Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kasich and Cruz drop out of presidential race

Following the Indiana Republican Primary this week, Ted Cruz announced the conclusion of his campaign, and soon after, John Kasich followed suit, leaving Donald Trump as the only remaining candidate for the Republican party. Although many people previously considered having a contested convention, it seems unlikely that that will happen.

Given that many people have reservations about Donald Trump's candidacy, what do you think the GOP should do going forward? Is the Stop Trump movement in line with democratic values? Do you think the current situation a result of the structure of the political system? How do you think voter turnout has affected the current situation?

RIP Ted Cruz and John Kasich  (Politico)
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Daniel Jun said...

Certain ties can be made (ironically) to the presidential election of 2008. A huge, unprecedentedly large number of African Americans voted for Obama because he was a black, Democratic candidate. Similarly, swarms of people are likely to do everything in their power to impede Trump from winning the presidency because he is a (insert bad things about Trump here). And at the very least, we should be able to agree that in a democracy more people saying what they want is a good thing.

The faction in the GOP that wants a candidate other than trump is running out of options. Maybe it's too late. But at the same time, it wouldn't surprise me to find there was a loophole or some trick within the writing of the law allowing a new competitor to enter the campaign.

Scott Chow said...

Trump's candidacy is a lot more then a "political meme" as people seem to be treating it on the internet; it represents a deeply rooted distrust in the Republican voting base and the voting base of Americans in general. Consider for a moment that Trump's competitors, while we may mock them from the Democratic stronghold of California, represent fearsome and intimidating individuals on the Republican scene. Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio were no jokes of politicians, nor were their campaigns jokes either. What seems to explain the unprecedented upset seems to mirror the upset that occurred with Jimmy Carter: a search for a Washington outsider.

At the end of the day, I don't believe the Stop Trump movement will amount to much. As the days roll on, Trump will begin to lean back towards the middle, and the phenomenon will die down. Or maybe it doesn't and we end up with a hotly contested race between Hillary and Trump. At the end of the day, the votes will speak for themselves.

Abhishek Paramasivan said...

I believe that the GOP's "stop trump movement" will not amount to much. So Trump's campaign has been built on making a spectacle of opposition and riling up his own support. If the GOP elites try to go against trump they will just play into his hands and he will just use that to gain more popularity. The current situation with Trump's campaign is definitely the result of the anti-liberal/anti-Obama agenda of the republican party as Trump adopted it to fit into the race, and then took it to and extreme.

The stop trump movement could actually be helpful to the democratic process with his highly spirited campaign and media coverage trump has caused one of the biggest political uproars in recent history. This could encourage people who normally wouldn't vote for whatever reason to now vote in the general election just to ensure Trump does not win the presidency. Most of Trump's support so far has come from the southeast regions so many areas vehemently oppose his presidency.

Grant Hillman said...

My original comment was apparently too long, so I'm splitting it into two parts.
As a registered Republican voter and a previous supporter of candidates Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, the success of Trump has absolutely shocked me. I remember watching CPAC 2015, and many of the prospective candidates (this was early 2015) gave speeches. Rand Paul won the straw poll by a few points and Ted Cruz and Scott Walker fared well too. All three delivered excellent speeches. But what was most interesting about this particular year was the presence of Donald Trump. Trump didn't exactly give a speech; it was more of a Q&A session. I remember his answers being pretty lackluster; when questioned about how he would deal with ISIS, he simply repeated some variation of "we're gonnna hit 'em hard" for two awkward minutes, and prompted zero applause from the present crowd. Needless to say, he didn't fare well in the straw poll, and wasn't event mentioned in many articles about the event. At the time I considered Trump a complete afterthought; I thought he was either a gimmick candidate who wasn't completely serious and would drop out early or wouldn't even bother running at all. So when I went on Facebook a few months later and witnessed the collective nationwide outrage over his announcement of candidacy speech, my thought was: "So he's actually gonna do this?" Previously, nearly all polls placed the likes of Paul, Cruz, and Walker as the frontrunners of the Republican race. The near-instant surge in Trump's popularity amongst conservative voters from zero to hero came as a disturbing jolt to me.

Grant Hillman said...

Scott made a great point with his comment on this post. Trump's popularity stems from the complete lack of trust conservatives now have in their elected officials. The midterm elections of 2014 saw Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress; however, in the eyes of most conservatives, this has done little but halt the desires and plans of the Democrats. The common sentiment amongst conservatives has become: "We're not WINNING enough." To many, Trump represents a complete overthrow of the "establishment." He has never held political office (though he has run for president before), and he made sure early on to stress the fact that he's NOT A POLITICIAN. Overnight, conservative heroes such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul (I know I'm bringing those two up a lot, but they're my favorites) got lumped in with the rest of the wimpy faux-conservative moderates who have done nothing to help the conservative cause. Candidates who have even gone as far as deliver a 21-hour filibuster in protest of Obamacare (Cruz) were just tossed aside. After all, they're politicians. They're part of the problem, just like all the rest of 'em,, right?

