The State of the Republican Race After Michigan

March 9, 2016 (San Diego) there was talk of stopping Donald J. Trump with this night. This was supposed to be the night to do it. Instead Trump further opened his delegate lead. He won in (states) and the delegate count is at follows, again we are using the Vox tracker:

* Trump: 458 (37 percent to nomination)
* Ted Cruz: 359 (28.9 percent to nomination)
* Marco Rubio: 151 (12.4 for nomination)
* John Kasich: 54 (4.4 for nomination)

We now have a 99 delegate gap between the two men in what has become a two man race. Rubio will be under even more pressure to drop off. He had one terrible night. Though we expect him to remain until his home state of Florida. We expect Kasich to remain until his home state of Ohio. He also had an ok night.

What these results do tell us is that while Trump has consolidated his lead, Florida is likely the final stand for the Republican establishment. If Trump wins, and takes all delegates, then his lead widens. If Cruz wins, he closes the gap to zero.

Florida has become a critical race. That said, none of these men might reach the necessary delegate count to outright win the nomination. These would be 1237. This is starting to look as if we may see a brokered convention. This is not unprecedented, just rare.

## Big Picture for the Republican Party

We have noted that the party is splintering. The Reagan coalition, that includes white working class males has had it. This is because of trickle down economics and free trade agreements. They speak of Washington being out of touch, and they have a point. They are angry. Their children will not have a bright future. This anger is translating into the Trump rebellion.

Ted Cruz is partially gathering the traditional conservatives, both in defense and economics. This part of the coalition in some cases goes back to the New Deal, which they still dream of turning asunder.

Finally there is the moderate business coalition. This is the third leg of the coalition. This part was the one considering a third party run to challenge Trump and incidentally give the White House to Hillary Clinton. The noise they were making has disappeared. We can only wonder if it was the narrow legal calendar to qualify, or polling that scared them. Moreover, Mike Bloomberg has dropped his independent bid.

The party coalition is falling apart. Best case, whatever emerges from this will still be called Republican Party, but will not be anywhere like we have grown familiar with. Worst case, the party is undergoing the kind of collapse not seen in living memory. This will make the republican convention must see TV.

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