Bronze-level article2016 Republican Party presidential nomination

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See the main article on this topic: 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Everyone has been wondering all week how the candidates who aren’t Donald Trump will react to his super-S-M-R-T and totally practical plan to erect an Anti-Muslim Force Field around the USA...John Kasich will call it reprehensible, Ted Cruz will thank Trump for bringing up this important question, and Ben Carson will smile, nod, and wonder why the terrorists haven’t accepted Jesus into their hearts. And the rest of them will get really angry at Barack Obama for letting the Islamics get so out of control.
—Kalli Joy Gray[1]
"We're not going to have a circus."[2]

The Republican race to retake the White House after eight years on the sidelines began in 2015, culminating in the 1968 Democratic[3] 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Time to buy stock in popcorn companies.

It's been a free-for-all: the GOP field from day one was the largest and most divided in decades, with nearly 30 elephants under consideration.[4][5] Half of them were never even seriously running, they just wanted the money from the PACs.[6][7]

The truth is obvious enough, but few people feel like addressing the 800-lb gorilla in the room: the American right wing, going back to Nixon, has spent decades systematically creating a political environment in which bigotry is allowed (even encouraged) to proliferate.[8] Combined with a flabby economic recovery, Trump's pathological attention-seeking behavior (of course, can't have a circus without a clown in a red wig![note 1]), high-profile terrorist attacks, and coded racist appeals to a disenfranchised middle class, it was inevitable that this would be an historically ugly campaign season.

Is Trump any more outrageous than "death panels?" Were his remarks to that anchorwoman any more sexist than "legitimate rape"? Is his yuuuge Mexican wall any less humane than "dig a big canal and electrify it!"[9] or "let's build a giant laser!"?[10] No, not particularly. Sprinkle on a little bit of "income tax is theft!" and even the Paulbots will be singing hosanas.[11]

Trump and his ilk are very much the product of conservative talk radio, Fox News, and the GOP itself. This is the monster their collective Frankenstein created. Nothing matters. "Loud" wins. Honk honk.[12]

Betting odds are regularly updated here.


[edit] The Clown Car

[edit] Walking on Water

Some people don't understand that Trump WAS that boss who laid you off and outsourced your company to China.

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Donald Trump
Age: 69
Advantages: "Self-funding" his campaign[13] and can say what he wants, in defiance of Rove's Law; this makes him stand out amidst a platform of regressive robots. Gets plenty of media coverage.[14] The usual "gotcha" questions don't work, since he's incapable of shame and his supporters are distrustful of the press anyway.[note 2] His... um... "candor" is seen as positive among voters who think there's a little too much compromise going on.[15][16][17] That the "establishment" hates him is an even greater advantage in a post-Tea Party world.

Trump is an anomaly because he says stuff that's all over the map.[18] People seem to latch onto what they like and ignore the rest[19]—and lo and behold, poor rednecks don't seem to mind becoming "welfare queens" (*offer applies to straight white Christian families only).[20][21]

Smoothly transitions from a "Bull in a china shop giving 0 fucks"[22] to pacifist politician[23] with Nikki Heally in his corner;[24] it's scary how he rations the crazy. Does great in Florida, meaning he's landed the Cuban demo which the Republicans absolutely need.[25]

Disadvantages: No way Trump wins the general. The numbers just aren't there, he's popular with precisely one Black,[26][27] and disliked by a considerable chunk of his party that will stay home if he's nominated.[28][29] Further isolating Republicans across the board (while reaching out to Sanders supporters weirdly) is just an awful strategy all around if he wants to win in Nov.[30]

Also continuing to show he has no idea what he's talking about ("Let's shut down their part of the Internet...infiltrate the Internet..."). An expert on bankruptcies;[31] he will therefore bankrupt Americans to teach them how to profit off their own bankruptcy. Has a mass grave's worth of skeletons in his closet.[32] First major presidential candidate to have been called a fascist in the international press(!).[33][34][35][36] Endorsed by President Putin(?).[37]

New Yorkers already dislike Trump but the pizza incident was unforgivable.[38]

[edit] Drowned

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone / Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone / Silence the pianos and with muffled drum / Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come

Jeb Bush 2013 CPAC by Gage Skidmore5.jpg
Jeb Bush
Age: 63
Former Governor of Florida

Dropped out 20 February 2016

Advantages: He's a standard-issue old school Republican,[39] so his main appeal seems to be bucking the style of his party, though not necessarily the substance. Has a long list of legislative and corporate experience. Speaks fluent Spanish, and may—just may—be able to sell the benefits of immigration reform and Common Core. Any route to a GOP presidency requires flipping Florida, which is turning blue by the hour. In response to the Pope's visit to America, he has expressed some concerns over capital punishment;[40] there are some signs that he may turn to having a consistent life ethic (neatly avoiding the inconsistency of being both "pro-life" and pro-death penalty).

Able to eat a pretzel without choking to death.

Disadvantages: This particular branch includes wanting to abolish Medicare (To the ice floes!), Terri Schiavo, climate change denial , the creation of school vouchers, the signing of Stand Your Ground into law, hatred of rapprochement with Cuba or Iran, opposition to marriage equality & abortion, etc. all of which have destroyed his image as a 'moderate'.

Too soft on illegals for Rushbo's taste. His tax plan would benefit the rich (e.g. removal of the Estate Tax)... but if it ain't a Flat Tax, these Republicans ain't buyin'.[41] He also has trouble getting his brother's people to side with him.[42][43][44]

Has some similarities to Hillary in that they're both policy wonks and come off as a bit robotic — not very emotional or quick to the punch.[45] It would appear that Rubio nicked his spot (in a youth vs experience, future vs. past kinda thing, with comparisons to 2008; Jeb is increasingly looking like '08 Hillary). Got clownstomped in every single exchange with Trump.[46] Even among Republicans, Bush vs Clinton 2: The Dynastying is not a thrilling prospect.[47]

Ben Carson by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Ben Carson
Age: 64
Retired neurosurgeon

Dropped out (in the most confusing way possible)[48] 2 March 2016

Advantages: In case of emergency, break glass and say "brain surgeon" until time is up. Carson thinks America should not use its resources to feed its people, because that turns them into lazy welfare queens (like his mom). Inexplicably stayed in the top tier of candidates for months; he appears to be the new darling of the Values Voter coalition. Political outsider in a time where Republicans are distrustful of anything that looks like a witch the "Establishment". Makes Republicans feel real proud of themselves. When he used to slice into peoples' brains, he didn’t see race, just nice peoples' brains is all.
Disadvantages: "Hasn’t bothered reviewing the Chick Tracts that supply literally all of his policy positions, and seems confused by the expectation that he’d be familiar with his own prior statements" — Magary. Props to Carson for debating while high; not a lot of people have the guts to do that. (Gimme a question. Wait ... Not that question. Get me someone else.) Basically the average uninformed 1 percenter who decides he can do everything better than politicians and assumes it will be easy.[49][50][51]

A "born again" charlatan, and a paid quack for nutritional supplements.

Chris Christie 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Chris Christie
Age: 53
Governor of New Jersey

Dropped out 10 February 2016

Advantages: Moderate on social issues. Competent handling of the (immediate) aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Less-driven by ideology than other Republicans. As head of the Republican Governors' Association in 2014, helped the party scoop up a bunch of northern states in the midterms. Enjoys a national profile and may even be viewed more favorably outside New Jersey than in.

Privatized water in New Jersey, turning a basic human right into millions of dollar-dollar-bills-yo for his corrupt friends; how much more Republican can you get?[52]

He seems jowly and crude but he has a plan. If the Republicans go all the way, expect to see him as an advisor to the administration between 2017-2025. (Probably his angle all along.)

Disadvantages: We get it. 9/11 happened. You were a U.S. Attorney, put a sock in it. And the willingness to just start a war in Russia is...unnerving to say the least. You can show strength without being reckless about it. Without Trump, Christie would have been able to make waves, but he just comes off as a weaker version of him.[53] Defended a white trash Governor after he had a paddy (or three).[54] A vanilla Republican on economic and environmental matters: no surprise, then, the state is a budget crisis.[55][56] He also sold 9/11 memorabilia as political favors for those who supported him?![57]

Has a Nixonian level of vindictiveness: when he was up for reelection in 2014, which was a forgone conclusion, he cut funding and shut down bridges in cities that voted for Barbara Buono. (He weathered 'Bridgegate', but will be always be remembered as "the guy who fucked with your commute because you might have voted for his opponent".)

