I helped launch the #NeverTrump movement with my piece written late two Friday’s ago. That night it got over 60,000 hits and the #NeverTrump hashtag became a worldwide trend. Credit for the hashtag goes to my friend Aaron Gardner. I’d used #AgainstTrump, the title of the National Review cover, but Aaron suggested I change it.
What I am seeing at this point, however, is that #NeverTrump is guaranteeing Trump’s nomination because #NeverTrump is really #NeverTed. Many of the most vocal supporters of the #NeverTrump movement are Marco Rubio supporters and they are handing the nomination to Trump because they cannot face the reality of this election.
The reality is pretty simple. In 20 races, Rubio has won 2 and one of those, Puerto Rico, gets no say in the electoral college. Trump has 384 delegates, Cruz has 300, and Rubio has 151. Kasich, for what it is worth, only has 37.
In other words, Marco Rubio is 233 delegates behind Donald Trump, will perform terribly in Michigan tonight, and even if Rubio wins all 99 delegates in Florida, he will still be further behind Donald Trump than Ted Cruz.
Marco Rubio is a great guy, I pray for him regularly and care for him sincerely, almost all of my family and most of my friends have voted for him in the primaries and caucuses held so far, and it is time for Marco Rubio to withdraw from the race.
If Rubio wins in Florida, which is no guarantee, he will not stop Trump from winning the most delegates, but might stop Trump from getting to 1,237. That would create a floor fight at the convention and, if Trump has the most delegates and does not get the nomination, the Republican Party is f**ked for a generation at least. Heck, I’d help burn it down and I’m absolutely #NeverTrump. But the party would deserve annihilation if we got to that point.
Rubio, even if he wins Florida, would have to sweep virtually 70% of the rest of the contests. Given his performance so far, that will not be easy and is absolutely not guaranteed. The much touted poll showing Rubio winning early voting in Florida is pulled from a larger survey showing Trump ahead. In reality, that portion of the survey shows Rubio winning a majority of just 72 people in a polling sample that is supposed to represent 571,000 people who have voted early — in other words, it is an anecdote, not data. Again, it is no guarantee that he will win Florida and the Cruz campaign has an absolutely legitimate reason to make sure Rubio loses Florida. On top of that, the infrastructure of Rubio’s campaign is really not great.
The Cruz campaign understands that to beat Trump, Trump must be beaten in the primaries. Rubio’s defeat in Florida is the only way to force Marco Rubio out of the race for sure and secure donor support for Cruz. The conversations with donors are already happening.
The insistent that Rubio must stay in until Florida only keeps energy flowing to Trump and does nothing to stop Trump from getting to Cleveland with the most delegates.
The only way to stop Trump is to fundamentally change the dynamic of the race. That dynamic requires an outsider in the lead position because we have seen repeatedly over this past year that the outsiders outnumber the insiders.
Again — if Trump leads delegates heading to Cleveland, despite not having 1,237, the GOP will have hell to pay if it does not make him the nominee.
If Rubio loses Florida, which three other candidates have every incentive to ensure happens, Rubio’s political career is over completely and his chances of even being offered the Vice Presidential nomination go down dramatically.
If Marco stays in and wins Florida, the odds are still against him getting to Cleveland with the most delegates.
Had Rubio gotten out before this past Saturday, Ted Cruz would have won every single state at stake, which is actually not the case in the reverse had Cruz gotten out and Rubio stayed in.
The only way to stop Trump now is to ally with Ted Cruz. But too many of the #NeverTrump brigade are really #NeverTed. They don’t want to look at the math, they don’t want to look at the road ahead, they don’t want Ted Cruz. They’d rather lose with Rubio and stay home in November than ally with Ted Cruz and even have a shot in November.
That is genuinely unfortunate and will either guarantee Trump is the nominee or guarantee the Republican Party is destroyed. Marco Rubio, a great man with a struggling campaign, has a cult of personality every bit as committed as Trump’s. The difference is that Rubio’s cult will give us Trump where Trump’s cult alone never could.
Marco Rubio needs to get out of the race now to stop Trump and save the party and nation. That’s just the cold, hard, unpleasant reality.