Monday, March 14, 2016

Donald Trump - The GOP's Unsolvable Dilemma ?

Donald Trump is looking more and more like the person most likely to win the Republican nomination for president. If he wins the winner-take-all states of Ohio and Florida next Tuesday, he will probably win the nomination outright -- and if he loses one or both of them, he will probably still arrive at the GOP convention with more delegates than the other candidates.

That would make it very hard to keep the nomination from him -- but that is exactly what many establishment Republicans want to do. His impending nomination terrifies them -- because they think he would lose, and may take a lot of down-ballot Republicans with him.

They are now basing their hopes on a "brokered" convention -- a convention where no candidate has enough delegates to win on the first ballot. After the first ballot, delegates are no longer required to support the candidate they are pledged to -- and could cast their vote for someone else (maybe even a person not running, like Romney or Ryan).

But denying Trump the nomination through shenanigans at a brokered convention could turn out to be just as bad for them as giving Trump the nomination. Remember, while Trump said he would support the party's nominee, he said he would do that only if he felt he was being treated fairly by the party. And snatching the nomination away from him at a brokered convention could easily be seen as unfair treatment.

If Trump thinks he was unfairly denied the nomination, he could run as an independent. He has threatened to do that in the past, and his narcissistic personality would probably demand that he do so. What would happen then? A new Rasmussen Poll (done on March 6th and 7th of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3 point margin of error) shows that 36% of Republicans say they would be likely to vote for him if he does that -- and 24% (a quarter of GOP voters) say they would be very likely to do that.

This puts the GOP squarely between a rock and a hard place. Do they let him become the nominee, or do they stop him (and take the chance he won't run)? It's a dilemma, with huge risks with either choice. And I can't really feel sorry for them, because it's a dilemma of their own creation.

(NOTE -- The caricature above of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

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