04 May 2016

Kaisch Also Out

CNN is reporting two insider sources who state that Ohio Governor John Kaisch, Donald Trump's last opponent in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination, is dropping out.

This was a rational choice.

It has been mathematically impossible for Kaisch to win a majority of the GOP delegates in the first round for weeks. Kaisch would have had to win roughly 60% of the remaining GOP delegates to deny Trump a first round majority, and would have to win seven more states (all but a couple of those remaining) to overcome the Republican National Convention's Rule 40(b) that requires a nominee candidate to win eight states unless no one wins eight states (as Trump and Cruz did this year).  Even then, Kaisch would be the underdog in a second round vote with fewer delegates going into the convention than Trump.

Yet, Kaisch has only finished first once, in his home state, and then only with his leading opponent (Rubio) not contesting the race.  He's come in third place more often than he's come in second place.  And, Cruz voters at the most conservative win of the Republican party would not naturally have all shifted to back Kaisch, one of the most moderate candidate's running for President this year by comparison.  So, Kaisch in races post-Cruz could have been expected to perform less well than Kaisch + Cruz in earlier polls.  Those poll numbers couldn't secured the delegates and states that Kaisch needed to win under any possible scenario.

The Kaisch bid has been truly a Hail Mary pass for a long time and Cruz's departure, by making it harder to deny Trump a first round majority, had left Kaisch needing nothing short of a miracle to win.  Facing certain failure, and with no big agenda to push, he is dropping out and Trump really is the presumptive GOP nominee having convinced all of his opponents to drop out of the race before he even secured a majority of the delegates.

On to the Clinton-Trump general election.  Clinton may be favored there, but pundits are, I think, overestimating her prospects.  It is more likely to be a close election than a landslide even though conventional wisdom thinks that Trump is doomed in the general election.

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