Chris, maybe you should lay off the bear-hugs for a while.[58][59]

Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Ted Cruz
Age: 45
Junior Senator from Texas

Dropped out 4 May 2016

Advantages: Consistently conservative from college/law school 'til now, unlike Trump.[60] A Cuban-American who hates Castro, so he has a ton of support in the all-important Florida primary, and might get a boost from overseas voters. His fundraising is competitive: Rubio and Cruz are the two favorites of the Republican Jewish Committee, with Sheldon Adelson allegedly liking Rubio while his wife is all in for Cruz.[61] Beloved by the deepest depths of the Religious Right (and Rick Perry's old donors). Frenemies with Trump.[62] Weirdly, he's the one candidate who can get away with attacking Trump without looking petty.[63] (Can you imagine a cabinet filled with that brain trust? Toss in Palin to complete the joke.)

He correctly called out Mitch McConnell's hypocrisy on the Export-Import Bank and voted against its renewal, voted against the TTP, and is championing a European-style VAT plan.[64] One of the (selectively) more pro-science candidates, being for increased space exploration[65] and being pro-GMO foods[66] A great speaker, and would be far and away the best debater if not for the "NO! I WANNA TALK NOW!" moment.

Disadvantages: The eminently-punchable face of the 2013 government shutdown, which he tried again in '15.[67] Any tokenism he might reap with Latinos is offset by his anti-immigrant platform. Made a disrespectful joke about Joe Biden days after Biden's son died of brain cancer(!).[68] Pissed off fellow Republicans with his lame-duck filibuster, costing them a dozen or so lifetime appointments.[69] Lacks any foresight whatsoever with his "New York Values" remark.[70] Tripping over his feet to make himself the most homophobic candidate.[71]

Apart from all that—um, nothing. He'd still be fine anywhere on the ticket.[72] Well, if he can even legally be president; there's no clear answer. How's that for irony?[73] What a time to be alive.

Carly Fiorina at Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Oklahoma City, OK May 2015 by Michael Vadon 17.jpg
Carly Fiorina[wp]
Age: 61

Dropped out 10 February 2016

Advantages: Proven more popular appeal than Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin.[74][75] Likely running for Vice President or the cabinet since she's not wingnutty enough to win the nomination. She is the only one who can brag about being able to attack Hillary Clinton on abortion without being accused of waging a "War on Women".[76]

An ancap's pinup girl: Opposes the minimum wage,[77] blames the recession on "federal workers watching porn all day long",[78] and wants to reduce the tax code to four pages.[79] Her entire life has been built on rehearsing self-promotional presentations to similarly-stupid people. Briefly jumped to 2nd place after the second debate.

Disadvantages: Her Medieval History degree[80] will help her crush ISIS and House Plantagenet.(Not The Onion) Walks a fine line of avoiding calls for a corporate coup d'état.[81] She's clearly trying to leverage her job exp. from ten years ago into some kind of cyber-security angle: As HP chairman she was too busy keeping America safe (e.g. making some phone calls) to give the company her full attention. Being forced out by shareholders after the stock lost half its value doesn't look too good, either.[82] Sold shit to Iran back when it was still illegal.[83]

Probably the best-rehearsed member of the pack... but then her whackaloon ideas come spilling out. "Let's cut off all communication with the only country with a nuclear arsenal bigger than ours!"[84] The kicker was her crazy plan to arm the Emirates and have them go fight ISIS, based on the standard GOP assumption that all Arab countries are interchangeable and have the same security concerns.[85]

The "fetus brain-harvesting" meme is falling flat, and that's the one thing she was hanging her hat on.[86] Somebody please tell her she is not the GOP equivalent to Clin— LET ME INTERRUPT YOU HERE! That's it, her 15 minutes are up. She's done here.

Jim Gilmore by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jim Gilmore[wp]
Age: 66
former Governor of Virginia

Dropped out February 2016

Advantages: Former RNC National Party boss and Dubya waterboy. Conservative credentials likely to appeal to the Republican party base. On the NRA Board of Directors[87] and appears as a commentator on Faux News. At least admits climate change exists.[88] With Perry and Graham out of the race, Gilmore is the last remaining candidate with actual military experience.
Disadvantages: Jim who? So obscure that major pollsters aren't even acknowledging his campaign.[89] Whipped by Democrat Mark Warner in the 2008 Virginia U.S. Senate election, getting only 35% of the vote and losing in many Virginia locales usually voting Republican.[90] Entered the race much later this time around than he did in 2008, where he dropped out quickly after raising only a tiny amount of money.[91] Doesn't think that climate change is anthropogenic, and essentially argues against taking action even if it is.[88] Received less votes than Vermin Supreme in the New Hampshire primary.
Lindsey Graham, official Senate photo portrait, 2006.jpg
Lindsey Graham[wp]
Age: 60
South Carolina Senator

Dropped out 21 December 2015

Advantages: Retired Air Force Colonel; Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghan War veteran. Wants to be the one to take the Caliph down. One of the few non-chickenhawks in the race, with a good bipartisan record. As a favorite son, his candidacy could have peeled voters away from Rand Paul in the vital February South Carolina primary.[92]

Remarkably sane on pretty much everything not involving foreign policy.[note 3] We're gonna miss ya at the Kid's Table debates.

Disadvantages: His problem was effectively the reverse of Trump's: While his moderate record could have won over more voters, it excommunicated him from the Tea Party base. Not a chicken, but very much a hawk, in the mold of his good friend John McCain.

America just isn't ready for a southern dandy president.[93]

Mike Huckabee by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Mike Huckabee
Age: 60
Former Governor of Arkansas

Dropped out 1 February 2016

Advantages: Once offered Stephen Colbert the Vice Presidency if elected. He's also an economic populist: he opposes cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, and consistently speaks out against the bankers on Wall Street. Also raised taxes as Governor of Arkansas.
Disadvantages: A dominionist. Played bass for Ted Nugent. Up there with Walker and Carson in terms of anti-choice extremism, saying in the first debate that he would use the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to prosecute abortion providers. Has called abortion worse than the Holocaust! While we're on the subject of the Holocaust, his remarks apropos of the Iran negotiations may well be the most offensive violations of Godwin's law that any candidate in recent memory has committed.[94] FairTax advocate. Birther. Young Earther. His public support of Josh Duggar (after the incestuous pedophilia came to light) probably blew his campaign out of the water months before the Iowa caucus.
Bobby Jindal by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Bobby Jindal
Age: 44
Governor of Louisiana

Dropped out 17 November 2015

Advantages: Apart from potential benefits/pitfalls of tokenism, Jindal has managed to run Louisiana since 2008, winning a clear re-election victory in 2011. Has great wingnut credentials.
Disadvantages: He thinks he's white. Those aforementioned wingnut credentials: e.g. claiming to have wrestled demons, support for creationism in biology classes, anti-abortion, and Islamophobic nonsense to the far right of Fox News. Sure, it may play to (some) Republican primary voters, but probably not in the final contest against the Democrats. Has pulled a flip-flop on the Common Core standards, so both sides of that debate can criticize him. Jindal signed Grover Norquist's no-tax-hikes pledge, but ended up raising taxes anyway...on the poor. He also told Louisiana reporters that his main regret from his two terms in office was failing to eliminate Louisiana's income tax entirely. Dropped out on November 17, 2015.[95]
Governor of Ohio John Kasich at New Hampshire Education Summit The Seventy-Four August 19th, 2015 by Michael Vadon 08.jpg
John Kasich
Age: 64
Governor of Ohio

Dropped out 4 May 2016[96]

Advantages: A "popular"[note 4] governor—unlike Christie, Jindal, and Walker—with a proven ability to work across the aisle, and from a key swing state to boot. Authored the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the last time the Federal budget was balanced. Has a semi-humane record towards LGBT and the working poor, which he justifies to Republicans by alluding to the Good Book. If the GOP actually cared about electability, he would probably be the frontrunner. Great running mate material; perfect for fading into the background and showing up at funerals.

Gets true believer points for rejecting federal rail funding for his state (the prick),[97] enacting various "voter ID" bullshit, deregulating charter schools, costing Ohio five abortion centers in the last two years due to his fucking nonsense,[98] lowering training hours for gun owners from 8 hours to 2, promising a new ground war against ISIS...and all this still wasn't enough to appease the wingnut gods?

