tampered with by one agenda or another. We know in our heart-of-hearts that this data is no longer very reliable, but like the soothsayers of old, we continue to gaze at it because it’s the data we have.

Sure, there’s other data out there. The number of Americans out of work expands even as the unemployment number declines. Interest rates are very, very low — but try borrowing money. Meanwhile, the deficits expand even when they don’t, because we think you will believe that government debt didn’t increase one little smidgen for months on end, even when we know it did. And our kids are besieged by anxious recruiters begging them to accept a job, because college graduates are in such short supply.

What has this to do with the stock market? Maybe very little. There are two things that are mostly driving the stock market right now. Oh, okay — yes, fear and greed. But more specifically:

1. Technology
2. “I don’t get it.” (Hat tip to Tom Hanks in “”Big.”)

By “technology,” I don’t mean tech stocks. I mean the remarkable array of technical automated trading systems that account for so much of today’s order flow. This is a topic for about 2000 Ph. D.’s and their assembled courtiers, but briefly, I think that the automated systems, relying as they do on past behavior data and reversion-to-mean thinking, are playing a major role in flattening tops and supporting bottoms.

I further think they will continue to do so, creating artificial trading ranges of support and resistance, until completely emotional factors overwhelm portfolio managers and a breakout one way or the other ensues.

Which way will it break out? Too much is unknown. China? The banks? Oil? Boojums? But: “I don’t get it” bodes ill.

Here’s my call: I can see many, many reasons the market should go down, even if the fundamentals don’t justify it. Rates are low, inflation is low, energy is low — but so is mood, tone, sentiment and confidence.

What could make it go up?

You tell me. Because I can’t think of a single thing.

Dow at 12,000 by election time.

Savior Cruz
Bill Quick

Richard Viguerie: ‘Only Cruz Has Potential to Unite The Party;’ ‘Trump Can’t Unite Conservatives’ – Breitbart

On Tuesday’s broadcast of Breitbart News Daily, Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon spoke with Richard Viguerie, author of Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It, on the current state of 2016 Republican primary and the importance of uniting all Republicans to face the Democrats in November.

Saying that he doesn’t trust businessman Donald Trump ideologically, Viguerie added: “Cruz is the best candidate I’ve seen since Ronald Reagan and in many ways he’s more ideologically consistent than Reagan.” His feeling is that with the establishment currently divided across several candidates, Cruz can to rally not just conservatives, but the entire GOP. Viguerie said the GOP hasn’t been fully united since 1988 and “only Cruz has potential to unite the party.”

Yeah,  he’ll unite the GOP…in a crushing defeat in the general election.

Yeah, I’ll vote for Cruz.  But not with any hope of him beating Hillary.

Feel Safer Yet?
Bill Quick

Man tells victim Brooklyn assault ‘is for Malcolm X, cracka’ – NY Daily News

Police are investigating a second anti-white bias incident in Brooklyn where the attacker called his victim “cracka,” the Daily News has learned.

A 51-year-old white man told cops he was Nostrand Ave. near Glenwood Road when a black man ran up and knocked him to the ground about 5:40 p.m. Monday.

“This is for Malcolm X, cracka,” the brute said before storming off.

The victim was not injured.

Luckily.

It’s a good thing New Yorkers are allowed to carry firearms for personal self defense, isn’t it?

Oh, wait….

What a Clown He Is
Bill Quick

How to Win the White House and Save the World: Don’t Talk of Reagan. Talk Like Reagan.

Looking back at Reagan’s speeches, I don’t see him just promising some government action. I see him promising a government action and then immediately telling you how this will directly and tangibly benefit you.

He didn’t leave you to wonder how cutting taxes might help you. He would say something elegant and magical like, “Just as free speech encourages good journalism, so do low tax rates and low regularity burdens on the farmer or businessman produce prosperity.”

By the way, that’s another thing Trump gets right, though he says it crudely. When did Republicans stop talking about prosperity, like it’s the dirty thing the Democrats say it is? Trump gets a lot wrong — a lot — but he does keep telling people, “We’re gonna get rich.”

I hear a lot of people talking about “getting the economy back on track.” What the hell does that mean? The economy is an abstraction. Money in your pocket, that’s tangible. That’s real. And “prosperity” is an elegant, wonderful word to describe having money and getting rich.

So I have to say, for those not understanding what other people hear in Trump’s (admittedly) poorly thought out and boastful words, those are two key things people are hearing: I’m on your side, I understand your pain.

And: I’ll make you rich.

Why aren’t other people talking about this more?

Maybe because they think it will make them admittedly sound as if they are using poorly thought out and boastful words?

Poor Trump.  He’s barely thinking, and boasting on top of it, and yet, still, somehow he’s kicking everybody’s ass.

Weird, huh?

Must just be luck.

Or something.

Donald Trump: Big Gun
Bill Quick

Trump tells French magazine, “I always have a gun on me” « Hot Air

This is a story which has cropped up in the past, but it’s making the rounds again this month. Donald Trump gave an interview to the French magazine Valleurs Actuelles this month where he weighed in on how their nation has seen better days. Both the country and its capital were criticized for sagging a bit in the modern era. Saying, “France isn’t what it was” during his comments, Trump noted that the country might be in better shape if the citizens had the right to keep and bear arms. For evidence, the man who the Weekly Standard just described as being in the driver’s seat on the way to the nomination, cited the recent terror attacks and noted that he’s always ready for action and that things might have gone differently if he’d been there. (The Local, France)

“Do you really think that if there were people in the crowd, who were armed and trained, things would have turned out the same way?,” Trump said.

“I don’t think so. They would have killed the terrorists. It makes sense.

“I always have a gun on me. I can tell you that if I had been in the Bataclan or in the cafes I would have opened fire.

“I may have been killed, but I would have drawn.”

It seems that some people have raised doubts about whether or not this claim is true. I’ve gotten some questions on this in the past and it came up again with this article. The default assumption seems to be that Trump is a Big Apple guy and nobody gets a concealed carry permit in New York City. I’ll grant you that, particularly these days, it’s darned hard to get one, but it can be done. And in years past it was at least somewhat easier. Public figures who regularly receive plausible threats on their lives can actually obtain one fairly easily if they don’t have a criminal record or other disqualifying items in their history. It seems unlikely that Trump would be fibbing on this one, particularly since he puts the claim right on his Second Amendment issues page. Further, Trump is on record out on the campaign trail as claiming that he’s had the permit for years, an item noted by our Katie Pavlich last fall.

Boulder, Colo. – During one of the final questioning sessions of Wednesday night’s debate, Donald Trump proudly proclaimed that he has a concealed carry permit and that he “carries, sometimes a lot.”

What sort of heat is The Donald packing? He’s normally rather hesitant to go into details (which many people consider a rather private matter) but in one interview he did give a peek behind the curtains. He has a fair collection, including at least one Sig Sauer, a H&K .45 and a .38 Smith & Wesson.

I like his choice in personal carry iron.  I’d certainly be toting a Sig if I could afford one.  Probably a P238.  I like sub-compact 380s.  If I wanted to step up, the P938 is a great little gun as well.

I especially liked this Trump quote: 

“I always have a gun on me. I can tell you that if I had been in the Bataclan or in the cafes I would have opened fire.

“I may have been killed, but I would have drawn.”

Yep.  Me, too.

And I’d be willing to bet that neither Bush nor Rubio has ever carried concealed.

 

Rubio: Going For Broke(r)?
Bill Quick

So now it’s Rubio (and the establishment) dreaming of a brokered convention « Hot Air

In the past, when we’ve heard talk of this it’s generally among supporters of Trump or, to a slightly lesser extent, Ted Cruz. Pretty much nobody among the party elders wants to see them get the nomination, and if either arrives in Cleveland with a lead less than the minimum 1,144 delegates needed to win on the first ballot, things could get ugly. After some horse trading among the power brokers, the remaining delegates could, in theory, line up behind somebody more palatable to the establishment a few ballots later and take the nomination away. As I’ve noted here previously, this would likely be the end of the party as we know it for a generation.

But the folks you don’t hear talking about it are the ones who would potentially benefit from it the most. For Rubio’s team to be suggesting it this early in the process is telling, at least as I read the cards. It’s something of an obtuse admission that we might not be able to win this thing honestly so we may have to steal it on a technicality.

Okay, but I don’t clearly see how a Ruhbush theft of the nomination via a brokered convention benefits them.  Oh, sure, they get to be the doomed sacrificial nominee for a party that has either destroy itself for a generation, or just destroyed itself, period, but how does that benefit anybody, them least of all?

