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2016 Republican Party presidential nomination

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See the main article on this topic: 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Final results by delegate votes. The blue states are not a good thing, and they should honestly be orange.
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.
—Kalli Joy Gray[1]

The Republican race to retake the White House began in 2015, culminating in the 1968 Democratic[2] 2016 Republican National Convention clown show in Cleveland, Ohio. Time to buy stock in popcorn companies.[3][4]

The Republican Party isn't very smart and hasn't been for a long time,[citation NOT needed] but they don't need to be to achieve success. What they are good at is propaganda. In order to gain power, what they needed to do is section off 50%+1 of the electorate and get them voting for the GOP. The problem is this has left them extremely vulnerable to scam artists. That's why, in the last couple of elections, we've seen a couple of obvious hucksters rise to the top of the polls.[5][6] Because they have denigrated the media to such an extent, it's not a big step to simply say Fox News is now part of the mainstream media and can be ignored. Because they screamed about how bankrupt the "establishment" is, it's simple for a big part of their base to not only ignore their advice but go directly against it. Because they told us repeatedly that the government can never get anything done, they can't point to a candidate who has accomplished anything of worth and get their base to listen.[7] There was something of a perfect storm for Donald here. He could have been stopped at any point in the process if things had been just slightly different.

Is Trump any more outrageous than "death panels?" Were his remarks to that anchorwoman any more sexist than "legitimate rape"? Is his wall any less humane than "dig a big canal and electrify it!"[8] or "let's build a giant laser!"?[9] No, not particularly. Sprinkle on a little bit of "income tax is theft!" and even the Paulbots will be singing hosanas.[10]

This is the monster their collective Frankenstein created. Nothing matters. "Loud" wins. Honk honk.[note 1]

Elephant Graveyard[edit]

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: 71
Guac bowl merchant[11] Former Governor of Florida

Dropped out 20 February 2016

Advantages: Bog-standard Republican.[12] 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 welp.

Any route to a GOP presidency requires flipping Florida, which is turning blue by the hour.

In response to the Pope's laudato si, he expressed some concerns over capital punishment;[13] 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).

Able to eat a pretzel without choking to death.

Disadvantages: This particular branch includes wanting to abolish Medicare, climate change denial, school vouchers, the signing of "Stand Your Ground" into law, opposition to rapprochement with Cuba or Iran, opposition to same-sex marriage & abortion, etc.

Too soft on illegals for their taste. His tax plan would benefit the rich... but if it ain't a Flat Tax, these rednecks ain't buyin'.[14] He also has trouble getting his brother's people to side with him.[15][16][17]

Got clownstomped in every exchange with Trump.[18] Has 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.[19] 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).Even among Republicans, Bush vs Clinton 2: The Dynastying is not a thrilling prospect.[20]

Ben Carson by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Ben Carson
Age: 72
Retired neurosurgeon

Dropped out (in the most confusing way possible)[21] 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 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.[22][23][24]

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

Chris Christie 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Chris Christie
Age: 61
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 friends; how much more Republican can you get?[25]

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.[26]

A vanilla Republican on economic and environmental matters: no surprise, then, that the state is a budget crisis.[27][28]

Has a Nixonian level of vindictiveness: despite his re-election (which was a forgone conclusion), he cut funding/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 may have voted for his opponent".) Defended a hillbilly Governor after he had a paddy (or three).[29] He also sold 9/11 memorabilia as political favors for those who supported him?![30]

Chris, maybe you should lay off the bear-hugs for a while.[31][32]

Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Ted Cruz
Age: 53
Junior Senator from Texas

Dropped out 4 May 2016

Advantages: Consistently conservative from law school until now, unlike Donald.[33] 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.[34] Beloved by the deepest depths of the Religious Right (and Rick Perry's old donors).

Frenemies with Trump.[35] Weirdly, he's the only one who can get away with attacking Trump without looking petty.[36]

He correctly called out McConnells's hypocrisy on the Export-Import Bank, voted against the TPP, and is championing a European-style VAT plan.[37] One of the (selectively) more pro-science candidates.[38][39] A great speaker, and would be far and away the best debater if not for the "NO! I WANNA TALK NOW!" moment.

