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Unintended consequence: GOP donor-class may hand Florida to Trump

Unintended consequence: GOP donor-class may hand Florida to Trump

Winner-take-all primary: Will Trump sneak through with plurality while Jeb and Rubio split the “home” vote?

Early in the 2016 cycle, the Republican establishment pushed Marco Rubio aside in Florida and put its money and support behind Jeb Bush. That decision has created a scenario which could rob both candidates of the state’s highly coveted delegates.

Jim Newell of Slate reported:

Has the Republican Establishment Created a Monster?

Last fall, when Jeb Bush was still mulling a bid for the presidency, Bloomberg Politics reported on what was considered then—and is still considered now—Bush’s greatest advantage as a presidential candidate: His ability to separate wealthy donors from vast sums of money quickly. “Unlike his competitors,” the thinking went, “Bush could lure donors off the fence in a hurry, without undergoing a hazing trial to test skill and stability.”

That is precisely what happened. Instants after announcing over the winter that he was “seriously considering the possibility of running for president,” Bush and his team set up the Right to Rise PAC and super PAC to serve as cash receptacles for eager GOP establishment donors. The money rolled in, and by July the super PAC announced that it had met its goal of raising more than $100 million in the first six months of the year.

Now that it’s becoming clear that Bush is in the doldrums, it might be too late for Rubio:

Rubio’s problem—and perhaps soon a problem for the GOP establishment and the Republican Party writ large—is that Bush will face no financial pressure to leave the scene. These donors made the mistake of paying the contractor in full before he’d begun the job. In no way can Bush be ruled out as the nominee. But we’re definitely at the point where he cannot simply wait for the other candidates to cancel each other out, McCain-style, and have their support matriculate to him as the only acceptable option.

The possible winner in all of this? Donald Trump. A new poll already shows Trump leading in the state but the rules established by the Republican Party are the real kicker.

Back in May, Eli Stokols of Politico reported:

Florida quietly sets up an epic 2016 primary clash

The campaign for the Republican presidential nomination may have a new expiration date: March 15.

That’s when Florida holds its primary contest — which will now be winner-take-all.

The state’s Republican Party quietly approved the new delegate allocation rules Saturday night, while the political world’s attention was focused on Iowa and the 11 Republican presidential hopefuls stumping there.

But the Florida decision, another attempt by the state GOP to boost the Sunshine State’s relevance in the party’s nomination process, is the far more consequential event because of the size of the prize: 99 delegates. It could even turn Florida’s primary into a climactic battle between two native sons, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

“The winner-take-all nature of this gives them the inside track, but it also raises the stakes,” said Brian Ballard, a Tallahassee-based Republican operative. “Whoever wins that one moves on, but I think it probably eliminates the other one.”

What that means is that Jeb and Rubio could essentially cancel each other out and hand all of Florida’s delegates to Donald Trump who seems to genuinely enjoy taking the fight to Jeb.

Welcome to the law of unintended consequences.

Featured image via YouTube.


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“Has the Republican Establishment Created a Monster?”

Yes. Several. That seems to be their forte.

They should stop. Now. But if past is prologue…

    Exiliado in reply to Ragspierre. | September 6, 2015 at 11:07 am

    You beat me to it.

    Democrats churn out their fare share. If this is our future – God help us all. I imagine the media is loving this charade and pushing hard for Trump to emerge the victor.

    Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | September 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Oh, please.

    People with good sense understand that Slate and Politico do not want what is best for the GOP. They want to sow discord and hurt us, and every single article they publish is aimed at doing just that.

    With two Florida candidates, sure, the state could split – IF they are both still in it by the March 15 vote. More than a dozen other states will have already voted before Florida, and experience shows most of the field will be out by then.

    They won’t. They’re no less deluded – and corrupt – as the democRats.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 6, 2015 at 10:51 am

Can the Florida GOP call another meeting before the primary/caucus and change the rules about how delegates are awarded again?

    Unlikely, since they had their “delegate allocation” more like what you are suggested EARLIER…then switched to “winner take all” per the GOP rules (refer to document linked at The Conservative Treehouse series.


“Last fall, when Jeb Bush was still mulling a bid for the presidency,…”

Hard to keep reading when confronted with such a lie. Jeb Bush has been planning to be U. S. president since before W.

    Valerie in reply to betty. | September 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Jeb Bush had presidential ambitions for a very long time. We all know this. However, he was semi-publicly considering the run in 2016 at that time. This was not a lie.

    If you have lost your perspective so severely already, God help you in the coming months.

The money people may have chosen their favorite candidate but that money won’t be effective against voter anger at the establishment crowd. Too much of the wrong kind of money is in politics.

