A Win for the GOP

February 1, 2016 10:34 p.m.

I’ll try to expand on this tomorrow. But the Republican results tonight look like a significant win for the GOP – mainly because it provides an opening for Marco Rubio. Yes, Cruz wins – huge victory for him. He looked to be declining in the polls and it seemed like he might even fall to third place. But he won. But here’s the problem for Cruz. Iowa is a where hardcore conservatives win a lot, especially ones with strong evangelical roots. Other states won’t be so easy.

But the big story is what can only be called a body blow for Donald Trump. If Trump had won or won big, I think he would have blown out New Hampshire next week and quite possibly been unstoppable. Now Trump isn’t a winner, but a loser. We’ll see how he responds to that.

But Rubio has a strong showing, greatly beating expectations. He’s clearly the only hope for establishment Republicans. And in a one on one with Cruz, I think Rubio wins. So a damaged Trump, a one on one between Cruz and Rubio, that creates a path toward a Rubio nomination in my mind. Not certainty or perhaps even a likelihood but a path. A path out of the choice between a Trump or a Cruz nomination is a path out of catastrophe. And that’s a win in itself.

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