I'm not necessarily on team #NeverTrump. I believe that if elected he would be a better president than Hillary Clinton. I just happen to be ridiculously suspicious. I understand the anger amongst conservatives regarding moderates in Congress not really doing much to help our side. In fact, I generally agree with them. My only disagreement is the guy that they've chosen. I find it weird that our hope to overthrow the "establishment"; the wimpy, middle of the road, faux-conservative moderates, rests in the hands of an East Coast billionaire who has made it public that he has donated not just to Democrats, but ones far to the left on the political spectrum (Kamala Harris' campaign recently received a donation from him.). I find it odd that our hope to replace the moderates in Congress with hardcore conservative constitutionalists who will actually get things done rests in the hands of a person who consistently flip-flops on social and economic issues that many conservatives deem very important. And most of all, I believe it makes no sense that our best hope to defeat our nemesis, Hillary Clinton, is a man who is not only friends with Bill and Hillary, but who has said he believes she has a been a good Secretary of State. I don't disagree with Trump on every issue. I admire his passion and patriotism and his desire to "Make America Great Again." I think he is correct when he says many countries don't respect us anymore. But this particular conservative hasn't jumped on the Trump Train yet. He has a LOT to do before he earns my endorsement, my vote, and my trust as a candidate.

tonynater said...

Trump will not be stopped. His last opponents have just dropped out of the race, leaving no viable alternatives to Trump in the eyes of Republican voters. If the GOP were to select someone other than Trump, they would be alienating a supermajority of their constituents.

As for why Trump has been so successful, I agree with both Scott and Grant --- it's Trump's status an an outsider that makes him so appealing. Americans have been particularly disenchanted by the establishment in the past 4 years, as evidenced by historically low Congressional approval ratings. This is perhaps due to the worsening economic circumstances of many Americans, which is largely the result of a skewed wealth distribution has kept GPD up while worker wages low. Both of these factors make Trump more appealing, as he is not a part of the hated establishment which has caused such wealth inequality.

Alex Binsacca said...

I really don't see anything coming out of the stop Trump campaign, because Trump is the only one left for the republican party to side themselves with, who will have similar ideas to their own. Now unless these individuals within the stop Trump movement decide to make a complete one hundred and eighty degrees turn, and vote democrat then there is no way too stop Trump.

Kinda of taking a different approach to the topic. In all honesty I am not surprised that it was Trump who came out on top in terms of the Republican Nomination. Too me all the other republican candidates were always just standing in Trump's shadow. No matter who was brought up, and whose policies were being mentioned, it always just seemed to come back to Trump. Now, this could be a result from my outsider stand point, because I have not chosen to vote republican. But, that is my point. Whenever anyone who did not declare themselves republican talked about the republican party, (within the last year) the first thing to always be mentioned was Trump. He has been the extremely leftist party member, who has stolen the media's spotlight for the last year. And since the mass media helps influence the public's opinion on important news. It is no surprise that anyone not inside the republican party, saw Trump as the republican nomination.

Steven Lee said...

I am glad that the Zodiac killer finally dropped out of the Republican primary. He should be immediately arrested and tried for the murder of the 20+ killed in Northern California.

All kidding aside the GOP establishment must be extremely scared right now. Already Paul Ryan, the Bushes, and many other high ranking people in the Republican party refuse to endorse Donald Trump. I read a shocking piece on Vox about how the Donald said that he would let the United States default on its debt. Not only would this completely destroy the value of the American dollar but it could also lead to another disaster in the world economy. He talked about how he liked "playing with debt" and that he "loves debt". He loves debt because he has filed multiple bankruptcies in the past and made people pay for his mess while his pockets got fatter. This is literally what is going to happen with the American people.

Putting aside his racism, misogyny, and overall stupidity, even before Ted Cruz and John Kasich decided to drop out, the race was already over. Around mid March Ted Cruz, at distant second, needed at least 80% of the remaining delegates in order to even come close to competing with Trump in a three man race.

Van Jones on Bill Maher made an interesting statement which was that many of our past presidents were able to with elections because they took advantage of the latest and greatest tech of their time. FDR was good at using the radio, JFK knew how to sway voters on TV, Obama got his message out through the internet, and now Trump is using social media.

However, I am very doubtful that there will actually ever be a president Donald Trump. He has alienated so many groups in our society that there is almost no way that he was going to win any votes except for perhaps Evangelical, old, white men- a voting bloc that is slowly dying. Many reliable polls also have him LOSING to both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, however, these are early polls so perhaps take that with a grain of salt.

Monica Mai said...

