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 Times‘ public 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.
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.
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:
- The GOP’s campaign against Trump isn’t having a large enough, nor rapid enough, effect. Maybe if they’d started a month earlier.
- 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.
- 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.