I just want to highlight two tweets I saw since Cole dropped his truth bomb:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 8, 2016
And a question as to why Rubio is not dropping out:
@ChuckLane1 Sort of a game theory question: in Rubio’s shoes, why not drop out before Florida humiliation, endorse Kasich and wait for 2020?
— Keith Humphreys (@KeithNHumphreys) March 6, 2016
The anti-Trump agenda is ensnared in a massive collective action problem. The anti-Trump movement is better off if Rubio drops out. However, the problem is simple for a party that really does not believe in collective action problems solved through societal actions and instead believes or at least publicly spouts off that everything can be modeled on the basis of individual rational behavior to get optimal societal results. There is a stable equilibrium that is extraordinarily negative for the anti-Trumpers where everyone is asking the other individuals to impale themselves on the barbwire so that they can use the body as a bridge to get into Trump’s trenches.
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) March 7, 2016
Let’s just look at Rubio for his incentive structure. Right now, he has shitty chances. The betting market has him at 8% chance of nomination and probably an implied 4% to 5% chance of the White House. Those odds suck, especially compared to his odds in December. However they are better than his 2020 odds. He has gone 1 and done in the Senate. He has indicated he actually hates the process of governing so a run for Governor in 2018 and then a summer long camp-out in South Carolina in 2019 is unlikely. If he loses now he becomes 2012 Rick Santorum without a natural base of dedicated supporters and a similar humiliating loss.
8% odds suck. They are much better than his 2020 or his 2024 odds.
So why would he get out?
Applying that same logic to all to Kasich and Cruz, and their odds suck now, but they are better than they would be in 2020.
And given that the promises that are made in March of 2016 are highly contingent promises that Trump can first be beaten and then Clinton can be beaten plus the promiser has few strong constraints in his actions after Election Day, the promises made to move someone out are not particularly valuable nor credible.
The traditional solution to a collective action problem is to have an external entity be able to move people off of stable but negative equilibriums and compensate losers from the much larger net social gains. The RNC is not a strong governing entity and Republicans don’t do collective action problems well anyways…
So pass the popcorn.