Insiders Say Trump Is Likely GOP Nominee

First up, the winners and losers from last night’s debate, per The Hill as we head into Super Tuesday, in which Trump is named a winner

Trump’s performance on Thursday night would not have won him first place in a debating championship. But that hardly matters. The point of the exercise is to win elections — and, by that measure, the billionaire did all he needed to do.

This was a less volatile Trump than was seen at the GOP debate just before the Republican primary in South Carolina. Facing even fiercer attacks from Rubio and Cruz this time, he took some punches but was never put on the canvas, much less knocked out. (snip)

There were also signs of Trump turning his gaze toward a general election audience. He held fast to his view that Planned Parenthood does good work in some areas of women’s health; he asserted that he had the capacity to expand the GOP’s appeal; and he made a vigorous attack on the greed of health insurance companies.

Trump has swatted away all the attacks, just as he’s done almost all the time. The Hill also named Rubio a winner, mostly for his attacks on Trump while keeping a smile on his face.

Cruz, Carson, and Kasich were deemed losers. Cruz had an unmemorable night. Same with Kasich. Carson had a “meandering debate performance.” But, does it all matter?

(Politico) GOP political insiders have been slow to hop aboard the Donald Trump train. But after Trump’s victories in three of the four early-nominating states, Republicans now see him as the party’s most likely nominee in the general election.

That’s according to members of The POLITICO Caucus – a panel of operatives, strategists and activists in a number of states, including some new to the Caucus. (snip)

The vast majority of Republican insiders in the four new states, plus South Carolina, where Democrats will vote on Saturday to round out the month’s early primaries, pick Trump as the GOP’s most likely nominee. More than four-in-five Republicans surveyed this week said Trump has the best chance to win the nomination, with only Marco Rubio (17 percent) and John Kasich (2 percent) earning support from other respondents.

Of course, at the end of the day it is the voters who pick the candidate, but Trump seems to be on an arc to cross the finish line, especially if he does well on Super Tuesday.

“Momentum is incredible,” said a North Carolina Republican, who added that there would have to be “a black swan event somewhere to derail him.”

I know plenty of Republicans who are big supporters of Trump. Many are rabid. Not as many are supporting the other contenders. No one seems to be supporting Kasich. I also know plenty of Independents as soft Democrats, some of whom are supporting Trump, some of whom are very concerned about Trump beating Hillary. Time will tell.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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