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Gossiping The Elections, The Policians & The Electorates

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades. An intercontinental trade war. Even actual military action could be on the horizon following increased tensity during the first weeks of the Trump presidency.

To the disbelief of many political pundits, Donald Trump emerged victorious in the presidential elections of November last year by a comfortable lead. Riding on the wave of populism, his appeal to American working class stemmed mostly from his radical worldview and the promises to reignite the faltering economic engine.

The talk of financial reforms and recreating jobs though, did not make up the most flashing headlines worldwide – that status was hogged by a seemingly ceaseless stream of eccentric views on a number of foreign policy issues. Often expressed through twitter and in the media interviews leading up to the poll, – these statements made frequent mention of Mexico, Iran, Russia, and China.

Chinese Party Congress

Chinese Party Congress

The One China Policy

China can be said to have occupied a central place in Trump’s pre-election rhetoric. During his election campaign the president vowed to take on a harder line towards the Asian giant over, what the analysts have dubbed, a number of highly sensitive issues. Chief among them is Beijing’s assertion of its territorial sovereignty over reefs and artificially made – and now militarized – islands in South China Sea. An important Trump aide, Rex Tellirson, who was also recently confirmed as the secretary of state is reported to have suggested, in his confirmation hearing before the senate committee that US should beef up its military footprint in the volatile region to deter Beijing’s emboldened regional ambitions and even consider imposing a naval blockade surrounding the contested waters. These remarks have been a cause of growing concern not only in Beijing but also among former White House officials and diplomats who have described Trumps remarks as incoherent and worrisome and earnestly cautioned the newly elected administration from escalating tensions with China.

One China Policy – a policy principle that demands states would not dispute China’s claim over Taiwan, a small democracy in Pacific – also seems set to travel uncertain roads under Trump. Upon his election, the new president spoke with the island nation’s president over phone, which was perceived by many to be a step in the direction of ultimately breaking away from long standing US diplomatic tradition of recognizing China’s territorial unity.

That phone call, coupled with Trumps earlier statements signaling his publically declared intent to reconsider diplomatic norms as sacrosanct as ‘One-China Policy’ once he takes the helm has evoked strong diplomatic reprisal from Beijing, further straining already tense relations between the two countries.

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades

Trump Vs China

Trade arrangements between the two countries, perceived by Trump to be sharply tilted to favor China, have also been in the crosshairs of president’s vociferous criticism. Resolute statements from the newly elected president have emerged during the run up to the election where he called for a reexamination of trade terms with China.

Beijing’s alleged devaluation of its national currency to boost its exports at the cost of US manufacturing is another subject Trump has spoken about with great deal of dissatisfaction. Trump believes Beijing is involved in crafty manipulation of its currency which has served to undermine US economic interests.

Trump vs China – is it going to unfold or fade ? With Trumps unpredictability and declared ‘US First’ policy combined with China’s growing assertiveness over its South China Sea claims, the two largest world economies seem to be moving on a path of mutual confrontation. Suffice to say, if impulsive actions come to dominate rational decision-making, the already fragile regional stability would be strained to its limits, precipitating far reaching consequences. This is something security establishments in both Washington and Beijing ought to be mindful of as they perform their strategic calculations.

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades. An intercontinental trade war. Even actual military action could be on the horizon following increased tensity during the first weeks of the Trump presidency

Trump vs China. Newly Sworn in Donald J Trump.

 

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    Tags: china, trump, policy, beijing, president
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We live in a country where a two party system reigns supreme over who or who does not take political office. Every major election, like the presidential election for example, always has to come to either a Democrat or a Republican choice. Why are we a nation built on the notion that a third or fourth party is not necessary? Why is it that we use the same broken system over and over and over again expecting a different result each time? What about diversifying political affiliation is so scary to the ‘powers that be’? These and so many more questions are vital to understand our current political climate predicament.

Thanks to the U.S. Constitution, we have been given the Bill of Rights and all so important Amendments we need in place to securely govern the nation. Seeking after the common good of all people should then be the goal for each and every one of us. For most of us, all we have armed on us is our conscience, whether that is properly conformed or not, for better or for worse it is what we have. So why then are we expected to mash our unique or even ancient standard of beliefs into just two parties? If I could address the two party people, can you honestly say, whether you claim Republican or Democrat, that you FULLY identify with your chosen party?

The ENTIRE platform of that party? So when you proclaim your political affiliation, you can without a shadow of a doubt say that your party is entirely you? Of course not, that would be impossible as we cannot simply fall into just two categories when it comes to politics. If we were all given a canvas to paint upon, would we all do it the same? Certainly not! Some of use would scribble, others with long broad strokes, many would joyfully make a mess and a multitude would express themselves in such a way as to never be imitated again. So when one thinks of the “scribbles and broad strokes” of the thoughts and beliefs we hold so dear, why is it so hard to realize we need a multitude of voices talking about what truly matters to them?

If I got a dime every time I spoke to a serious voter, whether Democratic or Republican affiliate, where they stated at most times regardless of the party they registered with, they feel more like Independents. In a Democratic society, we are supposed to be given a voice, aren’t we? Yet we are given two choices… “the Left” or “the Right”…1 or 2 and if we are using the spectrum of “Left to Right” or rather 1 to 2, why can’t we have a 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.? Not to mention, the utter hypocrisy of the two parties as they stand now concerning this dramatic display of Democrats and Republicans going head to head but behind closed doors they largely work to the same goal and often times not for our benefit?! In my opinion, it would also cut down the level of control certain lobbyists and power brokers have over a vast amount of people all situated within just two parties. In other words, it is easier to control two parties for malevolent reasons than a multitude of parties with different platforms. So should there be a vast amount of people standing up for what they believed in?

