February 20, 2016


How a Trump win in South Carolina could tear the GOP apart (Damon Linker, February 19, 2016, The Week)

If a Republican candidate for president could win a primary in a deeply conservative Southern state after such an outburst, it would be the strongest evidence yet that the conservative movement had lost control of the party -- that a significant bloc of its voters is ready and willing to repudiate the movement and the ideas that have defined it for several decades.

That's what's going to be tested this Saturday in South Carolina. A dominating victory by Trump, which most polls are predicting, will not only strongly indicate that he's likely either to win the nomination or prevent the nomination of anyone else prior to the GOP convention this summer. It will also portend a tumultuous future for the Republican Party, regardless of who ends up as the nominee in 2016. A party with such a large bloc of voters who diverge so sharply from the party's organizing ideology is either a party that will need to significantly change its ideological direction -- or one on the verge of breaking apart.

Whether this is in fact what's in store for the Republican Party will be clarified as never before once the results in South Carolina roll in. And despite the occasional outlier poll, there is ample reason to think the outcome is going to be highly destabilizing to the current ideological configuration of the GOP, with Trump once again besting his rivals.

...would see Trump lose to either Cruz or a moderate.  Then the other two moderates quit the race, leaving Trump and Cruz to split votes going forward against only one viable nominee. 

Posted by at February 20, 2016 9:35 AM