Where the game theory ought to be, post Detroit debate

With Trump so weird and loathsome last night, my sense that he will not be the nominee is fortified.  Ya know, for him to be the nominee it would have to be true that the country was in some qualitative state of farce / anarchy…. and I really don’t think we’re there.  Now I suppose that’s arguable, particularly if someone wants to rebut and say it’s not the country that’s farce / anarchy, its Republicans that are farce / anarchy. Fine.  But still I don’t think the universe allows for the absurdity of Trump as major party nominee for US President.

So how does it happen?  He’s got to lose the big mo then right, and why would he now when he didn’t before?

  1. He’s just too weird, and being revealed as too weird ever day despite ya know he being in the public eye for 40 years. This act will reach an expiration date.
  2. We’re going into closed primary season, where there are more adults in the room https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/03/02/so-far-trump-wins-open-primaries-and-cruz-wins-closed-and-the-calendar-is-starting-to-change-toward-more-closed-primaries/

Now Trump may go to the convention as the delegate leader, at which point he will be straight up undermined and either Cruz or Rubio will be selected on the brokered second ballot.  But I think it’s also quite possible that Cruz or Rubio overtake Trump’s delegate lead by winning primaries.  One of them then goes into the convention with a presumption they’ll get the second ballot nomination having failed to threshold on the first.  In this case, the instinct is Cruz I guess.

PS: Florida’s polling is supposed to be awful for Rubio, with Trump at about 45% and thus typically a 16% – 20% spread  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/fl/florida_republican_presidential_primary-3555.html  Meh.  I’m doing a Nate Silver thing and looking at polls vs results of closed primaries. In reality Trump has never won with over 40% anywhere, never mind the open vs / closed distinction.  Oklahoma as a closed primary state was 7% or better for Trump by all pollsters, but Cruz won it by 7%.  IE, Trump doesn’t have a 20% lead in Florida.  He may have a 3% lead.  That’s surmountable.

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