Scott Walker

3 Ways Scott Walker's Exit Changes the GOP Primary Race

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Last night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became the second candidate to exit the Republican presidential primary race. Walker's huge drop in support over the last two months means he doesn't have many supporters to send to other candidates, but his departure changes the race in other ways. Here are three:

1. New pressure on candidates to drop out and unify behind a non-Trump contender: Walker's exit speech last night was a not-so-veiled shot at the GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. "I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field," he said, and encouraged other candidates in the field to consider doing the same. Basically, Walker said he was dropping out in order to allow the part of the party that doesn't like Trump to start focusing on unifying behind a challenger strong enough to defeat Donald Trump. The more candidates that drop out, the easier it will be for the anti-Trump forces to align in support of a single candidate.

2. A quick scramble for donors and other resources: While it's true that Walker didn't have much support amongst potential GOP voters, he did have a number of high-dollar donors whose contributions are now up for grabs. As CNN notes, Walker's Super PAC was fairly well funded, having raised $20 million already, with the expectation of at least $10 million more in coming months. Other campaigns are already working hard to pick up Walker's funding sources—and, in some cases, his staff as well.

3. A boost to Rubio: The most likely outlet for Walker donors, according to a number of observers, is Marco Rubio. Indeed, shortly before Walker dropped out, The Washington Post reported that one top donor was already spreading money out to other candidates, including Rubio (as well as Fiorina and Christie). More generally, Rubio is now the best positioned to challenge former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who so far has proven the establishment favorite, for the insider candidate slot.

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  1. Finger’s crossed that Bush is next. It’s a shame about Walker. He started with so much potential, but he failed to focus on his strong points.

    1. There’s pleny that will fall before bush – pataki, santorum, graham, gilmore, kasich and paul.

    2. Bush is well funded, he will be one of the last to drop out, if he’s not the nominee

    3. This was a big surprise to me. I had him tagged as the eventual winner. I don’t think Bush will be going anywhere for a while, but I think his name is what will eventually sink him.

    4. I’d rather Bush stay in. If either Bush or Kasich drop out right now, their support will likely start consolidating behind one of the other establishment candidates. Meaning it’ll be either Rubio or Christie that will likely benefit, both of whom are far worse for libertarians than Jeb or Kasich.

      Christie of course is openly and completely hostile to libertarians. While Rubio is a creature of the establishment wing of the GOP, but unlike Christie (or Jeb and Kaisch) he knows how to appeal to conservatives he’s essentially the Republican Obama. A President Rubio’s ideology would become the face of conservatism in much the same way Bush 43 did. Which would make it much harder for Libertarian conservatives to oppose his agenda in Congress if he’s able to mask that agenda as conservative.

    5. Actual substance is almost completely gone from presidential campsigns now. Thanks to the vile scum in the JournoList, 90% of it is style, signaling, and identity.

      1. Weird, i didn’t know JournoList was around in 1796.

      2. As if ‘actual substance’ was ever present to begin with.

      3. I miss all of the substance we used to have in politics.

  2. Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone even cares what the polls say. 444 people is not enough to offer any real data on what 350,000,000 think. That’s a pretty poor attempt at polling any single state, let alone the whole country.

  3. He broke a government union and flipped Wisconsin to right-to-work. How are these not far bigger accomplishments than all his competitors?

    What has Rubio done – other than act like the young Rino alternative to the old Dem-lites?

    1. Rubio has hispanic ethnicity and is loyal to the establishment. And can articulate a bunch of nonsense about foreign policy or something.

      Beyond that, I really have no idea. Something about the guy always struck me as someone easily influenceable and thus untrustworthy.

    2. If there is anything that pretty much every election in my life time has taught me the electorate rarely cares about substance.

      “I can feel your pain” “Someone you can have a beer with” “Compassionate Conservatism” “Hope and Change!”

      As for Rubio…

      He’s young, attractive, charismatic, a good orator, and a minority from a big state (that also happens to be a swing state). He’s the Republican Obama.

      Much like conservatives love Trump for pissing off all the right people. Their love for Rubio is based on emotion just add in identity politics plus they think he can win in the general election. It has nothing to do with policy.

    3. If you wanted to replicate Walker’s accomplishments in Wisconsin on a national level, there’s no reason to believe Walker himself is required for that.

      He’s simply been an average Republican officeholder with a good idea (government unions belong in the trash) at the right time (state legislature is extremely friendly to the GOP). It’s not like he’s some political genius or even a really persuasive promoter of conservative ideas.

    4. Wisconsin isn’t right to work. That’s still being worked on by the legislature. His reforms were only for public sector unions (not including police and fire departments).

      Wisconsin has moved in some positive ways under Walker (concealed carry, tax cuts etc) but it is the legislature behind it all, Walker is just a rubber stamp for two GOP houses (who also just made the tax payers build the Bucks a stadium). He really isn’t exceptionally skilled or charismatic.

      I’m saying all this as someone who voted for him every time, but he was never going to get my vote for president. He is the best choice Wisconsin has, but not the nation.

  4. Who else has dropped out?

    1. Hitler?

      1. He’s only sleeping!

        1. Pining for the fjords!

          1. Sleeping with the lutefisk?

        2. I thought he was spending a year dead for tax purposes?

  5. Its bizarre that the two successful governors are the first two to drop out, while the jumped pundits and hucksters go right on.

    Our political culture is thoroughly broken.

