Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The State of the Race

The Republicans

The focus tends to be more on the Republicans. The reason of course is Trump. The craziness that is Donald Trump. The scrambling by the establishment to stop at any cost. The debate last week was a Trump bashing to say the least. Trump would be terrible, unsuitable to the presidency. On and on and on and on and on. But at the end of the night each of the candidates said that they would support whomever was the nominee of the Republican Party.

Guess maybe Trump isn’t that completely and totally unsuitable after all. Trump would be better than Clinton. The reaction to that is who are you kidding. Once again winning is put above all else by the Republicans. I know I sound like a broken record on this.

Along came the contests on Saturday. Ted Cruz took two. Trump took two. But the margins where Trump won were much smaller than expected. Could this be the slow down of the Trump phenomenon the Republican establishment was and is so desperately looking for?

Perhaps if things just go so Trump can be stopped from getting the necessary delegates to win on the first ballot. From the Post:
The presentation is an 11th-hour rebuttal to the fatalism permeating the Republican establishment: Slide by slide, state by state, it calculates how Donald Trump could be denied the presidential nomination.

Marco Rubio wins Florida. John Kasich wins Ohio. Ted Cruz notches victories in the Midwest and Mountain West. And the results in California and other states are jumbled enough to leave Trump three dozen delegates short of the 1,237 required — forcing a contested convention in Cleveland in July.

But the slow-bleed strategy is risky and hinges on Trump losing Florida, Illinois and Ohio on March 15; wins in all three would set him on track to amass the majority of delegates. Even as some party figures see glimmers of hope that Trump can be overtaken, others believe any stop-Trump efforts could prove futile.

Here’s the small little problem with this. Trump is ahead in all of those states. Trump leads Marco “empty suit” Rubio by 20 points is some polls. The averaged Trump lead according to Real Clear Politics is 16 points. Rubio has a week to close that gap. I don’t see how Rubio does that particularly because in contests tonight he’ll be lucky if he comes in third. I have to say I don’t see what constituency Rubio is appealing to. Whomever it is they are certainly not voting for Rubio.

Ohio is another story. It looks like John Kasich is making this one a race. But if Trump wins in Florida (which is winner take all), it might now make that much of a difference.

Is it possible that the scenario described above can happen? Yes, it is possible. The real question is how realistic is that scenario and I would say not all that likely.

But let’s say for just a moment it does happen. Trump doesn’t have a majority of the delegates going into the convention. First of all wow what a convention it would be to watch. After the first ballot, most delegates are no longer bound to a candidate.

So what happens? You have to assume that Cruz in all likelihood would have the most delegates after Trump so does Cruz then up the nominee? If this were the result, how long would it take for Trump to launch an independent candidacy? Trump’s supporters would be livid. There is no way they would support any other candidate. Would that mean the Republican Party would be torn apart? That might not actually be a bad thing. Maybe some sanity would be restored to the party. But that’s a big maybe.

The Democrats

The Democrats seem so staid and calm and down right boring when compared to the Republicans. I’m thinking that this is a good thing.

Hillary Clinton continues to move closer and closer to the nomination. Bernie Sanders had a good weekend winning in Kansas, Nebraska and Maine. Clinton won in Louisiana. Even though Sanders won more contests; Clinton got more delegates. Not many more (it was only 9) but still more delegates.

Sanders’ problem he has not been able to win in the bigger states. States with a more diverse electorate. Until he can do that, there’s little hope he can win against Clinton. That’s a point made in the Post:
“What took you so long?”

The question, posed to Sen. Bernie Sanders this week by a local newspaper editor about his first visit last month to the majority-black city of Flint, Mich., cut to the heart of his struggles to engage black voters and compete with front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

An awkward reality has defined the nominating contest between Sanders and Clinton this year: his failure to win over African American voters — or the states where they represent large portions of the electorate. As a result, Sanders in recent weeks has focused almost exclusively on winning in whiter states, where his campaign has resonated among younger and working-class voters.
The main thing tonight Sanders needs to win Michigan if he has any chance to win the nomination.

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