Disadvantages: The punchable face of the 2013 government shutdown, which he tried again in '15.[40] Any support he might reap with Latinos is offset by his immigration platform. Pissed off fellow Republicans with his lame-duck filibuster, costing them a dozen or so lifetime appointments.[41]

Made a disrespectful joke about Joe Biden days after Biden's son died of brain cancer(!).[42] Lacks any foresight whatsoever with his "New York Values" remark.[43] Tripping over his feet to make himself the most homophobic candidate.[44]

Apart from all that—um, nothing. He'd still be fine anywhere on the ticket.[45] Well, if he can even legally be president; there's no clear answer.[46] What a time to be alive.

Carly Fiorina at Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Oklahoma City, OK May 2015 by Michael Vadon 17.jpg
Carly FiorinaWikipedia
Age: 69

Dropped out 10 February 2016

Advantages: More proven appeal than Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin.[47][48] Likely running for Vice President or the cabinet, since she's not wingnutty enough to win the nomination. A feminist who is anti-abortion.[49]

Ancap pinup girl: Opposes the minimum wage,[50] blames the recession on "federal workers watching porn all day long",[51] and wants to reduce the tax code to four pages.[52] 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[53] will help her crush House Plantagenet.[No, not The Onion] Walks a fine line of calling for a corporate coup d'état.[54] She's clearly trying to leverage her job experience from ten years ago into some kind of cyber-security angle: As HP chairman she was too busy fighting terrorists (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.[55] Sold shit to Iran back when it was still illegal.[56]

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![57] 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.[58]

The "fetus brain-harvesting" meme is falling flat, and that's the only thing she was hanging her hat on.[59] 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 GilmoreWikipedia
Age: 74
former Governor of Virginia

Dropped out February 2016

Advantages: Former Republican National Committee boss and Dubya waterboy. A paid commentator on Faux News. He's also on the NRA Board of Directors[60] At least admits climate change exists.[61] 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.[62] 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.[63] 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.[64] Doesn't think that climate change is anthropogenic, and essentially argues against taking action even if it is.[61] Received fewer votes than Vermin Supreme in the New Hampshire primary.
Lindsey Graham, official Senate photo portrait, 2006.jpg
Lindsey GrahamWikipedia
Age: 69
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.[65]

Remarkably sane on pretty much everything not involving foreign policy.[note 2] We're gonna miss ya at the Kids' Table debates.

Disadvantages: His problem was the reverse of Trump's: Whilst his moderate platform would have won more voters, it excommunicated him from the Tea Party. 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.[66]

Mike Huckabee by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Mike Huckabee
Age: 68
Former Governor of Arkansas

Dropped out 1 February 2016

Advantages: He's 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.

Once offered Stephen Colbert the Vice Presidency if elected.

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.[67] 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: 53
Governor of Louisiana

Dropped out 17 November 2015.[68]

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: Those aforementioned wingnut credentials: e.g. claiming to have wrestled demons, injecting creationism in biology classes, obsession with abortion, spewing Islamophobic nonsense, being to the right of Fox News, thinking he's white(?). Sure, it may play to (some) primary voters, but not in a final contest vs. the Democrats. Pulled a flip-flop on the Common Core standards, so now 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. His biggest regret was failing to eliminate Louisiana's income tax entirely.

Governor of Ohio John Kasich at New Hampshire Education Summit The Seventy-Four August 19th, 2015 by Michael Vadon 08.jpg
John Kasich
Age: 72
Governor of Ohio

Dropped out 4 May 2016[69]

Advantages: A "popular"[note 3] 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 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.

Gets true believer points for rejecting federal rail funding for his state (the prick),[70] enacting "voter ID" law, deregulating charter schooling, costing Ohio five abortion centers in the last two years due to his fucking nonsense,[71] lowering training hours for gun owners from 8 hours to 2, promising a new ground war against ISIS...all this still wasn't enough to appease the wingnut gods?

