UPDATED FEBRUARY 23
As we head into the final stretch of the U.S. presidential election, the GOP race for the nomination has tightened. In order to help you sort out what’s news from what’s noise, here’s the official National Lampoon political projection for the upcoming months, taking into account polling data, news analysis, and our own wide-ranging independent reporting.
March 1: Super Tuesday:
About half of all delegates will be up for grabs. Our data suggests that, out of 1,022 available delegates, Cruz will pick up 122, Rubio 87, and Donald Trump 4,392. Note: Our numbers suggest many of Trump’s delegates will be Chinese. We also predict Ted Cruz will loudly complain about “simply unprecedented numbers” of Chinese delegates, at which point Trump will slap him across the face with a manila folder chock-full of Trump newspaper clippings from the ‘80s. “The fact is,” says Trump, slapping Cruz again for emphasis, “I understand Chinese elections. I understand Chinese democracy.” Cruz then tries to make a hack joke about the Guns ‘n Roses album, something like, “I waited longer for that Guns ‘n Roses album than I have for you to make sense,” and is immediately docked 10 delegates.
Though this will be Rubio’s worst performance to date, percentage-wise, his advisors will suggest this is exactly the position they want to be in. “Florida is where the dam will break,” says one. “If you’re ever in a foxhole, and I think it’s fair to consider this position to be a foxhole, there’s nobody you’d want in there with you more than Marco Rubio. He’s so far into the foxhole, that when you try to go deeper into the foxhole, that’s where you’ll find him, safely wedged in, just in the right spot, wedged in there.” When pressed on the notion that foxholes traditionally (and metaphorically) have two entrances, the advisor suggested “this is more of a classic reverse foxhole we’re talking about.”
John Kasich will get no delegates, but will say “Isn’t this fun?” repeatedly while hugging pedestrians at the mall.
Ben Carson will also receive no delegates, but will commence construction on an enormous, unspecified structure on the outskirts of Baltimore.
March 15: Florida
Confident of victory, Rubio nonetheless comes in third in his home state, but throws a victory party anyway. “We already had the party planned, and it seemed a shame to waste it, and frankly we’re in a great spot,” says the same advisor quoted previously. Several Republican governors and Senators, plus sundry Romneys, endorse Rubio, declaring him the future of the GOP.
Meanwhile, Trump seals the nomination with an astonishing 12,368 delegates, approximately 6 times as many delegates as is technically possible. At his Miami victory party he surprises the crowd by bringing Raul Castro on stage, saying “Check out this fucking guy. What a loser!” He then shoves Fidel’s frail, aged brother off the edge of the stage, where he totters, in what feels like agonizing slow motion, into the hostile, roiling crowd.
Ted Cruz is out of the race, but nevertheless holds a speech off the west coast of Florida in his “Freedom Ark,” a recreation of the Biblical ark built to exact Biblical specifications. At the end of his speech, he dramatically lowers a boarding ramp and declares, “Let those Americans who seek freedom find it on this ark!” A hissing, tangled swarm of Florida pythons surge up the ramp, coiling themselves around Cruz and dragging him to his death in the rocky surf.
Outside Baltimore, Carson’s structure has begun to take recognizable shape: It’s a fantastic, gold plated pyramid, exactly 10,000 feet high.
July 21: Last Night of the GOP Convention
Marco Rubio marches out on stage with his arms in the air, flashing the victory sign and grinning widely. “We did it,” he begins, before Trump guns him down with a pistol carved out of solid diamond. As Rubio clutches his shattered ribcage, Trump kicks his bleeding body off the front of the stage, where it rolls in what feels like agonizing slow motion off the edge and is promptly torn limb from limb by robot delegates built in Trump’s brand-new Mexican robot factory.
Ben Carson entombs himself within his pyramid and disappears for 6,000 years.
July 22, 8016
Ben Carson emerges from his pyramid, somehow looking exactly the same. He finds himself in a grassy landscape marked by rolling, manicured lawns and tastefully trimmed topiary. He wanders down a nearby path, his kind eyes twinkling at the bucolic tranquility. Some part of his conscious mind notices a curious absence of any kind of animal life, but he tucks the thought away, far down in a deep place where it’ll never worry him again.
Rounding a bend, Dr. Carson sees what appears to be a flat gleaming cylinder, about 50 feet tall and the same in diameter. It merrily reflects the dappled sunlight streaming through the nearby trees. As Dr. Caron approaches, a hole dilates in the sheer metal surface, just large enough for a man to comfortably step through. He does so.
The opening slams shut with a wet sloshing sound as he’s plunged into darkness. A sudden, dizzying motion throws off his balance – gravity itself seems to go haywire as Dr. Carson is viciously overcome by a tremendous sensation of movement, but lacking any clear direction. Then, just as suddenly as it began, it stops. The darkness opens up, like a flower blooming for the very first time. Darkness gives way to light; it is as if the world itself is being born once again.
Dr. Carson finds himself on a raised dais overlooking a vaulted, gleaming metropolis. Magnificent rectangular spires rise up into the sky, their dimensions ineffable, godlike. But something is amiss – as Dr. Carson marvels at the structure, he sees a shape play across them, a moving image, fleeting but somehow recognizable. It darts, it vanishes, it reappears, too quick to be pinned down by the human eye. Dr. Carson, mesmerized, tries to track it as it flits across the futuristic landscape.
Then, with a shudder, he places it. It’s the fixed rictus of two lips, two horribly pink little lips, locked in an eternal boorish shout.
“No!” he cries. “Oh yes,” a coarse rasp answers, and Dr. Carson spins around to see a gleaming metallic RoboTrump standing before him. A metallic appendage extrudes, extending itself out of nothingness in a hideous eldritch motion. Dr. Carson barely has time to process what he sees as he feels – but can’t quite believe – himself being shoved over the edge of the platform, and suddenly falling, in what feels like agonizing slow motion, to his death thousands of feet below.
Illustration by mikeymbm3