The press corps tends to go with the cheap, easy, and spoon-fed narrative. That narrative is that Karl Rove is opening doors and rolodexes for Ben Carson to stop Donald Trump.
That’s not it and people in the know, know it.
Carson is collapsing and his support is headed to Ted Cruz. In Iowa and elsewhere, Carson voters are toying with Cruz and Rubio. Rove wants an establishment guy.
On Bloomberg Politics With All Due Respect earlier this week, Rove listed Bush, Christie and Marco Rubio as the three candidates most likely to knock Trump off when “the other 70 to 75 percent of the party begins to coalesce behind somebody.”
Rove knows the odds are with Rubio as Bush is cratering and Christie has been moved to the kids’ table debate. But he has to worry that enough Trump and Carson supporters go to Cruz that it galvanizes the base toward Cruz. Immigration has become the galvanizing issue of the day and to much of the base Cruz trumps Rubio on that.
So Rove needs to keep Carson viable long enough to hold off Cruz. Don’t believe me? Look at the polling. Trump is holding steady at about 30%.
The [“other 70 to 75 percent” in Rove’s quote is a] reference is to Trump’s polling numbers. Though consistently leading the Republican pack since the summer, Trump has never been able to get much past the 30 percent mark in the polls tracked by Real Clear Politics.
Carson is starting to crash, Rubio is going up, and Cruz is going up. Cruz is going way up in Iowa and the Rubio camp has started firing shots at him on national security. It is just not a coincidence that now that this is happening, Rove is helping Carson.
If you have ever read Rove in the Wall Street Journal or listened to him on television, or for that matter read the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which worships Rove, all are consistently anti-Cruz and fear him as the nominee.
Rove helping Carson may superficially appear to be about Trump, but the reality is this is all about holding off a Carson supporter shift to Ted Cruz.