From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
Beating Trump at the Convention Became More Difficult Last Night
The case for Trump in Cleveland is going to be pretty clear. With last night’s sweep, Trump has won 39.6 percent of the total votes in all GOP primary states so far — well more than Cruz’s 27 percent. He’s won 26 of the 39 states that have voted. (Cruz won ten, Rubio won two, Kasich one.) Trump will probably win at least 30 states.
He’s won more votes that Mitt Romney did in the 2012 primary, and is likely to win more votes than any other Republican presidential candidate in a primary.
Will Trump finish the primaries with 1,237 delegates or more? Probably not, but he’ll be close, maybe really close.
John Podhoretz says it’s time to face facts, that even if you grant Ted Cruz was never going to be a strong candidate in the Northeast, he’s faltering:
After Trump’s astounding five-for-five primary night, by margins that were likely surprising even for Trump fans, it’s now Indiana or bust. If Trump wins the primary next week in the Hoosier state, Cruz is toast and Trump will almost certainly be the Republican nominee.
There’s no putting a lipstick on this pig. Cruz’s numbers Tuesday night, like his numbers in New York last week, were beyond horrible. With six weeks to go before voting concludes, the man conservatives are hoping can overcome Trump with his clever delegate game and more serious mien is getting 10 to 15 percent of the vote in major states.
I say this as a guy who’s pulling for Cruz now — why is he having such a tough time winning some of these states? Why is he fighting for his life in Indiana of all places, the land of Hoosiers, Dan Quayle, Mitch Daniels, and Tom Petty’s Mary Jane?
Cruz lost the evangelical vote in a lot of places. He lost all of the Southern primaries to the previously pro-choice, thrice-married casino and strip-club owner who bragged of his affairs with married women, kissed Rudy Giuliani dressed in drag, defends Planned Parenthood, and says he’s never asked for God’s forgiveness.
Even if you think Cruz was never going to be a natural fit for New England states or the usually blue mid-Atlantic, he’s developed this habit of flopping in purple-to-red states that you would figure would be natural fits for his conservative message. Was it reasonable to expect Ted Cruz to finish third in South Carolina? To finish a distant third in Nevada? To lose Tennessee? A distant third in Virginia? Arizona?
And Kasich . . . if Cruz was always an awkward fit with the New England or mid-Atlantic region, these states should have been relatively low-hanging fruit for the Ohio governor — he’s the Care Bear sensible moderate, the grown-up in the room, the kind of Republican acceptable to the New York Times editorial board. Kasich broke 25 percent in only one state, Connecticut. Remember when Pennsylvania was going to be one of Kasich’s strong states, because it was close to Ohio geographically and demographically? He finished third with 19 percent.