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2016 Election

A South Carolina Autopsy – In the GOP only 3 Candidates Remain

Written by Onan Coca


You may take issue with the title here as, technically, there are still five major candidates left in the race — Donald Trump, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with Governor John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson. However, let’s just be honest here – there is no path to the nomination left for Dr. Carson or for Governor Kasich.

Dr. Carson’s best hopes for victory were in Iowa and South Carolina; he lost both, BIG. For Governor Kasich, the mountain is just as high because there really is (and never was) any viable path to victory for him. He skipped Iowa and camped out in New Hampshire for almost a month… and still couldn’t win! While Jeb Bush was the first candidate to drop out after South Carolina’s primary, he shouldn’t be the only one leaving the race. It’s time for Dr. Carson and Governor Kasich to go.

That leaves us with just Trump, Cruz and Rubio.

This scenario is one that many pundits have been envisioning for months now as the polls and the GOP’s data has shown a building swell of support from various camps for these three men: the outsiders (Trump and Cruz), the conservatives (Cruz and Rubio) and the establishment (Rubio). Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that while Trump hasn’t garnered a majority of support from any of these groups, he has gotten sizable pluralities from all of them and he’s stolen almost all of the votes from moderate-liberal Republicans.

Here’s the thing… while Donald Trump is winning, he’s “only” winning roughly 1 of 3 Republican voters in the primary. Which for a “normal” Republican candidate would be no big deal, but for Trump this is a major problem. Why? Because Mr. Trump is a candidate that a large minority of GOP voters sees as “not a Republican.” In fact, in the world of “electability,” Donald Trump may well be the most “unelectable” candidate to ever participate in a national election.

Here’s the proof from the voters themselves:

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 4.18.24 PM

Also, a brief analysis of the South Carolina results shows that head to head against the other candidates, Trump would be an also-ran and not the frontrunner. Cruz and Rubio combined to win 45% of the vote in South Carolina, and while not all of the voters would migrate to the other candidate if their candidate dropped out, poll after poll shows that the majority of them would. Practically speaking, if Cruz or Rubio would drop out… the other would likely be the Republican Party nominee for President. And it wouldn’t be close.

I’m not going to call for one of the two men to drop out yet, because really, how would I choose which one should stop running? They’ve both done equally well in the race thus far, and either would be a solid conservative choice for the nomination. However, I do hope that both campaigns are considering what is best for the party and the nation and not putting themselves first in this scenario. For the sake of conservatism, we need to defeat the Democrats in 2016, and there is simply no evidence that Donald Trump will be able to do that. None. He’s been leading the GOP polling since the summer, and he hasn’t made a dent in his “electability” problems. In fact, he’s become the “most disliked” national candidate in 25+ years (and that includes Hillary Clinton)!

For the good of our nation, we need either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio to leave the race by March 2nd, the day after the Super Tuesday (or SEC) primary and the day before the start of CPAC on March 3rd. It might hurt, but someone needs to fall on their sword, take one for the team, so that we can make 2016 the banner year for the GOP it was supposed to be.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Romulus Marketing. He's also the managing editor at, and the managing partner at You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children.

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