In February, 2016, the Republican Primary is in full swing, capturing the attention of America.
February 1, at the Iowa caucuses, Ted Cruz pulled off a narrow victory against Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. Three candidates suspend their campaigns: Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Rand Paul due to poor showings.
Eight days later, February 9, Donald Trump surprises the country winning 35% of the delegates from New Hampshire. John Kasich surprises many, finishing in second place with just under 16%, and Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush all get approximately 11% of the vote… and Bush claims he has a revitalized campaign.
Carly Fiorina and and Chris Christie both drop out of the race on February 10. Jim Gilmore drops out later that week.
The race gears up for South Carolina, with Marco Rubio scoring the influential endorsement of governor Nikki Haley the morning of February 17.
But this news is lost when (We now enter ‘alternate history’) the winner from New Hampshire, and force of nature in the debates, entertainer and business mogul, Donald Trump is hospitalized due to a cardiac event.
On the morning of February 19th, Donald Trump announces to the media that as much as he loves his country, and knows he is the right man to be President, on the advice of his doctors, and request of his loving family, he is withdrawing from the Republican Primary, to focus on his health. He will not be endorsing a fellow candidate at this time.
On February 20, 2016, the South Carolina Presidential Primary takes place.
Question: If Trump doesn’t compete in the Republican 2016 primary, he doesn’t run for President against Hillary Clinton. How does history unfold differently?
How much of what America, and the world, looks like today is because the the quirks and personality of its current President? What remains constant? What achieves a similar result because the forces at work are a bit deeper than individual players?