OK, here’s the current situation with the 2016 United States’ presidential race: Marco Rubio (who even had he won Florida, still had virtually no mathematical pathway to the 1237 delegates needed for the nomination) is now out but by waiting until now to exit he may have set us directly on a course toward President Hillary Clinton.
(This post contains reasoning laid out by Mark Levin this evening, as well as my own thoughts and analysis.)
The contest for the Republican nomination has been a two man race (distorted by the noise of two extraneous candidates) for quite some time now. Cruz is the clear preference of conservatives who are the true base of the Republican Party (even though they are foreign to the GOP Establishment). Cruz beats Trump hands down in a head-to-head match-up. However, Cruz and Trump have been prevented from going head to head by the other two candidates.
The race is now between Cruz and Trump, and Kasich is not getting out because he is going to help the GOP establishment work their shenanigans at a brokered convention. Cruz and Trump this evening are close in North Carolina and Missouri – with Cruz (the conservative candidate) nipping at Trump’s heels. Had Rubio been out before tonight, both these states would probably be the other way round, with Trump struggling to catch Cruz.
Ted Cruz, in other words, will lose a couple of states by a couple of points that he would likely have won if Rubio had been out. Going forward, Ted Cruz can become the Republican nominee before the convention IF (and only if) conservatives unite behind him in the upcoming states. Kasich is going to make this more difficult and, as mentioned above, is going to be a third wheel driving this thing toward a convention. The GOP establishment (i.e. – the bad guys) are salivating at the prospect of taking this to the convention, since they don’t like Trump and Cruz absolutely terrifies them.
Trump will likely not emerge at this point with the needed delegates by the convention to win on a first vote. If it goes to a second vote, the GOP establishment is going to make a real mess of things. The result of a contested convention will be a divided Republican Party, not unified behind whoever emerges victorious in the end. Because of the nastiness of a floor fight, in the convention scenario segments of the Republican base will stay home on election day regardless of whether the nominee winds up being the establishment pick or a conservative. This has happened before. But the Democrats will not stay home. The result will be (if by a miscarriage of justice she somehow avoids indictment) President Hillary Clinton.
Rubio was elected to the Senate as a Tea Party candidate because most Americans are Tea Party, that is to say, most Americans understand that Tea Party principles of equality and self-governance and rule of law and limited government are basic American principles. He lost in this primary because he abandoned several of those principles in some pretty major ways when he went to Washington. The voters who actually do support these principles saw what happened and rejected him in his presidential bid, even in his home state. I believe Rubio is not a bad guy and may still adhere to some conservative principles as he says he does when campaigning. If he wishes to now help the rest of us to clean up this mess, he should put his full weight behind Ted Cruz and work as hard as possible to get Cruz to the nomination before the convention.