What If Romney or McCain Were Running In 2016?

What if Romney or McCain were Running in the 2016 GOP Primaries? Mitt Romney unleashed a blistering condemnation of Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner, on Thursday, followed quickly by John McCain’s piling on. They speak from positions as elected Republicans, but also as the previous two Republican Presidential nominees, both of who were defeated in the general election by President Obama. It raises an interesting question: how would their nomination runs stack up in comparison to the 2016 GOP primaries?

So far, 15 states held their GOP nominating contests, with the 16th going today. CHART 1 compares the state-by-state vote totals between 2008, 2012 and 2016. Those comparisons show that the votes cast in each of the 15 states in 2016 exceed the totals from either 2008 or 2012.

More Total Votes Were Cast In Each Of The First 15 States In 2016 Than In Either 2012 Or 2008.

CHART 1: More Total Votes Were Cast In Each Of The First 15 States In 2016 Than In Either 2012 Or 2008.

When the total votes from all 15 states are compared, as shown in CHART 2, the magnitude of 2016’s turn out is revealed. So far, 3.87 million more votes were cast in 2016 than in 2012, and 3.72 million more than in 2008. So how would Romney or McCain be doing?

Total Votes Cast In First 15 State Contests: 2016 (9,665,126), 2012 (5,797,112), 2008 (5,946,814)

CHART 2: Total Votes Cast In First 15 State Contests: 2016 (9,665,126), 2012 (5,797,112), 2008 (5,946,814)

CHART 3 compares the winning candidate’s vote totals from each of the first 15 states. The data shows that with the same votes, the winner in 2016 would have won in 2008 and 2012 in 12 of the 15 states.

12 of 15 States Had More Votes Cast In 2016 For The Winner Than In 2012 or 2008.

CHART 3: 12 of 15 States Had More Votes Cast In 2016 For The Winner Than In 2012 or 2008.

TABLE 1 shows the raw vote totals, and breaks out the states won by Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008 in blue. South Carolina’s winner (Newt Gingrich) in 2012 beat Donald Trump, the 2016 winner. That means that Romney would have lost all but one state: Vermont.

Slide1

TABLE 1: 12 of 15 State Vote Totals In 2016 Exceed Those Of 2012 or 2008.

When McCain’s totals are put to the test, interestingly the same result occurs. He would have been defeated in all but one state, Vermont. A second state, Arkansas, also exceeded the 2016 winner’s total, but in 2008 that state was won by Mike Huckabee.

So what does this data mean?

  • First, it indicates that the 2016 GOP turnout is very high. The GOP will need millions more votes in the general election to win than Romney got in 2012. So far, those voters are turning out.
  • Second, although there is no way to be sure, it looks like both Romney and McCain would have been soundly defeated if they had run this year. As a result, their moral positions as beaten GOP candidates is far less impactful.

If they are unhappy with Donald Trump’s success so far, they have but themselves to blame. If either had captured the Nation’s support and won, Trump would not likely be on the Nation’s radar screen today!

Data from USElectionAtlas.Org

Is Conservative Talk Radio Turning On Trump?

AM 630 Talk Radio

AM 630 Talk Radio

Have we witnessed the first evidence of a chink in Donald Trump’s venerable campaign armor?

Trump entered the GOP Presidential Nomination race and vaulted from laughable entrant in June of 2015 to front-runner within a little over 30 days. Establishment Republicans and the media attacked Trump from the beginning. It took months of sustained front-runner status for them to conclude that he was going to stay in the race, and that his motivation wasnt publicity, as first speculated.

Despite making numerous statements that the establishment touted as campaign ending, he continued to hold a steady national lead among the GOP field. Trump appeared immune to attacks, blunders and condemnation. The one place that he was not universally condemned however was in conservative talk radio.

Four people specifically avoided the Oklahoma Land Rush to stop Trump. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Laura Ingraham maintained an even keeled assessment of Trump. They neither endorsed, nor condemned him, but analyzed his ability to dominate media cycles, drown out fellow candidates, and silence critics while taking the fight to his opponents. The result was Trump had top cover within the listening audience, to make his case. Many gave him the benefit of the doubt, and so his support base grew within conservative ranks, but also among independents and some democrat demographics, such as blue-collar workers. Trumps honeymoon with the above four talk radio hosts began to erode in December.

When Ted Cruzs numbers began to steadily rise in Iowa and nationally in early November, Trump moved in to put him down, as he had with Bush in the summer, and Carson in the fall. This time the talk radio reaction was different. The big fourdid not provide nearly the top cover that they had in previous months. They began to question Trump, and at times sided with Ted Cruz. Mark Levin became openly critical, condemning the ludicrous Trump charge that Cruz was ineligible to run for president for example.

The impactmay have played out in Iowa, where Trump lost to Ted Cruz by three points, despite the polls, including entrance polls, predictinga Trump victory.

Both Cruz and Rubio exceeded polling expectations in Iowa, in the highest GOP turnout in history. Trump sagged! Clearly both Cruz and Rubio had strong ground games, which Trumps campaign did not. That likely played a factor as well, but the impact of conservative talk radio on this election should not be underestimated.

The Establishment GOP is reaping the consequences from years of ignoring the will of its base. Rush Limbaugh led the analysisexposing the betrayal. Donald Trump benefited from a retaliatory anger, but the bloom may be off the conservative media rose, and if so, only time will tell if he can capture the nomination without it.

How Many Walls Does America Need?

Donald Trump burst onto the GOP Presidential Candidate scene with his pledge to build a wall along America’s southern border. It may be a euphamism, but that isn’t the only “wall” that needs building. In one context or another, GOP candidates touch on these walls, but they need further examination, as discussed in my Audio Blog below.

  • Wall on the Southern US Border
  • Constitutional Firewalls (separation of powers)
  • Wall between legal and illegal
  • Walls between what it means to be a US citizen and those who are not
  • Wall between elected public servants and their employers; the American people. Establishment Party officials acting as if it’s the other way around.