HUMAN EVENTS: Trump’s dominating performance in Iowa should end the farcical GOP “primary”
Donald J. Trump will be the Republican nominee for president of the United States.
After this week’s Iowa caucuses, this should be obvious to everyone with a pulse and the ability to do basic math. Prior to Trump’s 2024 victory, the record margin that a winning Republican candidate in Iowa had achieved over their nearest competitor was Bob Dole’s crushing 13-point defeat of Pat Robertson in 1988, which left then-Vice President George W. Bush in the dust by 18 points. Since Bush was, indeed, the eventual nominee in 1988 (and eventual president-elect), an extremely generous observer might be inclined to think that if Trump had defeated his nearest competitor by 18 points or less, then it might be historically conceivable that he was beatable.
However, Trump did not defeat his nearest competition – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – by 18 points or less. He beat him by nearly 30; a margin so crushing that even the Associated Press was forced to call the race for Trump just barely over a half an hour after the caucuses began, much to the consternation of Governor DeSantis. And unlike the late Senator Dole, who even with his record victory took only 37 percent of Iowa’s voters, President Trump took 51 percent of them: an absolute majority, unbeatable even if you were to add the votes of all his competitors together. In short, even if this had been the “two-person race” that #NeverTrumpers fervently hoped would materialize between President Trump and their puppet of choice, Trump still would have won.
Not that that is likely to happen anytime soon because, speaking of Trump’s competitors, one of them, at least, seems to have gotten the message. Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who finished fourth in Monday’s race with 7.7 percent of the vote, announced that he was suspending his campaign once the results came in. And, as if to complicate the #NeverTrump bitter ender project even more, Ramaswamy took the occasion to endorse – who else — President Trump. If we were to be absurdly conservative and say that this pushed only half of Ramaswamy’s national support into Trump’s column, then to judge by the two most recent polls, Trump would be looking at just over 70 percent support from Republicans nationwide. And as for New Hampshire and South Carolina? Judging by the RealClearPolitics polling averages, with Ramaswamy’s endorsement, Trump would be looking at just under 50 percent support in New Hampshire, and well over 50 percent in South Carolina.
In short, the only one primary contest where it would be even conceivable that a competitor could beat Trump would be New Hampshire, which would require that either Governor DeSantis or former Ambassador Nikki Haley drop out and endorse the other, who would then (somehow) have to get all 100 percent of their former competitor’s supporters, with zero defections to Trump. Even if relations between the two challengers were completely cordial, this would be almost impossible; given that they’ve been snarling at each other in the debates like a pair of rabid cats, it’s almost inconceivable. But hey, maybe we’re being too dismissive. After all, no one actually watched the debates, right?
We don’t mean to sound flippant; it’s just that any serious attempt to justify the mathematical viability of either of these candidates relies on so much wishful thinking that it inevitably descends into the realm of unintentional standup comedy. And really, that’s because we’ve all seen this movie before in 2016. No, we don’t mean the actual primary; Trump actually did face serious competition from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during that, at least early on. No, we mean the #NeverTrump reaction once it became clear that Trump was mathematically destined for the nomination, which happened shortly after Sen. Cruz was forced to suspend his campaign in the wake of his failed last-ditch effort in Indiana.
Oh, yeah. With apologies to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it’s time to bust out the old ‘member berries.
Remember Bill Kristol trying to get Mitt Romney (try to contain your laughter) to run for President on a third party ticket and beat both Trump and the Democrat?
Remember how they tried to get David French (no, seriously, stop laughing) to run for president when Romney and every other person with a record said no?
Remember Evan McMullin (fine, laugh all you want) actually doing it, only to end up so irrelevant that he finished below Gary Johnson?
And as for when Trump actually won, well, remember Stand Up Republic? Remember McMullin tweeting that it was the duty of unelected intelligence officials to force elected presidents from office? Remember #NeverTrump praising James Comey for illegally leaking classified information in order to force the appointment of a special counsel? Remember how #NeverTrump did all this just because they couldn’t handle the fact that a candidate they didn’t like or trust had actually won the nomination of their party (something everyone else had been putting up with for decades), and were so desperate to prove they were still in charge that they helped the Left to actually threaten democracy? Remember?
Yeah, we remember. If it was desperate, delusional, and pathetic back then (which it was), then it’s indescribable now. And fortunately, the problem that was only slightly obvious in 2016 is now glaringly obvious: the math just doesn’t work. Neither Nikki Haley nor Ron DeSantis has any remotely realistic path to victory. But that doesn’t matter to the #NeverTrump donor class who’re still donating to them. For that little cosseted country club, it’s worth wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the kind of smirking mediocrity who could no more win against the Left than she could name which three provinces of Ukraine she’d like to invade. #NeverTrump’s pitch, at this point, can be reduced to a few well-chosen lines from Metallica: “Can’t the band play on? Just listen, they play my song. Ash to ash. Dust to dust. Fade to black.”
So they will go on fading, while they shovel fortunes that could actually help save America into making their corrupt, birdbrained little tin Goddess dance. And you know what? We mourn that they are wasting precious resources. We deplore the cynicism and cruelty of the “birdbrain” who is using their delusions of relevance to feather her own corrupt nest. But if they want to go on feathering that nest and clipping their own wings? Well, we can’t stop them.
Except, of course, at the ballot box, as President Trump just did in Iowa.