A Great Political Realignment is Underway

The Super Tuesday results confirm it.  A revolution is underway in the Republican Party.  It promises to shakeup politics in the nation come November.  It may realign the parties longer term and chart a new course for the nation for a generation.   

The overthrow of the GOP establishment is in full swing.  It’s an insurgency, with GOP primaries and caucuses setting records for turnout.  Part of that turnout is new voters.  Democrats, for example, are switching to the GOP in Massachusetts; that’s Trump-driven, and a bad omen for Democrats in November.  Democrats’ turnout is depressed.   

The Republican Party’s trials are, in no small measure, thanks to energized conservatives.  It’s about two candidates, Trump and Cruz, who though battling each other for the nomination, have galvanized conservative voters, thereby isolating the establishment, something outsider candidates failed to accomplish in 2012.    

Consider these Super Tuesday numbers.  In 11 states, Trump, Cruz, and Carson – the outsiders – combined for 67% of the vote.  Rubio and Kasich took only 32%.  But there’s a big caveat.

Though Trump and Cruz garnered two-thirds the votes in Super Tuesday contests, they split roughly 28% of the bound delegates needed to win the nomination (that’s 1,237 for a majority).  In all races, Trump has collected 26% of the delegates toward being nominated.  Cruz has totaled 18%.  (Rubio is limping along with a meager 9% of the delegates needed.)

There’s a way to go before either Trump or Cruz can sew up the nomination.  The March 15th contests, with winner-take-all trials in Florida and Ohio, could decide things.  Florida currently favors Trump, so the 15th could be the day Trump triumphs.  But… 

The possibility remains that neither Trump nor Cruz hits the magic number.  Rubio could comeback in Florida and Kasich could grab his home state of Ohio.  That means a deadlocked convention is in play. 

Of course, much can happen in subsequent days to shift the dynamic of the race, tipping the scales for Trump or Cruz.  Scale-tipping favors Trump, however, because he’s demonstrating appeal not only in states Cruz should be winning (the Deep South) but in “blue” states like Massachusetts, where Cruz mustered only 10% of the vote.                          

Marco Rubio has no clear route to the nomination short of a deadlocked convention.  A deadlocked or “contested” convention is the establishment’s last, best hope.  It’s more like a Hail Mary pass.  National Review, among other establishment outlets, is frank about the alternatives.

Writes Tim Alberta for NRO:     

It’s either Donald Trump or a contested convention. Such is the reality facing the Republican party today. Its leaders are now staring down two scenarios they long dismissed as fantasy, after a slew of Super Tuesday contests demonstrated once again both the breadth of Trump’s support and the difficulty in unifying his opposition.

Though history instructs that deadlocked conventions nominate “centrists” – and typically dark horses – the gathering of Republicans at Cleveland isn’t likely to yield that result. 

If Trump and Cruz go to Cleveland with the bulk of the delegates, they probably cut a deal.  Despite the current strife and rancor, there’s significant overlap among their voters.  Moreover, Trump’s now demonstrated ability to attract working class voters and some disaffected Democrats promises an electoral map breakout.  Such a prospect has to be alluring to Cruz and his backers. 

Trump and Cruz are smart, calculating men.  Both are very self-interested and ambitious.  If either thought that the path to the nomination meant hammering out a deal with Rubio, they’d do so.  In politics, like life, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and accommodating Rubio and the establishment to win the nomination might be a price either man is willing to pay.  But the natural convergence is between Trump and Cruz.  It coalesces two-thirds of the GOP base in a way more sensible to both men’s supporters.  Consolation prizes can be given to Rubio and the establishment.

If the establishment used a contested convention to somehow slip Rubio into the nomination – or Jeb or Mitt, as incredible as that seems – then the GOP would fracture.  Trump’s and Cruz’s voters are in no mood to hand the nomination over to the establishment again.  A GOP rupture could take years to mend.  The very flawed and corrupt Hillary Clinton would win a victory she doesn’t merit. 

The bigger story is that the roiling of the Republican Party, far from being a harbinger of catastrophe, is actually a sign of vitality.  Or, as Trump might say, “Yuuuge vitality.”  The clashes and debates, full of vituperative exchanges and body blows, are indicators of something dying and something being born.  The GOP has more than a pulse; it’s got a big, powerful, life-pumping heart. 

Conservatism is resurgent, and combined with a new nationalism and a feel for popular sentiment, has the chance to emerge as the nation’s governing worldview for a generation.  That’s reformist conservatism, which is critical to an overhaul of failing government, in Washington and the states.  Forging a new combined worldview is what’s happening now.  It’s been, and will continue to be, a bruising affair.  But that’s the way of politics.    

It’s worth adding that Democrats are undergoing a rebirth, too, though on a diminished scale.  The Democratic establishment (the senior partner in the “Washington Cartel”) is getting a last hurrah with Hillary Clinton.  After all, there are careers, status, and paychecks at stake.  But the party’s future is socialism (or a corporatist facsimile). 

A greater commitment to statism and some greater degree of collectivism is being embraced by younger Democrats.  Destiny is demographics for the party that once proudly proclaimed its loyalty to Jefferson and Jackson.  Shortly, Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas Days will replace Jefferson-Jackson celebrations.  A new GOP should welcome Jefferson and Jackson with open arms.     

The Democrats journey to socialism is a logical progression. It’s a journey begun with Woodrow Wilson and the progressives a century or more ago.  But after eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency and a preview of what a “redder” America is like, voters are saying, “No way!”  

Nothing is carved in stone.  There are perils and pitfalls aplenty.  Much is to be hammered out, not only at Cleveland and in November, but in subsequent years.  Yet Republican prospects haven’t looked this bright in a long time.

