Politics and the movies have a lot in common. In Hollywood, as in politics, nobody really knows anything. But a lot of people make a living pretending they actually know things. It’s all bullshit. Nobody knows anything. Which means my opinion is just as good as the next guy’s.
Nobody knows what’s going to happen next year. There will be ten Republican candidates at the first debate in August, and going into Phase One.
Phase One goes on for the first three weeks in February, and features Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — a total of 133 delegates. This will whittle down the field, but we don’t know, for sure, who gets whittled.
Phase Two is the first two weeks of March, including Super Tuesday, March 1st. Eighteen states plus Puerto Rico, 940 delegates. (These numbers and dates are approximate. States are still adjusting their schedules). March 1st features the Texas (155 delegates) showdown between Cruz and Perry. Only one will walk away from it. The other will be a casualty. Florida just announced that its 99 delegate primary on March 15th will be winner take all. That means either Bush or Rubio win it, and the loser goes home.
After March 15th a lot of campaigns should fold, including (if they’re even running) Jindal, Fiorina, Carson, Christie, Graham, either Bush or Rubio, and either Perry or Cruz. Unless his campaign has turned into a debacle, Kasich should still be standing. Almost all of these states will have delegates awarded in some proportionate manner, meaning he should have won something besides Ohio (March 8th, 66 delegates.) He should get some traction in Illinois (69) and Michigan (59), as well as a number of other states.
Phase Three lasts almost three months, from mid-March to June 7th. It has 28 states and some territories, 1400 delegates. On June 7th it winds down with California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, 303 delegates. There really should be, at the absolute maximum, no more than six campaigns left: Cruz/Perry, Bush/Rubio, Huckabee/Santorum, Walker, Paul, and Kasich. If it hasn’t been decided already, that is. In 2012 Romney sealed the deal in April. It was over. But he was up against a very weak field. Gingrich? Santorum? Give me a break.
If more than one candidate is still standing it could come down to California, as it did in 1964. 172 delegates, divvied up mainly by the vote in Congressional districts. Kasich could do well here. He could win it here.
Especially if he’s the guy a lot of the “establishment” has fallen back to. I really don’t think either Bush or Christie make it to Phase Three. I think Kasich is a better candidate than Walker, and that will have been demonstrated in February and March.
I don’t pretend to know any of this, it’s just speculation. But it’s just as plausible as any other scenario. You can’t dismiss it out of hand. You should be prepared for it. Just as you should be prepared for a lot of other scenarios.
I’ve been involved, to some extent, in campaigns since ’64, and Goldwater. This is the most fun I’ve had in my life.