    Radegunda in reply to showtime8. | September 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Is Trump’s personal wealth the right kind of money to be in politics? Is the new rule of political virtue that one should be a billionaire so that one “can’t be bought”?

    Does it matter that Trump’s money was gotten partly by buying favors for himself from politicians, especially from Democrats? And by using eminent domain to kick little people out of their homes and small businesses?

    It’s surreal to see so many people describing Donald Trump as the most authentic and trustworthy spokesman for average (conservative) citizens, while people like Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz are dismissed as part of the hated Establishment.

      Valerie in reply to Radegunda. | September 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      I, too, have a problem with that “can’t be bought” line.

      I have listened to Trump answer questions, and he speaks in non-promising generalities like a reasonably intelligent person just starting to consider the issues. He seems very sure of himself, which is always an attractive feature, and his formulation of economic issues shows that he has a practical grasp of the issues in that field.

      But the only person deciding whether he will run is him. He is playing up the fact that he does not have to persuade anybody else, particularly nobody with knowledge or skill, that his ideas are sound. This is a trait that he shares with Barack Obama, and it has not served us well over the past six years. I trust that he would be better at selecting expert consultants than Obama, because he has had to rely on expert advice routinely for business success.

      I’m not at all sure I want somebody who campaigns on the platform that he can do whatever he pleases, and brags about his episodes of crony capitalism. It makes me wonder if he can make the transition to President of all the people, when he says he does not have to satisfy any of them.

        PhillyGuy in reply to Valerie. | September 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm

        I’m not following your logic. Trump says he’s not taking money from PACs because he does not want to be beholden to their interests. And because he has done it himself, he knows exactly what will happen if he does take their money.

        Intuitively that resonates well with the voters. They get that.

        Obama is the reverse. He loves spending other peoples’ money. Then lies about it. As all of us know well.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Valerie. | September 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

        I’d rather have someone in the Oval Office who is aware that he doesn’t know everything, and surrounds himself with experts, to whom he actually listens, than a know-it-all, “smartest president ever,” who really doesn’t know squat.

      Kauf Buch in reply to Radegunda. | September 6, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      YOu’ll note that those (R) candidates doing best are the NON-POLITICIANS.

      Voters have HAD IT with being lied to in campaigns and being scr*wed once elected (SEE: 2010. 2014).

        Ragspierre in reply to Kauf Buch. | September 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

        Cruz never did any of that. He knows and really likes the Constitution, too.

        T-rump, not so much. I think some of the other non-pols have potential, but only after a lot of vetting and maybe years of schooling.

          Kauf Buch in reply to Ragspierre. | September 6, 2015 at 8:50 pm

          Your post in no way responds to what I wrote.
          You must love the sound of your own voice.
          Are you the guy with the same “name” on American Thinker?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

          Well, yes. It DID. You may not understand it, but that’s not on me.

          No. I do not post to “American Thinker”.

        Radegunda in reply to Kauf Buch. | September 6, 2015 at 11:02 pm

        As soon as people start campaigning for office, they become “politicians.” Will those sainted “non-politicians” lose their trustworthiness once they’re in office? What makes them so different from other people who entered politics after doing something else?

        I give credence to someone who has been in office and has demonstrated that he or she has the will to stand on principle in the face of opposition, and within constitutional limits on power. I don’t think people’s promises are more credible just because they are as yet untested in the realm of practical politics and constitutional governance.

        The whole meme that “non-politicians” are inherently more trustworthy candidates for office does not stand up to any rational analysis.

        Radegunda in reply to Kauf Buch. | September 6, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        What’s the basis of your confidence that the “non-politicians” are not lying or making promises they won’t keep?

        It’s easy to make big promises when you haven’t yet had to try following through in the realm of practical governance.

Recently, Treehouse did an expose on the GOPe’s ‘splitter strategy’, designed to ensure Jeb!’s successful nomination.

How interesting this could backfire if Trump takes all (add another hoisted petard to the pile, including Hillary’s stepping in her own incriminating mess)!

    clafoutis in reply to clafoutis. | September 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Correction: ‘petard hoisting’, not ‘hoisted petard’.

      Sam in Texas in reply to clafoutis. | September 6, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Point of clarification. I think either may be correct. A petard was a medieval mine, a bomb, used in assaulting castles and other fortifications. “Hoist” at that time, in connection with a petard, meant, blown up. An engineer planting a petard that blew up prematurely killing him, was “hoist by his own petard.”

    Milhouse in reply to clafoutis. | September 6, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    A Nuthouse “exposé” has about as much credibility as one at WND or Gateway Pundit. Remember “purple drank”?

    Kauf Buch in reply to clafoutis. | September 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    That is an EXCELLENT SERIES of articles, with YEARS of research supporting it.

