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A Pyrrhic Victory on the Ides of March

How knocking Rubio out of the race would cost Cruz the nomination

Right: Pyrrhus and his elephants

“The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one other such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.” ~ Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus

Today is the fabled “Ides of March.” It is the day when — according to Plutarch and Suetonius — Julius Caesar was assassinated. It’s been long contended that Americans are the “New Romans” and that the transformation of our Constitutional Republic into an Empire began in the mid-20th century. An endless series of foreign wars, deficit spending and a general moral free-fall likens us to the Romans.

Today, we have the triumvirate of Clinton, Sanders and Trump, any one of whom — although they differ greatly in policy — would transform America slowly but surely from a constitutional republic into a statist empire.

A lone Constitutionalist, Ted Cruz, although not the perfect presidential candidate, is the only viable alternative from a delegate math perspective. Unfortunately, Cruz will come in a distant third in Florida. Many Cruz supporters ironically believe that knocking out the candidate who is closest to him in political ideology, Marco Rubio, will somehow help Cruz to win the nomination. A vote for Cruz in Florida will not help him. In fact, by throwing the Florida primary election to Trump, it would immediately block any path for Cruz to win the nomination — even eliminating the possibility of a contested convention.

I wrote several updates to my Delegate Math article in the past few weeks, trying to convince my Florida Republican friends that if Marco Rubio lost Florida to Trump, this would essentially seal the nomination for Trump. Florida is winner-take-all and its 99 delegates awarded to Trump would put him over the 700 mark on the way to 1237 delegates needed for the nomination.

I also showed that since over 120 delegates will go to the convention as unbound, the Donald only has to get up to about 1100 delegates. Trump will be able to make the strong case that in order to avoid a contested and divisive GOP Convention in July, those 120 delegates ought to unite and give him the nomination on the first ballot.

The only hope is for Cruz is to surpass Trump in the delegate count. He may not get to 1237 delegates, but in a virtual tie, the delegate role call at the convention would probably go to Cruz on the second ballot. Keeping the 99 winner-take-all Florida delegates out of Trump’s column is vital to that strategy.

Therefore, Cruz has all but pulled out of Florida, preferring to campaign in Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina where he has a better chance of picking up delegates. However, Cruz is still polling at 15 to 20 percent in Florida. Kasich is campaigning solely in Ohio, but he has shown a little surge in the past few days up to about 9 percent in Florida. This is counterintuitive and may reflect a few days’ lag in data rather than a surge toward voting day.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that Trump has a ceiling of 40 percent in Florida. The average of all recent polls have him at 43 percent, but Trump has been overestimated in many polls. Some of the widest gaffes have been in the polls leading up to the recent March 8th primaries. If that trend holds true, Rubio would have to win about 40 percent of the vote to keep the Florida contest from Trump. The other 20 percent could be split between Kasich and Cruz.

The current RealClear Politics polling average has the following as of today.

Trump 43.0
Rubio 24.7
Cruz 18.4
Kasich 9.1
TOTAL: 95.2
Undecided: 4.8

If this is accurate, then Trump assuredly has Florida sewn up. To keep Florida’s delegates and the GOP nomination from Trump, Rubio would somehow have to find a way win and take those 99 delegates out of Trump’s column.

Is there any possibility that this could happen?

In several recent primaries, many polls were monstrously wrong, while just one or two were close to the mark. A poll that concluded five days ago, WTSP/Mason-Dixon, which had a margin of error of 3.8 points, had Trump up by just 6 points over Rubio.

Trump 36
Rubio 30
Cruz 17
Kasich 8
TOTAL: 91
Undecided: 9

According to this poll, a Rubio win is possible even though most other polls have Trump way out front. It also assumes that most of the undecideds would break for Rubio.

Here are two possible scenarios in which Rubio could eke out a victory.

Rubio 38
Trump 37.0
Cruz 17
Kasich 8
TOTAL: 100

Another scenario has Cruz will coming in under 15 percent and Kasich around 5 percent.

Rubio 40.1
Trump 40.0
Cruz 14.9
Kasich 5
TOTAL: 100

Since the margin of polling error for each candidate is about 4 points, it is conceivable that Trump could underperform. Cruz and Kasich supporters who are repulsed by Trump might decide to not “waste their vote” and go with their second choice in Rubio on election day. It’s not very probable, but anything is possible. Florida has had some insanely close elections in recent memory and some surprising results. It is a notoriously difficult to take accurate polls in Florida due to diverse nature of the demographics statewide.

If you are a Cruz supporter and you think that knocking Rubio out of the race will benefit Cruz in future primaries, please think again. It would be a Pyrrhic victory in the truest sense of the word. The delegate math makes the nomination almost a certain lock for Trump if he gets a Florida win and takes all 99 delegates.

So I urge my Florida friends who want to block the Trump nomination to vote for Marco Rubio today.

Your comments are welcome!

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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