His homestate win might make "favorite son[wp]" both a term used for modern politics and a viable campaign strategy, since more and more Republicans are talking up a contested convention.[99][100]

Disadvantages: Huntsman Reloaded.[8][101] Tried to restrict union influence à la Wisconsin, but backed off when approval ratings plummeted. Bucked the party line too many times for the base to seriously consider him, like accepting the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare (repent, sinner![102][103])

Moderate voters might be wising up to the empty promises of Reaganomics, which he is touting. Also, he was managing director of Lehman Brothers'[wp] Ohio division when it collapsed in the Panic of 2008. Muttered about the need for a new "agency" to "promote Judeo-Christian Values" in the mideast.[104] (So much for rising above the Stupids.)

His dumb, sexist comment about bringing women out of the kitchens to vote for him.

His big draw is Hey guys, let's stop bickering and work together to beat the Dems, but the base doesn't want reasonable discussion. They want to be riled up. Looks like a turtle when he walks.

Governor Pataki 2015.jpg
George Pataki[wp]
Age: 70
Former Governor of New York

Dropped out 29 December 2015

Advantages: Three terms as New York's Governor.[105] Claims to be a "Republican following in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt who understands that conservatism isn’t just economic policy but it’s also preserving and enhancing the outdoors."[106] During his tenure, New York City and Long Island (about 60% of NY's population) saw some of the most massive economic growth in American history. Thinks the federal workforce can be cut 15%.[107] Was governor during 9/11, if anyone cares. If a Democrat wins the White House, he could be a shoe-in for a Cabinet position.
Disadvantages: He has a better shot in the Democratic primary, not this cesspool. He lobbied in favor of a gay rights bill while Governor. Additionally pro-choice, against the death penalty, supported increased health care coverage, pro-labor (though like Teddy, not pro-union), advocate for gun control but not restrictions ("A well regulated militia..."), acknowledged climate change before it was cool warm, and really likes tax cuts (the one thing other Democrats would rail against him over).
Rand Paul.jpg
Rand Paul
Age: 53
Junior Senator from Kentucky

Dropped out 3 February 2016

Advantages: Strongly identifies with the Tea Party. Lots of media attention. Has criticized mandatory minimum sentences and mass incarceration, and polls surprisingly well with black Americans.[108] Three-time darling of the CPAC conference. Makes up his own polls and headlines.[109]
Disadvantages: Stole his speeches from Wikipedia[110] and his toupee from Art Garfunkel.[citation NOT needed] $1.5 million is quite an impressive haul, if he were running for local dog catcher. If you liked voting for Ron Paul, you'll like voting for Donald Trump even better![111] Until December, he was thought to be a mere clone of his father, but his pathetic tailcoat-riding behind Trump (Hey guys, look at me! I can be a proto-fascist too![112][113]) has revealed him for something even more detestable.

Still too moderate, though; Republicans don't care about cautioned, reasonable approaches to foreign policy, they just want to go in guns blazin'.[114] Big business balks at his opposition to corporate subsidies, literally running away (!) from DREAMers,[115] and siding with Cruz during the shutdown. He drinks the Religious Right's Kool-Aid, but they won't like his libertarian "solutions." Likely to attract all of his dad's crackpot followers: In other words, political harakiri.[116]

Bullshitter extraordinaire during the Ebola panic.[117]

Looks creepily like Lee Harvey Oswald.

Rick Perry.jpg
Rick Perry
Age: 66
Former Governor of Texas

Dropped out 11 September 2015

Advantages: His 14-year experience at an executive position remains his most powerful tool, since he can court the fossil fuel special interests as well as members of the business community and grassroots conservatives fairly easily. His best trait was the strong job growth driven by oil money, a shitstorm of new residents, and something resembling regulation; Texas dodged the Great Recession as a result. He also had a more moderate view of immigration as Governor. He's adept at playing to a crowd, maintains a veneer of affability, and uses his image of stupidity as a way to undercut his opponents who don't expect much from him. So he probably has the Texas vote locked up. He claims he's learned from his mistakes in his previous run, so he'll at least articulate himself better in his insanity. He can produce a spoiler effect for the conservative grassroots and split the vote within the Teabagger candidates.

While he's said to be as dumb as George W. Bush, one key difference makes him more dangerous - he knows how to break your jaw, because he takes advantage of his opponents' ability to underestimate him; the Lone Star State is a graveyard of people who were undercut by the man they felt was too moronic to do such a thing.

Disadvantages: Before the primaries even began – hell, before the second debate began – he stopped paying his campaign staff because he went over-budget. "…Oops!" The usual anti-science, hawkish, anti-Constitutional pandering to the religious right, with a strident favoritism to Israel, a scary allegiance to the Dominionist movement, horrendous social policies including abortion, and crooked backroom donor deals with people who supported his campaigns. Dropped out on September 11, 2015; the first to do so in the Republican race. [118]
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Marco Rubio[wp]
Age: 44
Junior Senator from Florida
Dropped out 15 March 2016[119]
Advantages: A rising young star of mixed race[120]—a sort of Republican answer to Obama—and some regret that he wasn't Romney's running mate. Bush and Christie will pledge their delegates to him. Rubio has absorbed much of Scott Walker's apparatus, courting Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer, among others. What's crazy is that Rubio, a Tea Party candidate, has managed to paint himself as the Good Cop[121]... although purely by comparison, we suppose, he's more "establishment" than any of these jokers.

His schooling of Trump on the nuke issue got him high points.[122] Kinda-sorta acknowledged the existence of man-made climate change in response to the Pope's Laudato Si.[123] (Too rational?) He also wants to devolve energy regulation to the states![124] (Phew.)

Disadvantages: With actual neocons in his pocket,[125] Rubio is the most hawkish Republican in this race: Opposes the Iran deal, loves him some Bibi, wants a no-fly zone in Syria, and welcomes a war with Putin.[126][127] Bragged about wanting to overthrow Castro and become President of Cuba in his youth, chico.[128]

His entire adult life has been about half-assing the opportunities that are handed to him.[129] Has an interesting defense against "flip-flops": He just doesn't show up for votes.[130] Riding high from his 3rd place finish in Iowa, Marco Roboto repeated the same sentence four straight times in the same debate, even after Jon Lovitz Christie called him on it.[131][132]

Some mild and overt racism are certainly in play: The Hateful Eight will be an albatross.[133] His parents were born outside the US, making him vulnerable to Birthers, and he's actually unpopular with Hispanics overall.[134] And look at the fear in his eyes...[135]

Rick Santorum official photo.jpg
Rick Santorum
Age: 57
Former Pennsylvania Senator

Dropped out 3 February 2016

Advantages: First runner up in the last primary, and voters have a habit of going for the next-in-line, if they run in consecutive primaries. Has the machinery in place, including the 150,000 strong "Patriot Voices" support base, to run — and fund — a campaign. Probably batshit insane enough to appeal to the rabid right of the GOP. Has kept a fairly low profile since the last election, allowing other potential contenders to stand up and make asses of themselves. In an era of increasing Right to Work legislation, appeals to traditional blue-collar union households.
Disadvantages: Besides being Rick Santorum? Given that despite their best efforts to alienate everyone who isn't rich and white, the GOP now holds both houses, one has to wonder about Santorum's views on homosexuality & same-sex marriage, abortion, contraception, science, etc., which should make him untouchable amongst thinking people. It's likely his views will resonate with the crazy people currently deciding who gets into Congress (or at least the people who decide who gets to run on the Republican ticket). He also lost his Senate reelection bid by a landslide, which tends to be a down check.
Scott Walker by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Scott Walker
Age: 48
Governor of Wisconsin

Dropped out 21 September 2015

Advantages: Destroyed collective bargaining in Wisconsin and made it another fetid "right to work" state. Won three straight elections while implementing the most draconian policies in a blue state, raising his profile as a potential dark horse. [136] Coincidentally, it could mean the second time in a row where the GOP decides to target in Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes. A darling of the Koch Brothers, able to present himself as a grassroots populist conservative while pandering to the establishment like a chameleon. Also rejected federal high speed rail funds (like Kasich); This may help him in the primary but hurt him in the general election.
Disadvantages: Outright wrecked his state economy.[137] Despite the enormous sums of money, Walker isn't exactly the brightest bulb in the house. He compared striking union workers to Daesh, of all fucking things, showing that he considers Americans themselves to be the greatest threat to America. Won all three elections with record low turnout. He also, recklessly and without much of a reason, decided to skip the all-important Florida primary if he runs.[138] This man actually attributed his male-pattern baldness to bumping his head.[139] Has no college degree, an achievement not seen since Harry Truman!

When Walker failed to live up to the Gipper's memory ("My view has changed. I'm flat out saying it. Candidates can say that."[140][141]), donors began to waver, his war chest dried up, and his approval rating went to 0.5 percent. He eventually became the second to drop out of the race.[142][143]

[edit] Hydrophobia

Looked like they were going to run, but declined.

