Many Republican senators are finally conceding that the nomination for their party will be Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, which is their worst nightmare. Trump and Cruz have taken advantage of the train wreck that is the Republican party and surged into 1st and 2nd place in terms of delegate counts, respectively. John Kasich, the establishment candidate that every Republican in Washington would like to see win the nomination has been mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination outright, leaving Cruz or Trump the likely nominee. Of course, there is potential for Kasich to secure the nomination through a brokered convention, but at this point he might be too far behind to even win in that scenario. Trump has secured 739 delegates while Cruz is still fairly behind with 465 delegates. If Kasich somehow managed to defeat Cruz and Trump at a brokered convention, with only a small portion of the delegates, Republicans in Congress would take a lot of heat for that, potentially resulting in them losing control of the House and Senate, their primary goal in this election cycle. Therefore, I can only conclude that it is going to be either Cruz or Trump, so the question is: Which candidate is better for the GOP?
Trump is the insurgent businessman that has created an image of himself, relying on the fact that he is a successful businessman and not part of the establishment, surging him into first place. Trump has repeatedly been questioned about how conservative he really is because he has strayed towards the middle of the political spectrum like his neutrality towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along with leaning more towards the left on others, such as universal healthcare and improving America’s crumbling infrastructure; not to mention, his polarizing comments about women and minorities, isolating Washington Republicans even more. Trump has long been the GOP’s worst nightmare ever since he launched his campaign last year, but the Trump machine is real and he very well could be the nomination for the Republican party.
On the other hand, Cruz is another insurgent candidate that has deemed himself as an anti-establishment candidate, asserting the United States is in some type of moral decay. That very well may be true, but Cruz is hated by Washington Republicans just as much as Trump. Cruz has openly advocated for carpet bombing as a solution to defeating ISIS in the Middle East and was the main reason the government shut down a couple years back, much to the dismay of prominent Republicans; however, it is quite possible that Republicans may be warming up to Cruz. In light of the realization that Trump may be the nominee, Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham have endorsed Ted cruz, signaling there may be in shift in favor of Cruz.
Finally, let me answer the question of who would be better for the GOP. I tend to think Cruz would be better for the GOP because Trump is too divisive and is not explicitly clear when he articulates his views. Although Ted Cruz has immensely aggravated Washington senators, he may be he only candidate that could truly unite the Republican party, as broken as it is. Ted Cruz is almost as far right on the political spectrum as one could get, but the party believes Donald Trump is way too unpredictable and polarizing.
There is still a long way to go in the primaries, and we all know that political phenomena can change in the blink of an eye, so it will be interesting to see how the Cruz v. Trump battle will play out. One thing is for sure though: Cruz appears to be the Republican party’s preference over Donald Trump.
Contributed by R.A.