Well, our founding fathers thought so, otherwise they would not have given the authority to the people in order to set proper representation for their beliefs. Will this catch on? It’s hard to say but the more we make the same mistakes with the same old broken system, the more people will wake up and realize they aren’t being truly represented. Until then, I’ll see you at the voting booth!

Third Party Candidate Vermin Supreme

Third Party Candidate Vermin Supreme By Marc Nozell

Third Parties 2016 Elections

Every presidential election in the US has seen a wide range of third party candidates competing for the presidency. The 2016 elections will be no different but exactly as in previous elections the perspective of a third party securing a single state win, a single electoral college member or indeed being competitive anywhere is a long shot.

A few of the notable third parties running for the 2016 presidential elections:

The Libertarian Party

The libertarian party is one of the oldest in the US. They have never gotten an electoral breakthrough but do influence the policies of especially the Republican party that has a significant libertarian wing.

The Libertarian party is still in the process of finding their presidential nominee. The favorite being former republican Gary Johnson.

Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson

Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson By Steve Terrell

The Green Party

With Jill Stein as a prolific candidate the Green Party has gotten some attention with an environmentally friendly, progressive left-wing platform this season. The Green Party will be hoping to pick up some Bernie Sanders supporters once Hillary Clinton is officially named the Democratic candidate

Jill Stein - Third party candidate for the Green Party 2016

Jill Stein – Third party candidate for the Green Party 2016 By Paul Stein

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The path forward for the republican frontrunner Donald Trump basically has 3 possible outcomes this point. He can win the nomination outright, he can enter a contested convention being just short of 1237 or he can opt to run as a third party candidate.

If Donald Trump wins outright the road ahead is clear for a general election, presumably against Hillary Clinton. However, unless Trump reaches the magic 1237 delegates he seems like a certain loser in every scenario, unless he pulls a clever rabbit out of the hat.

Donald Trump Rally - Contested Convention Ahead ?

Donald Trump Rally – Contested Convention Ahead ? by Ed Ouimette

Contested Convention Scenario

A contested convention occurs when no single candidate reaches 1237 delegates on the first vote. What happens next is basically quite messy and not yet set in stone as the republican convention committee has not yet written or published the actual rules for the upcoming convention. What we do know is that the majority of delegates are set free for the second and subsequent votes.

This is where Donald Trump gets in trouble. Not only would he need to attract votes from more delegates for the second vote, he would need to retain his own delegates too. Both seem extremely difficult for him. The delegates won by and pledged to Donald Trump are generally not Trump supporters. Quite to the contrary, they will typically be elected to fill the role by local GOP committees at the lower level of the republican establishment. In other words they are going to the convention bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first vote but likely with no intention of doing so in following votes after they have been set free.

Could Trump come out a winner of a contested convention ? He could of course. If he makes superior use of his self-proclaimed magnificent negotiating skills. He could secure backing from unbound delegates. He could be backed by one of his opponents in return for some future favor. He could put a scheme in motion to reach out to the individual delegates one by one and convince them. It is possible. It is not likely.

Plainly spoken all other candidates are in a better place to do the things required to tilt a convention in their favor. Simply things like easy access to the delegates by having support in the GOP locally suddenly matters. Experience with delegate math becomes important. Wheeling and dealing abilities in republican circles attains crucial importance. Trump is a beginner at those games, the establishment has decades of expertise to lend their favored alternative.

Donald Trump Supporters - Ready For #DaysOfRage ?

Donald Trump Supporters – Ready For #DaysOfRage ? Gage Skidmore

#Daysofrage by Roger Stone

What happens if Trump enters the convention a frontrunner with a lead in delegates and the popular vote but still ends up losing on the convention floor? Chaos. Turmoil. GOP splits. 3rd party run. Basically the situation becomes unpredictably volatile with a huge part of the primary voters for the GOP feeling cheated, a Donald Trump likely firing up his troops and thousands of his most ardent supporters in or around the actual convention center.

Trump-supporter Roger Stone is already rallying under a #DaysOfRage and #Stopthesteal banner. The intention seems to be getting the maximum number of riled up Donald Trump supporters riled up and rallied to the Cleveland convention site. How is that going to end? It could be anywhere from mudslinging, lawsuits and animosity to actual violent riots, a split in the party or a third party run.

Donald Trump - Taj Ma Wall - Political Satire

Donald Trump – Taj Ma Wall – Political Satire by DonkeyHotey

A Trump Third Party Run ?

Donald Trump has all but said in recent days that if he feels “treated unfairly by the RNC” he might launch a third party run. In reality such a third party candidacy has very little chance of getting anywhere close to the presidency. It will however fundamentally change the race for everyone.

Donald Trump has consistently surprised us. Doing so by being competitive on a third party ticket would require a miracle. In a general election where all states are first-past-the-post it requires amazing nationwide backing and organisation to compete. In fact it would be a huge surprise if he won a single state. Ralph Nader and Ross Perot both failed to do so. Simply put: The odds are heavily stacked against third parties. Even if they have high favorability ratings in the general population. Donald Trump does not. He has strong support from a core but incredibly high negatives with those not supporting him.

Why run as third party candidate then ? Donald Trumps only motivation does not appear to be winning the presidency. He seems to enjoy the spotlight and he has made it a brand to always counter-punch when attacked. The ultimate counter punch against a GOP that stole what he perceives as his rightful nomination would be a third party run.

Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton vs a GOP winner of a contested convention is almost certainly guaranteeing a Hillary Clinton presidency. Donald Trump will pull some white collar democrats for sure, but he is likely to draw much more heavily on those voters otherwise landing on the GOP candidate. It would further be surprising if GOP downballot tickets did not suffer too. Plenty of races at all levels are tight enough that even a small boycott of GOP candidates from Trump supporters will tilt the balance in favor of the Democrats.

Trump or Bust For the GOP ?

To sum up: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has 3 ways forward: Winning 1237 delegates, a contested convention or a third party run. His only realistic chance of the nomination and presidency is an outright win in advance of the convention.

Does that mean the GOP is home safe if they stop Trump enough to get to a contested convention ? To the contrary. That outcome might please the #neverTrump crowd mightily, but it more or less guarantees some level of split in the party too.

Donald Trump contested convention or third party run?

Donald Trump contested convention or third party run? by Gage Skidmore

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Bernie Sanders had a grand day in the caucuses in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii. The left-wing hero of progressive politics ran up amazingly impressive numbers in all 3 states. The foregone conclusion of Hillary prevailing is suddenly replaced by debates about a Bernie Sanders path to victory. An 69,8%-30,0% win in Hawaii. Washington voted for The Bern at a 72,7% to 27,1% ratio. Finally the biggest win of the night came in the Alaska Caucus where Bernie Sanders grabbed 81,6% to Hillary Clintons 18,4%.

In terms of delegates Bernie Sanders netted an approximate 56 delegates to Hillary Clintons 20. A commanding win of proportions large enough to catch up with Hillary Clinton were it repeated in all coming states.

Bernie Sander Rally By Gage Skidmore

Bernie Sander Rally By Gage Skidmore

The state of the Democratic Race

In terms of delegates the state of the democratic race obviously narrowed a bit with the huge Bernie Sanders wins in Hawaii, Washington and Alaska. Hillary Clinton has won 1251 delegates whilst Bernie Sanders reached 1012 delegates with this weekends additions. If we include the already pledged superdelegates the totals are 1733 for Hillary Clinton and 1039 for Bernie Sanders.

It is worth cautioning a bit about the numbers including superdelegates. First of all plenty of superdelegates have not yet pledged and as such a shadow pool of delegates exist. Further, should Bernie Sanders actually overtake Hillary Clinton in won delegates it is very likely that some of the pledged delegates will simply change their allegiance to Sanders as happened in 2008 when Hillary had a similar lead in superdelegates until Barack Obama overtook her at the ballot boxes, thus picking up the superdelegates as well.

Feel The Bern - Bernie Sanders Supporters

Feel The Bern – Bernie Sanders Supporters By Jake Bucci

Bernie Sanders – The Comeback Kid ?

A comeback kid? Well yes and no. He won big. Impressively! But he was in fact favored to win and had been all along. Obviously 3 out of 3 wins will energize his supporters, bring in fresh donations and add some positive news cycles to an already well spinning campaign. In reality though we are talking a “comeback” that added maybe 10 or 15 more delegates than expected in must-win states.

Nothing changes the media narrative like a fresh landslide victory. Bernie Sanders got 3. We are suddenly examining the Bernie Sanders path to victory. It was not really a comeback though, given he performed brilliantly exactly where he was supposed to. His campaign in fact has nothing to comeback from. It has outperformed expectations massively. It rakes in unbelievable amounts of small donor contributions. It drums up enthusiasm in young voter like never (well save Obama) before. And in pledged delegates the Bernie Sanders campaign has managed to stay within somewhat realistic striking distance of Hillary Clinton all along. A Hillary Clinton who was declared ready for coronation even before any voting began given the opposition, primarily Sanders, she faced.

Bernie Sanders Path To Victory

Given all the positives and sweeping victories, does Bernie Sanders have a path to victory ? Indeed he does. But it is as narrow as ever. The road ahead is severely bumpy in terms of the realistic delegate catches for Bernie Sanders. The trouble is clearly visible in the Democratic primary calendar:

Democratic Primary Calendar
Date State Pledged Super Total Type
Apr 5 Wisconsin 86 10 96 Open primary
Apr 9 Wyoming 14 4 18 Closed caucus
Apr 19 New York 247 44 291 Closed primary
Apr 26 Connecticut 55 16 71 Closed primary
Delaware 21 10 31 Closed primary
Maryland 95 23 118 Closed primary
Pennsylvania 189 21 210 Closed primary
Rhode Island 24 9 33 Semi-closed primary
May 3 Indiana 83 9 92 Open primary
May 7 Guam 7 5 12 Closed caucus
May 10 West Virginia 29 8 37 Semi-closed primary
May 17 Kentucky 55 5 60 Closed primary
Oregon 61 13 74 Closed primary
Jun 4 Virgin Islands 7 5 12 Closed caucus
Jun 5 Puerto Rico 60 7 67 Closed caucus
Jun 7 California 475 73 548 Semi-closed primary
Montana 21 6 27 Open primary
New Jersey 126 16 142 Semi-closed primary
New Mexico 34 9 43 Closed primary
North Dakota 18 5 23 Open primary
South Dakota 20 5 25 Semi-open primary
Jun 14 District of Columbia 20 26 46 Closed primary
Jul Unassigned 0 1 1 Closed caucus

Bernie Sanders will likely win several of these contests. Plenty of the caucuses especially are tailored to his strengths. However, Bernie Sanders is not just in need of symbolic wins and performances spinnable as momentum. He needs to make up significantly more than the 200 delegate Hillary Clinton lead in order to construct a narrative going:

Bernie Sanders leads the delegate count now. Handing it to Hillary Clinton by use of superdelegates would be undemocratic and wrong.