John Bolton by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John Bolton[wp]
Age: 67
Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Advantages: Hardcore neocon hawks would probably love him. His disdain towards any kind of international organizations and diplomacy plays well to the "USA! USA! USA!"-unilateralists. A stopped clock moment is Bolton's 2013 statement that gay marriage should not be outlawed (you didn't see that coming, did you?) at either state and federal levels.[144]
Disadvantages: Appetites for neocon-style interventionism have been dulled by the legacy of Bolton's former employer. What is Bolton going to do about domestic issues? No, really, we'd like to know.[note 5]
Robert ehrlich speaking at healthierUS summit cropped.jpg
Bob Ehrlich[wp]
Age: 58
Governor of Maryland
Advantages: Rose to prominence in Congress as part of the Gingrich Revolution in 1994. In 2002 Ehrlich defeated Bobby Kennedy's daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, for Governor of Maryland. Ehrlich holds the distinction of being the first Republican Governor of Maryland since Spiro Agnew.
Disadvantages: Probably too much of a typical East Coast RINO. After getting booted out of office in 2006, Sarah Palin backed his Tea Party primary opponent when he sought a rematch with Democratic incumbent, Martin O'Malley, who defeated him 4 years earlier.[note 6]
Jon Huntsman by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jon Huntsman
Age: 56
Former Ambassador to Singapore/China and Governor of Utah
Advantages: Current spot as chairman of the Atlantic Council caps an extensive career in diplomacy under Bush 41 and Obama presidencies. An honest-to-god pro-gay marriage and pro-climate conservative. Increasingly disillusioned with the direction of the GOP (says he plans to "re-infuse it with the ideals of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower" and even threatening to start a third party[145]), which is code for "Excuse me while I abandon ship and attempt to pick up the pieces over the next decade."
Disadvantages: Like Romney, 2012 demonstrated that a Mormon candidate still carries stigma with social conservatives, as well as his association with the terms "Obama" and "China." Being born into the family of a billionaire will always make him vulnerable to populist barbs. Passing abortion restrictions and a flat tax in Utah hampers his "only sane man" image.
Dennis Michael Lynch 2015.jpg
Dennis Michael Lynch[wp]
Age: 46
Advantages: When Dennis M. Lynch appears on Fox, he is presented as a legitimate "documentary" filmmaker, whereas in the real world, he's a right-wing spin doctor who makes direct-to-DVD movies about America's border security.
Disadvantages: Black people are never going to vote for a guy with the name Lynch. Thinks Cliven Bundy is a national treasure.
Sarah Palin
Age: 52
Former Governor of Alaska
Advantages: What candidate wouldn't want the highly-coveted Palin endorsement?[146][147][148] Sarah, who puts the "rat" in desperate, also came out in support of pot legalization and /r/libertarian went nuts.[149] Will add to the circus atmosphere with her strange photo-ops; attempted hijacking of the feminist movement.
Disadvantages: Oof, gosh. Too busy shilling her new E-book to do much campaigning.[150] Lightning rod for criticism both in and out of the party. Helped sink the 2008 John McCain campaign. Doesn't know which Korea is an ally to the United States.
Tim Pawlenty CPAC 2011.JPG
Tim Pawlenty[wp]
Age: 55
Former Governor of Minnesota
Advantages: T-Paw is considered fairly....normal, at least compared to the rogues gallery that stayed in the race. Urged fellow Republicans to support a wage hike[151]—with enough vague language so he can slime his way out of that position once he's back on the dais.
Disadvantages: Pardoned a serial child molester so he and his wife could open up a daycare center (?!).[152] Believes that people who are dying from cancer should be arrested if they use marijuana for relief. Quit Team Romney to go become a banking goon.[153] (Romney advisor, bank lobbyist... what's the difference?) "Retired" from political life in early 2015, as if that wasn't already decided that for him. Goodbye and thanks for nothing. The state won't miss you.
USTR Rob Portman, Press Briefing at the U.S. Mission.jpg
Rob Portman
Age: 60
Junior Senator from Ohio
Advantages: Has 15+ years in Congress, bi-partisan, did some trade representative-ey things, and known for playing Democrats in mock debate sessions. Clinton advisors were genuinely worried if he campaigned and campaigned well.[154]
Disadvantages: The first sitting Republican Senator (if you exclude Lincoln Chaffee) to openly support same-sex marriage. Why are there tumbleweeds on the horizon?[155]
Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 7.jpg
Mitt Romney
Age: 69
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Bowed out Jan 2015.

Advantages: Effectively the "In Case of Emergency, Break Glass" candidate: in the (increasingly likely) event of a brokered convention, expect fierce pressure by the RNC to draft him yet again.[156] (As of November 2014, 20% of the party believes he deserves another shot.[157]) Would have a huge fundraising operation like before, and could challenge more swing states if he promises to "fix" a health care plan inspired by him rather than "repeal" it. While Romney has declined to run, there are a few Republicans who would like to see him reconsider.
Disadvantages: Everything that made him lose to Barack Obama in 2012.[158] He came off like a Mr. Monopoly character and the public was turned off by his out-of-touch statements about wealth in America (it's patronizing for a rich guy to say "Hey plebes, I'm just like you!", people see right through that shit and Romney wasn't very good at it to begin with.), while conservatives were never really comfortable with a "Massachusetts moderate".

The bitter, grumbling millionaire to Trump's unfettered, fanciful billionaire.[note 7]

If you asked him if he wanted his coffee with milk he'd say well we need consider the potential ramifications of what this milk could do for our country before coming to a definitive decision but we should also ponder if we can do without such a vital ingredient in our coffee of immense importance. And in the end he wouldn't even drink the stuff when you brought it to him.

Only two politicians have successfully become POTUS after previously losing a general election, and in both cases conceded in squeakers[note 8], not by 4% of the popular vote. Ann Romney also lives with MS, which is an extra incentive for the family to not put up with this crap a third time, because real life is not The West Wing.

[edit] Kiddie Pool

Admit it, you would pay to see the Prohibition Party make a comeback. We could host their primary at a Holiday Inn.

Jack Fellure (cropped).jpg
Jack Fellure[wp]
Age: 84
Perennial candidate from West Virginia
Advantages: International Man of Mystery. His Baptist faith informs every aspect of his policy positions. A veteran of the Korean War (!). Their logo is basically a yellow-blue version of the House Bolton sigil. (A Flayed Man Holds No Secrets is a catchy slogan.)
Disadvantages: Jack says his platform is all laid out in the King James Bible, so he doesn't see the point in campaigning. Yep, he also wants to ban alcohol again. According to the party platform which they agreed on in 2012, he also plans to tax pornography.

[edit] GOP primary polls

The lesson from the 2016 primary is that, when you have anti-establishment candidates popping up every week or so, you must have one, and only one, strong establishment candidate by the beginning of the primaries. The only way to end an uprising is to show that they are only the "flavor of the month," and that can only happen if they lose several states early on. The "endorsement primary" is still a thing, but you must get your shit together quick.

The mistake the establishment made, aside from fielding generally terrible candidates (c'mon, Jeb Bush?), was there they were too many to begin with, and almost none of them were willing to drop out in the face of a bigger threat.

[edit] Elephant graveyard

The GOP didn't just "shoot itself in the foot". They stuck a shotgun down their trousers and pulled the trigger twice.
There are a million autopsies being done today from within the Republican Party, and I promise you that none of those autopsies will come to the conclusion, “Hey, maybe we should stop being the Party Of Assholes. Maybe our talk radio hosts shouldn’t have their HARUMPH dial turned up to eleven 24 hours a day.” No no. That’s wishful thinking. The people who opposed Trump from within the party have opposed him for the exact wrong reasons: because he’s not conservative enough, and he’s too undisciplined. That’s their beef... Is it any wonder voters went for the genuine prick instead?
—Drew Magary[159]

It should have been the Republicans' easiest election in 30 years, but they're about to nominate a guy who's miraculously more unlikable than Hillary.[160] The GOP is starting to accept that they have already lost the WH. Unless Hillary gets indicted, or some massive terror plot unfolds, it's all but guaranteed they're going to lose. It's more about damage control at this point: A Trump nomination will leave a long-lasting stain on the party. Distancing themselves from Trump and propping up lame duck candidates might be the better long-term option,[161] even if it means they lose the election.

