Posts Tagged ‘GOP Presidential Primary’
Every election cycle has what pundits call “inflection points”: moments in a campaign that have some defining impact. Moments like Rick Perry in a 2012 debate forgetting the third department of the federal government he would shut down. Or like Marco Rubio deciding to go to Trump’s level of rancor.
Interestingly, the Wisconsin primary was one of those inflection points for both the GOP and Democratic races.
Ted Cruz’s big win all but assured that Republicans are headed to a contested convention in Cleveland. Yes, it’s still possible for Donald Trump to secure 1,237 delegates by the time the last vote is cast on June 7th in California, but it is very improbable.
And, with Bernie Sanders’s trouncing of Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, he continues to chip away at what most had believed was an insurmountable lead in delegates. Part of why Clinton’s lead has appeared so daunting is because the vast majority of super delegates have committed to her over Sanders (469-31).
However, if you count only the pledged delegates (those are the normal delegates that you win in primaries and caucuses) Hillary leads Sanders by 1,298 to 1,079 – just 221. There are still 1,977 unpledged delegates remaining.
Still, Clinton has all those super delegates. But here is the caveat: a large number of those super delegates are Democrat elected officials (think Members of Congress, state legislators, etc.) who are ultimately going to act on self-interest. If they start to feel the pressure of Sanders’s momentum and see Sanders continue to tighten the race, Clinton could suffer defections of super delegates just like she did in 2008 when late in the primary season Barack Obama got the big mo.
Does Bernie have the big mo? Well, he has won 7 of the last 8 contests. He will win Wyoming this coming weekend. Polling shows that voters in New York, the state Hillary represented in the Senate and she should win handily, are warming to Sanders. Two months ago, Clinton led by more than 20 points; now it’s barely 10 points.
It’s looking increasingly likely that both the Republicans and the Democrats will face contested conventions. And that will be good for Republicans for two reasons: 1) the Democratic convention will be more chaotic than the Republican convention. Democratic base activists tend to be much more aggressive (especially towards law enforcement) than Republican activists and will create more tension, 2) and the Democratic convention comes the week after the Republican convention, so as we enter the General Election phase of the cycle the voters will have the imagery of chaos and tension seared into their minds from the nightly news coverage.
For Democrats, this could be Chicago 1968 all over again: 1968 Democratic Convention Riots
Did you know that Newt Gingrich is still in the presidential race? No? Apparently you are not alone.
Tuesday was one of the biggest primary days this year (in terms of delegates) and Gingrich was pinning his hopes on moving forward with a win in… Delaware. Delaware has 17 delegates. Compare that to the delegate counts for the other states that had primaries on Tuesday: Rhode Island (15), Connecticut (28), Pennsylvania (72) and New York (94).
So it makes a lot of sense to judge the future of your campaign in the second smallest state… Not.
It didn’t matter though. Gingrich lost to Romney by 30 points in Delaware – and Gingrich did two times better in Delaware than in any of the other states on Tuesday.
Mitt Romney is 300 delegates shy of the number needed to be the nominee officially, and that doesn’t count the 72 unallocated delegates in Pennsylvania.
Newt is reportedly “assessing” his campaign’s future. That shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds.
Conservative star, Senator Marco Rubio, has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. That is a BIG get for Romney and one that is yet another nail in the coffin for Rick Santorum’s improbable quest for the nomination.
There are still some important conservatives who have not jumped onto Team Romney, but Rubio’s announcement will lead to more and more asking for a jersey.
I suspect we’ll see a couple this weekend.
Mitt Romney is on track to wrap up the GOP nomination with a win on Tuesday in Florida. He had a strong performance in Thursday’s debate and polls out today show him up anywhere between eight and 11 points over Newt Gingrich.
This turnaround demonstrates that he can get the job down, something that will serve him well going into a General Election against President Obama.
As Gingrich enjoyed his surge and win in South Carolina, political observers speculated that he would eventually implode. What worried most GOP operatives was that the implosion would come after he secured the Republican nomination. As if on cue, he promptly began to sink, and Romney again surged just in time for the Florida primary.
While it has been messy, the process has made Romney a better candidate and better prepared to face the onslaught that awaits him from the Democrats.
After Romney wins Florida, it will be nearly impossible for Santorum or Gingrich to make the case to stay in the race. Ron Paul will stay in, because he continues to raise enough money to plod along, and he may even do pretty well in some of the upcoming caucuses (Maine, Nevada, Colorado and Minnesota) but Romney will more than likely win the Arizona and Michigan primaries, and he will be an unstoppable force going into Super Tuesday.
It’s been a wild ride – and it’s not quite over, but there are likely very few surprises that can happen now.
Mitt Romney was never going to win South Carolina. Yes, I know polling had him ahead for a short time after Iowa and New Hampshire when it looked like Newt was done (again). South Carolina is a part of the Bible belt and a Mormon is not going to do well in a Republican primary when there are other options.
Newt, as flawed as he is, benefited from conservative backlash at the media for the release of Marianne Gingrich’s interview just days before the South Carolina vote. We saw the same kind of bounce of support for Herman Cain in the initial coverage of his alleged harassment issues. Conservatives know there is a media bias, and if you are being personally attacked in the media, then you must be ok.
All this to say that as remote a possibility as even I thought it was to have three different winners after the first three contests, that’s exactly where we are.
Florida is Romney’s to lose. It’s a big, expensive state, which has had absentee ballots out for almost three weeks and Romney has been the only candidate with a broad presence there. It could be his firewall.
However, if Newt’s momentum coming out of South Carolina translates to a Florida victory, then it’s probably going to take until Super Tuesday (March 6) to settle this thing. Of course, it could take until April 3, when Texas holds it’s primary, or even until April 24th when New York and Pennsylvania hold theirs. I don’t think it’s going to go all the way until California’s primary in early June. The longer it goes, the more likely that Newt implodes.
Following Florida, Romney probably does better than Newt in the Nevada and Colorado caucuses and the Arizona and Michigan primaries. Even if Newt hangs in there, Super Tuesday will be tough, because he isn’t even on the ballot in one of the larger states that day (Virginia).
Here’s how I see Super Tuesday breaking down, if Newt is still actively campaigning:
Newt probably wins Alaska, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee – that’s 204 delegates.
Romney takes Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming – that’s 262 delegates.
While Romney may want to see this thing buttoned down and done in the next couple weeks, he is by no means in trouble if he loses Florida. His true firewall is April 24, where he will sweep New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.
No need to panic, just keep that steady, methodical machine going and don’t stray from the message of free enterprise and economic freedom. It worked for Reagan.