Great running mate material; perfect for fading into the background and showing up at funerals.

Disadvantages: Huntsman Reloaded.[7][72] Bucked the party line too many times for the base to seriously consider him, like accepting the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.[73][74] Tried to break the unions à la Wisconsin, but backed off when approval ratings plummeted.

Voters might be wising up to the empty promises of Reaganomics, which he is touting. Also, he was managing director of Lehman Brothers'Wikipedia Ohio division when it collapsed in the Panic of 2008.

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

Muttered about the need for a new "agency" to "promote Judeo-Christian Values" in the mideast.[75] (So much for rising above the Stupids.)

Haw geez, 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 PatakiWikipedia
Age: 79
Former Governor of New York

Dropped out 29 December 2015

Advantages: Pataki polled 2.5 million votes statewide in 2002 compared to Hillary's 3 million in 2006. 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. Claims to be a "Republican following in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt" who believes in "preserving and enhancing the outdoors."[76] (If he really meant it about following in Teddy's tradition, we'd be thrilled: that guy bashed corporations and pulled for universal health care.) Was governor during 9/11, if anyone cares. If a Democrat wins the White House, he could be a shoo-in for a Cabinet position.

Thinks the federal workforce can be cut 15%.[77]

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: 61
Junior Senator from Kentucky

Dropped out 3 February 2016

Advantages: Strongly identifies with the Tea Party. Lots of media attention. Criticized mandatory minimum sentences and mass incarceration. Polls surprisingly well with black Americans.[78] Three-time darling of the CPAC conference. Makes up his own polls and headlines.[79]
Disadvantages: Stole his speeches from Wikipedia[80] 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 Ron Paul's racism, you'll like Donald Trump's policies even better![81] Previously thought to be a mere clone of his father, but his pathetic tailcoat-riding behind Trump (Hey guise, look at me! I can be a proto-fascist too!)[82][83] 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'.[84] Big business balks at his opposition to corporate subsidies, literally running away (!) from DREAMers,[85] 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 seppuku.[86]

Bullshitter extraordinaire during the Ebola panic.[87]

Looks creepily like Lee Harvey Oswald.

Rick Perry.jpg
Rick Perry
Age: 74
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 and wears his stupidity like a medal, so he probably has the Texas vote locked up. He can produce a spoiler effect 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.[88]
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Marco Rubio
Age: 53
Junior Senator from Florida
Dropped out 15 March 2016[89]
Advantages: A rising young star of mixed race—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.

His schooling of Trump on the nuke issue got him high points.[90]

Kinda-sorta acknowledged the existence of man-made climate change in response to the Pope's Laudato Si.[91] (Too rational?) He also wants to devolve energy regulation to the states! (Phew!)[92]

Disadvantages: With actual neocons in his pocket,[93] Rubio is the most hawkish Republican in this race: he wants another round of trickle-down tax cuts (but it's O.K. because his father was a bartender),[94] and to "rebuild" America's military (?), opposes the Iran deal, loves him some Bibi, wants a no-fly zone in Syria, and welcomes a war with Putin.[95][96] Bragged about wanting to overthrow Castro and become President of Cuba in his youth, chico.[97]

To be honest, Republicans are a little relieved that they didn't get Marco "Preggers with Zika should be jailed" Rubio.[98]

His entire adult life has been about half-assing the opportunities that are handed to him.[99][100] Riding high from his 3rd place finish in Iowa, Marco Roboto repeated the same sentence four times in the same debate, even after Lovitz Christie called him on it.[101][102]

Some mild and overt racism are certainly in play: The Hateful Eight will be an albatross,[103] and he's actually unpopular with Hispanics overall.[104] And look at the fear in his eyes...[105]

Rick Santorum official photo.jpg
Rick Santorum
Age: 65
Former Pennsylvania Senator