It's not even a close primary: Trump is beating Rubio in his own state by like 30 points, while Cruz has pockets of support in a few states. Cruz couldn't even win South Carolina with no serious evangelical competition (Carson barely got any votes; Carolinians would rather throw their vote away than vote for Cruz), so he isn't going anywhere.[162][163] Kasich "knows" how to win Ohio. And if that's all it took to be president, that might mean something. (His overall numbers will be similar to Ben Carson's who is still waiting for the "awakening."[164]) Rubio was clearly the establishment pick and had been for a while. Then he choked. Bad. He collapsed to 5th in NH, losing to Jeb of all people. He is leading nowhere and the math looks bad for him.[165][166] How ironic that Kasich could win Ohio and Cruz win Texas, yet Rubio can't even win Florida.

The Prisoner's Dilemma between Rubio and Kasich is quite fascinating to watch. If Rubio is playing for a brokered convention then he might as well drop out now. Nothing shows real leadership and ability like "best 2 out of 3?" (Hey, don't knock Rubio's 3-5-2-3 strategy![167]). Kasich could emerge as the "adult in the room"; he is well-poised to siphon support away from a flagging Rubio. Unfortunately, vanity candidates like Kasich and Carson are only helping Trump, and the longer they stay in, the more it helps Trump maintain a big lead.[168] Even if the establishment lined up behind Kasich, he'd come to the convention with 1 state and a small fraction of the delegates.

Trump is doing just as well (or slightly better) then McCain and Romney were at this point. And there were a lot of "Romney? NEVER!" voters who failed to derail Romney's campaign. Sure, Rubio/Cruz might eventually pick up the lion's share of support from the other candidates if the rest drop out. But let's be realistic, they aren't going to all drop out until it's far too late to stop Trump. Looks like the billionaire donors are beginning to coalesce around Donald, as well.[169][170] Years from now Kasich is going to be like Salieri from Amadeus ranting about how God chose Mozart over him.

[edit] Facepalms reverberate throughout RNC

Convention rules intended as a firewall against populist upstarts have backfired in SC, which may enable Trump to clinch the nomination with less than 40% of the vote.[171] The funny part is that the RNC introduced the "winner-takes-all" states because it would tip the scales in the establishment's favor, and avoid the uphill battle Romney faced against a bunch of joke candidates. Instead, it set things up for Trump to run away with the nomination and limit the time the establishment has to get their shit together.

Caveat: The RNC can conceivably fuck him over when he gets there, hand it to Bush Rubio Romney? Cruz Kasich Romney again,[172][173] and take their chances with Trump running as an independent.[174] They've shown a willingness to snub people they feel don't belong before: They pretty much took a dump right on Ron Paul's head in 2012. However, that will probably never happen since Trump has the nomination locked up. The optics would be "RNC is stealing the election away from Trump." It will confirm all the voters' beliefs about establishment puppeteers pulling the strings.

If the Republicans gave their delegates out proportionally like the Democrats do, then it would be a much different story, and Trump would likely lose a brokered convention.[175] But the fact is, rules are rules, and "winner takes all" states are giving Trump an insurmountable delegate lead. A round of applause, please.

On the positive side, the GOP obliterating itself on national TV will send ratings through the stratosphere.

[edit] Primaries / Caucuses won thus far

Below are the winners of the states which have held primaries or caucuses so far:

[edit] See also

  • 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination
  • 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination - The Democratic debates have been some of the tamest we've ever seen among either party. Clinton calls Sanders an idealist. Sanders says Hillary is in bed with Wall Street. And meanwhile, Trump is saying Cruz "the biggest liar he's ever met" and everyone else is calling Trump a clown prince of crime. The Democratic debates look like a boxing match, and the GOP debates looks like a prison yard brawl, shivs and all.

[edit] Notes

  1. This is why Rand Paul has taken to making videos of himself destroying the tax code with a chainsaw, Ben Carson has posted videos of him 'rapping', and Ted Cruz has posted videos of his Simpsons impersonations. (Jeb's big Hail Mary to out-nutbar Trump was, "erm, well, I think Supergirl's hot.") They're each desperately trying to steal the microphone out of Trump's hands, and failing. Battling Trump for control of the media is like mud wrestling with a pig; sooner or later, you realize the pig is getting off on it.
  2. That's his genius: If they don't get an apology, the media goes into apoplectic shock. He has exposed them as spineless cowards, and you can expect future Republican candidates to follow his lead. Look no further than his remarks about John McCain. It used to be that veterans, and former POWs above all, were the holiest of holies in American politics, especially among Republicans (until they wind up out on the street and in need of government aid. Bummer, that). But when Trump belittled McCain's ordeal as a POW and refused to walk it back, his numbers surged.
  3. Graham is part of the old guard who used to thrive in the pork barrel system, back when there was still ample cover to push legislation with caveats. His comments read like frustration with a party that has come to value obstructionism and just "waiting their turn" over getting anything done. In particular, he also seems to be channeling GOP voters who can't believe how much they were lied to when they were told this field of candidates was going to be the strongest ever—an All-Star Team!—and now it's just down to Trump and a couple of no-hopers who appear unwilling or incapable of stopping him.
  4. Ohioans are stuck with this chucklefuck who's destroying their economy and selling their land to Canadian gas companies for the benefit for his idiot cronies because over 4 million (out of 7½ million) people didn't bother to vote. We keep hearing that Americans want Republicans when the overwhelming majority of people aren't even trying to be heard. But, of course, a discouraged and non-voting public is exactly what the plutocrats that run this country want.
  5. As an indication, note the disparity between the level of detail in his foreign policy suggestions and the glaring holes on such issues as tax reform and free trade in his profile from On the Issues
  6. O'Malley, a prospective Democratic Presidential challenger for 2016, whooped Ehrlich twice for Governor of Maryland in 2006 and 2010 by margins of 52% to 46%, and 56% to 42%, respectively.
  7. Romney is a Mormon who doesn't smoke or drink, and we guarantee that Trump has done coke off a stripper's ass. Who would you rather have a beer with?
  8. Cleveland won the popular vote in 1888, in the case of Nixon/Kennedy it is much more complicated, as there was a slate of "unpledged" electors which ultimately did not matter for the result of the electoral vote, but how to count the votes for them in the popular vote is an open question

