Contra Mozilla

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Presidential Primaries Endorsement

Since primary season is upon us, I suppose I should make some endorsement. For the Democrats, I cannot offer an endorsement, because I think that both main candidates are absolutely awful. If you must vote Democrat, then I suppose that the approach should be "Bros before hoes," but then again I suspect that Sanders is more likely to win than Clinton in a national election.

For the Republicans, my endorsement is a bit more serious, because I might actually vote for their nominee. If it's Trump, then I'm going to vote third party, in all likelihood. Each of the other candidates has, in my opinion, some large flaws but also some significant upside. With that said, I think my preference is either for Rubio or Cruz. Carson seems very discerning, and he's certainly quite intelligent, and Kasich is also reasonably discerning about where he will dig in his heels and fight and where he will compromise. He's not pro-life enough for my tastes, and is weak on the marriage questions--but on the other hand he is signing the bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio, and I suspect that we have lost the political fight over the meaning of marriage for the next generation at least. The goal her should really be, "do no harm."

With that said, neither Kasich nor Carson has a particularly clear (nor likely) path to the nomination. My first Choice was Jindal, but he did not even make it to the Iowa caucuses (in the the same way, my first preference two cycles ago was Brownback, who dropped out shortly after Iowa). If we had a less appalling frontrunner, I might consider a vote for Carson or Kasich, but really I don't lean much towards either of them over Cruz or Rubio.

I lean slightly more towards Cruz than Trump, but my actual endorsement at this point is "anybody but Trump." To this end, I would recommend the following strategy: vote for whichever between Cruz and Rubio is the frontrunner (or second behind Trump) in your state, at least until it becomes apparent that one or the other will bow out. Since many states are either winner-take-all or (more commonly) winner-take-most, having Trump lose (or come in second) in many states will draw a lot more delegates away from him, and will go much further to prevent his becoming the nominee, than will splitting the "not Trump" vote between Rubio and Cruz within each state.

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