With the 2016 Republican National Convention starting in four days the possibility of a delegate revolt has sprung back up and as I type Senator Mike Lee and Ken Cuccinelli are in committee. They are pushing to try and get a minority report to the entire body of delegates and let them vote to see if they want to be unbounded. Let me be clear, this is not an establishment coup. This is the anti-establishment trying to buck a non-conservative candidate. It is the establishment which is trying to protect Donald Trump. If they are, here are 8 options. The first five are likely, but the last three are options who I think would be better but are not that likely.
1. Paul Ryan –Likely
Paul Ryan would seem to be the most likely pick for the nomination if Donald Trump is rejected. As Speaker of the House he is and will be the leader of the Republican Party until a nominee is selected. While his conservative credentials are questionable, he comes with multiple upsides. His home state of Wisconsin is a swing state with a Republican governor and legislature. Not only could his nomination swing the state into a Republican state for the cycle, but it could help push it into a state which leans Republican. Beyond that he offers the experience of a national campaign as he was the 2012 Vice-President nomination.
2. Mitt Romney –Likely
A veteran of the 2008 Republican primary and the 2012 General Election he has national campaign experience and the name ID of a general election candidate. Of course, this brings out the fact that he lost both races. Romney is dull. His biggest problem would be keeping a mostly united party. Replacing Trump with a past candidate who lost is not a plan for great optics. None of this will likely sway the Republican leadership if they are forced to find an alternative to Donald Trump and to an extent they would be right. He is a safe candidate who is personally well known and has well known positions which are standard positions.
3. John Kasich –Likely
During the primaries he had a consistent lead against Hillary in the polls anywhere from six to eight points (according to RCP), albeit little attention was payed to him in terms of negative attacks. Even more so than Mitt Romney, he is the definition of establishment. As a Representative and Governor, he has consistently held moderate positions and has even held leftist positions. Like Romney, he will likely face a revolt from Trump supporters and he has nothing which could appease them. It would seem nothing more than an establishment takeover.
4. Marco Rubio –Likely
As the second sweetheart of this primary season for the Republican season Marco Rubio would be a natural alternative to Donald Trump. Young, from a swing state and with minority appeal, he is a model candidate, but he has a truck load of baggage. He ran for President, did not go do his job in the Senate, said he would not run for his Senate seat, lost the primary and proceeded to run for his Senate seat. Beyond what this does with for his trustworthy issues it makes for easy attack jabs and but also brings up the same problem Romney has. He is a looser and he lost in his home state… badly… and to the guy he would be “stealing” the nomination from. This is not even getting into his record, especially on immigration.
5. Scott Walker –Likely and Good
Scott Walker does what few men can; he runs the line between conservative sweetheart and establishment beloved. A Governor from a purple state he has the potential to flip a swing state. He gains conservative bona fides from his fight with unions, tax cuts and balanced budgets. His biggest negative would be the fact he lost and that he lost badly. He could not even make it to Iowa.
6. Pat McCrory –Good
A first term governor of a swing state who has faced the fury of the left and held his ground. As a Republican mayor of Charlotte, where Republicans are outnumbered 3 to 1, he was elected and reelected over and over. As a Governor, he has a record of success to show. Across the board tax cuts, a 425 million dollar budget surplus, and a state that is number three of business he has a record of government experience that would blow away the record of Hillary Clinton. Of course he does not come with the baggage of signing HB2 and all the fury that brought but it also comes with the experience of standing up to left wing propaganda and protests.
7. Ted Cruz –Good
Like Romney, Walker and Rubio Ted Cruz suffers the brandish of being a looser and like the latter two he has lost top the man he would be “sealing” the nomination from. Unlike Rubio or Romney, he has far greater conservative bona fides. Like Walker he has made nationally known stands for his principles. From December to March Ted Cruz ran neck in neck with Hillary Clinton, even winning from January to March (according to RCP). I would argue it was at this point that Donald Trump had his March melt down and took Ted Cruz down with him.
8. Mitch Daniels –Good
Last but not least my favorite. Mitch Daniels is the President of Purdue University but he is the President we need (creds to George Will). When he left the Indiana Governor’s office he held a 63%. Beyond that, his policies were great. He cut the state workforce by 20%, cut taxes, balanced the budget, passed school vouchers, passed right to work and increased spending at a rate less than inflation.
As the convention unfolds and we reflect on the circus known as the Donald Trump campaign one thing should be kept in mind. Any, and I mean anyone, but Donald Trump could beat Hillary Clinton. With near 100% name recognition and trustworthy-honesty problems I would argue anyone with a pulse and has a relatively clean record (ie not involved in a federal investigation or a lawsuit) could win simply on the fact he or she is not Hillary Clinton.

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Posted by Roman Bilan

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