  6. If we could anthropomorphize the GOP and then psychoanalyze it, one could argue that Donald Trump represents the GOPs evil inner demon that must be exorcised in order for the GOP to overcome it’s faults and achieve victory (in a Jungian/Campbell Hero’s Journey sort of way). So basically Walker dropping out is like is the other aspects of the GOPs personality uniting to defeat the bad part.

    1. Lol, nice. I like the archetypal psychoanalysis.

  7. one could argue that Donald Trump represents the GOPs evil inner demon that must be exorcised in order for the GOP to overcome it’s faults and achieve victory (in a Jungian/Campbell Hero’s Journey sort of way).

    Except Trump’s supporters have basically said if establishment favs like Jeb, Christie, or Rubio end up being the nominee, they’ll stay home and that person will lose anyway. I don’t think Fiorina realizes that, while the GOP donor class appreciates her, she’s essentially being used as a cat’s paw/splitter to take out Trump so Jeb and Rubio can be pushed to the forefront as the “reasonable, electable” candidate. Carson appears to have been pushed to play that role under the “nice guy who appeals to socons” banner, but his gaffe this weekend on a Muslim president is going to make him persona non grata with the donor class now and they’ll siphon off his support to other candidates.

    1. “Except Trump’s supporters have basically said if establishment favs like Jeb, Christie, or Rubio end up being the nominee, they’ll stay home and that person will lose anyway. ”

      1) We don’t know if these ‘people’ are numerous enough to matter.

      2) Even if they are, that may be the price the GOP has to pay in the short term to have a long-term future worth having. Trump can’t win anyway, and if defines the face of the GOP they don’t have much of a future.

      1. Trump can’t win anyway,

        To the extent early polls are valid, he can beat Hillary and thus win.

        http://thehill.com/blogs/ballo…..ad-to-head

        1. I don’t think you even need to consult polls to predict that he could beat Hillary. It would be a landslide.

        2. Pretty sure other polls have very different results.

      2. 1) We don’t know if these ‘people’ are numerous enough to matter.

        They were numerous enough to stay home when Romney was the candidate.

        Even if they are, that may be the price the GOP has to pay in the short term to have a long-term future worth having.

        That’s begging the question. It’s a lot more likely than it was in 2012 that the GOP will split into a Chamber of Commerce/neocon wing and a nationalist/isolationist wing, and won’t have a shot at winning the Presidency for the foreseeable future. Even nominally loyal GOPers are questioning the value of Congressional majorities if their leaders don’t win policy battles, and act like conservatives that don’t actually conserve anything.

        1. “They were numerous enough to stay home when Romney was the candidate.”

          I think we are talking about two overlapping but different ‘theys’. Very sloppy points deducted.

          ” It’s a lot more likely than it was in 2012 that the GOP will split into a Chamber of Commerce/neocon wing and a nationalist/isolationist wing, and won’t have a shot at winning the Presidency for the foreseeable future. ”

          Begging what question? Seems like they are doing that split now, and the Trumptards are only dragging the party down even further to hell.

          1. I think we are talking about two overlapping but different ‘theys’

            Your point? If a large number of the base doesn’t like the candidate of their party, regardless of the reason, they won’t turn out to vote for them. The differences are irrelevant.

            very sloppy points deducted.

            Got more brain-dead millenial bon mots to provide? LIKE WOW JUST WOW I CAN’T EVEN UGH NO WORDS.

            Begging what question?

            That the GOP will emerge in a more “worthwhile” form that’s still capable of winning presidential elections.

            Seems like they are doing that split now, and the Trumptards are only dragging the party down even further to hell.

            Please. Trump is a symptom, not a cause. Amazing that people keep missing this.

      3. The GOP is so splintered we’ll never see another republican president in our lifetime. The Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs has ensured that losing outcome for decades to come.

        The GOP hasn’t won the female vote in a presidential election since 1988. The vast majority of gays have NEVER voted for a republican and the GOPs stand on drugs guarantees the youth will be voting democrat for the next 50 years.

        Figure Trump conservatively has approximately 10% of the republicans’ support. After the way Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Suderman and scores of others have made Trump out to be a clown, and that’s the same as calling his supporters clowns, it’s a safe bet they’ll be staying home this election.

        I’m as fiscally conservative as they come but I would vote for Karl Marx before I’d vote for ANY Bush again in this lifetime.

        IT’S ALL OVER FOLKS! And the socialists have won.

    2. I’d be happy with the GOP base staying home if that’s the cost of not having a Trump presidency. Personally, I don’t see it happening, though, especially if an open socialist is the Democratic nominee.

      1. Personally, I don’t see it happening, though, especially if an open socialist is the Democratic nominee.

        Again, I point to Mitt Romney.

        1. And again, that is nonsense.

          1. Based on what particular evidence?

      2. And to add to this, don’t underestimate a voting constituency doing something out of spite. We’ve had nominal libertarians on this board state they’d vote for a lying, corrupt, power-mongering slimebucket like Hillary if it was her vs. Trump; what makes you think Trump supporters wouldn’t do the same thing to Rubio or Jeb?

      3. An open socialist can win. He tells people they’ll be rich. They want to believe that.

        If the GOP mouths off about gays, abortion, and god crap, and they will, he’ll win by a landslide.

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    1. Well, anything’s better than Walmart, but I can’t afford to take an internet job that pays less than $120/hr until I get that money from the Nigerian princess.

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