and would they have beaten Clinton? From what I remember it started as Jeb bush’s race to lose … and if he did get the nom would he of beaten Clinton as a middle of the road GOP candidate like his dad and brother?
Probably Ted Cruz. He was the GOP runner-up, and the closest Trump equivalent that there was. He’d have tapped into the anti-establishment sentiment better than Jeb.
Secondly, yes, probably Ted Cruz. But Ted would not have tapped into the same vein of ugly populist unrest that Trump did to the same extent, even with Russian support. Given that Trump lost the popular vote by three million, I think it less likely that Cruz would have beaten Clinton unless the Russians ramped their interference up even higher.
No one wanted another Bush.
Jeb’s early status was a) the surname and b) there was no GOP presidential timber in the wings. Hence three first termer’s like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio were being fast-tracked to national attention by Republican operatives around 2014-15. Despite the fact for years the Republicans criticised Barack Obama’s lack of experience before the presidency so much.
For what it’s worth, Chris Christie seemed like the guy with a persona that could’ve most easily stepped in to fill the ‘Trump’ role.
I will also say Cruz would have won, it’s quite clear exactly what his strategy has been since he entered the Senate.
I think Clinton wins the general easily. But, I also think that happens because Trump doesn’t suck up all the oxygen in the room and there’s more attention paid to Clinton vs Sanders. Bernie doesn’t get a free pass and comes under more scrutiny and perhaps drops out of the race earlier.
Wasn’t John Kasich the last candidate still standing against Trump? I think he would have had a decent chance. Ted Cruz seems to me like he was a Bernie Sanders type. High floor but low ceiling.
Kasich still had fewer delegates. The winner take all and winner take most delegate system helped Trump rack up the delegates with a plurality
My bet is that Cruz would have won, and the same party that bitterly swallowed its pride to become Trump’s ally would have had to endure the same from Cruz. If you look at the electorate, the GOP voted for the extreme, anti-mainstream candidate. Most of those votes for Trump would have gone to Cruz. Yes, Cruz is a polarizing figure and would have been so in 2016, but like Trump, he would have gotten the ‘anyone but Killary’ vote.
Yeah even I have to admit it was satisfying to see Christie roast Rubio for repeating the same talking point about “Barack Obama knowing exactly what he was doing”, robotically, three times in a row - Christie called him out for that and it made Rubio look like a moron. But it’s hard to imagine Christie bringing the same level of vitriol against the Democrats that Trump did - the same kind of nasty mean-spirited juvenile name-calling which, while undignified, got audiences howling with laughter and roaring with applause over and over again simply because people were so used to politicians who talked like normal politicians.