March 15th, 2016 - Super Tuesday II

L. R. Laverde-HansenStarred Page By L. R. Laverde-Hansen, 9th Mar 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Politics

One of the biggest votes is coming up on the 2016 election calendar, and one wonders if it will get the media coverage it deserves.

Campaign 2016 So Far

By now the 2016 Election season is well underway, and it already feels like it's been going on forever. The Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire Primary and the Original Super Tuesday (March 1st) contests did succeed in winnowing down the field of official candidates from a gang of 22 to 6, as of today, March 11th (4 Republicans and 2 Democrats).

No question this has been a presidential race quite unlike any other. Of course commentators often say that, but this year is extraordinary. For instance, two of the main candidates for President, Donald Trump for the Republicans, and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats, were not even registered with their respective parties until recently. In a Republican debate last year, Mr. Trump refused to pledge his support to the eventual party nominee, if he were not that nominee. On the other side, Bernie Sanders has served nearly his entire political life, not as Democrat, but as an Independent Socialist from Vermont. He only announced his attention to run as Democrat in late 2015 in order to run in the Democratic Presidential contest. Clearly party loyalty is not the top priority with voters this year.

So now we are left with a remaining six. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich for the Republicans vie to face Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.

Why Is March 15th So Important?

4 of the top 10 states in the country vote this day. First, there is the Florida primary. The Sunshine state is the fourth largest contest in the country (with 99 delegates for the Republicans and 246 for the Democrats). Added to that, for the Republicans it is one of the first of the "winner-take-all" states, meaning that whoever gets the highest vote count will walk away with all 99 delegates. If Senator Marco Rubio is able to secure his home state, he would suddenly be running very close to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The only problem for Rubio is recent polls show him trailing Donald Trump heavily in Florida. Meanwhile for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton has double-digit leads in Florida polls. Florida’s diverse demographics should favor Hillary, but in this very iconoclastic year, anything is possible.

On March 15, the Midwest will get renewed attention after Michigan. Illinois offers 69 delegates for the Republicans and 182 for the Democrats. In the Land of Lincoln, Republican delegates are divvied out proportionally, so Donald Trump can’t take everything. Yet the Trump phenomenon leads here, as in so many states, according to latest polls. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton holds massive leads as well. Of course, Bernie Sanders supporters will gleefully point out she had double-digit leads going into Michigan as well.

Ohio holds 66 delegates for the Republicans and 159 for the Democrats. As the old saw goes, no Republican President has ever won without the state of Ohio (Not surprisingly, many Republican presidents have been from Ohio.). For the Republicans, the polls have swayed between Donald Trump and Governor Kasich, and that fact alone suggests that, whatever one thinks of Trump, he is still making a strong case that he is the national Republican candidate (he has so far won everywhere, including Hawaii). As with Florida, Hillary Clinton commands a significant lead in the Buckeye State, which Sanders & Co., will contest.

And these are not all the Midwestern states. Missouri also holds a primary that day (52 for the Republicans, 84 for the Democrats). As with most of these states, Trump and Clinton lead here in polls. Since the Show Me State is a winner-take-all for the Republicans, Donald Trump will likely take all in a walk.

North Carolina, the tenth richest prize, is the other remaining state in the southeast (72 delegates for the Republicans, 121 are for the Democrats). Again Trump and Clinton are heavily favored, but for Republicans here, the delegates are proportionally handed out, so Senator Ted Cruz should pick up something.

My Take On Things.

For the Democrats, even with Bernie Sander's big Michigan win, Hillary Clinton still has overwhelming lead in delegates (1,221 to 571). Additionally, Clinton has received nearly 5 million votes compared to nearly 3.3 million for Sanders. While many of Sanders's supporters complain that Clinton's overwhelming lead in the superdelegate count is counter to the will of the voters, that plurality of nearly two million votes indicates that a significant majority of Democratic voters support the former Secretary of State.

Next Tuesday, should all but guarantee the nomination for Hillary Clinton, as she should easily pass 1,000 delegates, not counting the 461 superdelegates she already has. The irony for Bernie Sanders is because Democratic Party rules award all delegates on a proportional basis, even if he scores some big future wins; he will not be able to put all of those delegates into his column. Last Tuesday underscored that fact: because Clinton lost by a little in Michigan (48.3% versus 49.8% versus Sanders) and because she dominated in Mississippi (82.6% versus 16.5% for Sanders), she actually won more delegates than Sanders for the day.

The one positive dynamic for Bernie Sanders is, given the progressive shift of the Democratic Party and the antiestablishment tone of the electorate, he should still be able to win, especially in some solidly Blue States. Even if he didn’t, the activist nature of his candidacy will likely keep him contesting all the way to the Democratic convention.

Conversely Donald Trump will be poised to grab the nomination like King Kong grabbing a blonde maiden. As Nate Silver noted in a recent analysis, Republican winner-take-all rules should only accelerate his pace for victory, provided he can win in both Florida and Ohio. This would all but eliminate Rubio and Kasich. Meanwhile Ted Cruz is not leading in any of the major states voting on the 15th, so the opposition to Trump within the GOP has yet to coalesce around anyone. With well fewer than half of all states and territories then still in play, it seems very unlikely that any Republican can beat the Donald.

So come Wednesday, March 16th, the 2016 election will be a two-person race. Then again, like so many pundits this year, I could be wrong and eating my own hat, some crow and a slice of humble pie.

Composed and Revised in New York
March 10-11, 2016


2016, Campaign, Clinton, Cruz, Election, Kasich, Politics, Presidential Primaries, Rubio, Sanders, Super Tuesday, Trump

Meet the author

author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
Poet, playwright, commentator. I write wherever I can. Currently I reside in the City of New York.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
11th Mar 2016 (#)

The polls were totally off in Michigan, where they gave Hillary anywhere from an 8 point lead to a 15 point lead. They can be as far off in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri as well. The polling companies tend to call only people who have land lines. Those people are more likely than not old white folks. Millenials don't have land lines and they vote overwhelmingly for Bernie. I predict more Michigan-like surprises down the road.

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
11th Mar 2016 (#)

Thank you, Steve. Given what happened in Michigan, I understand your analysis. However, even if Hillary and Bernie split contests down the road, she looks to win, due to the apportioning of delegates.

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author avatar M G Singh
12th Mar 2016 (#)

This is a good analysis. Looks that Trump will sweep and maybe like Raegan he could be a success as President.

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author avatar Shamarie
16th Mar 2016 (#)

Hillary won big last night! It seems like she is going to get the nomination even though I would prefer Bernie.

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
16th Mar 2016 (#)

Thank you all for your good comments! Personally I like Bernie, but believe Hillary is the better one for the job. My analysis, however, tried to be objective about all of that.

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