Forgive me for going on about this -- I am, I confess, somewhat obsessed, lying awake at night running the numbers in my head. I refer, of course, to the Republican contest for the Presidential nomination.
As all political junkies know [I really apologize to my overseas readers -- it was either this or some unseemly qvelling about yet another New England Patriots victory], this year on March 1st there will be a large number of Republican primaries and caucuses -- hence the label "Super Tuesday." By the time March 1st has come and gone, more than 40% of the 1865 delegates to be chosen in primaries and caucuses will have been chosen -- 797, to be exact. This is 37% of the votes needed to secure the nomination.
I think it is quite probable that Donald Trump will emerge from Super Tuesday with more delegates than any of the other candidates. In my previous commentary, I focused on the possibility that one of the "Establishment" candidates -- Bush, Rubio, Kasich, Christie, Cruz [not quite Establishment, but at least a sitting senator] -- would be in second place, leading the forces behind the scenes to try to herd everyone into supporting him ["him" because it won't be Fiorina.]
But I negelected to consider what may be the most likely outcome, namely that it is the appalling Dr. Ben Carson who has the second largest cache of delegates, while none of the Estblishment types has managed to accumulate many at all. What then?
This is truly mysterious. Can Trump, the self-described great deal-maker, cut a deal with Carson? Would Carson deal? Are Carson's supporters, almost as numerous at the moment as Trump's supporters, transferable to Trump? It would not seem so. I would have thought that Trump was not an Evangelical Christian's cup of tea. But who knows?
If Carson does somehow acquire a bag full of delegates, they are going to have to do something at the Convention after the first round of voting, for which they are presumably committed to vote for Carson.
The more I turn this all over in my fevered brain, the more difficult it appears for Bush or Rubio or Kasich or Christie to amass enough delegates to make him the plausible alternative to Trump.
Poll numbers are not what matters, once February 1, 2016 arrives. From then, it is delegates.