“Hi, my name is Jebo Rubush, and after stealing the GOP nomination by dirty, backroom tactics, I could only get 40% of the vote in the general election, got crushed by Hillary Clinton, and had negative coat-tails to the point the the Democrats retook both House and Senate by large majorities.  Yay, me!”

That’s what you want for your political legacy?  Because after a performance like that, you’re done in politics for, well, forever.

There is a reason Reince Priebus pooh-poohed the idea:

Reince Priebus: A Brokered Convention Is “Possible” | Video | RealClearPolitics

“No one can rule it out,” Priebus said of a possible contested Republican nominating convention. “If a candidate doesn’t get to a majority of delegates by the time you get to the convention then you could have a contested convention.”

“My belief is we will have a presumptive nominee by the end of March or the middle of April,” the RNC chairman said. “I’ve said that for over a year. I still believe that. The odds of a contested convention are almost nothing, but look, is it possible? It is possible. But it is possible that the Democrats will have a contested convention. Is it likely? Of course not.”

If it looks like the Trump/Cruz contest will result in a brokered convention, I expect the party itself will put its thumb on the scale as heavily as possible to avoid the possibility.  And that thumb will come down on Trump’s side, not Cruz’s.

You see, people who can add understand that Trump is building precisely the big tent the GOP has claimed it always wanted.  And Cruz is building a small church that the party will, correctly, view as a suicidal revival meeting.

Honestly, I’m not buying it. Once we get past Nevada and get down to three or four serious candidates things might get a bit more boring fairly quickly.

I’m not buying it either.  Brokered conventions can only occur when convention brokers want one.  And these convention brokers most assuredly don’t.

Ben Shapiro Seeks to Redefine Conservatism: Fails
Bill Quick

How Attitude Trumped Conservative Thought | Daily Wire

The problem, of course, is that conservatism has very little to do with attitude. Conservatism demands Constitutionalism, and in the aftermath of a century of progressive growth of government — including growth at the hands of so-called conservatives — change need not be gradual. The attitude matters less than the goal. We can have hard-charging conservatives like Mark Levin; we can have 10-dollar-word conservatives like many of the writers at National Review. What we can’t have is nonconservatives redefining conservatism as an attitude, and then ignoring the underlying philosophy.

Of course, in his TDS frenzy, Shapiro demonstrates his own biases and ignorances about conservatism, and/or Conservatism.

Small c conservatism is, of course, an attitude.  It can be summed up by that famous NRO motto, “Standing athwart history, yelling stop.”  And I wonder how Shapiro would have responded had Trump simply quoted that motto, rather than saying essentially the same thing in “I think it’s a person who doesn’t want to take overly risks. I think that’s a good thing.”

Further, “Conservatism” does not demand Constitutionalism. 

The Russell Kirk Center: The Essence of Conservatism by Russell Kirk

Miss Worth did not believe that Progress, with a Roman P, is a good thing in itself. Progress may be either good or bad, depending on what one is progressing toward. It is quite possible, and not infrequently occurs, that one progresses toward the brink of a precipice. The thinking conservative, young or old, believes that we must all obey the universal law of change; yet often it is in our power to choose what changes we will accept and what changes we will reject. The conservative is a person who endeavors to conserve the best in our traditions and our institutions, reconciling that best with necessary reform from time to time. “To conserve” means “to save.” . . . [Consider] Cupid’s curse:

“They that do change old love for new,

Pray gods they change for worse.”

A conservative is not, by definition, a selfish or a stupid person; instead, he is a person who believes there is something in our life worth saving.

Conservatism, indeed, is a word with an old and honorable meaning—but a meaning almost forgotten by Americans until recent years. Abraham Lincoln wished to be known as a conservative. “What is conservatism?” he said. “Is it not preference for the old and tried, over the new and untried?”

Russel Kirk was a considerably greater thinker, and greater influence in the world of conservative thought, than Ben Shapiro ever will be, especially in Shapiro’s feckless, fruitless quest to redefine conservatism in such a way as to use the new definition to excoriate Donald Trump, whom he just hatey-hates so much he can hardly stand it.

Here Come the Mystery Polls in SC
Bill Quick

SC Poll: Trump 32, Cruz 26, Rubio 20, Bush 10 | The Weekly Standard

I’ve just heard from a political operative whom I’ve known a long time and whose integrity I trust. This person is working with an organization—not one of the campaigns—that was in the field (using a very reputable pollster) Wednesday night in South Carolina.

Trump 32

Cruz 26

Rubio 20

Bush 10

Carson 7

Kasich 2

Take it with the usual grains of salt, but I do trust these were the actual results of an honest and competent pollster doing his best to get an accurate read on the situation.

Sure you do, Sourkraut.  Because you’ve always been so honest, competent, and unbiased in all of your previous coverage of Trump.

I’ll wait for some public polling, rather than your carefully concealed “anonymous sources,” thanks.

Apparently Christie Didn’t Destroy Rubio At That Debate
Bill Quick

ANALYSIS: Exit Polls Don’t Back Rubio’s Claim That Debate Hurt Him – ABC News

Given continued coverage of Marco Rubio’s claim that his poor performance in Saturday’s debate caused his fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire Republican primary, we wanted to put some data behind the point -– that the exit poll just doesn’t back him up.

We’ve got two ways to look at it, one direct, the other indirect, and neither shows any evidence that the debate harmed Rubio in terms of vote choices.

Indirectly: 47 percent of New Hampshire GOP voters said they finally decided on their candidate either on Election Day itself, or in the previous few days. Twelve percent of them voted for Rubio. The rest decided before the final debate. Ten percent of them voted for Rubio.

Directly: 67 percent called “the recent debates” an important factor in their vote. Ten percent of them voted for Rubio. The rest said the debates were not an important factor. Twelve percent of them voted for Rubio.

Two points is not a meaningful difference in the exit poll. Rubio’s support was essentially the same whether people decided before or after the debate, and whether or not they said the debates were important to their vote.

Rubio may have some reason for blaming his fifth-place finish on the debates, rather than some other cause. What we don’t see are data to support it.

Well, all the conventional “conservative” wisdom says that Christie “destroyed” Rubio (who was “on track” to give Trump very strong competition, and maybe even beat him, in NH), but if that wasn’t the case, then what the hell did happen?

Maybe Rubio just drastically underperformed his polling?  Maybe his polling supporters were fair weather friends who couldn’t be bothered to show up when the time came?  Maybe his ground game really, really sucked?  Maybe the twenty bazillion bucks of attack ads Jeb dumped on his in the final week had an effect?

Or maybe people just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a proven liar and treacher when the chips finally came down?

No, Ted Cruz Is Terrible On Globalist Trade – and So Is His Supporter Mark Levin
Bill Quick

Heidi Cruz Argues Forcefully For Trade Authority, Something Her Husband Opposes – BuzzFeed News

Heidi Cruz misstated her husband’s vote on a key and controversial trade provision last year in a radio interview this week.

The issue of trade has become a hot one for both parties this cycle. Donald Trump’s made the case that the United States is getting screwed on free trade — that U.S. policies have ruined the wages for the American worker.

In a radio interview on South Carolina’s Vince Coakley Radio Program, Heidi Cruz argued free trade is a powerfully good force and that presidents should have increased powers to negotiate trade deals — a policy that has become particularly controversial over the last year as President Obama has pushed for what’s called trade-promotion authority (TPA) to negotiate a U.S.-Asian Pacific trade agreement.

And then she said Ted Cruz voted for TPA. Sen. Cruz, while initially voting for TPA in May of 2015, was one of only five Republicans to vote against it when it came up for another vote in the Senate later that June. At the time, Cruz explained that his reversal was a result of his opposition to the Export-Import Bank and new immigration provisions introduced by the House.

This is, of course, a deliberate attempt to cover up Cruz’s support for TPA.  Here’s what really happened:

Senator Ted Cruz Did Support TPA – and Secretary Kerry asked China To Join TPP a Week ago… | The Last Refuge

Senator Ted Cruz Did Support TPA – and Secretary Kerry asked China To Join TPP a Week ago…

Red Circled Candidates All Support Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement (TPP)

GOP candidates TPP

HR2146 (TPA “Trade Promotion Authority” or “Fast Track”):  This House Bill #2146 originating April 30th ’15, became the vehicle for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

HR2146 was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters.

In April of 2015 Senator Ted Cruz and House Ways and Means Chairman, Representative Paul Ryan, supported TPA being added to HR2146.  Their support was most notable when they posted the following Op-Ed which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on April 22nd:

http://paulryan.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398270

On May 12th HR2146 passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.  Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 407 – 5 (Roll no. 220). (text: CR H2848)  The bill passed the house 407-5 because it was not controversial.