[edit] Footnotes

  1. "Terror, Terror, Terror, Donald Trump, And Terror: Your GOP Mainstage Debate Liveblog", Wonkette.
  2. Robillard, Kevin, "No more 'traveling circus'", Politico (03/22/13 08:28 AM EDT). Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, swearing up and down what is an impossibility.
  3. Waldman, Paul "Trump is Running the Most Explicitly Racist Campaign Since 1968", The Week 11.25.15.
  4. Brace yourself. The 2016 Republican field is going to be HUGE, Washington Post (*pats back* We know. We know.)
  5. GOP Field Hasn’t Been This Split in 40 Years, FiveThirtyEight
  6. Drew Magary, "Down With Career Presidential Candidates", GQ.
  7. Kenneth P. Vogel, "The rise of 'scam PACs'", Politico.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Matt Taibbi, "The GOP Clown Car Rolls On", Rolling Stone. Taibbi: "Kasich in person seems like a man ready to physically implode from bitterness at the thought that his carefully laid scheme for power might be undone by a flatulent novelty act like Trump."
  9. Daniel Berger, Emily Samsel and Alicia Maule, "Who’s scarier: GOP Rep. Steve King or horror writer Stephen King?", MSNBC.
  10. Steve Benen, "GOP congressional candidate eyes ‘laser’ attacks at border", MSNBC.
  11. Ben Casselman, "Donald Trump Wants To Eliminate Income Taxes For 31 Million Americans", FiveThirtyEight.
  12. Wilson, Rick, "How the Tea Party Got Hijacked by Donald Trump's Troll Party", Daily Beast (09.15.15 10:15 PM ET). Wilson: "They don’t really know or care what he stands for, only that he’s an extended middle finger at the hated political class and the national GOP. He FIGHTS! ...His appeal to them isn’t so much ideological as it is nihilistic."
  13. FactChecking the CNBC Debate. Or so he says. As of October 18, 2015, he had received $3.8 million in campaign contributions, while only contributing about half that amount, one way or another, from his own wealth. Nevertheless, it's a great hook, and he's raking in the small donor cash, which lends some credence to his boast that "he can't be bought!"
  14. Nate Silver, "Donald Trump Is Winning The Polls — And Losing The Nomination", FiveThirtyEight. One bonus of being the media darling is that CNN keeps inflating your numbers.
  15. Ornstein, Norm, "The 8 Causes of Trumpism", 1.4.16. The Republican Id loosed upon the world: He's saying what the GOP always wished they could say aloud, but had to use all sorts of dog-whistling to dance around; Trump is doing it with a brass band.
  16. Debbie Encalda, "Donald Trump Calls Rand Paul Ugly After He's Called Childish", Yahoo News. Encalda: "When Paul called out Trump for his “careless” language and his entertaining “sophomoric” behavior for taking a cheap shot at him Trump fired back with another “junior high” diss saying, “I never attacked him on his look, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there,” getting big laughs from the crowd."
  17. Paul Waldman, "Bad news, Republicans: Donald Trump is practically bulletproof", Washington Post. Somebody attempts to carve out a niche on Trump's right, he says something even more outrageous, poll bump, repeat. Him saying ridiculous things is half the appeal to them.
  18. Lopez, German, "Donald Trump has flip-flopped so much that Stephen Colbert hosted a Trump vs. Trump debate", Vox (2/1016, 9:00 a.m. ET).
  19. Shafer, Jack, "The Limits of Fact-Checking", Politico, 12.24.15. Shafer: "What to conclude from this? Perhaps that the fact-checkers don’t know what they’re writing about—which I reject—or that Trump supporters don’t know about the fact-checker’s findings, which seems wildly unlikely given the saturation coverage his lies have enjoyed. My guess is that Trump supporters don’t believe and just don’t care what the fact checkers say."
  20. Demko, Paul, "Who is Advising Donald Trump on Health Care?", Politico (02/20/16 11:43 AM EST).
  21. MJ Lee and Sara Murray, "Donald Trump Slashes Taxes on the Poor — and the Wealthy", CNN (Updated 0/29/15, 11:39 AM ET). Tax Policy Center: "On the corporate side the tax cut is very large. On the individual side it's very large. There just aren't enough tax breaks out there to make this work."
  22. Guess the Repubs haven't been watching the news about China's stock plummeting.
  23. Vogt, Jay, "Would a Donald Trump Presidency Be Good for Russia?", Russia Insider 6.10.15. At the very least, he probably knows that Beijing is a more useful boogeyman than Moscow when it comes to courting America's white working class.
  24. Milbank, Dana, "Nikki Haley takes on Donald Trump", 9.2.15.
  25. Alvarez, Joshua, "Trump Disrupts Cuban-American Politics", The Atlantic. 3.17.16.
  26. Black, "The founder of a white nationalist website says Donald Trump is helping his cause", Business Insider 12.14.15.
  27. That black support Trump promises he'll win? It doesn't exist.
  28. Kaplan, Rebecca, "Poll: Donald Trump trails Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders in matchup", CBS (12/2215, 6:00 AM).
  29. Barbaro, Michael & Parker, Ashley, "A G.O.P. Majority in New Hampshire Pipes Up: We’re Not for Donald Trump", The New York Times. His support seems to have plateaued somewhere around a third of the electorate. Presenting yourself as a candidate whose policies make Goldwater look like John Denver is not a good way to win a general election almost 50 years after Goldwater got his ass kicked.
  30. Tom LoBianco and Jennifer Agiesta, "At the starting gate: Clinton leads Trump by double-digits", CNN (Updated 5/4/16 10:13 AM ET). Sanders' most extreme supporters are drawn to politics by the same kind of anger, fear, and scapegoating (foreigners, banks, the Establishment) that Trump thrives on. However, if he thinks he can win by turning Sanders's supporters into allies, he's sorely underestimated Clinton's support among Berniebros and how many are policy-minded.
  31. Bathon, Michael, "Trump Casino Creditors Seek to Fight Icahn Group’s Claims", Bloomberg 1.27.15. The "successful" businessman experienced four bankruptcies and let creditors take the fall. So far it seems to have worked for him, and given that the US defaulting on its debt would more or less nuke the world economy...
  32. Damon Root, "Donald Trump's Shameful Eminent Domain Abuse", Reason. That story about bulldozing some grandmother's house to turn it into a limousine parking lot? Not an exaggeration.
  33. Schloss, Eva, "Anne Frank's stepsister: 'Donald Trump is acting like Hitler'", Newsweek. Publicly compared to Hitler... by Eva Schloss, an Auschwitz survivor and stepsister of Anne Frank. She is somewhat exempt from Godwin's law.
  34. Tucker, Jeffrey A., "Is Donald Trump a Fascist?", Newsweek 7.17.15.
  35. Smith, Jamil, "Yes, Donald Trump is a Fascist", New Republic.
  36. Donald Trump has gone too far for French far-right leader Marine Le Pen Vox, 11 Dec 2015. How far out is Trump? Marine Le Pen takes offense at being compared to him!
  37. Laughland, Oliver, Trump on Putin's crackdown on journalists: 'It’s never been proven', The Guardian 12.20.15. He knows no-zing!
  38. Edgar Sandoval & Helen Kennedy, "Sarah Palin, Donald Trump split a pepperoni pizza", NY Daily News 6.1.11. Trump took Palin out to have a true "New York experience." He took her to a Famiglia (a mediocre pizza chain, it's like saying you're going to get authentic Chinese then going to Panda Express) and ate his pizza with a knife and fork.
  39. Jeb Bush, On the Issues (Including the school vouchers.)
  40. Haberman, Maggie, "Jeb Bush Says He Was Unaware of Rubio PowerPoint Deck", NYT
  41. Matthews, Dylan, "Jeb Bush's tax plan, explained", Vox (9/815, 9:42 p.m. ET).
  42. Jeb's own mother, Barbara Bush, told Today that America has "had enough Bushes". Ouch.
  43. Baker, Peter, "Jeb Bush Faces Challenge in Winning Over Brother’s Team", New York Times.
  44. Is Jeb Bush already in trouble? By Howie Carr, Boston Herald (MA) May 28, 2015. ""The more Republicans he meets, the further he drops in the polls."
  45. Parker, Kathleen, "No more Mr. Nice Candidate: Float like a butterfly, sting like a....WASP?", WaPo, 10.27.15. Hard to believe now, but we were promised an angrier Jeb Bush.
  46. LoGiurato, Brett, "TRUMP: Here's the backstory on my 'low-energy' takedown of Jeb Bush", Business Insider (11.19.15, 12:08 PM ). Trump is pushing Jeb around like he's in a high school cafeteria, and Jeb's best retort is "Filthy commoner!"
  47. "Bush and Clinton: The Fading Dynasty Candidates", Free Republic.
  48. Easley, Jason, "Carson stays true to his brand of vague crazy until the very end", Politicus (3/2/16 at 3:15 pm).
  49. Jeb Lund, "What the Hell Is Going on With Ben Carson?" Rolling Stone. It's as if Carson's campaign was an attempt to get his hat in the ring for Surgeon General and it just got reeaallyyyy carried away.
