Who will win the Republican Party nomination for the US presidential election? (update)

One of the big questions in play at the moment is this: Where do the voters who supported Jeb! go? I had assumed they were headed for Rubio, but I’m less sure of that now:

Only 19 percent of Bush supporters said they’d switch their support to Rubio, while 16 percent said they’d go to Kasich, 12 percent to Cruz, 11 percent to Trump, and 9 percent to Ben Carson. (Roughly a quarter said they didn’t know who their second choice was.) Even if we want to be generous and assign all of the Bush backers who named Kasich as their backup plan instead to Rubio under the theory that the Ohio governor will soon drop out as well, Rubio would stand to pick up only about a third of Jeb’s supporters—gains that would be partially offset by Trump and Cruz’s own pickups from Bush.[1]

So the bigger question here might be: What happens to official endorsers who were either in for Jeb! or were on the fence? They’re more likely, I think, to endorse Rubio than either Cruz or Trump, or, if they’re interesting in jumping on the establishment horse closest to the finish line, Kasich. Winning in Virginia wouldn’t hurt Rubio either[2].

Indeed, it’s striking how many weaknesses the Republican candidates have. Trump, for instance, still looks to have a hard time getting more than 1/3 of the Republican primary voters. Why? One reason is that many Republican voters think he lacks the qualities one needs to be a good president, and the more they are exposed to Trump, the more likely they are to think this[3].

  • 20% Ted Cruz
  • 31% Marco Rubio
  • 46% Donald Trump
  • 3% John Kasich



[3]http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/02/donald_trump_is_not_inevitable.html Here’s the full quote:

In a CNN poll conducted between Jan. 14 and 17, 2008, just before that year’s South Carolina primary, 66 percent of Republicans said McCain had “the personality and leadership qualities a president should have.” Only 33 percent said he lacked those qualities. Contrast that with Trump’s situation. In December 2015, a Monmouth University survey asked Republicans whether Trump had “the temperament needed to carry out the role of president.” At that point, 35 percent disagreed with that statement—not much worse than the 33 percent who had said in 2008 that McCain lacked “the personality and leadership qualities a president should have.” But the more people saw of Trump, the more they turned against him. By January 2016, 45 percent of Republicans interviewed by CBS News and the New York Times rejected the proposition that Trump “has the right kind of temperament and personality to be a good president.” And by February, in a Fox News poll taken just before the South Carolina primary, 48 percent of Republicans disagreed with the statement that Trump “has the temperament to serve effectively as president.”


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