As planned, on June 4th 2015 The senate passed the house bill “with changes” notably an amendment “adding TPA” (thanks to Ted Cruz) and TAA (needed for Elizabeth Warren coalition) By unanimous consent thereby avoiding a roll vote on record.

https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2015/house-section/page/H4507-4518

On June 18, 2015 the House accepted the TPA change (Paul Ryan spearhead) and removed TAA (the financial assistance package for training of union workers – this angered the Pelosi Dems).  Nancy Pelosi had to be arm twisted by the White House to go along with HR2146 with TAA spending removed – she acquiesced.

Without TAA HR2146 passed again in the House, only this time with a much closer vote of 218-208, and went back to the Senate to resolve differences.  (The difference was the removal of TAA)

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2146

On June 24th HR2146 (TPA without TAA) Then passed the Senate (Ted Cruz did not attempt to block or filibuster because this was the original plan all along).  The bill passed in the Senate 60-38  (3/5ths passage rule).

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?&congress=114&session=1&vote=00219

On June 29th Obama signed it and HR2146 became law.

Senator Ted Cruz voted for Cloture on TPA Fast track trade authority removing the hurdle and concern of further amendments and clearing the way for passage.  Again, like “unanimous consent” cloture votes are not recorded roll call votes.  Thereby Ted Cruz could obfuscate his support.  He figured to hide, see how that works?

However, Cruz advocacy could not be hidden entirely.  On another bill HR 1314 Cruz voted against an amendment to the Trade Deal that would require congress to be consulted if China (or other nations) were to join after the fact:

Senate Amendment 1251 “To require the approval of Congress before additional countries may join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”…

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=114&session=1&vote=00189

Cruz voted NAY.  Directly saying he did not want congress to be consulted before other countries, namely CHINA, could join TPP.

?  Notice during last nights debate who was saying China is not part of TPP, contrast against who was honestly saying TPP carries a backdoor for China (and Russia) to join.

NOVEMBER 4th – In an interview with Russian interstate channel Mir TV, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry invited China and Russia to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“We invite people to come join other initiatives, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP. We welcome China, we welcome Russia, we welcome other countries who would like to join, as long as they want to raise the standards and live up to the highest standards of protecting people and doing business openly and transparently and accountably,” said Secretary Kerry.  (read more)  State Dept Link HERE

Donald Trump was entirely correct.  Senator Rand Paul was factually incorrect.

And in the crucial votes on the issue that mattered – not the carefully constructed show-vote theater of the final, guaranteed passage of TPA, which also guarantees the passage of the noxious TPP (as Cruz and everybody else knows perfectly well), Cruz was all in with his support of TPA, mostly obviously in his initial vote to support cloture, the only real hurdle TPA had to face.

Which brings me to Mark Levin, who has turned into a terrible disappointment and a worse hack in his frenzied support for the guy his future son-in-law is working for.  No, he’s not a disappointment because he’s become an adjunct of the Cruz campaign, it’s because he’s trashed his integrity and begun to flat-out lie on Cruz’s behalf.

Yesterday, I heard him say this on the show:  “You know, those terrible, rigid tariffs people like Trump and Sanders have proposed will destroy American jobs and put hard-working Americans out of work.”

This is, of course, a flat lie – about Trump, at least.  Trump has never proposed a specific tariff on anything, rigid or not.  What he did propose was using the threat of tariffs to level the playing field between us and China, which would undoubtedly save more American jobs than it destroys.  Sure, there is some nuance here, but I defy Levin to point to a single specific tariff Trump has proposed – you know, like “Let’s put a 50% tariff on iPhones manufactured in China.”  Because he hasn’t.  He proposed a possible level of 45% in tariffs on all Chinese goods, primarily, as I said, as a threat to reduce the unfair trade and financial practices China uses against us.   And since, in the same segment, Levin said, “We already have hundreds of tariffs on imported goods,” before segueing into his assault on Trump, I presume he must have had something specific, something like another of those “hundreds of tariffs” already in existence, in mind beyond the 45% blanket threat.

Or else he was, once again, just lying on behalf of his future son-in-law’s employer – who, in the most crucial vote of the entire TPA/TPP process, voted for a deal that will destroy hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and continue to hammer our economic competitiveness on a global scale.

Of course, I’m sure the billionaires who back Cruz are very happy with him and his vote.  And with Mark Levin, too.

The Conventional Wisdom Just Took A New Turn…Toward Trump
Bill Quick

Donald Trump in Driver’s Seat on Way to Presidential Nomination | The Weekly Standard

Every Republican candidate who finished first and second in Iowa and New Hampshire has won the presidential nomination. Having done so, Trump is now in a class with Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney. John McCain was a partial exception in 2000, having basically skipped Iowa and then won in New Hampshire. And it doesn’t matter where the first and second place finishes occurred. Reagan was second in Iowa in 1980, then won New Hampshire. Dole won Iowa in 1996 and settled for second to Pat Buchanan in New Hampshire.

Interesting twist.  I hadn’t figured that one out yet.

That New Hampshire failed to force all the marginal candidates out of the race is a boon for Trump. There’s still no single “establishment” candidate to oppose him. There are three, maybe four, and they’re fighting each other, not Trump. This is important. If Jeb Bush is still running when the Florida primary occurs on March 15, he’ll split the establishment vote with Marco Rubio. And Trump will win Florida. A similar situation will exist in Ohio if Kasich, the state’s governor, hangs around. Kasich and Rubio and maybe Bush will form a circular firing squad. Should Trump win both states, the race is over.

Welcome to my world:  Trump 50%, Cruz 30%, Rubushich 20%.

Trump was zinged after Iowa because his vote was less than polls had forecast. But in New Hampshire, the opposite happened. The RealClear average of New Hampshire polls pegged Trump at 29.5 percent. He got better than 34 percent of the actual vote.

Yes, I noticed that.  And blogged it.

The Trump magic appears to be spreading to states with upcoming primaries. A political group polling in House races found recently that Trump’s lead in Alabama and North Carolina is roughly 2-to-1. That’s what Trump beat runner-up Kasich in New Hampshire.

Hadn’t you heard?  After his squeaker win in IA, and his crushing loss at Trump’s hands in NH, Cruz is the new frontrunner in the southern tier.

Trump should be pleased Kasich was his closest rival in New Hampshire. Kasich is a weak challenger post-New Hampshire. He doesn’t have a national campaign. He’s running as a moderate, which won’t help him in the many primaries in Southern states over the next five weeks. Kasich is simply not a candidate with a viable future. For him, New Hampshire was both the beginning and the end.

Kasich is totally irrelevant going forward.  I’ll frankly be surprised if he manages to stay in the race until Ohio, and even if he does, by the time Ohio rolls around on March 15th it won’t matter, no matter how he manages to finish there (not very well, I expect).

No Republican who fared as poorly as Bush in Iowa and New Hampshire has ever won the nomination or even come close. He thinks he has a chance to break out in South Carolina on February 20, but don’t count on it. The only highlight of his campaign in New Hampshire was the appearance of his mother Barbara. He said New Hampshire “reset the race.” Maybe, but not for him.

First, he dragged out Big Bro.  Then he dragged out Mommy Dearest.  What next?  Can Daddy still talk, what with the wheel chair and the oxygen tank?  Maybe we could just read his lips…

Given the headwind he faced, Rubio did well to wind up fifth in New Hampshire. His 11 percent of the vote was a sad follow-up to his impressive 23 percent in Iowa eight days earlier. He barely survived.

We don’t know yet, for sure, that he did survive.  Get back to me on that after a few more primaries.

Then there’s Ted Cruz. He managed to exceed expectations by finishing third. And he showed a clever candidate with skill at organizing can get by in a largely hostile state. He did this while spending less than $600,000.

And he’s still got a ceiling somewhere under 30% in the primary race, and would get crushed in the general.

The message to Republican leaders from New Hampshire is this: you’d better start figuring out how to help Donald Trump win the general election because he’s probably going to be your presidential nominee.

If not help, at least stop trying to sabotage him.

Remember, this is Fred Barnes talking, one of the quintessential voices of the GOP establishment.

It Seems Some Folks Are a Bit…Upset (Haw, Haw, Haw)
Bill Quick

Does Anybody Want to Beat Donald Trump? – The Daily Beast

So it is with the Republican primary for president. For months a not-very-bright Trust Fund billionaire has been leading the primary with a campaign based on flying around the country to mostly random places in search of a crowd that will listen to him rant for an hour.