  50. Cruz, Caitlin, "Ben Carson Can't Find New England On A Map", TPM 11.18.15 He really is Clarence Thomas with a stethoscope, isn't he?
  51. Crissy Millazzo, "Ben Carson's Advisers Terrified of His Presidency", Complex.
  52. Augustein, Seth, "Christie Signs Law Greenlighting Sales of Public Water Systems", (2/5/15 2:25 PM, updated 5:34 PM).
  53. Reeve, Elspeth, "Donald Trump Stole Chris Christie’s Brand", New Republic 6.30.15.
  54. Michael Warren, Christie stands by backer LePage after “white girls” comment, MSNBC. “These are guys with the name D-Money … they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.” The apology made things even worse: “I was going impromptu and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth. Instead of Maine women I said white women. … If you go to Maine, you can see it’s 95 percent white.” Christie said this remark represented "one slip-up." Fuck you.
  55. Chris Christie’s Greatest Weakness, Politico
  56. Arco, Matt, "In sudden twist, Trump blasts Christie for ignoring 'deeply troubled' N.J.", (11/30/15 at 10:36 AM, updated 11/30/15 at 4:58 PM).
  57. "Christie Turned Twin Towers Wreckage Into “Politically Motivated Gifts”", Phillymag
  58. Heinze, Christian, "Christie's Obama Problem", The Hill (11/14/12, 10:00 am).
  59. Lewis, Matt, "Why the New Jersey governor’s embrace of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could come back to haunt him", Daily Beast (01.05.15 9:35 AM ET).
  60. "Everybody Hates Ted: Study Finds Facebook Users Almost Unanimously Dislike Cruz"
  61. Isikoff, Michael, "Millions at stake, the ‘Adelson primary’ is neck and neck" Yahoo! News 12.2.15. (Dig the glam rock hairdo on Miriam Adelson.)
  62. Mark Hensch, "Trump names Cruz when asked about VP spot", The Hill.
  63. Schilling, Terry, "Did Cruz Finally 'Stump the Trump'?", The Pulse 1.15.16.
  64. Matthews, Chris, "The European Tax Plan Republicans Love", Fortune (11/10/15 11:44 PM EST).
  66. [1] (Although he goes on to call climate change anti-science in the same breath).
  67. Hartmann, Margaret, "Fellow Senators Have Had It With Ted Cruz and His Government Shutdown", New York Magazine 9.28.15.
  68. Facebook status update 6.3.15.
  69. Block, Ryan, "Did Ted Cruz really bungle the lame-duck session for Republicans?", Washington Examiner 12.17.14.
  70. Guttman, Nathan, "Ted Cruz Seeks To Put ‘New York Values’ Slur Behind Him With Speech to GOP Jews", Forward 4.10.16.
  71. Brinker, Luke, "Move over, Rick Santorum! Ted Cruz is the GOP’s new anti-gay rock star", Salon (10/16/14 01:44 PM PST). This despite the fact that popular opinion is now well and truly behind marriage equality.
  72. How low would they go? One consultant says "a dozen" states. (For an idea of how that looks like...)
  73. Contorno, Steve, "Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president? (Updated)", PolitiFact, (3/26/15 4:31 p.m. ).
  74. 2015 CPAC straw poll results, The Washington Times, Saturday, February 28, 2015.
  75. Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field, CNN
  77. Roller, Emma, "Carly Fiorina: Raising the Minimum Wage Will Lead to ‘Less Opportunity’", National Journal 1.14.16.
  78. Edwards, David, "GOP’s Carly Fiorina: Economy is suffering because workers are ‘watching porn all day long’", Raw Story (3/2/9/15 10:59 ET).
  79. Garver, Rob, "Fionrina's 3-Pag Tax Code Could Get Awfully Complicated", The Fiscal Times 11.13.15.
  80. Jordyn Phelps, "Fiorina's Medieval History Degree Will Help Her Defeat Isis", ABC.
  81. Ben Kamisar, "'Fiorina: US is 'woefully behind' in tech war on terror", The Hill. Carly's been watching too much CSI: Cyber (the government is using all the "wrong algorithms").
  82. Alex Bracetti, "Horrible Bosses: The Worst Tech CEOs Of All Time", Complex. HP’s market cap rose by $6 billion after her departure. She's like the anti-John Galt.
  83. West, Tara, "Carly Fiorina Was CEO Of HP When They Violated U.S.-Iran Sanctions, Sold Printers To Iran", Inqusitur, 9.20.15.
  84. Mark Hensch, "Paul: 'Man, are we lucky' Fiorina wasn’t a Cold War president", The Hill. Oh, yeah. Great fucking plan. Just imagine how well the Cuban missile crisis would have gone if JFK's policy towards Khrushchev was to stick his fingers in his ears and go "la la la la la la"
  85. Michael Warren, Carly Fiorina on ISIS, The Weekly Standard. Makes about as much sense as sending in the Armenians to go fix it. Not their fucking problem. It's literally 750 miles away. Why would they want to get involved in that horror show? Party's on in Dubai!
  86. Feldman, Josh, "Chuck Todd to Fiorina: Haven’t You ‘Exaggerated’ Planned Parenthood Video?", Mediate, 9.27.15
  87. Jim Gilmore: Celebration of American Values. 21 September 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2015. (Warning: This smarmy website may induce fits.)
  88. 88.0 88.1 Jim Gilmore on Climate Change - Official Campaign Website.
  90. November 2008 Official Results, US Senate. Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  91. Statement From Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  92. Rand, Lindsey & George (Pataki), Rich Galen, Jun 01, 2015.
  93. Stern, Mark Joseph, "Are Rumors About Lindsey Graham’s Sexuality Hurting His Presidential Chances?", Slate (6.15.15 8:30 AM).
  94. Pengelly, Martin, "Huckabee defends claim that Iran deal will 'march Israelis to oven door' ", The Guardian 7.26.15.
  95. Rafferty, Andrew. Bobby Jindal Ends 2016 Presidential Campaign. NBC News. 17 November 2015. Retrieved on 17 November 2015.
  96. jJohn Kasich Drops Out of Presidential Race New York Times
  97. William C. Vantuono, "Did Republicans kill America’s high speed rail plan?", Railway Age. The money came from Obummer and accepting it would mean that the government had actually done something useful, which isn't allowed.
  98. Gross, Allie, "How Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is Making Life Hell for Women Seeking Abortions" Mother Jones (7/27/15 5:10 AM EDT). Pretty high for a state per capita, no? If you have to drive to an abortion center that means that the women getting the abortion also has to get a hotel for the night. Which means that the procedure is not only more expensive, but after an emotional procedure she is forced to be alone for an extra day while she recovers.
  99. Koenig, Kailani, "Kasich Says Ohio Victory Will Take Him to Convention Fight", NBC (Mar 3 2016, 6:15 pm ET).
  100. McMahon, Madeline "Kasich Camp Adviser Hires Include Stu Spencer, Charlie Black", Bloomberg 3.15.16.
  101. Milbank, Dana, "John Kasich May By The Jon Huntsman of 2016", WaPo 10.6.15. In the land of the mad, the sane man is a serf.
  102. Picket, Kerry, "Kasich: No Regrets Over Medicaid Expansion", The Daily Caller 6.19.15.
  103. Ball, Molly, "What John Kasich Believes", The Atlantic 7.21.15.
  104. Gray, Kalli Joy, "'Crusades Sure Was a Dumb Idea' Says Guy Who Wants to Declare Holy War, Wonkette (11/15/15 1:45pm). So, Islam is no longer "Judeo-Christian". Got it. They used to call it "Abrahamic" but changed it to kick Islam out of the conversation.
  105. Pataki polled 2.5 million votes statewide in 2002 compared to Hillary's 3 million statewide in 2006.
  106. George Pataki to announce presidential bid Thursday
  107. as if that were possible.
  108. Just wait until they hear about his comments about the Civil Rights Act.
  109. Bolton, Alexander, "Rand Paul: Trump will be 'wiped out,' polls aren't accurate", 12.20.15. It's like he's shooting blanks and then proudly telling his teenage supporters that every shot was a bullseye. He's probably basing it off of the pundits, who admittedly did place him better than Google search results did. Still, the general public is the metric that matters more in the end.
  110. Arturo Garcia, Jon Stewart mocks Paul’s assertion that “98 percent” of his speeches are off-the-cuff", Raw Story.
  111. "Trump Goes After Rand Paul's Followers", Washington Examiner. He's not wrong. Ron is like a talented grifter, whereas his kid is a Decepticon who's done nothing but fail upwards his entire life. His article barely covers all of his flip-flops and if we list them here we'll be here all week.
  112. Andrew Kaczynski, "Rand Paul: I’m Only Polling Bad Because Trump Gets All The Attention", Buzzfeed.
  113. Rand Paul would trade shoes with Trump in a New York Minute. He's just pissed he didn't think up Trump's schtick first.
  114. Jim Newell, "Rand Paul’s Hail Mary", Slate. Newell: "Rand Paul’s presidential hopes mostly went out the window in mid-2014 when the Islamic State released videos of beheaded Americans. Those videos ended whatever post-Bush infighting existed within the Republican Party about the wisdom of rampant overseas intervention, and those videos prompted Paul to hedge. That hedging didn’t endear him to the hawks at all, though it did depress his libertarian fan base. The result was a dud of a campaign."