While Ted Cruz dropping out of the Republican primary is I think a good thing, I'm also not sure if it's a great thing. In comparison to Trump, I am not sure which candidate I would prefer to win the primary because both in my opinion are terrible candidates. I am left to wonder what this means from more moderate Republicans because Trump is obviously quite right in his beliefs. I think that there will be a lot of ticket-splitting resulting in a critical election. And perhaps, this year, voter turnout will surge through to such an extreme candidate. I also don't see why the Stop Trump movement wouldn't be in line with democratic values.

Langston Swiecki said...

Looking at the rise of Trump, voter turnout and the nature of primaries certainly played a role, for they generally tend to bring out voters eager for change who are more extreme than their fellow party members. Mobilization is especially important in these contests with lesser turnout, as a smaller but intensely devoted group can make more of an impact, and as initial success starts rolling in, their dedication will only augment the likelihood of increasing voter share. There was less of a moderating influence on the initial stages of the race usually because moderation implies compromise with the opposing party, which is shamed and looked down upon when the race includes members from only one party. This polarizing effect makes a candidate such as Trump more permissible, shifting expectations of the race and the candidates within it, forcing those who were more moderate to rationalize or venture in a different direction. Trump has also benefited from the highly vague nature of his campaign, dwelling in the glittering generalities and not sticking to the limitations of reality, such as with his claims of not paying back the debt or building a wall. They all contribute to larger and grand myth that some desperately want to buy into, a chaotic canvas upon which they can express their solipsistic self importance. Philosophic ramblings aside, Trump's ascendancy is sort of a trick of democracy, fostered in an environment conducive towards extremity at a time when voters were only sure of what they wanted once they were presented with it, and it seems dubious to claim that he will continue this success story in the general election.

cvandelip said...

The reason Trump was so successful in his campaign was because the Republican party was not strong enough and did not have any candidates that could stand up to him. He dominated the debates and left an impression on voters. While his ideas and policies baffle those watching, he was able to take control of the nomination and make people remember him. I worry for the general election because I do not see Trump being nice and considerate to Hillary. I believe Trump is going to attack Hillary and dig into her past. I think the election can spiral south very quickly. However, I do not see how Trump can win the presidency. He has the support of very right wing conservatives, but I do not think Moderates or independents will support him. I do not see how liberals could support any of his policies.

Elliot Quan said...

I find it amusing how big the rift continues to grow between Trump and the establishment - Trump's already butting heads with Speaker Ryan over whether Ryan can be removed from his post as GOP convention chairman, and it seems that none of the past GOP presidential candidates have backed him either.

I think this race will come down to whether Hillary can successfully steal all of the disillusioned GOP voters and rally them against Trump. GOP primary turnout has been higher than the Democrats, but we'll see how that translates to the general election. Given the multitude of races that Trump has denounced, I'm not sure how the numbers will play out, but I predict they ultimately won't be in his favor (and if they do then this will be pretty funny) and perhaps a wakeup call to Americans regarding the state of American politics.

Brian Cheong said...

What strikes me most about this occurrence is the irony that stems from Trump's comments. He claims to want to bring unity to the Republican Party, emphasizing that "We have to." But it is nearly indisputable that following the other two candidates' withdrawal, that is near impossible now. For many, Trump was already way too far fetched to achieve any stability within the Republican party; however, as the results from Nebraska demonstrate, this has already been confirmed as implied by Cruz and Kasich's recent drop-out. If anything, I would predict that this results in more of the electorate - particularly from the Republican party - crossing party lines and voting for the opposing party. There is already indisputable polarizing separating the party alone, and now that their options have been narrowed to arguably the most radical option, perhaps more will be tempted to vote against their own party.

Adjon Tahiraj said...

I think the GOP should try to get a new candidate that is more likeable and less rights sided than donald trump is... The reason for this is that I think by having Donald Trump as the candidate, the GOP will be losing a lot of republicsn voters who do not like Trump. On the other hand if someone else was running instead of trump, the people who are currently pro trump will be less willing to vote for Democrats.

Kristen Tamsil said...

The GOP I think is in its worst shape as evident in the number of original candidates vying for candidacy, and the end result of having almost an "outsider" the party's perspective who has never held any positions of public office to become the sole candidate for the presidency. Donald Trump is not Ronald Reagan. He could become the first candidate who goes straight from private sector to the most powerful position in the world in recent memory. This is sad for the once proud GOP because it shows the level of dissent, in-fighting, dysfunction, leaderless state that defines the party. Even after the other candidates withdraw, they do not throw their support behind Donald Trump. What can the GOP do? They put together a fractured strategy to show strength and unity in their candidates that Trump ended up seizing the day. The GOP do not represent the point of view of its voters anymore. I think at this point, the GOP has no choice but to embrace and support Donald Trump, and pair him with a strong vice president, and potential cabinet members who can provide all the help and context that Donald Trump may need should he be wise enough to rely on the advise and opinion of those available to him. God help Donald Trump and God help America.