And who has been kicking your ass with stupendous regularity.

Who’s the dumbass again?

In the long primary nominating process, to win you have to win. The danger for Marco Rubio—and all the candidates—is that March contests will be between those who have won the four earlier races: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Maybe Rubio pulls it out in Nevada, but that’s not going to be easy after losing the first three contests. If you haven’t won a race and others have, why should you be taken seriously going forward? Voters want to focus on fewer candidates as the race advances and doing OK is never quite good enough when others are winning.

The week between Iowa and New Hampshire can be the longest week in politics. Trump staggered from Iowa, vulnerable and off his game. Yet none of his opponents moved to take advantage, allowing him time to recoup and stabilize. He’s now headed to a good night in New Hampshire and will likely move into South Carolina as a frontrunner. Not taking advantage of a fluid situation is a key mistake in most endeavors, from sports to business to politics. By sticking to game plans of playing for first or second loser, campaigns likely missed an opportunity to put Donald Trump away and seize control of the race.

Doesn’t anybody want to win this race?

Yeah.  Trump does.  And he is.  And you’re losing.

You loser.

Trump Returns to South Carolina
Bill Quick

10,000+ Attend Trump Rally in South Carolina – Pictures From Clemson – With South Carolina Polling Preview… | The Last Refuge

I wonder what Trump’s “ceiling” will turn out to be in SC, eight days from now?

The most recent poll has him at 36%, nearly doubling Cruz’s 20%.  Of course, the poll was surveyed over the week ending 1/23, seventeen days ago, before Cruz’s squeaker win in IA, and Trump’s yugely applied boot to the rest of the field in NH.  Any bets as to whether he breaks 40% in SC?

Remember:  No GOP candidate who won both NH and SC has ever failed to go on and capture  the GOP nomination.

Why Crime Syndicate Granny Clinton Will Be the Democrat Nominee (394-42)
Bill Quick

Hillary Earns More New Hampshire Delegates Than Sanders | The Daily Caller

Though Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide over Hillary Clinton, he will likely receive fewer delegates than she will.

Sanders won 60 percent of the vote, but thanks to the Democratic Party’s nominating system, he leaves the Granite State with at least 13 delegates while she leaves with at least 15 delegates.

New Hampshire has 24 “pledged” delegates, which are allotted based on the popular vote. Sanders has 13, and Clinton has 9, with 2 currently allotted to neither.

But under Democratic National Committee rules, New Hampshire also has 8 “superdelegates,” party officials who are free to commit to whomever they like, regardless of how their state votes. Their votes count the same as delegates won through the primary.

 

New Hampshire has 8 superdelegates, 6 of which are committed to Hillary Clinton, giving her a total of 15 delegates from New Hampshire as of Wednesday at 9 a.m.

The state’s 2 remaining superdelegates remain uncommitted.

In the overall delegate count, Clinton holds a commanding lead after a razor-thin victory in Iowa and a shellacking in New Hampshire. Clinton has 394 delegates, both super and electorally assigned, to only 42 for Sanders.

Almost all of Hillary’s delegates at this point are pledged “super” delegates.  Those are the party war horses and back benchers, totally owned and operated by the DNC.  And Hillary has almost all of them.

Sanders is toast.

High Altitude, Low Opening
Bill Quick

Cruz: ‘The Only Person in This Field Who Can Beat Donald Trump Is Me’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Republican presidential candidatebelieves that he is the only candidate capable of beating rival Donald Trump.

“What Iowa and New Hampshire demonstrate is that the only person in this field who can beat Donald Trump is me,” Cruz said on “The Mike Gallagher Show.”  “The other candidates are not able to beat Donald Trump,” he added.

Heh, heh, heh.

Note the halo around the head of the risen Body of Cruz.

Now imagine what the Clinton Crime Syndicate will do with stuff like this.  Cruz may be the only person who can beat Trump (an extremely dubious assertion in itself), but Trump is the only GOP candidate who can both win the nomination and beat Hillary.

Some Thoughts for Chad
Bill Quick

There’s no limit on how many Republicans will support Trump

…But that poll also shows something absolutely critical to understand: These opinions change. Disliking Trump (or Cruz, or anyone else) today is no guarantee that you’ll feel the same way tomorrow. Looking back through that NBC/WSJ data, it’s clear that in June, 22 percent of Republicans said they could not see themselves supporting Jeb Bush. The figure is now 55 percent. In the June poll, 66 percent said they couldn’t see themselves supporting Trump. Now that number is down to 34 percent.

For political junkies, results like these are puzzling. They’ve seen plenty of Trump (and the other candidates), and they know what they think of them. While there may be some new development or revelation that alters opinions a bit, it’s really unlikely that a focused political observer will go all the way from “I’ll never vote for that guy!” to “He’s my guy!”, or vice-versa. But voters do just that, all the time. They jump on bandwagons, they abandon sinking candidates, and they’re affected by what happens in the campaign.

It’s also important to keep in mind that in the early stages of the voting — including contests at which a large portion of the delegates are selected — a politician can be disliked by most of the party’s voters and nevertheless keep winning. In 2012, Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucus with 25 percent of the vote, meaning that three of every four Republicans chose someone else. A week later, Mitt Romney won New Hampshire with an emphatic 39 percent, easily outdistancing his rivals — but that meant six out of 10 voters rejected him. Then Newt Gingrich won South Carolina with 40 percent and Romney won Florida with 46 percent. Finally, in the Nevada caucus, Romney cracked 50 percent. He sealed the nomination on Super Tuesday, winning six of the ten states voting that day, and passing 50 percent in three of them.

Although I am 100% certain that, even if Trump sweeps everything through Super Tuesday but Texas, (and breaks fifty percent in some states in the process) many will still babble about Trump’s (new) ceiling of 50+% being absolute proof that he can’t win the GOP nomination.  I hope Chad won’t be among them, but he might be so pissed off that he lets anger over-ride everything else.

Those results are a reminder that a candidate can all but secure the nomination even while most people are voting against him. The ability to win with a plurality but not a majority declines over time as candidates drop out and the choices get narrowed, but by the time it’s down to two or three, it may not matter anymore.

Remember my oft-predicted scenario of Trump at 50%, Cruz at 30%, and GOPe candidate(s) at 20%?

There’s support for this theory:  Nationally, Cruz has never come very close to cracking the 30% mark.  The best he’s done was 24% in an outlier Q-Pac poll back in mid-December, 2015.  The same holds true for state polls:  in IA, in “the only poll that counts,” he topped out at 27.6%.  In NH, he managed 11.7%.  He’s currently polling at 19.7% in SC.  In Nevada?  20%.

Super Tuesday?  Alabama: 4%; Alaska: 24%; Arkansas: 24%; Colorado: 14%; Georgia: 23%;  Massachusetts: 7.5%; Minnesota:21%; Oklahoma: 25%; Tennessee: 14%; Texas: (Most recent poll done on 1/25-26) Cruz: 30% (and Trump at 25%, with the MOE at 3.1% in a poll only two weeks old); Virgina: 10%; Wyoming: 9%.

Now, admitted, a lot of these polls are staler than hell, to the point of meaninglessness, but quite a few (I was surprised to find, since it’s been a while since I went down the whole list) are either late January or early February. And the only place Cruz managed even to hit 30% is in his home state, and even there, Trump is nipping at his heels.

Further down the road: Florida: 21% (Trump doubles him there with 41%); New York: 16% (Trump doubles him with 34% in a poll only a week old); Pennsylvania: 14% (Trump leads at 24% in a two week old poll); Ohio: 11%; Michigan: 16% (Trump leads with 41% in a week-old poll); Illinois: 4% (very stale polling); California: Cruz: 25% (Tied w/i MOE with Trump at 23%).

See a pattern there? Think I’m crazy to put Cruz’s ceiling at 30%?  His true ceiling is probably lower – call it 25%, and that may even be charitable.

There’s a couple of sort-of intangibles to also consider: One, Trump changes things.  He does that better than any other candidate in the field.  Two, candidates dump enormous amounts of money into the early primaries, hoping to winnow the field of their competition, and establish their own primacy going forward.  But as things progress, they’ve usually shot their wad.  Kasich is already flat broke.  So is Carson (and his campaign org is collapsing).  Jeb dumped $90 million into Iowa and New Hampshire, and got bupkus.  By the time he, Rubio, and Cruz finish their shootouts in Nevada and SC, all three could be broke, although Cruz will probably still have some bucks.  And the Bush family may be able to shake the money tree just a little bit more. But Rubio will likely be rendered irrelevant, and may even drop out before being humiliated in Florida.

