02 March 2016

After Super Tuesday

The Democrats

Even though Bernie Sanders does much better against all of the leading Republican candidates in head to head polling match ups, and in particularly, is stronger than Clinton in many of the key swing states in the 2016 election, it is almost inevitable that Clinton will win the 2016 Presidential nomination.

He won four states on Super Tuesday, bringing his total to five including New Hampshire.

Clinton is dominating the Southern primaries and performing credibly in states like Massachusetts, where she narrowly defeated Sanders by winning the Boston metropolitan area while losing in the rest of the state.  Critically, she is winning shares of the African-American primary vote that equal or exceed that of Barack Obama and African-Americans are 25% of Democratic primary voters nationally and a far larger share of Democratic primary voters in the South.  She also has the backing of the overwhelming majority of the super delegates.

Colorado went 60-40 for Sanders whom I backed last night as I chaired the Precinct 223 caucus with 76 Democrats in attendance, about ten times as many as in a typical year without a contested Democratic party primary contest. (There are 755 active voters in this Precinct of all parties combined and in House District 2 as a whole of which Precinct 226 is a part, 46.4% of active registered voters are Democrats, so there are probably about 350 active registered Democrats in the precinct implying a turnout of about 21.7% which is better than the 13.3% that Democrats averaged statewide.) If I may brag, our caucus finished well before most of our peers, despite a larger turnout than most.  Our four Presidential race delegates were split evenly, because the Sanders edge was not quite large enough to translate into a 3-1 edge.

We also took a straw poll in the DA race in which Beth McCann took 3 of our delegates, while 1 was pledge to "uncommitted".

The Republicans

Cruz has now won Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska.  Rubio has won Minnesota.  Kaisch has made a few strong second place finishes.  I can't think of any state in which Carson has polled better than fourth place.

A straw poll held that the Republican caucus in Colorado, with no binding effect, suggests that Cruz would have won and that Trump would have placed third, if Colorado had held a caucus.  So the Republican establishment really spited itself by not doing so.  Then again, with higher turnout from less engaged Republicans, Trump might have done better than he did in a straw poll at an ill attended Republican caucus.

Trump has won all of the other state and has come in second place in every state that Cruz has won (Trump came in third in Minnesota). Trump is polling twenty points ahead of Rubio in Rubio's home state of Florida.  Trump hasn't broken 50% in any Republican primary yet, that I can recall, but the anti-Trump vote is divided.

The vain hope that the Republican establishment could rally around Rubio now looks like a pipe dream.  It had already been clear that Kaisch and Carson were spoilers in this race.  But, realistically, it now seems that the only shot that the Republicans have at nominating someone other than Trump is for Rubio, Kaisch and Carson to drop out immediately and throw their support behind Cruz.

Even that strategy is hardly a sure thing.  There are many states where Cruz isn't popular at all and would probably not pick up the votes of Republicans supporting other candidates.

A third of the states have already voted, and a flurry of races this weekend and Tuesday will bring that to almost half in less than a week, and a great many more will vote in the week after that.  There is very little time left to dramatically change the trend lines in the Republican nomination contest.

In any case, since none of the five GOP candidates show any sign of dropping out, Trump is almost surely going to be the Republican nominee for President, leaving us with a Clinton v. Trump race that current polling has Clinton winning by a nose.

This is a pretty thin thread for the nation's future to hang upon.  The Denver Post's editorial board nails it:
[N]ot a week goes by when Trump doesn't demonstrate he is unfit to be president because of his character, temperament and lack of knowledge — never mind his often lurid, simplistic policy positions.
Right now, it looks like the only way our nation can avoid having someone so unfit serve as our President is for Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump in the general election in November.

Fortunately, Sanders supporters are almost unanimous in their willingness to back Clinton in the general election, while many Republicans, rightfully, have qualms about supporting Trump if he wins their nomination.  We can only hope that independent voters won't be duped and throw our nation over the precipice.

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