Dropped out 3 February 2016

Advantages: First runner up in the last primary, and conservative voters have a habit of going for the next-in-line. Has the machinery in place, including the 150,000 strong "Patriot Voices". 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, he appeals to blue-collar union households.
Disadvantages: Besides being Rick Santorum? 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: 56
Governor of Wisconsin

Dropped out 21 September 2015

Advantages: Destroyed collective bargaining in Wisconsin, making 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.[106] 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 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: Won three elections with record low turnout, outright wrecked his state's economy...The usual stuff.[107]

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. This man actually attributed his male-pattern baldness to bumping his head.[108] Has no college degree, an achievement not seen since Harry Truman! He also, recklessly and without much of a reason, decided to skip the all-important Florida primary if he runs.[109]

"My view has changed. I'm flat out saying it. Candidates can say that."[110][111] Donors began to waver, his war chest dried up, and his approval rating went to 0.5 percent. He became the second to drop out of the race.[112][113]

Dodged the bullet[edit]

Looked like they were going to run, but declined.

John Bolton by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John BoltonWikipedia
Age: 75
Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Advantages: Neocons will 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.[114]

Disadvantages: Has a mustache.[115] Apparently, Trump turned him down for a cabinet post because he won't shave it.[No, not The Onion]

Appetite for war 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 4]

Robert ehrlich speaking at healthierUS summit cropped.jpg
Bob EhrlichWikipedia
Age: 66
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 5]
Jon Huntsman by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jon Huntsman
Age: 64
Former Ambassador to Singapore/China and Governor of Utah
Advantages: Current spot as chairman of the Atlantic Council caps an excellent career in diplomacy under Bush 41 and Obama. An honest-to-god pro-gay marriage and pro-climate conservative. Increasingly disillusioned with the direction of the GOP (he plans to "re-infuse it with the ideals of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower" and even threatened to start a third party),[116] 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 millions billions will always make him an easy target. Passed abortion restrictions and a flat tax in Utah. So much for his "only sane man" image.
Dennis Michael Lynch 2015.jpg
Dennis Michael LynchWikipedia
Age: 54
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: 60
Former Governor of Alaska
Advantages: What candidate wouldn't want the highly-coveted Palin endorsement? Sarah, who puts the "rat" in desperate, also came out in support of pot legalization and /r/libertarian went nuts.[117] 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.[118] 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 PawlentyWikipedia
Age: 63
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[119]—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 day care center (?!).[120] 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.[121] (Romney advisor, bank lobbyist... what's the difference?) "Retired" from political life in early 2015, as if that wasn't already decided 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: 68
Junior Senator from Ohio
Advantages: Has 15+ years in Congress, bipartisan, 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.[122]
Disadvantages: The first sitting Republican Senator (if you exclude Lincoln Chaffee) to openly support same-sex marriage. Why are there tumbleweeds on the horizon?[123]
Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 7.jpg
Mitt Romney
Age: 77
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Bowed out Jan 2015.

Advantages: Effectively the "In Case of Emergency, Break Glass" candidate: in the event of a brokered convention, expect fierce pressure by the RNC to draft him yet again.[124] (As of November 2014, 20% of the party believes he deserves another shot.)[125] 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.
Disadvantages: Everything that made him lose to Barack Obama in 2012.[126] 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 the "Massachusetts moderate".

The bitter, grumbling millionaire to Trump's unfettered, fanciful billionaire.[note 6] If you asked him if he wanted tea with lemon he'd say well we need to consider the potential ramifications of what this lemon 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 tea of immense importance.

Only two politicians have successfully become POTUS after previously losing a general election, and in both cases conceded in squeakers,[note 7] not by 4% of the popular vote.

Woolly Mammoth[edit]

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 FellureWikipedia
Age: 92
Perennial candidate from West Virginia
Advantages: Actual veteran of the Korean War (!)

Michael RookerWikipedia lookalike.

The party's 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.

GOP primary polls[edit]

"We're not going to have a circus."[127]
I sense a real fear from people that if Trump blows everybody out of the water in South Carolina, that he is suddenly unstoppable.
Erick Erickson[128]

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.

