An excerpt from a terribly-titled essay, “Why GOP elites are totally ignoring a political reality that could destroy their party”:
And yet, in all polls, and for weeks on end, Carson and Trump each individually lead all the candidates in the politicians’ race. Together, these two outsiders attract 48 to 50 percent of poll respondents. Combined, they lead all the other candidates put together, excluding only those under the margin of error. And yet, the last two debates, and who knows how many news cycles, have been all about Marco Rubio’s rise and whether his finances can survive close scrutiny. Or Jeb Bush’s plan to relaunch his campaign and eliminate Rubio. Put Bush and Rubio together — they still can’t even match Carson in the polls.
If we take polls at all seriously — and in the age of Nate Silver, I think we do — then Rubio and Bush are in a squabble over the Republican copy machine, while Trump is executing a hostile takeover of the corporation. Trump leads Carson in polling averages in Iowa by a hair. He leads by double digits in New Hampshire. This is real.
I’ve been wondering about this myself. If Trump or Carson gets the nomination it’ll be a disaster for the GOP. They would more than likely get crushed by Hillary in a general election. Even if they win, that could be even worse for the Party establishment in the long run (if you thought W was bad, just wait to see how a Carson presidency pans out).
Still, I just don’t think it’s likely. At this point in the 2008-cycle Rudy Giuliani was dominating the GOP field, and he didn’t even register once votes were cast. In 2012, Herman Cain was leading the pack two months before the primaries, and until I recently read that fact I had completely forgotten about him. Rick Santorum won Iowa in 2012; now most people don’t even realize he’s running, he can’t get into the main debate. So, basically, polling at this point doesn’t tell us much about what will actually happen in the election. Maybe the GOP establishment should be concerned, or maybe they just trust that history will repeat itself. I still think Cruz or Rubio will get the nomination.