Hey, GOP establishment: Pull yourself together

Finally, the Establishment Four won’t stay mired in the middle of the pack forever. One or two of them are bound to pull away from the others after New Hampshire, clarifying matters for your party’s money men and political leaders. At that point, it will be easier for you to eventually consolidate around one while the Trump-Cruz demolition derby continues.

I’m not arguing that the Establishment can force a candidate upon an unwilling primary electorate. The presidential primary process has been fully democratized and the days of smoke-filled backrooms are over. But have a little faith that your party’s rank-and-file voters haven’t completely lost their minds. Don’t take your party’s temperature using early polls and crowd sizes, for both can deceive.

On the Huffington Post podcast “Candidate Confessional,” Howard Dean recently shared that he knew he was losing Iowa, despite his national numbers, when he saw the same faces at all of his Iowa rallies. “I was going to event to event,” he said, “and it was like being the Grateful Dead. It was the same crowd. … I realized what was happening; this was not about ordinary Iowans. And once it’s not about ordinary Iowans … you’re in big trouble.”

Could that be happening with Trump or Cruz? I’ll tell you this much: A Trump super-fan who made her own Trump dress and matching purse has been spotted at a Dallas rally in September and a Tulsa rally in January.