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Drop Out Bingo: Pillars Of Salt And South Carolina

Genesis 19:26 says Lot’s wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. New Hampshire is a burning mess of fire and brimstone but I can’t help myself from turning back as I prepare to leave my childhood home. By the time I get to Georgia, I should be useful as a deer lick.

That aside, I am enjoying a heaping serving of crow after Trump’s crushing victory. Without the evangelical brake that stopped him in Iowa, Trump spilled over the Granite State like a flood over the riverbanks.

I saw 60-year-old men pushing their 80-something mothers in wheelchairs into the polls to vote for Trump. I had a long conversation with a man who didn’t vote because he was upset that New Hampshire’s strange form of “open/closed” primary (you can’t change parties at the door, but you can change to Independent any time before Oct. 30 prior, or as you leave the polling place) didn’t allow him to vote for Trump because his last primary was a Democrat ballot. If you take a ballot in New Hampshire, you join the party and have to renounce it after the election. Kind of like how the Soviet Union worked for 70 years, but they couldn’t renounce.

Clearly, the electorate is searching for something they feel is lost, and Donald Trump is hand-feeding it to them.

My favorite quote about Tuesday’s primary is from Brandon Finnigan (sign up for Decision Desk Daily while it’s still free…this will be my last shameless plug and from now on you will probably have to pay).

Bernie Sanders is seeing Kim Jong-un level support among millennials.

That conjured up the image of lemmings going over the cliff. (As Sting wrote, “packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes/contestants in a suicidal race.”) Winston Churchill was apocryphally quoted with this gem: “If you aren’t a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart, but if you aren’t a middle-aged conservative, you have no head.” If he didn’t say it, he probably thought it, and it’s true. Young puppies can be forgiven for following hopey-changey socialist fever dreams. Bernie Sanders, at 74, simply has no head.

The fix is in for Hillary, and barring a Federal Grand Jury indictment, she will have the nomination, even if Sanders beats her like a drum in many states and with everyone under the age of 40.

As for New Hampshire, after mercilessly trolling the possibility of Marcomentum, Snowpocalypse, and the reanimation of Trumpzombies, I admit some failure to predict the overwhelming support Trump had among–well, everyone–in NH. However, back in January I wrote that Trump would probably exceed expectations and win the state big. I just had to go through the grieving process and arrive at acceptance.

In the irony of the Incan Sunstone’s 10,000 lunisolar cycles, the New York Daily News trashed New York values and upheld Trump’s at the same time with this cover.

But getting to the drop out predictions, I wrote this:

By Valentine’s Day, this race will finally shape up, with Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Christie headed into the stretch toward March and the “SEC primary.”

Replace Christie with Kasich the Destroyer and there you have it. Fiorina and Christie are done, with Carson, out of cash and facing campaign staff meltdown, likely to join them. It’s funny that Dick Morris came out of hiding to make the prediction of Carson’s demise. The “establishment” is going to make its reappearance from hibernation, as Rush foresaw.

Now hard, cold reality has settled in, and there’s abject panic. They don’t know who to go to! They don’t know who to line up behind. Doesn’t look like Rubio is gonna be able to do it, although he’s not finished. But they had high hopes. Do they want to try to marshal their forces behind Kasich? They may have no choice, because they will not go to Cruz. They despise Cruz and Trump equally. In fact, they may even despise Ted Cruz even more, and Cruz is the guy with the legitimate chance here as we go forward to wrest control of this from Trump.

Now on to South Carolina. Evangelicals ought to (as in “must or die”) turn out there, forcing Trump to underperform. But people don’t always do as they ought.

Much is at stake. If those Who Hold The Power To Stop Trump won’t pull the lever, we’re in danger of Trump’s pre-Iowa prediction that “we can run the table” coming true. If that happens, only some very savvy maneuvering and convention-rigging can stop him. And even that may not work if the margin is sufficient. Voters are going to have to choose which among Cruz and Rubio to become The Trump Slayer, because they are splitting vote in S.C. and that simply gives Trump more momentum.

Bush is committed to taking out Rubio, and may be helped in the polls by his strong finish in NH. Non-Trump voters must consolidate support at some point, and the sooner the better. But we aren’t likely to see a sacrificial lamb emerge, so we need to hope for a game-ending gaffe. I hate playing for unforced errors, it’s just not gentlemanly.

Reince Preibus is committed to being an honest broker. As an honest man and gentleman, he’ll want to keep his promise, which could see the GOP hoisted on its own petard at the convention, producing a Democrat to run against a Democrat.

Prediction: After South Carolina, nobody will drop out (unless Carson somehow limps into the state only to die there). Everybody should stay in the pool headed into the “SEC Primary” in March.

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