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 Clinton.[129] 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,[130] even if it means they lose the election:

  • Super Tuesday: It's not even a close primary. Trump is beating Rubio in his own state by like 30 points. Cruz has pockets of support in a few states. Cruz couldn't even win South Carolina with no evangelical competition, so he isn't going anywhere. (Don't blame Carson, he barely got any votes; Carolinians would rather throw their vote away than vote for Cruz.)[131]
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."[132]
Rubio was clearly the establishment pick and had been for a while. Then he choked. Bad.[133][134] He collapsed to 5th in NH, losing to Jeb of all people. He is leading nowhere and the math looks bad for him. 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?[135][136] How ironic that Kasich could win Ohio and Cruz win Texas, yet Rubio can't even win Florida.
  • Presumptive nominee: The Prisoner's Dilemma between Rubio and Kasich is 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!)[137]
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.[138] Even if the establishment lined up behind Kasich, he'd come to the convention with 1 state and a small fraction of the delegates.[139] Years from now Kasich is going to be like Salieri from Amadeus ranting about how God chose Mozart over him.
Trump is doing just as well (or slightly better) than McCain and Mitt 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 donors are beginning to coalesce around Donald, as well.[140][141]

Facepalms reverberate throughout RNC[edit]

The GOP didn't just "shoot itself in the foot". They stuck a shotgun down their trousers and pulled the trigger twice.

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.[142] The RNC introduced the "winner-takes-all" states to 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 when he gets there, hand it to Rubio Romney? Cruz Kasich Jeb Bush for ultimate irony please GOP make it happen Romney,[143][144] and take their chances with Trump running as an independent.[145] 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.[146] 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 upside, the GOP obliterating itself on national TV is going to send ratings through the stratosphere.

Primaries/Caucuses won thus far[edit]

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

External links[edit]


See also[edit]


  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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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