To do that he needs to catch, pass and continually outdo her. Is that possible? Well there are plenty of delegates still to be awarded and as such of course it is. But in realistic terms the answer is no. Primaries in delegate rich states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and California are on the menu. It is not a tasty one for Sanders. He is behind in all polls in these states whilst what he needs is something like 25% percent wins across the board. Without the collapses he experienced in southern states, letting Hillary drive up her lead.

Making up deficits is harder in the Democratic race as there are no winner-take-all contests. Deficits are made up by big wins awarding huge proportional parts of the states delegates. Sanders has momentum and could do it in quite a few places, but so far we have no indications that he is even within reach of a win in the big states that really matter.

Bernie Sanders path to victory ? It exists. But it still requires a serious game changer making him surge far ahead in current Hillary Clinton firewall states.

Bernie Sanders Path To Victory

Bernie Sanders Townhall By Phil Roeder

Democratic Primary Race Facts

The democratic candidates compete for a total of 4,051 pledged delegates primarily awarded proportionally on a per state basis. On top of that 721 individuals are appointed superdelegates by the DNC.

You can follow the latest American Opinion polls here to see if the Bernie Sanders momentum starts to manifest in crucial upcoming races.

The 3 latest contests were all caucuses:

Alaska Democratic Caucus

Alaska Votes Percent Del. (100%)
Sanders 440 81.6 13
Clinton 99 18.4 3

Hawaii Democratic Caucus

Hawaii Votes Percent Del. (100%)
Sanders 23,530 69.8 17
Clinton 10,125 30.0 8

Washington Democratic Caucus

Washington Votes Percent Del. (100%)
Sanders 19,159 72.7 25
Clinton 7,140 27.1 9
Bernie Sanders - The Comeback Kid ?

Bernie Sanders – The Comeback Kid ? By Steve Rainwater

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The GOP nomination battle is raging at hitherto unseen intensities and ethical lows. However beyond the noise it is relatively clear that the GOP establishment has finally made a decision: They are reluctantly supporting the Ted Cruz campaign in order to avoid the nomination of Donald Trump as their presidential candidate. The clearest manifestation of the Republican establishment rallying to Ted Cruz is obviously the endorsement from no other than Jeb Bush.

Had anyone predicted a few month ago the Jeb Bush or Lindsey Graham endorsement of Ted Cruz the immediate recommendation would have been a reality check or indeed psychiatric treatment. That is however the situation today. Ted Cruz happily describes it as proof of momentum for his campaign. The devils advocate might instead label it a sign of complete GOP establishment panic.

Nobody among the powers that be in the Republican party would volunteer a single kind word for Ted Cruz without a gun to their head. Thing is. They have a gun to their head. The strongest field of Republican candidates in several decades have produced the unlikeliest and most unwelcome outcomes imaginable. The Republican shot callers having to back what they consider an un-electable and inflexible evangelical with few positive traits only to desperately attempt to avoid the even bigger evil is a nightmare scenario.

Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign - GOP Establishment Support

Ted Cruz Campaigning By Michael Vadon

GOP Establishment Vs Ted Cruz

Are the GOP big Whigs going to attempt to nominate Ted Cruz then ? No! In a small piece of poetic justice they are setting him up to fail. The logic is fairly simple:

Donald Trump might well win outright by gaining 1237 delegates. In that case the choice is either rallying to Donald Trump despite his flaws and make the best of it. Or, alternatively run a third party candidate. Would that third party candidate be Ted Cruz? No. Obviously not. The third party candidate would be someone mainstream GOP candidates in primarily vulnerable blue states could cling to in their own election battles.

Donald Trump could fall short of 1237 delegates. Ted Cruz would have won significant victories in the primary battles against Donald Trump in this scenario. Thus turning up at a contested convention with a strong following of delegates in his own pocket, though not within reach of 1237. Would Ted Cruz be a potential nominee in this scenario ? Very unlikely. Cruz would have played his role as spoiler for Trump but few or no of his current reluctant backers would enter the mudwrestling contest of the convention with the intention of getting Cruz to 1237. Why would they? Largely every other option aside from Trump would be more attractive to the GOP establishment and besides Ted Cruz would be one of the hardest sells to unbound delegates. The Cruz delegates would be used to stop Trump and since captured to attempt to nominate an acceptable candidate such as Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John Kasich or similar.

Ted Cruz could reach 1237 delegates himself. Well no. Mathematically it is not entirely impossible yet, but in practical terms he has no path to reaching the magic number. The failure of Ted Cruz path to nomination happened long ago when he missed the low-hanging fruit for an evangelical candidate in the Southern and strongly conservative states. Having missed those Ted Cruz would have to largely clean the table in primary battles much less favorable to him.

Ted Cruz Townhall Meeting

Ted Cruz Townhall Meeting By Michael Vadon

The Ted Cruz Path To Nomination

If we look at the Fivethirtyeight delegate target tracker Trump is currently at 96% whilst Cruz is at 53% – check the Fivethirtyeight Delegate Tracker to see it in action. The point of that tracker is that Ted Cruz has currently secured only 53% of the delegates he should have won in order to be on track to win at least 1237 at the end of primary season. The tracker takes into account where each candidate should secure delegates based on demographics, ideological makeup of the electorate and so forth. As such, the 53% is a mathematical expression of Ted Cruz having missed his best opportunities already. It is extremely hard to imagine a Ted Cruz surge to victory in places like New York and California. Such a surge is exactly what he would need though.

