The current state of the GOP presidential race

Ted Cruz is surging!  Ben Carson is sinking!  But all through this, Jeb Bush chugs along with his little five percent, the little engine that could (la máquina se puede).  We need him to stay in the race.  If Bush quits, all his support will go to Marco Rubio.  They have a very similar base of support, not merely geographically, but ideologically.  Both were big amnesty supporters for illegal aliens; the only difference is that Bush is still open about his continued support for it, while Marco doesn't dwell (and yet, Marco still, even today, quietly, wants to continue amnesty for "Dreamers").

With Marco at about 12% in the polls, if Jeb pulls out, it's a sure bet that Bush's 5% will go to Marco.  That brings him up to 17%.  What's worse, Christie and Kasich each have 3%.  When they pull out, their combined 6% will probably migrate to Marco as well.  That brings up the GOP establishment percentage to about 23%.  In a very splintered primary electorate, that may be enough to win some primaries.  (Though the 8% of Carly/Huckabee/Rand will probably migrate to Cruz or Trump...mostly).

That's why we need Jeb Bush to stay in the race.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is surging in Iowa, seemingly at the expense of Ben Carson, jumping to second place with 21%, if the latest poll (CBS/YouGov) is to be believed.

The leftist nerds at fivethirtyeight.com have come up with interesting statistics that show that, statistically speaking, nearly half of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire don't make up their minds until the week before they vote.  Think about that.  That means that all the polling right now is extremely tentative.  That means, more than two months out from Iowa, that Trump, who seems invincible, isn't guaranteed to win anything.  And yet the polls, for what little they do say, have shown him on top for an unprecedented period, so you can't totally discount them.

Here's an interesting theory: Ted Cruz does not need the most votes in order to win the GOP nomination.  If Donald Trump doesn't get enough votes to be nominated outright, his goose may be cooked.

As things stand now, there will be four candidates with substantial numbers of delegates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Carson (maybe).  If there is no candidate who has a majority of the delegates, the delegates of at least two of these four candidates will have to cooperate to nominate someone.  So who will cooperate with whom?  Technically, the delegates will be free to decide on their own after the first ballot, but chances are they will be influenced by the preferences of their initial nominee.

In that case, Trump may have a hard time getting delegates of other candidates to support him.  Trump has personally criticized Rubio, calling him a lightweight (I agree), immature, sweaty, and having bad hair.  I can't see Rubio's delegates liking that.

Similarly, I can't see Ben Carson's delegates liking their first choice being called "pathologically ill" or having his religion questioned, or being called low-energy, all of which Trump has done.

Now Ted Cruz, on the other hand, has made far fewer enemies.  In a contest between him and Trump, I suspect that Carson delegates would go to Cruz, because Cruz hasn't criticized Carson as Trump has.  As for Rubio, I am sure he hates both Trump and Cruz, but I am willing to bet that he hates Trump much, much more.

With the support of Rubio and Carson delegates, I think Cruz, even if he doesn't have the most delegates, is in a strong position to outmaneuver Trump, if it came to a brokered convention.

For the record, I think Trump, by far, has the best proposals for securing the border and dealing with illegal immigration.  But Cruz has the best record on nearly everything else, like tax plans and judgeships.  Either would be an interesting president, and a vast improvement over what we have had the past 15 years.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Ted Cruz is surging!  Ben Carson is sinking!  But all through this, Jeb Bush chugs along with his little five percent, the little engine that could (la máquina se puede).  We need him to stay in the race.  If Bush quits, all his support will go to Marco Rubio.  They have a very similar base of support, not merely geographically, but ideologically.  Both were big amnesty supporters for illegal aliens; the only difference is that Bush is still open about his continued support for it, while Marco doesn't dwell (and yet, Marco still, even today, quietly, wants to continue amnesty for "Dreamers").

With Marco at about 12% in the polls, if Jeb pulls out, it's a sure bet that Bush's 5% will go to Marco.  That brings him up to 17%.  What's worse, Christie and Kasich each have 3%.  When they pull out, their combined 6% will probably migrate to Marco as well.  That brings up the GOP establishment percentage to about 23%.  In a very splintered primary electorate, that may be enough to win some primaries.  (Though the 8% of Carly/Huckabee/Rand will probably migrate to Cruz or Trump...mostly).

That's why we need Jeb Bush to stay in the race.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is surging in Iowa, seemingly at the expense of Ben Carson, jumping to second place with 21%, if the latest poll (CBS/YouGov) is to be believed.

The leftist nerds at fivethirtyeight.com have come up with interesting statistics that show that, statistically speaking, nearly half of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire don't make up their minds until the week before they vote.  Think about that.  That means that all the polling right now is extremely tentative.  That means, more than two months out from Iowa, that Trump, who seems invincible, isn't guaranteed to win anything.  And yet the polls, for what little they do say, have shown him on top for an unprecedented period, so you can't totally discount them.

Here's an interesting theory: Ted Cruz does not need the most votes in order to win the GOP nomination.  If Donald Trump doesn't get enough votes to be nominated outright, his goose may be cooked.

As things stand now, there will be four candidates with substantial numbers of delegates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Carson (maybe).  If there is no candidate who has a majority of the delegates, the delegates of at least two of these four candidates will have to cooperate to nominate someone.  So who will cooperate with whom?  Technically, the delegates will be free to decide on their own after the first ballot, but chances are they will be influenced by the preferences of their initial nominee.

In that case, Trump may have a hard time getting delegates of other candidates to support him.  Trump has personally criticized Rubio, calling him a lightweight (I agree), immature, sweaty, and having bad hair.  I can't see Rubio's delegates liking that.

Similarly, I can't see Ben Carson's delegates liking their first choice being called "pathologically ill" or having his religion questioned, or being called low-energy, all of which Trump has done.

Now Ted Cruz, on the other hand, has made far fewer enemies.  In a contest between him and Trump, I suspect that Carson delegates would go to Cruz, because Cruz hasn't criticized Carson as Trump has.  As for Rubio, I am sure he hates both Trump and Cruz, but I am willing to bet that he hates Trump much, much more.

With the support of Rubio and Carson delegates, I think Cruz, even if he doesn't have the most delegates, is in a strong position to outmaneuver Trump, if it came to a brokered convention.

For the record, I think Trump, by far, has the best proposals for securing the border and dealing with illegal immigration.  But Cruz has the best record on nearly everything else, like tax plans and judgeships.  Either would be an interesting president, and a vast improvement over what we have had the past 15 years.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.