  1. "Terror, Terror, Terror, Donald Trump, And Terror: Your GOP Mainstage Debate Liveblog", Wonkette.
  2. Waldman, Paul "Trump is Running the Most Explicitly Racist Campaign Since 1968", The Week 11.25.15.
  3. Brace yourself. The 2016 Republican field is going to be HUGE, Washington Post (*pats back* We know. We know.)
  4. GOP Field Hasn’t Been This Split in 40 Years, FiveThirtyEight
  5. Drew Magary, "Down With Career Presidential Candidates", GQ.
  6. Kenneth P. Vogel, "The rise of 'scam PACs'", Politico.
  7. 7.0 7.1 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."
  8. Daniel Berger, Emily Samsel and Alicia Maule, "Who’s scarier: GOP Rep. Steve King or horror writer Stephen King?", MSNBC.
  9. Steve Benen, "GOP congressional candidate eyes ‘laser’ attacks at border", MSNBC.
  10. Ben Casselman, "Donald Trump Wants To Eliminate Income Taxes For 31 Million Americans", FiveThirtyEight.
  11. REVEALED AT LAST: Bush's Secret Guacamole Recipe — The Times published a guac recipe which included peas in addition to avocado. Jeb! was quick to go on record that peas do not belong in guacamole, and it became a sort of joke which he embraced by selling guac bowls to fund his campaign.
  12. Jeb Bush, On the Issues (Including the school vouchers.)
  13. Haberman, Maggie, "Jeb Bush Says He Was Unaware of Rubio PowerPoint Deck", NYT
  14. Matthews, Dylan, "Jeb Bush's tax plan, explained", Vox (9/815, 9:42 p.m. ET).
  15. Jeb's own mother, Barbara Bush, told Today that America has "had enough Bushes". Ouch.
  16. Baker, Peter, "Jeb Bush Faces Challenge in Winning Over Brother’s Team", New York Times.
  17. 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."
  18. LoGiurato, Brett, "TRUMP: Here's the backstory on my 'low-energy' takedown of Jeb Bush", Business Insider (11.19.15, 12:08 PM).
  19. 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.
  20. "Bush and Clinton: The Fading Dynasty Candidates", Free Republic.
  21. Easley, Jason, "Carson stays true to his brand of vague crazy until the very end", Politicus (3/2/16 at 3:15 pm).
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. Crissy Millazzo, "Ben Carson's Advisers Terrified of His Presidency", Complex.
  25. Augustein, Seth, "Christie Signs Law Greenlighting Sales of Public Water Systems", (2/5/15 2:25 PM, updated 5:34 PM).
  26. Reeve, Elspeth, "Donald Trump Stole Chris Christie’s Brand", New Republic 6.30.15.
  27. Chris Christie’s Greatest Weakness, Politico
  28. 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).
  29. Michael Warren, Christie stands by backer LePage after “white girls” comment, MSNBC.
  30. "Christie Turned Twin Towers Wreckage Into “Politically Motivated Gifts”", Phillymag
  31. Heinze, Christian, "Christie's Obama Problem", The Hill (11/14/12, 10:00 am).
  32. 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).
  33. "Everybody Hates Ted: Study Finds Facebook Users Almost Unanimously Dislike Cruz"
  34. 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.)
  35. Mark Hensch, "Trump names Cruz when asked about VP spot", The Hill. Can you imagine a cabinet filled with that brain trust? Toss in Palin to complete the joke.
  36. Schilling, Terry, "Did Cruz Finally 'Stump the Trump'?", The Pulse 1.15.16.
  37. Matthews, Chris, "The European Tax Plan Republicans Love", Fortune (11/10/15 11:44 PM EST).
  39. [1] (Although he goes on to call climate change anti-science in the same breath).
  40. Hartmann, Margaret, "Fellow Senators Have Had It With Ted Cruz and His Government Shutdown", New York Magazine 9.28.15.
  41. Block, Ryan, "Did Ted Cruz really bungle the lame-duck session for Republicans?", Washington Examiner 12.17.14.
  42. Facebook status update 6.3.15.
  43. Guttman, Nathan, "Ted Cruz Seeks To Put ‘New York Values’ Slur Behind Him With Speech to GOP Jews", Forward 4.10.16.
  44. 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).
  45. How low would they go? One consultant says "a dozen" states. (For an idea of how that looks like...)
  46. Contorno, Steve, "Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president? (Updated)", PolitiFact, (3/26/15 4:31 p.m. ).
  47. 2015 CPAC straw poll results, The Washington Times, Saturday, February 28, 2015.
  48. Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field, CNN
  50. Roller, Emma, "Carly Fiorina: Raising the Minimum Wage Will Lead to ‘Less Opportunity’", National Journal 1.14.16.
  51. 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).