Where does it all leave Ted Cruz ? As very close to a sure loser. He can not win outright. A Donald Trump win earns him nothing and the paper thin support from the GOP establishment will vanish the second they have even a remote alternative. Nothing is certain. Especially not this year. But Ted Cruz looks set up to fail.

Ted Cruz Caricature

Ted Cruz Caricature By DonkeyHotey

PS: Yes. We are aware that we are breaking current election cycle rules by not including any nude photos depicting family members of those mentioned. We have also failed to question the mental health, looks or endowment of the presidential candidates. We will leave that to the candidates but you can snoop in the Dirty Campaign Technique feature to see what they are up to or simply have a look at the Political Meme and Negative Campaign trackers. Largely everything uttered seems to fit there these days. Sadly. One day we will have a look at the potential effects. Not today.

Donald and Melanie Trump Campaigning

Donald and Melanie Trump Campaigning By Marc Nozell

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New poll out from Utah shows a very different picture to the below:

Utah Opinion Poll: Cruz 53%, John Kasich 29%, Donald Trump 11% (Likely Caucus goers)

This might very well be an example of an endorsement that actually influences the votes: Mitt Romney endorsing Ted Cruz in Utah might well have been the booster Cruz needed to pull ahead. Remember as well that given it is a caucus it is very likely that some of the Kasich voters will actually act tactically and support Cruz to stop Trump. This is particularly important as anyone reaching 50% of the vote makes it winner take all of the 40 delegates from Utah (if nobody reaches 50% the delegates are split more proportionally.)

Quick update on the Trumps Path To Nomination feature which lacked recent polling from some of the states Donald Trump needs to win. Now we have a couple of polls to look at:

New York Republican Presidential Primary (Emerson): Trump 64, Cruz 12, Kasich 1  (Trump +52)
Arizona Republican Presidential Primary (Merrill): Trump 31, Cruz 19, Kasich 10 (Trump +12)
California Republican Presidential Primary (Landslide): Trump 38, Cruz 22, Kasich 20, Rubio 10 (Trump +16)

These are significant polls for sure. If Kasich is entirely unable to stem the Trump tide in the liberal north it is basically game over. There are enough delegates up there for Trump to reach 1237 if you include his other likely wins. Futher, New York and California are incredibly big delegate prizes in themselves. If Trump cant be stopped there, he needs to be stopped more or less everywhere else.

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Donald Trump a Fascist ? By Evan Guest

 

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Donald Trumps Path To Nomination

In Ted Cruz´words: It is now officially a two man race! In the sense at least that only Ted Cruz and Donald Trump still have the opportunity to reach the magic number of 1237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination outright. In reality though only Donald Trump does in fact have a path to nomination by pure strength of delegates. To even come close to 1237 delegates Ted Cruz would need to win several states that are outright hostile territory demographically.

Donald Trumps Path To Nomination

Donald Trumps path to nomination is not easy either, but he does have a road ahead.

Current Republican Delegate Counts:
Donald Trump – 691 delegates
Ted Cruz -412 delegates
John Kasich –  146 delegates
Needed to win: 1237 delegates

Now lets look at the path ahead. All the future contests are listed below.

First lets have a look at the states where Donald Trump is an overwhelming favorite to grab winner-take-all or winner take most: Arizona 28, New York 95, Pennsylvania 71 and New Jersey 51. If Donald Trump wins these 4 and adds around 220-240 delegates he will have 920-940 delegates behind him, making him 200-220 delegates short of clinching the nomination.

The easiest way to close the remaining gap obviously goes through California with its massive 172 delegate winner-take-all prize. If he grabs that one the is home safe with other wins and proportional delegates grabbed elsewhere.

The Republican Primary Calendar

Date State State Delegation Allocation Threshold
Contest Allocation
Mar 22 American Samoa 9 Caucus (open) (No allocation) N/A
Mar 22 Arizona 58 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
Mar 22 Utah 40 Caucus (semi-closed) Winner-take-most 15%
Apr 5 Wisconsin 42 Primary (open) Winner-take-all N/A
Apr 19 New York 95 Primary (closed) Winner-take-most 20%
Apr 26 Connecticut 28 Primary (closed) Winner-take-most 20%
Apr 26 Delaware 16 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
Apr 26 Maryland 38 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
Apr 26 Pennsylvania 71 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
Apr 26 Rhode Island 19 Primary (semi-closed) Proportional 10%
May 3 Indiana 57 Primary (open) Winner-take-all N/A
May 10 Nebraska 36 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
May 10 West Virginia 34 Primary (semi-closed) Direct Elec. N/A
May 17 Oregon 28 Primary (closed) Proportional 3.57%
May 24 Washington 44 Primary (closed) Proportional 20%
June 7 California 172 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
June 7 Montana 27 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
June 7 New Jersey 51 Primary (semi-closed) Winner-take-all N/A
June 7 New Mexico 24 Primary (closed) Proportional 15%
June 7 South Dakota 29 Primary (closed) Winner-take-all N/A
Donald Trump Ready For General Election

Donald Trump Ready For General Election By Gage Skidmore

Polling For Upcoming Republican Contests

In general you can follow the latest primary polls here in our tracking. We highly recommend visiting 538s Primary Forecasts as well – a very useful and clever tool for looking at and beyond the polling data to get an idea of where we are headed.