But what all this really means is that most of them will be depending on earned media to carry them much past Super Tuesday – and nobody, and I mean nobody, does earned media better than Donald Trump.  And if he thinks he absolutely has to, he can always open that yuge wallet of his.

Put it all together, and I’m sticking with my prediction:  Trump 50%, Cruz 30%, Rubush 20%, and Trump wins the nomination without a brokered convention.  Then we’ll get to see what he does with Crime Syndicate Granny Clinton.

None of this means that any particular outcome is guaranteed. But it’s time to discard the idea that Trump can’t be the nominee because there’s some portion of the Republican electorate that will never, ever support him. That may even be true of the “establishment” figures who have been racking their brains trying to figure out how to stop him. If the race really does come down to a choice between Trump and Ted Cruz, more than a few will conclude that for all his weaknesses, Trump has a better chance of winning the general election than an ideological warrior who would probably do as well as Barry Goldwater did in 1964; at least Trump might stand a chance of pulling over some Democrats. Then you’ll hear them making that case, and lots of Republicans could conclude that Trump’s nomination is their best option.

I’ve also been predicting that will happen, too.

Is that what’s going to happen? I have no idea. This election has been brutal on the prediction business. Trump may lose. But given everything that’s happened, we can’t say now that there’s a limit on his support within the GOP. Who knows how high it’ll go?

Higher than Chad expects.  Unexpectedly, of course.  But then the entire tale of The Trump is unexpected.  

Mark This Prediction: I Plan On Laughing at Damon Linker As I Make Him Choke on It A Few Months Down the Road
Bill Quick

There are only two paths left for the GOP: Chaos or catastrophe

Yes, he’s leading the polls in a very crowded field, but that ceiling (never higher than the mid-30s) is unlikely to go much higher, and certainly not past a majority in any state. As soon as the non-Trump vote falls in behind an establishment candidate, he’ll be beaten.

Linker has been hysterical on the subject of Trump every since Trump entered the race and became a serious contender. He’s making an utter fool of himself, but I’m sure the other pajamaboys at The Week give him an occasional pat on the ass for his great work.  So he’s got that much going for himself.

 

 

Christie Creme Just Made It Official: He’s Krisped
Bill Quick

Chris Christie Quits Presidential Race – Breitbart

New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced today that he would end his presidential campaign after coming in sixth place in New Hampshire.

Campaign spokeswoman Samantha Smith confirmed to Breitbart News that Christie broke the news of his decision to staff at his campaign headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, this afternoon.

Down to six now, and we need to lost at least two more pretty damned quick.

How You Can Help to Support Daily Pundit
Bill Quick

You can help support Daily Pundit without it costing you so much as one thin dime.

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This is why I recommend that you add my link to your favorites as your link to Amazon. It takes you directly to the main page, just as a simple amazon.com link would do, but I get the credit for what you buy. And just so you know, any Amazon link you click on this site will have the same effect.

Thanks very much. Bit by bit, it does add up! And it is greatly appreciated.

Okay, But Missing the Point Just a Bit
Bill Quick

Cryonics Breakthrough: Frozen Rabbit Brain Successfully Recovered – Breitbart

FONTANA, Calif., Feb. 10 (UPI) — A team of scientists with California-based research outfit 21st Century Medicine has successfully frozen and recovered the brain of rabbit.

The feat recently earned the team the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize awarded by the Brain Preservation Foundation.

“It is the first demonstration that near-perfect, long term structural preservation of an intact mammalian brain is achievable,” foundation officials wrote in a news release.

What this study says nothing about whatsoever is whether the rabbit brains will still function as they did prior to “death.”

 

More Delusions
Bill Quick

How Donald Trump Could Become President – Breitbart

The most logical target for one of Trump’s famous deals is Kasich, who unless he trips, should have a nice bundle of delegates to bargain.

What?

Kasich has five (count them, five) delegates.  He’s not going to get a single one more.

 

Guess What, Amnesty Boy!
Bill Quick

Rubio: Trump Will Not Be the GOP Nominee – Breitbart

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Wednesday on NBC’s “Today,” Republican presidential candidate insisted that despite his win in the New Hampshire Republican Primary on Tuesday, current party front-runner Donald Trump would not be the Republican nominee.

Host Matt Lauer asked, “You saw the margin of victory for Donald Trump. John Kasich had a good night. In your heart, do you think anyone can get Donald Trump from getting the nomination right now?”

Rubio said, “Sure, Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee.

And everybody else responded, “Neither are you, Amnesty Boy.”

(Not that we didn’t already know that Rubio is lying here in order to help his election chances.  He has a lot of experience at that).

Playing the Expectations Game
Bill Quick

Trump, Sanders DOMINATE In New Hampshire. What The Hell Is Next? | Daily Wire

Ted Cruz. Cruz outperformed expectations in New Hampshire.

Actually, he did not outperform expectations.  The final RCP average showed him at 11.8%.  He got 11.7% of the vote.

You want to know who “outperformed exectations in NH (aside from Trump himself, who beat the RCP average by 4.1 points)?  Christie, that’s who, getting 7.4% after polling an average of 5.8%.  And Kasich, up 2.3 points over his 11.8 average.

Kasich is going nowhere, and Christie is rumored to be leaving the race today.

So, meet Ted Cruz:  The winner of the Rick Santorum Exercise In Futility Award for 2016.

Gowdy: Trump Tapped Into Anger, But ‘Marco Is Our Best Chance to Win’ – Breitbart

Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Rep. 

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has “tapped into a legitimate frustration and anger,” his opponent Sen. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is the GOP’s “best chance to win” in the general election.
 
 
Because the people who pay Gowdy’s bills say he is.  Say, congressman, how’s that big Hillary Benghazi investigation coming?  Still ineffective bupkus?

Now They’re Just Getting Ridiculous
Bill Quick

Trump pulls off huge win, but Kasich will be the media darling | Fox News

Yet the media darling of the moment will undoubtedly be John Kasich, who slogged his way to the second spot in New Hampshire the old-fashioned way—by working his butt off in town halls and diners. In edging his way to the front of the gubernatorial pack, Kasich used a meat-and-potatoes style and what used to be called a compassionate conservative message that helped him among late deciders.

Still, Kasich has run such a one-state campaign that it’s not clear where he goes from here.

Well, the GOP media will be pushing either Bush or Rubio, not Kasich.  But who knows?  Maybe in SC he can get all the way from his current 1.8% support level all the way up to 2, or even 3.

Big win for him, right?

Shop the Amazon Denim Store – For the Whole Family!
Bill Quick

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Will Christie Endorse Trump?
Bill Quick

Let’s face it: Chris Christie’s smartest play now is to endorse Trump « Hot Air

3. “Christie’s probably going to endorse Bush or Kasich now.” A couple of Twitter pals suggested that to me this morning after news trickled out that Trump and Christie had had a long chat last night. Question: Why would Christie waste his endorsement on a sure loser like Kasich and an almost-certain loser like Jeb? Right, right — they’re all governors and, according to Christie, we need an executive with experience to lead the country rather than a neophyte like Rubio or, presumably, a real-estate developer like Trump. That’s fine in the abstract, but as a matter of pure self-interest what would Christie gain from backing two candidates who not only can’t win but have plenty of other high-profile endorsements they can tout? Christie’s just a face in the crowd of their respective supporters among the GOP political class. For Trump, though, Christie’s endorsement would be a symbolically valuable vote of confidence in his qualifications to be president from someone who’s governed a state. That’s the one thing Trump needs to impress undecided skeptics that he can’t quite manufacture on his own — legitimacy, the idea that it’s not nuts to prefer him to a senator or governor. Christie would instantly be the biggest endorsement Trump has landed and would, if Trump is smart, get plenty of face time on cable as a surrogate on Trump’s behalf. And whatever else you may think of him, Christie can be a very effective surrogate. Imagine him attacking Cruz and Rubio on Trump’s behalf over the next six weeks on the trail in South Carolina and Nevada. Instead of slinking back into obscurity in New Jersey, he’d be handed an even bigger media megaphone than he enjoys now. And since he’s term-limited in New Jersey and probably has no real chance of winning another statewide election for Senate, he has little to lose by annoying the GOP donor class by supporting Trump. (If anything, Christie might earn their gratitude if Trump ends up in a two-man race with the hated Cruz.) If everything breaks well for him, he’d have an inside track to be Trump’s Attorney General and maybe even an outside shot at being VP. Makes more sense than riding the Bush rocket all the way down to the ground, no?

I wonder if AP is picking this up from the Donor Class GOPe bloggerlist?

Trump’s Kill Shot Finally Buries Fiorina’s Campaign
Bill Quick

Carly Fiorina: I’m out « Hot Air

It’s a distant memory now but in the last two weeks of September, after her celebrated attack on Trump at the second Republican debate, she was in double digits nationally and in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. Then everyone just … moved on and she was a low single-digits candidate the rest of the way. Even now, I’m not sure what she did to fade so quickly and durably. I suppose it was a simple matter of her being outraised and outspent and then suffocated by Trump’s total domination of earned media.

Actually, Trump kill-shotted her.

Trump Engineers a Linguistic Kill Shot for Fiorina | Scott Adams Blog

The Fiorina Linguistic Kill Shot: “Look at that face!”

This morning I see that the press is playing rusty trombone on Rolling Stone’s article about Trump and his unkind comments about Carly Fiorina’s appearance. The press is furiously trying to manufacture news out of the quote and doing a good job of it so far.

You won’t appreciate the beauty of Trump’s game until you read the entire article, and that takes too long. But if you do, look for a Master Wizard making a Rolling Stones writer fall in love with him while setting up the writer to transmit the Fiorina kill shot embedded in a sexist-sounding comment. 

And the Outragists danced and shouted. As planned.

See the search results on Trump’s linquistic kill shot this morning, below the post here.

All of the chatter from the Rolling Stones article will be about whether Trump’s comments were sexist or not. True to form, Trump is making all of us think past the close. The sale in this case is the idea that Fiorina’s face will be a problem with voters. We accepted that part of his suggestion and went directly to the idea of whether mentioning it is okay or not.

Yeah, that happened.

A kill shot is designed with one necessary element to distinguish it from a mere insult. The kill shot has to put words to what you were already thinking in a vague sense. If you disagree with the main idea in the linguistic kill shot, it has no power. Trump only picks kill shots you agree with on some visceral level. For example…

Jeb Bush does look “low energy.” We agree as soon as Trump says it, even if we had never had a concrete thought about it until he voiced it.

Ben Carson does seem “too nice” for the difficult job of staring down foreign leaders. We agree.

And I’m going to come right out and agree that Fiorina’s face was bothering me. But I never would have voiced that opinion without Trump going first because it sounds terrible. I wouldn’t want to be associated with the thought. [Note to Outragists: The first sentence in this paragraph is the one to take out of context. You are welcome.]

When I say Fiorina’s face bothers me, I am not referring to her looks in general. She looks fit, stylish, and attractive to me. But she does have what I call the angry wife face when she talks politics. Guys, you know the face, which is usually paired with a tone of disapproval. It is your greatest nightmare. It is the face that says you did not do a good job, at whatever.

The outragists in the press will report Trump’s comments as sexism. And by today’s standards, I agree with the classification. But what every adult male who has ever had a relationship with a woman saw was Trump putting words to their own personal nightmares: That face.

Trump will never win over voters who would be incensed by his “sexist” comments. But he can stir-up that crowd and make them carry his message to the rest of the world without paying a penny for ads.

She was dead angry-face woman walking from that point forward.

Is Cruz The Front Runner Now?
Bill Quick

Is Cruz the frontrunner now? « Hot Air

Yep, says Philip Klein. I hope he’s right, but I’m not sure the takeaway from a blowout win for Trump in New Hampshire is that it’s now Ted Cruz’s race to lose.

Though Trump’s victory in New Hampshire was no doubt impressive, the electorate of independent voters and super high turnout was tailor-made for him, whereas Cruz didn’t put substantial effort into winning the state — where very conservative candidates don’t typically do as well. He is currently in position to win third here, with votes still outstanding.

Trump didn’t exactly empty his wallet in NH, either:

Note the eagerly taken-up GOPe meme that NH was “perfect for Trump, therefore we can discount his smashing victory, because now Cruz in the “front runner.”

Let’s look at this short-term and longer-term. Short-term, Klein’s right about South Carolina being way more favorable to Cruz than New Hampshire was. It’s hard to believe that the guy who won Iowa based on his strength with evangelicals, who’s already distinguished himself for having an outstanding ground game, is going to finish any worse than second in a state where evangelicals make up a huge segment of the electorate. (That’s also why it’s hard to believe a Rubio comeback, which would require a strong third place at a minimum, is in the offing. Cruz is in his way.) No one will be surprised if Cruz wins there on February 20th.

Well, I, for one, would be surprised.  Let’s see some fresh polling before we anoint the Body of Cruz as the SC winner.

Klein is correct that all of the polls showing Trump with a big lead in SC were taken before Cruz won Iowa, but they were also taken before Trump blew out the field in New Hampshire last night. Trump built his lead in the SC polls at a moment when it was still an open question whether he was nothing but media hype, a guy who was getting by on name recognition and camera time whose voters would evaporate into thin air once they were required to actually go out and vote. Trump put that to rest last night. Now he’s headed into South Carolina with new credibility as a potential nominee and, in all likelihood, a poll bounce.

Yep.

I can buy that some evangelicals in South Carolina are going to shift to Cruz by dint of his win in Iowa. I can, however, also buy that some South Carolinians who held off on expressing their support for Trump before, whether out of embarrassment or simply because they thought his candidacy would fizzle early, are going to shift to Trump. The first polls in SC this week should show a tighter race than they showed in January but there’s every reason to think Trump will still lead.

Maybe reasonable.  Maybe not.  We’ll see.

And unlike Cruz, Trump doesn’t need to worry as much about voters in his “lane” defecting to Rubio as he scrapes for a comeback. It’s quite possible that Trump wins narrowly in SC because a few too many evangelicals wanted to give Marco a second chance at Cruz’s expense.

This whole lane concept is bullshit of the purest ray serene.  Trump won in every single significant voter demographic in NH.  So what is his “lane,” pray tell?  The entire voting public?  Answer:  Yes.

Related to that, don’t forget that Trump so far has been competitive among evangelical voters, a bloc which you might assume would belong exclusively to Rubio and Cruz. Cruz did win decisively among evangelicals in Iowa, which probably accounted for the margin of his victory, but Trump finished tied with Rubio for those voters. Last night in New Hampshire, Trump (narrowly) won evangelicals along with virtually every other demographic. It could be that Cruz repeats his Iowa performance with born-again voters in South Carolina, but as I say, it could also be that some portion of the electorate that was skeptical of Trump — evangelicals included — will be newly open to considering him after his big win. If Cruz wins evangelicals narrowly in SC and Trump wins non-evangelicals comfortably, how would you expect the outcome of that race to go?

To hear the Trumpophobes tell it, Trump can’t win a single evangelical vote.  And yet, somehow, he keeps right on winning bunches and gobs of them.  More than Cruz in NH – which is odd, given that the TDS folks seem to think that religion trumps all for these voters, no matter where they are.   In fact, these naysayers understand very little about evangelicals, or about Trump’s appeal to them.

And all of this assumes that the advantage Cruz got from his ground game in Iowa will also obtain in South Carolina. Team Trump is no doubt trying to catch up organizationally there, but even if you think there’s no chance they’ll succeed, consider that Kasich and Bush and Rubio also surely had organizational advantages over Trump in New Hampshire. How’d that work out?

Um…unexpectedly?

I can’t remember who said it, but someone on Twitter noted last night that the most terrifying thing about the NH results for anti-Trumpers is that he actually outperformed his polls by four points. It may be that Trump will continue to struggle to match Cruz in turning out voters in caucus states but that statewide primaries will even the playing field. South Carolina is, of course, a primary state.

Duly noted.  Which should also mean that fresh polling there, once undertaken, should give us a more accurate state of play than Iowa polling ever did.

Lots of evangelicals waiting for Cruz in the south, to be sure. But … not nearly as many outside the south, which is a big problem, no? The whole point of last night’s outcome is that, in states where born-again Christians are less of a factor, Trump can blow out the competition. Well, there are lots of states like that — and lots of them will vote after March 15th, when delegates can be awarded winner-take-all instead of proportionally. Cruz supporters, and I include myself here, seem to be following an “underpants gnome” blueprint to ultimate victory that runs something like this:

I am so glad to see that AP is finally admitting more or less up front that he supports Cruz.  It reduces his hackishness factor considerably.

Step one: Cruz beats Trump in Iowa, South Carolina, and in the SEC primary

Step two: ????????

Step three: Cruz is nominee!

