Ninety days until Iowa caucuses: Turmoil in the Republican race – The Hill


With just 90 days left before the Iowa caucuses, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is wide open — and the party appears to be losing control of the process.

The last 48 hours have been characterized by efforts from the campaigns to negotiate new rules for future televised debates, with dissatisfaction being voiced against the Republican National Committee (RNC) almost as much as against the media.

The complaints about the RNC are another manifestation of the restless mood that has catapulted businessman Donald Trump and retired surgeon Ben Carson to the top of the polls, despite the fact that neither man has ever held elected office.
Many in the party believe that both are destined to crash and burn before winning the nomination. If they do not do so, skeptics warn, either candidate is a near-certain loser to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a general election.

But critics of Trump and Carson have been predicting their demise for months.

The fluidity of the race was underlined Monday when Florida Sen. Marco Rubio surged into third place in New Hampshire in new polls as his competitor and onetime mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, slid to sixth place. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is also on the rise, taking third place in a recent poll out of Iowa.

There have been dramatic fights for the GOP nomination in the past two presidential cycles, though insiders say this one is setting a new standard of volatility.

“More so than any other cycle ever!” said GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway. “It is neither hyperbole nor exaggeration to say that 2015 has been the wildest, most unpredictable year in recent memory — and it looks like it’s spilling into 2016.”

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