    Don’t you just love it when a GOPe plan fails?

Hmmm…I mentioned this very circumstance in commenting on an earlier post. If the big money truly wants Jebito to be the nominee, Marco Rubio has to drop out soon. Because if Trump wins Florida because the vote got split, then he will be the nominee.

    PhillyGuy in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    So I am going to go out on a limb and say the long knives will be out for Rubio soon once the Florida polling results get circulated among the donor class. The next best moment will at the CNN debate. Maybe float a few anonymous pieces of dirt to the conservative press. Get FNC to talk him down to the public. Or perhaps just turn off the money spigot.

    The only problem is that Rubio has shown he is willing to play ball when they need him. So maybe they are a bit gentler in their desire to push him out. Florida is way too important for Jebito.

    Just a guess on my part. FWIW.

I live in Florida. Even though JEB! was a conservative governor, he is struggling here for 4 reasons. First is Common Core. The second is the illegal immigration issue. The third is that the establishment GOP (the Florida legislature in particular, the governor, the state GOP) is quite dysfunctional, and number four is also because we have another Bush.

Rubio is liked but the feeling is he needs more time and should run for governor in 2016.

Now comes Trump and he is like the bull in a China shop and many rank and file GOP voters are not too shocked in seeing everything messed up.

    Kauf Buch in reply to natdj. | September 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    The Honorable Senator Marco CITIZENSHIP FOR ILLEGALS Rubio also has another “little problem” you did not mention….

      I did not mention Sen, Rubio because he is not viewed as being the nominee here in Florida. Also, Rubio is viewed positively for many reasons like he has fire in his belly and can reach many voters. JEB! is worn and tired and yes, low energy.

        Kauf Buch in reply to natdj. | September 6, 2015 at 8:54 pm

        What is the FIRST WORD IN IT?!?

        R-U-B-I-O. To expand:
        “Rubio is liked but the feeling is he needs more time and should run for governor in 2016.”

        What’s your righteous indignation?!?

        Marco is a boy-toy for the GOPe, as just another “splitter”, as DAFOUTIS above explained in his post with the CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE link.

Florida may be bigger than you think. If Bernie Sanders wins the DNC primary, and Trump wins Florida, thus, wining the GOP primary; he will have essential won the presidency.

If the Florida vote splits between Jeb and Rubio, it will have nothing to do with “the donor class” and everything to do with the voters.

This nonsense is geared to feed the conspiracy nuts on our side, who are paranoid of their shadows on their best days.

    Radegunda in reply to Estragon. | September 6, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    There are people who believe that “the GOP” has a practice of “giving us bad candidates” or “shoving them down our throats” — as though we didn’t have such a thing as primaries, in which every citizen’s vote counts equally within the various states.

    A lot of the people who think that way are Trump fans. And they imagine that any skepticism about Trump proves you’re a RINO. It’s comical.

    PhillyGuy in reply to Estragon. | September 7, 2015 at 1:01 am

    That’s not what I said. The people who have all that money invested in Jeb cannot let Rubio split the Florida vote. It’s a winner take all state. If that happens then Trump will most certainly take the state. Someone has to suggest to Rubio that he step aside “for the good of the party.”

    That’s why Trump is so powerful right now, it’s confusing the hell out of these guys. Nothing seems to work against him.

Actually the meme is to put FEAR into the hearts of Trump voters that “pssst, Trump is not really ONE of us” and promote the candidate the Democrat and rino part of the DNC favor. Jeb!

I imagine the RNC rulers blood ran cold when Trump signed a “pledge” not to run 3rd party. Now we need a pledge from the RNC RULERS THAT THEY WILL BACK THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE!

    Like Jeb! and the GOP establishment is “like us?” The Mississippi senatorial primary and other primaries across the country showed that the GOP donor class is the enemy. The US Chamber of Commerce spent $23 million in 2014 to beat conservatives in GOP primaries.

    rabidfox in reply to Fiftycaltx. | September 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm


    That’ll be a cold day in h3ll!

My comments about Rubio are in the third person. I live here and this is what I hear. Do you live here since you are so fixated on Rubio?

I don’t want him as governor of Florida. As for my righteous indignation is against those who have fumbled the ball like Boehner and McConnell. Right now they are the face of the Republican Party!

I will make my choice here in Florida when March 15 comes.

Have a nice day.

FL resident here as well. I’ve heard the same point made by FL Republicans regarding Rubio, especially given his age and stepping down as Senator next year. Also his chances in 2016 at the White House being perceived as limited v. Jeb!, and seasoning as an executive/governor in a swing-state with a large Hispanic population seen as advantageous in a WH bid in ’20-’24.