About Last Night

Here’s my take on the outcome of last night’s election. When I talk about what my expectations were going in, keep in mind I was going more on gut feeling this time around than on polling info. I will say though, the polling ahead of this latest round of primaries was pretty spot-on.

The hard info here is from three sources:

  • The New York Timespublic election results page, which is basically just an easy-to-use data sheet,
  • First Read,” a daily briefing from the NBC political unit, which I read at least every other day; and
  • FiveThirtyEight.com, which I trust more than any other polling site to provide reliable data and lucid explanations of the numbers.

Democratic Primaries

clinton-sanders

Florida went just as I expected. I was surprised Bernie came as close as he did in N.C. — I was expecting him to lose by more than 20 points there. I was a little surprised he didn’t do better in Ohio, but even more surprised he did as well as he did in Illinois. I’m not sure Missouri has been officially called yet, but the vote is so close no matter who wins that one, the delegate allocation is a wash.

Sanders didn’t have a terrible night, but also didn’t do what he needed to do to remain viable, IMO. There are still about 45 delegates to be allocated, but as of now, Clinton is up almost 300 pledged delegates and Sanders needs to win about three quarters of remaining delegates to get the nomination.

There are lots of reasons Sanders might stick in for a bit longer and I don’t know how his campaign is weighing this election. The question for me is whether or not he can make a graceful exit and bring his supporters along when he does fold.

Republican Primaries

trump1

I expected Kasich to be a serious contender in OH, but I really thought Trump would get a narrow win there. Otherwise no surprises. The GOP still has 60 delegates to allocate from last night, and then there’s the matter of Rubio’s 169 — rules on what happens to those are state-by-state. In some cases, they’ll be reapportioned as though Rubio had never been in the race; in some cases reapportioned by a committee of the state party; in some cases released and not required to declare for a candidate until the convention.

Trump isn’t a 100% lock at this point, but Cruz needs something like 80% of the delegates remaining to win. My three big takeaways from last night are:

  1. The GOP’s campaign against Trump isn’t having a large enough, nor rapid enough, effect. Maybe if they’d started a month earlier.
  2. Cruz has only a slim chance at this point, and then only if Kasich drops out quickly, which is highly unlikely. Either Trump wins outright (the most likely outcome), or we get to watch a contested convention when the Republicans descend on Cleveland in July. That said; Cruz has done better in closed primaries than open ones, and better in the West than Trump so far. Since there are a lot of closed primaries and western states remaining on the calendar, this thing might come right down to the wire.
  3. The sooner the Dems consolidate behind Clinton so she can be done spending her money on primaries and start campaigning for the general election, the better off they’ll be.

I’d love to have your thoughts on last night’s results on the thread. So don’t be bashful about commenting.

Happy Wednesday.

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6 thoughts on “About Last Night

  1. I’m rarely proud of my state, but Ohio proved slightly more intelligent than people thought last night. We have open primaries, so many, many Dems took a Republican ballot yesterday and voted against Trump. And they mostly opted for Kasich, for lack of better options.

    I know Clinton will likely get the nom. But I voted for Sanders, anyway. It was a moment for me, pointing to his name on the ballot and telling my daughter that he’s Jewish like we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree OH proved more sensible than nearly everyone else. I wouldn’t be comfortable with a Kasich Presidency, but he doesn’t make my blood run cold the way Trump and Cruz do.

      We have open primaries here, too. I stayed out of them, because Mississippi was a foregone conclusion on both sides. But my wife makes it a point to vote at every opportunity whether it matters or not, and she crossed the aisle to vote for Kasich.

      I understand about Bernie. I admire the man, and I think he’s done us a great service. He’s pulled Clinton to the left on a few issues, he’s energized a lot of young people, and he’s taken the first baby steps toward making it cool to be a real lefty again.

      God bless him, I say. I just don’t think he can win at this point, and I think the socialism would work against him in the general election.

      Far as the great masses of the population go, socialism may be an even worse label for a politician than atheism.

      But I do hope he gets a huge “thank you” from the Dems once he’s done, and I hope they offer him Secretary of Labor or U.N. Ambassador, even if he turns them down and stays in the Senate.

      The making of the offer is important. From where I’m sitting, Bernie’s earned some mad respect. And he hit Trump just about as hard as he could in his speech last night.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What do you think about the possibility of a Trump-Cruz ticket? Cruz is abhorrently disliked in the Senate and he’s got to realize his path to Power runs through the Presidency or a position in some higher office – otherwise he’s taking a blind leap into the 2020 field on an assumption that Trump will lose, and/or settling into the role of the grumpy, stalwart incumbent. Besides, the man would foam-at-the-mouth at the prospect of ruling over his Senate colleagues from the thumb of the gavel. The math is getting more and more difficult on his end – it looks like they’re falling back on a California surge, with the hope being that Western states bust out a domino effect for the campaign – but California seems like firm Trump territory, and if he doesn’t lock it up before June 7th, California could be the staging grounds for some messy food fight between the campaigns.

    Cruz seems to follow in that archetype who wallows in the mud and grime to get ahead – a Richard Nixon or a Lyndon Johnson – history that I’m sure is not lost on Cruz entirely. Trump has said that he wants a VP with political experience, he’s mostly stayed away from totally ostracizing Cruz and his supporters, whereas he’s taken the opposite approach with Kasich, Rubio, and virtually every other member of the GOP bench squad…do you think it’s too, I don’t know, iron-meets-iron?

    Otherwise, what he’s got within the ranks of the political system, assuming he stays that direction – Scott Brown, Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie, who else? And in truth, Trump could sell this all under the singular vision of ‘unifying the Party’, with ‘Lyin’ Ted’ set to take over the mantle after his term(s). Any thoughts? Love the blog, just discovered it a couple of hours ago. A must-follow for the site.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would not put it past Trump to angle for Cruz as a VP. The way the GOP “outsiders” consolidate in this election is by marrying all the racist reactionary xenophobic nationalists to the Tea Party, which has an organization and the ability to raise serious money. Cruz is the Tea Party candidate. The moderates hate him almost as much as they hate Trump. Probably, if the GOP even has a path to victory in this election, it’s a ticket that includes both Trump and Cruz, however it shakes out. And the demographics are way against them. This is a different country than it was even 4 years ago. No matter who wins the nomination, the only way the GOP wins is if they bring everyone out and the Dems stay home. Even then, they’ll probably need to steal Florida or Ohio to get it done.

      Like

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