Thursday, April 14, 2016

What Cleaves in Cleveland?

Last night The Omnivore discussed the potential outcomes of Cleveland and the disposition of the GOP. What will happen? What could happen? This is how it looks to The Omnivore.

Scenario 1: Trump Gets to 1237

In this scenario Trump gets to the 1237 delegates ahead of the convention and will become the nominee on the first ballot. While there are outside scenarios that might prevent that (some mega-rule change that denies candidates with a "U" in their last name?) if Trump makes 1237, he's the nominee.

At The Convention: In this scenario the convention is a put-your-best-face-on-it. There is a cringe-inducing attempt at unity. Anyone Rince Pribus can convince will be trotted out to say how great this is. Ben Carson has a speaking role and tells the audience that this is like brain surgery where you opt for saving half a brain and learn to live with it.

Chance of Floor-Clearing Convention Brawl: 18%. There is little incentive to brawl but with Trump-v-Cruz, who's to say!

After The Convention: The nastiest general election ever. Democrats win around 300 EV and take control of the Senate. Everyone is disillusioned.

The GOP: The GOP is reeling until 2020 when Ryan finally runs.

Likelihood: 25%

Scenario 2: Trump Falls Short

In this scenario Trump makes like 1150 or something and comes to the convention trying to horse-trade his way to a 2nd-Ballot win. However, due to Cruz's superior delegate operation he can't make it (that and no one is willing to trade with him). People are desperate for a white-horse candidate--but it seems unlikely that one will appear.

At The Convention: Trump supporters are pissed. Cruz supporters are insufferable. Rubio and Kasich want to trade their delegates for a VP slot. Party operatives beat the bushes for, well, either a Bush or a Romney. Ryan refuses the crown again and again.

At this point, it's "Who blinks first." The tensions could get diffused or there could be violence. The Omnivore posits:
  1. Cruz is nominated: 70%
  2. Trump is nominated: 20%
  3. White-Horse Candidate (or Kasich): 10%
After The Convention: The Donald campaigns against Cruz. The party seethes. Democrats take the House.

Chance of Floor-Clearing Convention Brawl: 30%. When Cruz perpetrates "the big steal" Trump operatives are prepared to strike.

The GOP: In this scenario the party is split--Trump voters feel utterly cheated. Movement conservatives finally have one of their own--but he is cursed with a face you desperately want to punch. Looking at the George Wallace example, we have a southern base that (essentially) moved from the Democrats to the Republicans after a 3rd Party bid failed.

In this case, though, it's hard to see who takes them. Do they crawl back to the Republicans (the Dixie-Crat pattern). Do they get booted and just have "no home"? (the "Booting" happens by the remaining GOP not wanting their support after the racial poison happens). 

The Omnivore suspects it's a Dixie-Crat situation: the GOP loses 2016 but would really like that base back in 2020. So they make some concessions.

Likelihood: 70%

Scenario 3: GOP-A-Geddon

In this scenario, Cruz is deemed unacceptable, Trump doesn't make 1237, and no white knight appears. The convention is utter chaos.

At The Convention: Between professional rabble-rousing, insane wining and dining of delegates, and lack of attendance by party elders, there is no one "in charge." In history, the longest a convention has gone is 103 ballots. In this scenario, we approach or even exceed that. Between riots, rules-lawyering, and partisan loyalty, there is no end in sight.

In this scenario, eventually, due to exhaustion and chaos a sacrificial Rick Santorum is finally nominated.

Chance of Floor-Clearing Convention Brawl: 100%--One HUNDRED GLORIOUS PERCENT.

After The Convention: The Democrats take the House and Senate with the GOP shattered and no one agreeing on a way forward. The rest of the general is a blizzard of recriminations and finger-pointing with a little token campaigning.

The GOP: In this case the break is so bad that no one either can or wants to put "it back together." The factions all have other ideas and the prospect of Ryan as a unity candidate in 2020 looks foolish. The GOP breaks into regional factions which has the unexpected result of also fracturing the Democrats with the Bernie-Sector, sensing a power-void, pulls away leaving the current Democrats as the "right" national party (and trying to pick up small(er) government conservatives and GOP moderates) against the American Socialist party.

Likelihood: 5%

1 comment:

  1. You could also all scenario 3 'America-becomes-Europe' with its degeneration into multiple factions. Which makes a lot of sense given the ability of people to micro-segment and identify themselves across geographies much more easily than in the past. I think we may be seeing tech-style disruption come to politics at long last.