  115. Watch Rand Paul Bolt as an Immigration Activist Confronts Steve King, National Journal
  116. The GOP’s libertarian time bomb: Why “going Rand” would be an electoral disaster, Salon
  117. Killough, Ashley, "Rand Paul to CNN: 'I don't want to create panic' over Ebola", CNN (Updated 10/10/14 3:14 PM ET). "Doctor" Rand Paul: "They also say it can't be aerosolized...I think the virus can be suspended in cough particles."
  118. Peoples, Steve. Rick Perry first to exit 2016 Republican presidential race. Associated Press. 11 September 2015. Retrieved on 11 September 2015.
  119. Peters, Jeremy W. & Michael Barbaro, "Marco Rubio Suspends His Presidential Campaign", The New York Times, Accessed 15 March 2016
  120. Michael K., "A Vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties" (1.6.16.). "Since this election has become bitchier than a Real Housewives reunion, Ted Cruz’s communications director Rick Tyler threw a little shade at Marco’s magnificent boot game with one tweet...Rubio is 5’10” and Ted Cruz is 5’8″, so this shade is covered with a thick layer of pure jealousy."
  121. Perr, Jon, "Marco Rubio is no moderate", Daily Kos (2/0716 7:15 AM PST_.
  122. Nick Gass, "Marco Rubio schools Donald Trump on the nuclear triad" Politico. —though anyone looks thoughtful standing next to "Nuclear triad, I respect the power of the devastation."
  123. Mazzei, Patricia, "Marco Rubio: 'No problem' with Catholic Church on climate change but economy more important", Miami Herald (6/20/15 8:05 PM). ...—if only in the most circuitous, weasely, fingers-crossed-behind-my-back way.
  124. Rubio, "Securing America's Energy Future", National Review 1.1.15. "Secure", that's a nice word, very Frank Luntz.
  125. Eli Clifton, "Meet Marco Rubio's Far-Right Donors", The Nation.
  126. Lake, Eli, "Marco Rubio Really Loves Israel and Has Pictures to Prove It!", Daily Beast (02.21.13 1:30 PM ET).
  127. Purple, Matt, "Marco Rubio thinks we should risk World War III over a no-fly zone in Syria", Rare (10/13/15 7:05 am).
  128. Beinart, Pter, "Marco Rubio's Old-School Cuba Policy", The Atlantic 12.23.14.
  129. Coppins, McKay, "The Anxiety of Being Marco Rubio", Buzzfeed (02/09/16, 04:00 a.m.). Before deciding he wanted to be the most powerful man in the world, Rubio paralyzed himself with fear ... over whether or not to run for mayor of Dade County.
  130. Gass, Nick, "White House takes a shot at Rubio's voting record", Politico (01/08/16 03:03 PM EST). If he wins, the theme of the campaign becomes experience, and Clinton/the media will turn into "the Bobs" from Office Space and constantly ask "so what is it you'd say you do around here?"
  131. Choma, Russ, "Democrats Have Wasted No Time Trolling Marco Rubio for His Debate Malfunction", Mother Jones (2/7/16 10:48 AM EST). Anyone running against him in the future has all kinds of oppo research to use after this "campaign". (Funny how wingnuts talk constantly about liberals "ramming" things "down their throats", with "shoving" and "forcing" also making appearances.)
  132. "Marco Rubio Collapses to Fifth Place in NH", Daily Beast 2.10.16.
  133. Devaney, Tim, "Rubio: 'Gang of 8' immigration bill never meant to pass", The Hill (2.1516, 02:58 pm).
  134. New Poll Shows That Republicans Are Totally Screwed With Latino Voters, Business Insider
  135. Crouch, Ian, "Marco Rubio’s Water-Bottle Moment", The New Yorker 2.13.13.
  136. Gov. Scott Walker to blame for poor job growth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  137. [2]
  138. "Walker Suggests He May Sit Out Florida Primary", TIME.
  139. Zorn, Eric, "Taking the shine off Scott Walker's PateGate", Chicago Tribune (7/7/15 1:41pm.
  140. Gillespie, Nick, "Scott Walker's New Flip-Flop: He Now Supports Auto Bailouts?" Reason (5/8/15 7:57 am). Is that a Vaudevillian hook in the distance?
  141. Steve Peoples and Scott Bauer, "GOP Rivals Pile On Scott Walker's Flip-Flopping", TPM (3/14/15, 9:20 AM EDT).
  142. Scott Walker drops out of US 2016 presidential race. BBC. 21 September 2015. Retrieved on 21 September 2015.
  143. Jenna Johnson, Dan Balz, Robert Costa.Scott Walker suspending presidential campaign. Washington Post. 21 September 2015. Retrieved on 21 September 2015.
  144. John Bolton on Civil Rights, On The Issues
  145. Jon Huntsman won’t rule out 2016 run, but eyes sidelines for now, The Salt Lake Tribune
  146. Klett, Leah Marieann, "Sarah Palin Voices Support For Rand Paul, Says Republican Voters Are 'Idiots' for Marginalizing His Supporters"., The Gospel Herald 11.20.15. An idiot calling other idiots idiots. She just increased her chances of being "Doctor" Paul's vice president, you go barracuda.
  147. Alan Rappaport and Maggie Habermanjan, "Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump, Which Could Bolster Him in Iowa", NYT 1.19.16. Remember, Iowan Republicans picked Rick fucking Santorum last cycle. Palin is probably something of a national hero in their eyes.
  148. Quigley, Bernie, "Ted Cruz: The Sarah Palin phenomenon", The Hill (5/30/12 12:41 pm).
  149. Sullum, Jacob, "Sarah Palin Says Legal Pot Is 'Absolutely No Big Deal", Reason.11.20.15.
  150. "It’s a Bible devotional doohickey, but with all the lovey gay Jesus words crossed out and replaced with Reaganomics and the Second Amendment, available at all fine Amazon kiosks!"
  151. Topaz, Jonathan, "Pawlenty: GOP must back wage hike", Politico (04/30/14 07:42 AM EDT, Updated 04/30/14 10:00 AM EDT).
  152. "Pawlenty pardoned serial child molester so wife could open up day care center", Daily Kos (12/1/10, 11:08 AM PST).
  153. "Tim Pawlenty Is Pretty Sure Bank Of America's Taxes Are Too Damn High (They Are "Zero," Actually)", HuffPo.
  154. Bush-Portman ticket would be hard to beat, Clinton friend says, Tampa Bay Times
  155. Pro-Equality Repub Rob Portman Won't Seek Presidency, The Advocate
  156. Why 2016 May Be Mitt Romney’s Year, The New York Times
  157. Mitt Romney is top Republican contender for 2016, poll finds, The Guardian
  158. Nate Silver, "If Trump is the Problem, Mitt Romney Isn't the Solution", FiveThirtyEight.
  159. Magary, "Dammit Ted", GQ 5.4.16.
  160. Wright, David, "Poll: Trump, Clinton score historic unfavorable ratings", CNN (Updated 3/22/16 10:18 AM ET).
  161. Dana Bash and Abigail Crutchfield, "Lindsey Graham to fundraise for Ted Cruz's presidential bid", CNN (3/18/16, Updated 10:03 AM ET). Now, I know ya'll think I'm being a hypocrite, but it is St. Paddy's Day and I've more than a few mint juleps!
  162. Schliefer, Theodore, "Ted Cruz worry: Big South Carolina loss equals bad Super Tuesday", CNN (Updated 2/1916 4:05 PM ET). Erick Erickson: "I sense a real fear from people that if Trump blows everybody out of the water in South Carolina, that he is suddenly unstoppable."
  163. Katie Glueck and Shane Goldmacher, "Cruz stumbles with evangelical voters", Politico (02/20/16 09:25 PM EST, updated 02/20/16 09:49 PM EST).
  164. Hains, Tim, "Ben Carson Will Not Exit The Race: "Always The Possibility The People Could Awaken", Real Clear Politics 3.1.16. Carson will probably still be running in 2017.
  165. Andrew Prokop, "Marco Rubio's strategy is utterly baffling", Vox. He doesn't even have the ground game to get out the vote in Iowa or New Hampshire, and, erm, doesn't seem to think this is a problem? (Effectively, by giving the finger to Iowa, he's sending the message that you don't need to campaign; you just need a bunch of billionaires to back you up.)
  166. Butler, Brian, "Can Marco Rubio Win Anywhere?, New Republic 2.20.16.
  167. Frank, T.A., "Can Rubio Actually Win?", Vanity Fair (2/23/16 4:40 pm).
  168. Cohn, Nate, "Donald Trump Doesn’t Need High Vote Percentages to Pile Up Delegates", NYT 2.19.16.
  169. Michelle Conlin (4 March 2016). "Exclusive: Koch brothers will not use funds to try to block Trump nomination". Reuters.
  170. Hernandez, Daniel, "Sheldon Adelson Hints at Possible Support for Trump", The Guardian (3/16/16 15.22 EDT). Vegas mogul supports Atlantic City mogul? No way.
  171. Wang, Sam, "The GOP’s deadline problem", Princeton Election Consortium (2/11/16, 3:31pm).
  172. Jon Huntsman says 'something stinks' with Romney's (quasi) endorsement of Cruz in UT, 3.18.16 Tweet.
  173. Costa, Robert, "Mitt Romney met privately with William Kristol, who is leading the effort to draft an independent candidate", WaPo (5/6/16 8:07 pm).
  174. Milhauser, Ian, "The Brutal Delegate Math That Could Allow The GOP To Steal The Nomination From Trump", ThinkProgress (12/11/15 12:47 pm).
  175. Lee, MJ, "Rubio prepares for contested convention", CNN (2/25/16, Updated 5:51 PM ET). The idea of a brokered convention in 2016 is ridiculous all on its own.
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