We have very little and rather old polling data for the 22 March contests in Utah and Arizona. They are both states where one would expect Ted Cruz to have a fair shot at beating Donald Trump based on endorsements, amounts of evangelicals and other demographics. Throughout April on the other hand we move north to more blue collar and/or liberal leaning states that should be tailor made for Donald Trump to inch very close to the magic number with wins in say Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New York.

In the April contests the contender to look out for would presumably be a reinvigorated John Kasich backed by the entire GOP establishment in his attempts to take away wins from Donald Trump. Yet again we have too little solid polling data in most of these states to make any kind of predictions. Particularly since most of the polling is from times with a massively larger field of contenders. However, one thing we can note by looking at some of the polling we do have is that Donald Trump will not be a no-show in any of these contests.

Pennsylvania Polling (from Real Clear Politics) – RCP Average (3/2): Trump 28,5, Rubio 18,5, Cruz 16,5, Kasich 13
New York Polling (from Real Clear Politics) – Siena 3/3: Trump 45, Rubio 18, Kasich 18, Cruz 11
Maryland Polling (from Real Clear Politics) – Baltimore Sun 3/8: Trump 34, Cruz 25, Kasich 18, Rubio 14
Wisconsin Polling (from Real Clear Politics) – Marquette 2/22: Trump 30, Rubio 20, Cruz 19, Kasich 8, Carson 8

As you can see the polling is less than convincing for the April contests. Look out for better pointers in coming days and weeks. If Trump pulls ahead in the big winner-take-all states or in certain regions it could all essentially end in late April. If on the other hand it tightens against Kasich in the north and Cruz elsewhere, we could be counting single delegates till the day of the convention

Sarah Palin campaign for Donald Trump

Sarah Palin campaign for Donald Trump By Alex Hanson

Could Trump Blow It ?

You might be sitting there thinking Donald Trump has every possibility of winning those 60% of the remaining delegates he needs. The map does seem to favor him. But remember the field has narrowed and the opposition to Trump has solidified to an extent where GOP establishments are willing to back former pariah Ted Cruz.

Tactical voting has come to the republican races, meaning Cruz supporters are likely to vote Kasich in areas where the latter threatens Trump and vice versa. Further plenty of Super Pacs will be flooding American TV screens with negative advertising aimed at Donald Trump. Non stop. In every upcoming state.

So. The race is actually Trumps to loose by now. At first sight it sounds hard to win 60% of remaining delegates. But plenty of huge winner-take-all prizes in places that favor him are coming up. He could still end up falling short of 1237 delegates. It is very hard to see anyone else getting there though meaning it is basically Trump or a contested delegation.

Donald Trumps Path To Nomination

Donald Trumps Path To Nomination

Does Trump Lose A Contested Convention ?

Does Trump Lose A Contested Convention ? Lets say Trump turns up having won say 1100 delegates and a majority of states and the highest % of the popular vote (which is a fairly likely bet if he misses the outright path).

Right now there are no rules for the coming convention. As they havent been written yet. There are no “standard” or “ongoing” rules for the conventions. Last time they were worried about Ron Paul so they put in the 8 state rule to avoid him putting his name in the hat on the convention floor. This time, given the committee is filled with GOP establishment you can be pretty sure the rules will favor whatever plan they have. In this (imagined) case the rules for the convention will probably be something like allowing anyone holding a GOP position to put in a bid for the nomination and setting everyone free on second vote. Thus the establishment will hope Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Mitt Romney or whoever they are plotting grabs the win on the second vote.

If that happened defeat in november would be more or less guaranteed (you do not stick a finger in the eye of 30-40% of your voters without losing some to the sofa) … and Donald Trump + supporters would go nuts and the convention might well dissolve into madness. In fact, Donald Trump has already started prepping for exactly such a situation by declaring it would lead to “riots“, “a GOP civil war” and similar.

However, Trump is a chess player too. If he has 1100 delegates in his own pocket – nothing is stopping him striking a deal with say John Kasich for VP – or with those uncommitted after the drop-outs of Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush etc … to clinch 1237 on the first or second vote by including those.

So no. The establishment might blink first and hand him the nomination if he is close enough. To avoid a convention war. Alternatively Donald Trump might do the work himself by collection enough extra delegates on top of his own wins to clinch it. A future president Trump would have plenty of cabinet posts and other goodies to throw on the table to do the latter.

Donald Trump Riots and Protests in Chicago

By nathanmac87 – Donald Trump Riots and Protests in Chicago

Will Donald Trump Be The Nominee ?

Yes. If I had to put my money anywhere it would be on Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee. Donald Trumps path to nomination is neither simple nor easy but it is doable, realistic and the only possible outcome save a contested convention.

And a contested convention does not equal a Donald Trump loss either. He can fall short of 1237 delegates and still clinch the nomination by striking deals, bullying the establishment and a variety of other ways. He is far from a certain winner. But he has a path. He is the likely winner.

 

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A Trump / Cruz 2016 Ticket ?

The stuff nightmares are made of. At least if you consider yourself a moderate or establishment republican. A Trump / Cruz 2016 ticket! But are we in fact seeing such a ticket potentially taking shape? Obviously nobody would officially say such a thing from either campaign. Though the Donald Trump campaign actually have gone on the cable news channels pointedly saying “or vice president Cruz as I prefer to call him”. A hint, hint, hint ?

In fact it could be a hint. And it could be something to consider seriously in the Ted Cruz camp. Basically Ted Cruz has almost no possible way of winning the nomination by now. He missed too many opportunities in Southern Evangelical races. Donald Trump ate into his voter base. Right now Ted Cruz is a sure number 2 in the race, but the future looks rather bleak for him with few obvious opportunities for wins on the horizon.

a Trump Cruz 2016 ticket 2

Ted Cruz Has No Path To Nomination

Why not stay in the race in second place and aim for winning a brokered convention ? Because Ted Cruz is probably the least likely of all candidates to emerge a winner of a brokered convention. If the race ends up in a convention mess there is simply little reason left to hand it to a universally disliked candidate such as Ted Cruz. He knows this. Thus. With a path to winning outright closing fast he has few options left.

But imagine this: Donald Trump is entirely inexperienced policy wise. Trump has a few solid points he really wants to move forward with such as building a wall against Mexico and redoing all trade deals. Aside from that he is a blank piece of paper on most policy issues. In such a situation there is a huge actual power vacuum to be filled out by those actually filling in all the blanks. That puppet master holding onto power on the majority of policy fields could indeed be no other than vice president Ted Cruz.

In other words Ted Cruz may have the choice between being left with nothing at all and approaching a spot on a a Trump / Cruz 2016 ticket. Indeed a ticket that could bring him influence on a hitherto unseen level given the traits of a president Trump.

A Trump Cruz 2016 ticket

A Trump Cruz 2016 ticket

Benefits of a Cruz Vice President

Would Ted Cruz be interested in a VP spot on the ticket ? Well for now he has to say no. But in reality he should start considering his options. The senate brought him little influence and fewer friends. Unless the cuts a deal with the eventual Republican president somehow he is extremely unlikely as the nominee for the supreme court that he might also have craving eyes on.

Why would Donald Trump want Ted Cruz ? To clinch the nomination, secure the republican base and be able to say he has someone politically experienced on his team. The downside would be how poorly Ted Cruz is viewed in the senate, how stoic he is when it comes to refusing compromise. Both making him a bit awkward for the guy striking deals with the senate and congress. Trump needs someone to smooth things behind him and that might not be a profile fitting Ted Cruz very well. However, the ups may still weigh in heavier than the downs in favor of offering Ted Cruz a place on a Donald Trump ticket.

A Trump / Cruz 2016 ticket ?

Are we gonna see a Donald Trump / Ted Cruz republican ticket then ? It is way too early to say. But in dark smokey backrooms there may be plotters and planners puffing on large cigars who have started considered such a constellation. In both camps! A Trump / Cruz 2016 Ticket is obviously still way in the future. But the thought may be taking hold. A nightmare in some minds, a potential way forward in others.

The two republican candidates were said to have a bit of a bromance for many months until falling out as the primary race tightened. As we have seen with the Ben Carson endorsement of Donald Trump that does not rule out a reunification. A Trump / Cruz 2016 ticket might be in the making.

A Trump Cruz 2016 Republican ticket

A Trump Cruz 2016 Republican ticket

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The Hillary Clinton Campaign – Strange Self-Belittling

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met in a CNN debate following the Michigan surprise win for the latter. And prior to the important March 15 round of primaries. The debate had a special focus on Hispanic issues with parts of the debate being in Spanish. That is all interesting but the debate gave a peculiar insight in the Hillary Clinton Campaign and what we might term a strange self-belittling by the former secretary of state.

The debate started in a friendly tone. Bait was thrown to Bernie Sanders to go on the attack on the issue of the private email server setup by Hillary Clinton. Sanders presidentially stayed above the fray. Basically saying: We have big problems in this country, here is a list of them, shut up about irrelevant mudslinging topics. It worked well. It looked good. It looked presidential.

What did Hillary Clinton do ?

She started taking more cheap shots. Her weakest moment in the previous debate was to claim Sanders was against helping automotive workers in Michigan. On this evening in Florida she did it again. Repeatedly. Claiming Bernie Sanders was not standing on the side of immigrants. Claiming Bernie Sanders supported vigilante minute men. Yet again claiming he does not stand with automotive workers. And several more.

Why should Hillary Clinton stay away from such attacks? Well for starters, not a single uncommitted person could possibly believe them. They sound like cheap shots, they sound like nasty little chirps taken out of context, they sound like traditional politicians drama with no substance. The only effect of attacking Bernie Sanders from the left is to make herself look like a petty politician, a cheap shot artist and less trustworthy. Exactly what she does not need. And entirely unnecessary.

Hillary Clinton Campaigning for President 2016

Hillary Clinton Campaigning for President 2016 By Phil Roeder

A Better Political Message For Hillary Clinton ?

Hillary Clinton is winning. Big. Bernie Sanders is way behind and his only chance at this point is to use a fairly sizable minority of delegates to influence the policy at the convention. He can not win. It is pure delegate math. Whoever advised Hillary Clinton to panic about Michigan and react by attacking Bernie Sanders with cheap shots need demoting to coffee-fetcher in the campaign.

She could have played it grand and smart.

When Bernie Sanders yells free college tuition. Hillary answers: “I will fight for everyone getting a good education. Bernies promises might be a bit lofty and difficult to keep, but we agree about the goal“.

When Bernie Sanders yells lets be nicer to illegal immigrants. Hillary stays far away from attacking him and answers: “America was made great by the immigrants we all have as forefathers. I stand with everyone who wants to work in and for America. This is why I have a plan to stop deportations and give every hardworking and lawful immigrant a path to citizenship. 

