Is the Republican establishment plotting to deny both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz the Republican nomination? The conspiracy theory has become a staple of conservative talk radio. The idea that a shadowy group of Republican movers and shakers, irate that their favored candidates such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio did not gain any traction during the primaries, is scheming to use the convention, it’s rules, and the likely circumstance that no one will arrive with enough delegates to lock down the nomination, has gained a lot of traction.


Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor and former consigliere to President George W. Bush, poured gasoline on that fire when he recently told Hugh Hewitt that neither Trump nor Cruz is likely to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election and therefore another candidate is needed.

The problem is that no one else has been able to win votes. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan has been mentioned as the white knight candidate, but they lost in 2012, and no evidence exists that they would do any better in 2016.

Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio have also been mentioned, but they failed to get enough Republican votes to remain in the race, not to mention independents and disaffected Democrats to win the general election.

Rove is certainly correct that Trump would be a disaster in the general election. All the polling data indicates that this is so. But no reason exists that Ted Cruz, with his fund raising and organization skills and his cogent conservative message cannot carry the day against a morally and legally compromised Hillary Clinton.


That applies to anyone else the Democrats might choose if she is indicated.

The bottom line is whether or not the group that Ted Cruz dubbed “the Washington Cartel” attempts a coup at the Republican National Convention depends on how clueless they have become. The attempt would likely cause a revolt on the floor, ironically driving Trump and Crux supporters together. An attempt to foist a new “fresh face” candidate would likely tear the Republican Party apart and all but ensure defeat in November.

The only way to win is to fall behind Ted Cruz. No other alternative exists.