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The Establishment’s Evening of Horrors

In a primary season that must seem like a bad dream to the Establishment, the GOP elite suffered their worst nightmare yet Saturday as Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz thoroughly dominated the evening.

Combined, Cruz and Trump won from about two thirds of the vote — their result in Kentucky — to the almost 80 percent they amassed in Lousiana, a stunning drubbing of Establishment candidates Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich.

Rubio, in particular, had the night from hell, never getting close to second place and solidifying the sentiment that he has no pathway toward winning. He came in dead last in Maine, stuck in single digits and trailing Kasich by four points. Apparently, the plan to turn Rubio into an insult-machine has failed spectacularly.

Tellingly, the Establishment losses were not just some anomaly limited to a single demographic, but ranged from New England to the Midwest and then down to the Gulf Coast.

Trump called for Rubio to put an end to his suffering.

“I think Marco Rubio had a very, very bad night,” Trump said during a press conference after the results came in. “And personally, I’d call on him to drop out of the race. I think it’s time now that he drop out of the race. I really think so. I think it’s probably time.”

Rubio appeared in Puerto Rico, where he was stuck in a deep state of denial.

“We’re going to leave tonight with more delegates than we had,” he proclaimed. “I’ve explained repeatedly this is a proportional process and every night that we have caucuses like there were tonight in three states, we continue to pick up delegates.”

Cruz had the best night of all. He won two of the four states, Kansas and Maine, and can now convincingly make the case that the race is a two-man contest between him and Trump.

For Trump, the night offered a dose of humility. While he took Lousiana and Kansas, he didn’t do so in typical Trump fashion, barely eking out wins in each and falling short of the large leads he held in polls before the contests.

Unlike many previous primaries and caucuses, all of Saturday’s were “closed,” meaning only Republicans could vote and Democrats could not cross over. This suggests Trump may do less well when his ability to draw disaffected Democrats is cut off. But part of what fed Cruz’s strength may have been that, with the exception of Louisiana, all of the contests were caucuses, where Cruz’s superior organization helps give him the upper hand.

Cruz has now taken 6 states to Trump’s 10, and there are 13 more closed primaries and caucuses to come, in which Cruz could potentially do well.

All told, Cruz picked up 66 delegates Saturday, Trump took 51, Rubio got 13 and Kasich nine.

On the Democrats’ side, the Establishment also had its problems. Sen. Bernie Sanders won convincingly in Nebraska and Kansas, while Hillary Clinton took Louisiana, where the African-American vote that supports her was heavy.

Clinton’s ongoing struggle to connect with white voters, especially young ones, could be a significant challenge to her general election prospects.

This post also appears on LifeZette.

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11 Responses to The Establishment’s Evening of Horrors

    • Why are Rubio’s attacks childish and Trump’s refreshingly not politically correct? Double standard–or so we expect nothing from Trump and more from Rubio?

  1. Point of view:
    SenRubio and Cruz are in the race too soon, too Latino for us yokels in flyover country.
    Why Trump is the question and the answer is – Bush, Clinton, Obama, Obamacare, school lunches, radical Islamic terrorists, illegal aliens, no jobs, food stamps, Black rioters, criminals with more rights than the victims, and it goes on.
    It’s the law, we live by the law, we obey the law, but the Establishment heroes don’t and they shove it in our faces every day.
    You don’t like illegal aliens moving into your city – too bad for you – oh, by the way, your traffic ticket needs paid – the law y’know.
    We’ve had enough of elected officials living the high life, never seeing below their high tower living. It’s miserable down here, and it’s too much.
    Enough.
    Trump2016

  2. Facts are facts–I think Rubio’s had it. I know this will delight many here…whatever. I still stand by him as an intelligent person who loves this country…despite all the childish jabs at his water habit or shortness of stature. But some of the people have spoken and the result is pretty evident. I was happy to see Trump skunked somewhat–but Cruz? The Wash Post had a playful story on where you would move if Trump or Cruz were elected–I would add Hillary to that. I said Cadaques on the Med–but only in my richest dreams because of my mobility. I still worry no one will actually be elected–somehow.

    • He’s too young and inexperienced.
      His attacks on Trump exemplify someone that can be influenced by the GOP.
      We do not need that anymore.

      • He had more experience than Obama by far…and he was of age. But I think the national stage froze him–and then he let Trump define him…not that people seem to have much choice when he sets out to do that…Just as Obama defined Hillary when he said she was “nice enough,” or however he put it. People don’t understand you don’t have to be there at all votes–and the others running also could not be two places at once…that stuck. And then the incessant memes–empty suit, height-challenged, sweating, water, this was s study in demeaning–and Scarborough’s constant deriding–if anybody but me watches. It was a masterful hit job from all sides–Trump, the press endlessly reporting Trump’s and DEAD TO ME’s sallies, like watching a lion, however old and ratty, bring down smaller prey. Dunno–some metaphor. Should he have not (I thought playfully) have picked up onn Trump’s bad spelling, Graydon Carter’s “short finger vulgarian” description, or Trump’s rather transparently bad Trump University, –who knows…

      • You are going to end up with if not amnesty some kind of legal limbo–work permits or something–mark my words. These millions are not going back. Your boy even told the NYT as much.