Really? What happens when it really is a two-man race and, say, California and New York and other blue/purple states have to choose between the conservative fire-breather Cruz and the “moderate” deal-making centrist Trump? Cruz fans seem to be counting on dealing Trump enough losses that he simply gets demoralized and drops out at some point, but one of the huge consequences of last night’s result, I think, is that there’s much less of a chance of that now. Trump losing in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada really might have convinced him to throw in the towel in the name of saving face, but now that he’s proved he can roll to a landslide in a purple state, he has every incentive to take his lumps in the south and bide his time for a true “Trump vs. Cruz” binary choice in the rest of the country.

And those “Trump lumps” are anything but a foregone conclusion, even in the South, where Trump is leading in all the (stale) polling, except for Texas.  And Cruz’s lead may not hold even there, if Trump sweeps SC and NV going in to Super Tuesday.

And that assumes that Cruz really does win big in the south, where he’s expected to.

He is?  By whom?  The Underpants Gnomes of the TDS gang?

Trump has consistently outpolled him there so far. Maybe that changed after Iowa. But, thanks to New Hampshire, maybe it didn’t. We’ll know soon.

Primary outcomes, as relating to future primaries, are a major case of “What have you done for me lately?  IA will be in the rear view mirror, long forgotten, by the time Super Tuesday rolls around.  Oh, sure, wonks like AP will still be muttering about it, but nobody else will – especially the voters in those states.

I’d give Trump something like a 60 percent chance at the nomination at this point and Cruz a 35 percent chance (which means PredictWise is underrating both of them). How ironic, though, that it’s probably going to fall to Ted Cruz, establishment bete noire, to save the GOP from Trump. Even more ironic: Establishmentarians will fight him the whole way.

No irony whatsoever, AP.  The only “saving” the GOPe will accept involves somehow getting the nomination for Jeb or Rubio.  Absent that, nothing, as far as they are concerned, will be “saved,” whether Trump or Cruz is the nominee.  Hell, in terms of their own goals, many of them would doubtless prefer Hillary to either Trump or Cruz, which is why I hope Sanders somehow manages to wrest the nomination from her.

In that event, to GOPe eyes, Trump would look like the pick of the litter.

AP sounds pretty depressed, doesn’t he?  I mean, in just a couple of days, he switched from predicting a narrow win for Trump in NH (the best possible state for Trump, of course, of course) to begrudginly giving him a 60 percent shot at the GOP nomination.  I feel his pain.  Well, no, I don’t.

But maybe he’s just trend-following again.  Here’s a bulletin from TDS Central, NRO, which doesn’t seem to find itself much in agreement with Klein either:

Trump, Cruz are NH winners: Armageddon for the GOP Establishment

The night could have gone worse for the GOP establishment—but I’m not really sure how. Not only did Donald Trump win an overwhelming victory in New Hampshire, but the establishment lane of viable candidates got more crowded than it had been going in. And remember that since the current primary calendar was inaugurated in 1976, no GOP nominee has ever emerged without winning Iowa or New Hampshire.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, that means that, if history is a guide, the GOP is likely going to be choosing between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as a nominee, which is enough to have Beltway insiders waking up in cold sweats.

Of course, Trump was the biggest winner of the night with a dominant performance that even slightly outperformed his polls. He won virtually all of New Hampshire’s demographic groups and lapped the field, winning more votes than his top two challengers combined. He took more votes against an impressive eight-candidate field of governors and senators than Hillary Clinton did matched one-on-one against an aging socialist with a total of two congressional endorsements. Trump is still unacceptable to a lot of GOP voters (including no small number of folks here at NRO) but right now, he is clearly the candidate to beat for the GOP nomination. He was helped by the fact that New Hampshire is almost the perfect state for a candidate like Trump, with huge numbers of relatively middle and working-class secular voters. (New Hampshire is the least religious state in the nation). But any way you slice it, his victory is impressive.

Keep Cruz hope alive, dude.  Keep it alive.

Dropouts
Bill Quick

And…

NJ Gov Chris Christie to suspend presidential campaign: AP

Separately, multiple Wednesday reports said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to suspend his presidential campaign as well.

Fox News Donor Class Pimp-master of Fox News is just spitting with rage:

Say, remember when “Angry Face Woman” Fiorina “surgically deballed” Donald Trump?  Good times, good times – especially for Rich “Flower Boy” Lowry.

Finding Trump in the “Abyss”
Bill Quick

GOP establishment stares into the abyss

It will also complicate the efforts to halt Ted Cruz, who like Trump is running in the insurgent lane. After winning the Iowa caucuses, Cruz coasted to a third-place finish in New Hampshire.

He coasted to a third place finish 23.6 points behind Trump.  For some reason that seems like something you could point out when touting Cruz’s purported “momentum” gained by this finish.

But he is well positioned in evangelical-rich South Carolina and a series of southern states that vote in March.

Well, if you call “trailing Trump by 16-19 points in South Carolina “well positioned.”  Polls are stale by now, though.  Nothing taken since well before Iowa and NH.  So we need to see some new polls before we can decide for ourselves whether Cruz is actually “well positioned.”

Adding to the chaos is Kasich’s surprisingly strong showing, which empowered him to push forward.

Uh huh.  To South Carolina, where he’s currently scoring…1.8% support…in the polls there.  Feel the empowerment.   Wowza!

He is virtually certain to win Ohio, which holds its primary a week later, on March 15, and awards its delegates on a winner-take-all basis.

Kasich is trailing Trump by five points in Ohio, his home state, per the most recent (stale) polling there.  Sorry, I seem to be missing the virtual certainty of his victory there.  Perhaps you found it somewhere in your analytical fundament?

While Kasich remains a longshot to win the Republican nomination, his ongoing presence in the race will complicate the party’s hopes to unify the field.

Lindsey Graham has a better shot.

Countdown to South Carolina:  9 days.

 

You Won’t Generally Hear This In the TDS Media
Bill Quick

CHARLES HURT: Donald Trump built a juggernaut and had the media pay for it – Washington Times

Why does the mainstream media heap such scorn and disbelief on Donald Trump over his promise to build a great wall along the border with Mexico — and make Mexico pay for it? After all, Donald Trump has built a winning presidential campaign — and made the media pay for it.

Mr. Trump’s second place finish in Iowa gave respite to the legions of media pundits and establishment flunkies who suffer the worst forms of Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome. They braced for a huge blow-out win in the Corn State. When it didn’t happen, it was like an executioner’s gun jamming. First they flinched, then they blinked a few times and then got up and ran like their hair was on fire.

Ever since, of course, they have been gloating and crowing — from a safe distance — that Donald Trump failed. King Midas had finally touched something and turned it into silver, instead of gold.

This, to be sure, is every bit as delusional as the derangement syndrome that has captivated their sanity for six months now. What Donald Trump pulled off in Iowa was nothing short of miraculous.

The last time a secular, loud, brash New Yorker who was leading in all the national polls faced Iowa Republican voters — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008 — he got truly schlonged. Mr. Giuliani came in sixth place with only 4 percent of the vote.

Donald Trump came in second place with an astonishing 24 percent of the vote. He was just 3.3 percentage points behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who won the race by shamelessly pandering to the state’s huge evangelical population, which has determined the outcome of every Republican caucus there since at least 2000.

Dear Chad:  Read Charles Hurt more often.

What is so amazing about Mr. Trump’s blowout in the nation’s first primary in the Granite State is not just the 2-to-1 win over the next-nearest competitor, but his performance among every demographic group on every single issue.

Among women, middle-aged voters, the elderly, the educated — all people the experts warned would flee from Donald TrumpMr. Trump managed to win. And he won on every major issue, including the economy, foreign policy and immigration.

Perhaps the sweetest thing out of New Hampshire is how the media will be forced to spin the results. They will, of course, try to minimize Mr. Trump’s thumping.

Then they will be forced to breathe wind into Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s disappointing — but surprising — second-place finish. The Kasich campaign is hopeless going forward. And so the battle rages on for the so-called “establishment lane” with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and even Ted Cruz piled up behind John Kasich’s hopeless campaign.

Their spin and excuses for their failed candidates will grow every more frantic, delusional, desperate – and threadbare – as Trump continues to win his way through the primaries toward the nomination.

Remember:  No GOP candidate has ever won both New Hampshire and S. Carolina, and failed to go on and capture the GOP nomination.

Another interesting factoid:  Only once on the GOP side, in 1996 with Pat Buchanan, did a candidate lose in Iowa, win in NH, and fail to capture the nomination.

