To win in 2016, the GOP had better call Paul Ryan

This year, when the candidates reach Cleveland, the Republican Party will be plagued with three damaged candidates, all tainted by the odor of failure. After the GOP emerges from spending all its resources blocking Trump from engulfing the party in flames, delegates will look up and realize just how unpopular Cruz is with general election voters. In last week’s Marquette University poll, Cruz’s favorability rating was 30% among statewide voters, and his unfavorability rating was 48%. Even Republican voters aren’t particularly enamored with Cruz — many are voting for him as if it were a condition of their parole sentence.

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Kasich has the strongest electability case, as he fares best against Hillary Clinton in general election polls. But is the party really ready to hand the nomination to a guy who has won one state (his home of Ohio), and who fell well short of double digits in state after state early in the contest? A brand new candidate may have gotten fewer votes than Kasich, but that’s the point. We know the Republican Party has a fever to win the presidency, and it’s been proven that they think the cure isn’t more Kasich.

But Ryan is one candidate who has been poll-tested on the national stage. Even after denying he had any interest in being Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, Ryan took on the challenge. Later, Ryan unequivocally denied interest in succeeding John Boehner as the next speaker of the House; he is now referred to as “Speaker Ryan.” Evidently, the surest way to tell if Paul Ryan is going to get a job is whether he denies wanting it. (Ryan has said the 2016 nominee is “not going to be me.”)

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