Here is a special message from the founder of catholicvote.org along with an opportunity for you to help the group decide which GOP presidential candidate to support:
The South Carolina results are in.
The race is over. Donald Trump is the inevitable Republican nominee.
Or is he?
Despite sky high polls going into SC, Donald Trump won 32.5% of the vote. In other words, he is the frontrunner, but he’s a weak frontrunner. And in each of the three elections held thus far, late-deciding voters broke for someone else: Cruz and Rubio in Iowa, Kasich and Bush in NH, and Rubio and Cruz in South Carolina.
This much is true: Donald Trump has locked up one-third of the GOP voters. But he hasn’t gained much ground, and in fact has lost some ground as the race has progressed. He hasn’t won 50% in any state. Actually, he hasn’t even won 40% in any state yet! Polls continue to show a strong majority of Republicans opposed to him.
But Trump’s 35% could secure the nomination if the campaign solidifies as a three-way race. After all, Trump won 100% of South Carolina’s delegates with just 33% of the vote.
That’s why I need to ask you and and every member of CatholicVote:
Every day we wait is a step closer to a Trump victory. Donald Trump counts on a splintered field. It’s likely the only way he can win. The longer it takes to consolidate the field, the more likely it will be that Trump will win states with a plurality -- like he did in South Carolina.
And the only viable options that remain are Senator Marco Rubio or Senator Ted Cruz. Here’s a summary of political cases for/against both Rubio and Cruz:
The case for Ted Cruz is that he is the only other candidate to beat Trump so far (Iowa). Cruz has placed 1st, 3rd, and 3rd. Whereas Rubio has placed 3rd, 5th, and 2nd. Cruz leads the field with cash on hand and has the best ground game of all candidates. And Cruz has a better chance than Rubio of peeling off people who currently support Trump as he did in Iowa.
The case against Cruz is that his campaign depends too heavily on evangelical voters, and that he is only winning as many non-evangelicals as Mike Huckabee did in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012. The SEC primary on March 1 features many southern states which were always a critical component of Ted Cruz’s plan to win the nomination. But South Carolina was tailor made for Cruz-inclined voters, and he underperformed. Can Cruz unite the factions in the Republican party deep into the primary season?
The case for Marco Rubio is that his campaign is again on an upswing after a stumble in New Hampshire. Rubio likely benefits the most from the exit of Jeb Bush from the race, and Kasich too eventually. If Cruz isn’t able to win Southern states, the campaign turns to northern states where Rubio has a much better chance of besting Trump. Rubio polls better against Hillary Clinton, and is arguably the better candidate to win over the factions of the GOP.
The case against Rubio is, as I mentioned, that he hasn’t won a state yet. His campaign is hoping for an upset win tomorrow in Nevada, but failing that he may not be able to win a state until his home state of Florida votes on March 15 -- and that’s no guarantee since Trump is currently leading there. Is his underperformance a result of the crowded field or a sign that voters simply aren’t ready to rally behind him?
I’ll be honest: I like both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. I would gladly take either one as the nominee over Donald Trump. But in politics, we have to make strategic decisions for the betterment of the movement and the country.
The clock is ticking. If Trump can be stopped, this may be the last chance.
Please let me know what you think: