Is the Republican Presidential Race Now Down to Just 2 Candidates – Trump and Cruz?

For the last few weeks, the Republican presidential nomination race has been effectively narrowed down to four candidates: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.  With the terrible Paris attacks and the candidates reaction to those attacks, the polls have moved dramatically.  Trump has solidified his significant lead and the #1 spot.  Carson’s support has dropped precipitously in some places.  Rubio and Cruz have moved upwards.  But, even more importantly, we might now be able to predict who the final two candidates will probably be.  Of course, in a dynamic race, with global events taking place all around us, things could change quickly.   Who are the most likely top 2 candidates?  Why?  Let’s discuss the latest in the Republican presidential nomination race now …

What’s the Impact of the Paris Attacks and the Republican Presidential Candidates’ Reactions?  What are Voters Thinking?

I don’t think there is much question that the Paris attacks shook France, Europe and the voters in America.  Rather than thinking that ISIS is contained, American voters now realize that ISIS is a very real threat to America.  In their view, the homeland is now at considerable risk of terror attacks.

Voters now primarily seek a strong, conservative president that will be a tough, commander-in-chief that will win any terrorist war we might have to fight in the next few years.  They also reject progressive “soft-on-terrorist” policies of the current administration.  In addition, they are clearly against allowing large numbers of unvetted or inadequately vetted Middle East refugees into America that might actually be ISIS soldiers or terrorists masked as refugees.  To voters, the risk is simply too high.  Protecting America and their families is issue #1 for voters.

As a result, Trump has gone higher in the polls and Carson with his initial weak-sounding response to the Paris attacks dropped in the minds of many voters (who generally admire his character and accomplishments as a neurosurgeon).  I think many voters seem to be saying they are unsure Carson has the toughness to be a strong commander-in-chief.  Rubio and Cruz benefitted as well from their reactions to the Paris attacks.

Who are the Top 2 Contenders for the Republican Presidential Nomination Based on Current Polls, Policies and Trends?

It appears to me now that Carson is trending downward and will no longer be in the #2 spot in a few weeks.  Rubio and Cruz are currently fighting it out for the #2 slot.  Both are good on foreign policy.  Of the two, Cruz is perceived as being much stronger on immigration than Rubio.  This is the main reason why Rubio hasn’t done better among conservatives thus far in the race.

Cruz is strong on immigration like Trump, but without Trump’s (or Carson’s) explosive rhetoric.  Incidentally, this might ultimately be the reason Cruz gets the nomination over Trump … what I now call the “explosive rhetoric factor.”

As of today,  I think the top 2 contenders in the Republican presidential nomination race are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  I also think as other establishment candidates fall in the polls, Rubio will get their support.  Rubio will be the de facto establishment candidate.

Expect Bush supporters and donors to move toward Rubio as the best establishment alternative to Trump and Cruz.

Who Will the Republican Team Ultimately Be?

A Trump/Cruz team is very conceivable.  A Cruz/Jindal team is a real possibility as well.  If Rubio got the presidential nomination, I can see Rubio/Fiorina, Rubio/Carson, or Rubio/Kasich as definite possibilities.

For More Information

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