For several months Trump has led the Republican pack with the support of about a third of those polled or voting. Most commentators consider that a commanding lead but I don’t agree. As the field of candidates gets smaller, Cruz and Rubio are getting stronger. In South Carolina they each got about 22% of the votes while Trump remained at his standard 33%. That seems to be his unchanging lump of the total.
That strongly suggests, does it not?, that few if any of those who have favored a candidate other than Trump will switch to him when their favorite candidate drops out. If those who have liked Bush, Kasich, and Carson have to choose between Trump, Rubio, and Cruz, they will not go to Trump. If they were to be equally divided between Rubio and Cruz, each would end up with 33% and the Republicans would have a three-way tie.
But then were Rubio or Cruz were to drop out, the one left might have as many as 66% of the voters and Trump would be humiliated.
The lesson: Trump has maxed out and the winnowing of the field favors Cruz and Rubio.
And let’s not forget that Trump has the support of 1/3 of the registered Republicans, who themselves only represent about 2/5 of the national population. If the election were held today, Trump would get less than 20% of the national vote.
My conclusion: Trump has little chance of becoming the Republican candidate and, were he to do so, would have no chance whatsoever of becoming president.
that a relief.