  52. Garver, Rob, "Fionrina's 3-Pag Tax Code Could Get Awfully Complicated", The Fiscal Times 11.13.15.
  53. Jordyn Phelps, "Fiorina's Medieval History Degree Will Help Her Defeat Isis", ABC.
  54. Ben Kamisar, "'Fiorina: US is 'woefully behind' in tech war on terror", The Hill.
  55. 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.
  56. West, Tara, "Carly Fiorina Was CEO Of HP When They Violated U.S.-Iran Sanctions, Sold Printers To Iran", Inqusitur, 9.20.15.
  57. 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"
  58. 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!
  59. Feldman, Josh, "Chuck Todd to Fiorina: Haven’t You ‘Exaggerated’ Planned Parenthood Video?", Mediate, 9.27.15
  60. Jim Gilmore: Celebration of American Values. 21 September 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2015. (Warning: This smarmy website may induce fits.)
  61. 61.0 61.1 Jim Gilmore on Climate Change - Official Campaign Website.
  63. November 2008 Official Results, US Senate. Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  64. Statement From Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  65. Rand, Lindsey & George (Pataki), Rich Galen, Jun 01, 2015.
  66. Stern, Mark Joseph, "Are Rumors About Lindsey Graham’s Sexuality Hurting His Presidential Chances?", Slate (6.15.15 8:30 AM).
  67. Pengelly, Martin, "Huckabee defends claim that Iran deal will 'march Israelis to oven door' ", The Guardian 7.26.15.
  68. Rafferty, Andrew. Bobby Jindal Ends 2016 Presidential Campaign. NBC News. 17 November 2015. Retrieved on 17 November 2015.
  69. jJohn Kasich Drops Out of Presidential Race New York Times
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. Picket, Kerry, "Kasich: No Regrets Over Medicaid Expansion", The Daily Caller 6.19.15.
  74. Ball, Molly, "What John Kasich Believes", The Atlantic 7.21.15.
  75. 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.
  76. George Pataki to announce presidential bid Thursday
  77. as if that were possible.
  78. Just wait until they hear about his comments about the Civil Rights Act.
  79. 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.
  80. Arturo Garcia, Jon Stewart mocks Paul’s assertion that “98 percent” of his speeches are off-the-cuff", Raw Story.
  81. "Trump Goes After Rand Paul's Followers", Washington Examiner.
  82. Andrew Kaczynski, "Rand Paul: I’m Only Polling Bad Because Trump Gets All The Attention", Buzzfeed.
  83. 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.
  84. 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."
  85. Watch Rand Paul Bolt as an Immigration Activist Confronts Steve King, National Journal
  86. The GOP’s libertarian time bomb: Why “going Rand” would be an electoral disaster, Salon
  87. 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."
  88. Peoples, Steve. Rick Perry first to exit 2016 Republican presidential race. Associated Press. 11 September 2015. Retrieved on 11 September 2015.
  89. Peters, Jeremy W. & Michael Barbaro, "Marco Rubio Suspends His Presidential Campaign", The New York Times, Accessed 15 March 2016
  90. 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."
  91. 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.
  92. Rubio, "Securing America's Energy Future", National Review 1.1.15. "Secure", that's a nice word, very Frank Luntz.
  93. Eli Clifton, "Meet Marco Rubio's Far-Right Donors", The Nation.
  94. Benen, Steve, "Rubio goes all in on trickle-down economics", MSNBC (08/28/15 at 11:26 AM, updated 08/28/15 at 11:58 AM).
  95. Lake, Eli, "Marco Rubio Really Loves Israel and Has Pictures to Prove It!", Daily Beast (02.21.13 1:30 PM ET).
  96. 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).
  97. Beinart, Peter, "Marco Rubio's Old-School Cuba Policy", The Atlantic 12.23.14.
  98. Caputo, Marco, "Rubio: No abortions for Zika-infected women", Politico (08/06/16 03:54 PM EDT).
  99. 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.
  100. Gass, Nick, "White House takes a shot at Rubio's voting record", Politico (01/08/16 03:03 PM EST). Has an interesting defense against "flip-flops": He...just doesn't show up for votes?
  101. Choma, Russ, "Democrats Have Wasted No Time Trolling Marco Rubio for His Debate Malfunction", Mother Jones (2/7/16 10:48 AM EST). Funny how wingnuts talk constantly about liberals "ramming" things "down their throats", with "shoving" and "forcing" also making appearances.