The Super Tuesday results confirm it.  A revolution is underway in the Republican Party.  It promises to shakeup politics in the nation come November.  It may realign the parties longer term and chart a new course for the nation for a generation.   

The overthrow of the GOP establishment is in full swing.  It’s an insurgency, with GOP primaries and caucuses setting records for turnout.  Part of that turnout is new voters.  Democrats, for example, are switching to the GOP in Massachusetts; that’s Trump-driven, and a bad omen for Democrats in November.  Democrats’ turnout is depressed.   

The Republican Party’s trials are, in no small measure, thanks to energized conservatives.  It’s about two candidates, Trump and Cruz, who though battling each other for the nomination, have galvanized conservative voters, thereby isolating the establishment, something outsider candidates failed to accomplish in 2012.    

Consider these Super Tuesday numbers.  In 11 states, Trump, Cruz, and Carson – the outsiders – combined for 67% of the vote.  Rubio and Kasich took only 32%.  But there’s a big caveat.

Though Trump and Cruz garnered two-thirds the votes in Super Tuesday contests, they split roughly 28% of the bound delegates needed to win the nomination (that’s 1,237 for a majority).  In all races, Trump has collected 26% of the delegates toward being nominated.  Cruz has totaled 18%.  (Rubio is limping along with a meager 9% of the delegates needed.)

There’s a way to go before either Trump or Cruz can sew up the nomination.  The March 15th contests, with winner-take-all trials in Florida and Ohio, could decide things.  Florida currently favors Trump, so the 15th could be the day Trump triumphs.  But… 

The possibility remains that neither Trump nor Cruz hits the magic number.  Rubio could comeback in Florida and Kasich could grab his home state of Ohio.  That means a deadlocked convention is in play. 

Of course, much can happen in subsequent days to shift the dynamic of the race, tipping the scales for Trump or Cruz.  Scale-tipping favors Trump, however, because he’s demonstrating appeal not only in states Cruz should be winning (the Deep South) but in “blue” states like Massachusetts, where Cruz mustered only 10% of the vote.                          

Marco Rubio has no clear route to the nomination short of a deadlocked convention.  A deadlocked or “contested” convention is the establishment’s last, best hope.  It’s more like a Hail Mary pass.  National Review, among other establishment outlets, is frank about the alternatives.

Writes Tim Alberta for NRO:     

It’s either Donald Trump or a contested convention. Such is the reality facing the Republican party today. Its leaders are now staring down two scenarios they long dismissed as fantasy, after a slew of Super Tuesday contests demonstrated once again both the breadth of Trump’s support and the difficulty in unifying his opposition.

Though history instructs that deadlocked conventions nominate “centrists” – and typically dark horses – the gathering of Republicans at Cleveland isn’t likely to yield that result. 

If Trump and Cruz go to Cleveland with the bulk of the delegates, they probably cut a deal.  Despite the current strife and rancor, there’s significant overlap among their voters.  Moreover, Trump’s now demonstrated ability to attract working class voters and some disaffected Democrats promises an electoral map breakout.  Such a prospect has to be alluring to Cruz and his backers. 

Trump and Cruz are smart, calculating men.  Both are very self-interested and ambitious.  If either thought that the path to the nomination meant hammering out a deal with Rubio, they’d do so.  In politics, like life, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and accommodating Rubio and the establishment to win the nomination might be a price either man is willing to pay.  But the natural convergence is between Trump and Cruz.  It coalesces two-thirds of the GOP base in a way more sensible to both men’s supporters.  Consolation prizes can be given to Rubio and the establishment.

If the establishment used a contested convention to somehow slip Rubio into the nomination – or Jeb or Mitt, as incredible as that seems – then the GOP would fracture.  Trump’s and Cruz’s voters are in no mood to hand the nomination over to the establishment again.  A GOP rupture could take years to mend.  The very flawed and corrupt Hillary Clinton would win a victory she doesn’t merit. 

The bigger story is that the roiling of the Republican Party, far from being a harbinger of catastrophe, is actually a sign of vitality.  Or, as Trump might say, “Yuuuge vitality.”  The clashes and debates, full of vituperative exchanges and body blows, are indicators of something dying and something being born.  The GOP has more than a pulse; it’s got a big, powerful, life-pumping heart. 

Conservatism is resurgent, and combined with a new nationalism and a feel for popular sentiment, has the chance to emerge as the nation’s governing worldview for a generation.  That’s reformist conservatism, which is critical to an overhaul of failing government, in Washington and the states.  Forging a new combined worldview is what’s happening now.  It’s been, and will continue to be, a bruising affair.  But that’s the way of politics.    

It’s worth adding that Democrats are undergoing a rebirth, too, though on a diminished scale.  The Democratic establishment (the senior partner in the “Washington Cartel”) is getting a last hurrah with Hillary Clinton.  After all, there are careers, status, and paychecks at stake.  But the party’s future is socialism (or a corporatist facsimile). 

A greater commitment to statism and some greater degree of collectivism is being embraced by younger Democrats.  Destiny is demographics for the party that once proudly proclaimed its loyalty to Jefferson and Jackson.  Shortly, Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas Days will replace Jefferson-Jackson celebrations.  A new GOP should welcome Jefferson and Jackson with open arms.     

The Democrats journey to socialism is a logical progression. It’s a journey begun with Woodrow Wilson and the progressives a century or more ago.  But after eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency and a preview of what a “redder” America is like, voters are saying, “No way!”  

Nothing is carved in stone.  There are perils and pitfalls aplenty.  Much is to be hammered out, not only at Cleveland and in November, but in subsequent years.  Yet Republican prospects haven’t looked this bright in a long time.