In what must seem to be a little glimmer of hope for those people who fear a Donald Trump presidency, CNN reported that the first national poll taken since the famous Trump debate meltdown that Ted Cruz has edged ahead of the mercurial real estate tycoon in a national survey. Cruz enjoys the support of 28 percent of Republicans, with Trump just behind with 26 percent. Marco Rubio comes in third with 17 percent. Trump is still far ahead in the South Carolina poll in advance of the primary and a number of other states.

With the primaries consisting of state elections, the state polls are what matter more, at least in the short term. However, unless the CNN poll is an outlier, it suggests that, perhaps, at long last #Donald Trump has peaked. If so, the question arises whether he can be defeated outright, leaving the nomination to either Cruz or Rubio, or at least held to below the delegates needed to clinch the nomination. In the latter case, the victory goes to either Rubio or Cruz, depending on what is decided in the smoke-free rooms at the brokered convention.

The task that lays ahead for Republicans is to make sure that Trump does not win without alienating too many of his supporters. It is not even a question of Trump not winning the general election. With the choice between the legally compromised Hillary Clinton and the wild eyed socialist Bernie Sanders, the race is the Republicans to loose. The fear that haunts a lot of people is how the often out of control Trump would govern.

Trump has had some measure of success with bluster and threats in business. But, on the world stage, he would be facing killers like Vladimir Putin and the Iranian mullahs. He is likely to find that they are not as easily intimidated or moved as people who is used to dealing with in the boardroom. Cruz and Rubio at least understand the niceties of international diplomacy. The trick will be to appease Trump when he finds out that, despite it all, he has lost. Perhaps he will get the contract to build the wall on the southern border. #Election 2016 #GOP