  102. "Marco Rubio Collapses to Fifth Place in NH", Daily Beast 2.10.16.
  103. Devaney, Tim, "Rubio: 'Gang of 8' immigration bill never meant to pass", The Hill (2.1516, 02:58 pm).
  104. New Poll Shows That Republicans Are Totally Screwed With Latino Voters, Business Insider
  105. Crouch, Ian, "Marco Rubio’s Water-Bottle Moment", The New Yorker 2.13.13.
  106. Gov. Scott Walker to blame for poor job growth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  107. [2]
  108. Zorn, Eric, "Taking the shine off Scott Walker's PateGate", Chicago Tribune (7/7/15 1:41pm.
  109. "Walker Suggests He May Sit Out Florida Primary", TIME.
  110. 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?
  111. Steve Peoples and Scott Bauer, "GOP Rivals Pile On Scott Walker's Flip-Flopping", TPM (3/14/15, 9:20 AM EDT).
  112. Scott Walker drops out of US 2016 presidential race. BBC. 21 September 2015. Retrieved on 21 September 2015.
  113. Jenna Johnson, Dan Balz, Robert Costa.Scott Walker suspending presidential campaign. Washington Post. 21 September 2015. Retrieved on 21 September 2015.
  114. John Bolton on Civil Rights, On The Issues
  115. Sheffer, Lyon, "Trump thinks a mustache disqualifies you from office. So do a lot of voters.", WaPo 12.21.16.
  116. Jon Huntsman won’t rule out 2016 run, but eyes sidelines for now, The Salt Lake Tribune
  117. Sullum, Jacob, "Sarah Palin Says Legal Pot Is 'Absolutely No Big Deal", Reason.11.20.15.
  118. "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!"
  119. Topaz, Jonathan, "Pawlenty: GOP must back wage hike", Politico (04/30/14 07:42 AM EDT, Updated 04/30/14 10:00 AM EDT).
  120. "Pawlenty pardoned serial child molester so wife could open up day care center", Daily Kos (12/1/10, 11:08 AM PST).
  121. "Tim Pawlenty Is Pretty Sure Bank Of America's Taxes Are Too Damn High (They Are "Zero," Actually)", HuffPo.
  122. Bush-Portman ticket would be hard to beat, Clinton friend says, Tampa Bay Times
  123. Pro-Equality Repub Rob Portman Won't Seek Presidency, The Advocate
  124. Why 2016 May Be Mitt Romney’s Year, The New York Times
  125. Mitt Romney is top Republican contender for 2016, poll finds, The Guardian
  126. Nate Silver, "If Trump is the Problem, Mitt Romney Isn't the Solution", FiveThirtyEight.
  127. 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.
  128. Schliefer, Theodore, "Ted Cruz worry: Big South Carolina loss equals bad Super Tuesday", CNN (Updated 2/1916 4:05 PM ET). Erick Erickson: "
  129. Cillizza, Chris, "Hillary Clinton has a likability problem. Donald Trump has a likability epidemic.", WaPo 5.16.16. It was just poor luck that Bush I drew Clinton as an opponent, and it's poor luck that Clinton II has drawn Trump.
  130. 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!
  131. 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).
  132. 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.
  133. Levitz, Eric, "Marco Rubio Suggests That Donald Trump Has Smaller Than Average Genitals", NY Magazine (2/29/2016 at 10:14 a.m.). 2016: The year we saw presidential candidates talking about their genitalia on live TV. Ol' LBJ would've shed a dick-shaped tear of joy.
  134. Robinson, Edward, "Rubio's Revealing Loop", RCP 2.9.16. Rubio: "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing." GOP: Put a cork in it, Zane!
  135. Andrew Prokop, "Marco Rubio's strategy is utterly baffling", Vox.
  136. Butler, Brian, "Can Marco Rubio Win Anywhere?, New Republic 2.20.16.
  137. Frank, T.A., "Can Rubio Actually Win?", Vanity Fair (2/23/16 4:40 pm).
  138. Cohn, Nate, "Donald Trump Doesn’t Need High Vote Percentages to Pile Up Delegates", NYT 2.19.16.
  139. Koenig, Kailani, "Kasich Says Ohio Victory Will Take Him to Convention Fight", NBC (Mar 3 2016, 6:15 pm ET).
  140. Michelle Conlin (4 March 2016). "Exclusive: Koch brothers will not use funds to try to block Trump nomination". Reuters.
  141. 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.
  142. Wang, Sam, "The GOP’s deadline problem", Princeton Election Consortium (2/11/16, 3:31pm).
  143. Jon Huntsman says 'something stinks' with Romney's (quasi) endorsement of Cruz in UT, 3.18.16 Tweet.
  144. 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).
  145. Milhauser, Ian, "The Brutal Delegate Math That Could Allow The GOP To Steal The Nomination From Trump", ThinkProgress (12/11/15 12:47 pm).
  146. 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.