to have missed his train.
For months, some disenchanted Republicans have sought an alternative to the GOP presidential field. Actually, there are lots of disenchanted Republicans. At the beginning of this month, 58 percent said they weren’t happy with their choices.
Some prominent members of this cohort gave up on getting Sarah Palin in the race, as if another candidate with a record of wackiness, missteps and being unqualified for the office she’s already held could possibly have improved matters. Then they turned their sights on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and, of course, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. None stepped up to the plate, even though some hopefuls keep grasping at straws.
In truth, it’s been too late for the knight in shining armor to come to the rescue for some time. Winning the nomination requires more than magic. It takes organization in the primary and caucus states and none of the purported saviors have that. No offices, no phone lines, no team of phone-bankers. Zilch.
There’s one more problem: Filing deadlines. Josh Putnam lays it out in stark terms at FrontloadingHQ. If the GOP rescuer got it together right now, today, and filed all the paperwork necessary to get on the ballot in the states whose deadlines have not yet passed, he or she could possibly arrive in Tampa in August with the 1144 delegates necessary to get the nomination at the GOP Convention. Assuming he or she won every available delegate in every state. Possible, no doubt, in a video game. After Tuesday, even that won’t be possible, however, as the filing deadlines for Kentucky and Indiana pass into history.
Yes, there’s another straw-grasping scenario: getting the uncommitted delegates. Counting the possibility that enough such delegates would swing toward a still-unannounced candidate ups the chances a bit. And even if a candidate couldn’t get the needed votes to win the nomination, there might be enough to block another candidate from being the nominee. But that suggests throwing in with one of the not-good-enough candidates that nearly three-fifths of Republican voters aren’t happy about.
Still, as Putnam says, there is that one remaining problem for such a scenario:
Who is that candidate? Let me rephrase that. Who is the candidate who can not only successfully enter the race late, but who can also marshal the organization necessary to cobble together enough delegates to take the nomination or throw enough of a monkeywrench into the process and still maintain support in the party to win the nomination at the convention? Let’s think about this for a moment. There are people in this race now actively seeking the nomination (and who have been running for president for quite some time) who cannot get on the ballots in some states. And we are expecting someone to come in and immediately be able to beat these deadlines, organize write-in efforts and uncommitted slates of delegates to get within shouting distance of 1144 or a lower total held by the frontrunner.
The Republicans came to the dance with the wrong partners. And now they’re going to have to go home with one of them.