Trump Actually Understands ROI
Bill Quick

Jeb Bush Spent $1200 Per Vote In New Hampshire

Frontrunner Donald Trump is once again one of the more frugal spenders of the race when it comes to ad buys, spending $40 per vote. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) underspent everyone in the race with just $18 per vote.


It’s Dead – That’s What’s Wrong With It
Bill Quick

Jeb: I’m Not Dead Yet! | The Weekly Standard

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, who introduced Bush in Manchester and chatted with the press beforehand, said everything’s coming up Jeb ahead of the February 20 primary. “Jeb will do better with evangelicals in South Carolina than he did in Iowa,” said Graham, who has won three statewide elections. “The Bush family name is long and deep in South Carolina. 41 and 43 are well respected. The Bush family has had generations of service. That will matter in South Carolina.”

What about Bush’s favorability problems among Republican primary voters? In one recent poll of South Carolina Republican primary voters, 68 percent said they could “never consider” supporting Bush. Only Kasich performs worse on that question. Graham dismissed the idea, however.

“Bottom line is, how can you not like Jeb Bush?” Graham said. “The Bush name is golden in my state. The Bush people are respected in my state, starting with their dad. They have been public servants, they have been good, honorable people. Dubya’s going to be there. Jeb is a fine man every way you can be a fine man.”

“Dismissed.”  Well, you would know about getting your ass “dismissed,” wouldn’t you, Grahamnesty?  Bottom line, also:  I loathe Jeb Bush.  So it certainly is possible not to like the man.

Jeb: I’m Not Dead Yet! | The Weekly Standard

“This campaign is not dead!”

Anti-Trumped
Bill Quick

Is Rubio done? « Hot Air

It may even take a brokered convention.

Allahpundit:  nearly as reliable a consumer and purveyor of conventional political gags as Chad.

But wait, let’s back up. What’s the state of play in South Carolina? Kasich will be there, not winning many votes but fully capable of damaging Bush and Rubio if he wants to attack.

Of course, he’s one of the lousiest campaigners in known history, and I doubt he’s capable of damaging anybody but himself.  Still.  If he wants to attack…his principle competitors in the supposed “lane” they all occupy?  Why wouldn’t he want to do so?

Meanwhile, conservatives in South Carolina who prefer Rubio to Cruz now have a tough question to ask themselves: If they stick with Marco, are they denying Ted the crucial votes he needs to beat Trump?

If they’re supporting Marco “Amnesty” Rubio, not only are they not “conservatives,” they are gullible, suicidal idiots just begging for another Rubio betrayal.

Trump led by double digits in each of the three polls taken in South Carolina last month — and that was before his blowout win in NH last night. (Of course, it was also before Cruz’s win in Iowa.)

Trump’s blowout win in NH has likely obliterated Cruz’s aided-by-fraud squeaker in IA.  But whatever.  It’s Allahpundit’s delusionary world, and we only get to read about it.

Cruz will spend the next week telling South Carolinians that this is a two-man race and that their choice is between Trumpism and conservatism. That message will work on some undecideds. So if Bush is tearing votes away from Rubio on the left and Cruz is tearing them away on the right, how likely is a “strong” third-place finish for Rubio? If South Carolina ends with Trump at 34, Cruz at 28, Rubio at 17, and Bush at 14, what incentive does Bush have to drop out rather than continue on for a few more weeks and keep trying to pass Rubio as the “establishment choice”

Is that a prediction I see there, Big Gasser?  Okay, marked it.

If, for instance, Trump had actually inched up into the low 40s and Jeb had finished with, say, four percent, that would have finished Bush and left Rubio wounded but still basically all alone in the role of would-be establishment savior.

If Trump had “inched up into the low 40s,” that would have made your prediction of 26% for him look even more ridiculous that the actual outcome did.  Or, to put it another way, (as you love to keep saying), Trump ended up considerably closer to the “low 40s” than he did to your ridiculous TDS con-wisdom lowball of 26%.

Trump is a legit threat to win the nomination — the strong favorite, I’d say…

Bet admitting that hurt like a passed kidney stone, eh, AP?

It would have been better to have Rubio attacking Trump from a position of strength rather than weakness, but as Sean Davis says, the race is now effectively “Trump versus Anti-Trump.” Why not roll the dice and try to be the anti-Trump?

Why not?  Well, this:

Scott Walker tried to become the anti-Trump. 

Rick Perry tried to become the anti-Trump.

George Pataki tried to become the anti-Trump.

Bobby Jindal tried to become the anti-Trump.

Lindsey Graham tried (really, really hard) .3to become the anti-Trump.

Rick Santorum tried to become the anti-Trump.

Carly Fiorina tried to become the anti-Trump.

Chris Christie tried to become the anti-Trump.

Jeb Bush tried to become the anti-Trump.

John Kasich tried to become the anti-Trump.

OTOH, Carson and Rubio have not tried to become the anti-Trump, and even since Ted Cruz made a stab in that direction, his support has plateaued.  So maybe that’s why Rubio isn’t “rolling the dice and becoming the anti-Trump.”

Besides, we already get our daily dose of anti-Trump from the likes of you and Hot Gas, NRO, and Ed Driscoll and Rick Moran of PJM.

Buried Lede Nugget
Bill Quick

Majority of NY Jews View Hillary Unfavorably, Would Vote GOP | Frontpage Mag

This doesn’t immediately translate into a bonanza for Republicans, but in a matchup between Rubio and Hillary, Rubio beats her 46% to 42% among Jews (he still loses New York by a sizable margin because he loses the Latino vote to Hillary, 77 to 17, so this is all hypothetical except as a way to track political changes in the Jewish vote.).

So, according to the GOP establishment, Rubio is the man who must be nominated because he’s the only candidate who can really mobilize the Hispanic vote against Hillary.

And yet Hillary crushes him among NY Hispanics by an unbelievably yuge margin.

Yep, that’s a lead nugget you want to bury.

Free Rider Delusionaries At NRO
Bill Quick

The Corner | National Review Online

Anti-Trump Republicans have been tearing their hair out about the free ride Trump got in New Hampshire, but it will end soon enough.

Good old Ramesh Ponnuru, the “restrained” Trumpophobic delusionary at NRO, reliably dishes up the latest load of GOPe TDS codswallop (which the likes of Chad will swallow eagerly, and lick the spoon afterwards).  See, Trump got a free ride in New Hampshire.  Never mind the millions of dollars spent to saturate the tiny state with attack ads against him.  Never mind the “high powered ground games” (much better and more effective than Trump’s dontcha know?), mounted by the establishment  candidates to turn out voters against him.  Never mind the fact that these people all spent massively more time physically on the ground in that state than Trump did.

No, see, he won big because he got a “free ride.”  Even from NRO, which devoted an entire issue to a failed attempt to destroy Trump two weeks before New Hampshire polls opened.

Trump didn’t get a free ride in New Hampshire.  He took everything the combined weight of the field could throw at him, and then kicked their asses unmercifully.  Choke on it, Ramesh.  And start working on your next chunk of conventional TDS wisdom to explain Trump’s “unexpectedly large” victory in S. Carolina.

I don’t think the free ride delusion will fly for that one.

Trump Storms To Big Lead In GOP Delegate Race, Nearly Doubling Second Place Candidate!
Bill Quick

Okay, okay, a bit hyperbolic?  But if Bush, Rubio, Kasich, or Christie were in Trump’s position, you know that’s how they’d be playing it.

Cruz’s Crushing Third (Fourth, Fifth) Place Loss to Trump Gives Him Yuge Momentum Going Into SC: In Ed Morrissey’s TDS Fantasies
Bill Quick

Open thread: The battle for New Hampshire’s silver medal; Update: Fox calls Trump, Sanders winners; Update: Fox, ABC, NBC call silver for Kasich « Hot Air

10:29 – A measured Ted Cruz claims vindication from what looks very much like a bronze-medal finish. He’s right that few gave him much chance of doing this well, including Cruz himself, who didn’t spend a lot of money in New Hampshire. Trump has his vindication too, but Cruz might end up with more momentum coming into South Carolina.

Hogs might fly out of your arse, too, Ed.

Oh, wait.  It’s Hot Gas.  Never mind.

UPDATE:

Donald Trump’s Triple Victory in New Hampshire

If his third place position holds, Ted Cruz has at least some reason to be happy, but it’s not like he’s sailing into South Carolina with the wind at his back.

Wait, what?  Surely you aren’t disagreeing with the blast of Hot Gas roaring from Ed Morrissey’s…fundament?  (Along with the hogs, of course…)