With Rubio dropping out of the race, Kasich remains the GOP’s sole chance to keep insider control of the Republican nomination.
Marco Rubio, once hailed as the “Republican Savior,” bowed out of the presidential race after losing his home state of Florida to front-runner Donald Trump on March 15.
In his campaign-suspension speech, Rubio implicitly condemned Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
“From a political standpoint, the easiest thing to have done in this campaign is to … make people angrier, to make people more frustrated,” he said. “But I chose a different route, and I’m proud of that. In a year like this, that would have been the easiest way to win. But that is not what’s best for America.”
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Trump gained 99 delegates in Florida and another 51 from Illinois, further exasperating the GOP’s fear of losing control of the Republican nomination.
The establishment’s last hope is Gov. John Kasich, who won his home state of Ohio during the primaries. However, Kasich trails Trump by more than 500 delegates—and Ohio, where he had a significant advantage, was his first win this primary season.
Is an “Insurgency” Brewing?
Kasich’s win in Ohio prolongs the race and increases the odds of a contested convention in July where Trump and the GOP establishment will battle for control of the Republican Party, according to David A. Graham in The Atlantic.
“Republicans are left to choose what sort of catastrophic conclusion they’d like for the primary campaign: a Donald Trump nomination? Or a fractious, chaotic contested convention? On Tuesday, GOP voters lurched uneasily toward the latter,” Graham wrote.
Ted Cruz, who was “largely an afterthought” in these primaries races, according to Graham, believes a contested convention could lead to an insurgency in the Republican voter base.
“There are many in the Washington establishment that are having fevered dreams about a brokered convention, about a deadlocked convention where they parachute in an establishment candidate,” Cruz said. “I think that would be an absolute disaster. I think the people would quite rightly revolt.”
Trump said denying him the nomination will have disastrous results for the Republican Party, too.
“I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically. I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. I’m representing many, many millions of people,” Trump told CNN.
Trump’s overwhelming success in the recent primaries is in part a culmination of voters’ lack of confidence in party establishments on both sides of the aisle: Fifty-eight percent of voters reported they felt betrayed by their politicians and 52 percent said they wanted a president to come from outside of the establishment, according to CNBC.
*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
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