You'll notice the title of this implies I will only be making one post about the entire USA Republican Primaries for 2016.
This is correct.
I do not follow US politics. One of the key reasons is politics in the US is more about personality and less about policy. More about controversy and less about the team.
I am planning quite the detailed post about accountability and political parties; the USA with it's nearly nonexistent party discipline is one of the key examples of this. Regardless
There are only a few key people in the race at this time. Two of the top attention getters are Ben Carson, and Donald Trump. I'll address the latter later on. Carson has a big problem, he can't control the things that come out of his mouth. Contrast this with Trump who says his stupid stuff on purpose, Carson just seems to babble without any thought. Carson is not stupid, he's a brain surgeon, but he certainly sounds stupid, and his inability to reign in his psychopathic babbling is what will prevent him from ever becoming President.
There are some serious contenders who have not had as much media attention who could actually win. Jeb, Rubio, and Cruz. Of these, Cruz seems to have the edge at this time. Cruz could mount a serious campaign for president from the right, and would have libertarians backing him up. I would not under-estimate his ability to campaign. Rubio and Jeb are more friendly towards the bulk of the Republican Party, and would have support from those quarters.
There are also a few dark horse candidates. Either they could be convinced to enter the race to save the party from the low quality field, or, they could see a sudden surge after sitting so low in the polls. They include, but are not limited to, Christie, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Paul, Santorum, and Mitt Romney. One, and only one of these could see their fortunes rise in the early part of the new year if people are not satisfied with the other options.
In the end, there is only room for one "Moderate". Rubio and Jeb both play that role in this context, and one will need to be ahead of the other to take on that role. At this time, Rubio has the lead, though Jeb has the better long-term organization, and that could change. Jeb has the money and the people, and my gut says he may well become the standard bearer for the "Moderates"
Cruz meanwhile is very likely to become the standard bearer for the more right-wing elements within the party. There is a good chance Cruz walks away with the nomination, and I would not bet against such a thing.
In the end it all comes down to one problem; Donald Trump.
Simply, Trump is an idiot. He's not stupid, but he is an idiot. The biggest problem for Trump is himself. Donald Trump is similar to John Tory in that he feels he does not need to listen to advice. Because of this, Trump just says whatever he wants to. Unlike Carson, this is intentional. Trump is not the kind to come to a campaign meeting of the top brass an admit he should not have said something, he's the type of blame the media for covering it wrong.
Because of this, Trump actually can not win the presidency at this time as the Republican candidate. No matter who is opponent is, in a two-way race, he can't win. As such, we have a few scenarios for how all of this plays out.
1 - People within the Republican party realize Trump is an idiot and abandon him for Ted Cruz. Cruz wins the nomination and goes on to the Presidential race, where he is defeated by a Democrat.
2 - People within the Republican Party realize Trump and his ideas are crazy, and abandon him for Rubio or Jeb. Jeb then goes on to challenge the Democrats, but loses in the end.
3 - Trump decides to run for a third party. The Republicans simply choose someone else, and both that person and Trump lose to the Democratic nominee.
4 - Worst Case Scenario. Trump goes 3rd party, but Jeb or another moderate wins the Republican nomination. Jeb campaigns from the centre, and Trump campaigns from the right. This would require Sanders as the Democratic nominee, but in short, you split the votes and the EC in just the right way so that the election is thrown to the house; but Trump, with support of the right-wing of the Republican Party, is somehow able to cobble a victory out of this, and you end up with Trump as President.
This is all I will have to say about the Republican Primaries. I may have comments about the Democratic primaries, or, another comment about the Presidential race itself; but that would be months from now.