Instead of making silly claims about Sanders supporting vigilante minute-men chasing immigrants at the border with Mexico Hillary says: When Donald Trump and Ted Cruz tries to play to peoples fears. When they use racism and prejudices to create a divided America. When Republicans want to round up people and send them away in cattle-trains. I can only say Stop. Do not believe the fear mongers. In a storm some candidates want to build walls, others want to build windmills. My windmill is a path to citizenship, humane and respectful treatment of all regardless of ancestry, legal jobs for immigrants and a safe future for everyone in America“.

When Bernie yells release the speech transcripts Hillary pulls them out of her handbag and replies: Yes, here they are. I believe in transparency. The republicans do not. Donald Trump still havent shown us his tax returns. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump still have not shown us the transcripts of their private speeches. And do you remember what happened the last time a Republican candidate had his private speeches exposed? Mitt Romney was exposed pouring scorn on 47% of Americans. I suspect Donald Trumps private speeches will show him having nothing but scorn for anyone but the top 1% of Americans who plays golf at his billionaire clubs.

Hillary Clinton has every chance of changing to a better political message painting her as a trustworthy and solid choice for president. Attacking Bernie Sanders with irrelevant cheap shots does exactly the opposite.

Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign

Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign By Jake Bucci

The Hillary Clinton Campaign

The Hillary Clinton campaign has a problem. But it is not called Bernie Sanders. As discussed before Hillary Clinton really needs Bernie Sanders to stay in the race to keep the Democratic race in focus, to have someone to debate, to have someone harmless to ping pong political issues with. Taking cheap shots at a harmless opponent belittles nobody but Hillary herself.

Instead. Tailor messages that embraces Bernie Sanders. Agree with most of his goals (as in fact she does). But stay presidential. Stay above the fray. Gently point out that his methods of achieving the political goals might not be realistic, but that the goals are valid and worth fighting for none the less. She could even offer him a place in the government in a new “End Poverty in America” capacity or similar.

So. Hillary. You can not help winning the nomination. But if you want to win in November stop running on petty cheap shots. Rise up. And start drawing the contrast to Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field. Now is the perfect time to do it as Hillary Clintons position as nominee is safe, whereas the republicans still have months of internal fighting to come.

The Hillary Clinton strategy should not be about winning an exchange with Bernie Sanders that will be forgotten in seconds. Or worse. Strengthen a picture of her as untrustworthy and petty. Instead. Play the slightly longer political campaign game, slightly more dignified messaging. And improve those critical perceptions in the process.

Hillary Clinton Campaign 2016

Hillary Clinton Campaign 2016 By Hillary for Iowa

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Rubio … And The Damage Done. Isn’t that an awkward distortion of a Neil Young quote? Yes, it is. The needle and the damage done applies to senator Marco Rubio these days. Is Marco Rubio Dropping Out then ? Well no. Not just yet. Maybe.

Marco Rubio has struggled to gain traction in the polls and the voting booths for quite a while. In fact, he has never really capitalized on the narrowing of the republican field at all. The junior senator from Florida looks like the perfect candidate for the GOP. He is young (in political terms). He is good-looking. He is well spoken. He is of Latino ancestry. He holds office in a swing state. He is fairly mainstream (in Republican terms).

In other words Marco Rubio should be the perfect establishment backed frontrunner. Right now should be time when he was wrapping up his nomination with only a show-piece of a race left to excite the media against an ultra-conservative evangelical of the Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum or Ted Cruz left. Instead. Marco Rubio has lost 18 out of 20 states so far. Usually not even making it to second place.

Maro Rubio Dropping Out ? GOP Race Florida

Maro Rubio Dropping Out ? By Gage Skidmore

Rubios Newscycle From Hell

This week some good news was finally heading Marco Rubios way. The polls were narrowing in Florida with the local senator closing in on frontrunner Donald Trumps lead. Marco Rubio further grabbed a resounding victory in Puerto Rico with almost 75% of the vote and all 23 delegates in the back. Obviously Puerto Rico is no essential part of any reasonable path to the nomination. But a win is a win. And most campaigns would expect a good few positive newscycles from an almost 60 point win anywhere.

Not Rubio. He had his worst news yet.

First. A leading Florida newspaper announced they wouldnt endorse any GOP candidate. Trump doesnt have the temperament to be president. Kasich simply can not win. Cruz is too scary. And the local boy Marco Rubio? He does not have the work ethics to be president. Wow. Where did that come from? The work ethics. In other words Rubio is too lazy. He wouldnt get things done. Exactly as the Attack Ad Donald Trump is currently running in Florida says: Marco Rubio is lazy, his senate record is worst among all senators.

In fact. Being absent from senate votes often could by all accounts be a sign of excellent work ethics. If Marco Rubio turns up mainly for crucial tight votes and spends the rest of his time investigating problems, talking to voters and constituents, drawing up grand proposals and negotiating across the isle to find common ground – well then he is doing wonderfully well. Is he actually doing that? We have no idea! And neither do the Florida voters. All they know now with a fair amount of certainty is that the young charlatan Marco Rubio rarely turns up for work. Was that a coordinated attack? Not likely. More likely one picked it up from the other. But the effect is strong and damaging.

Is Marco Rubio dropping out then from the Republic race for presidential nominee ? He says no. But that is problem in itself! The state of the Republican race is volatile. And Marco Rubio is the most likely next victim of a rough American campaign season. He lacks tracktion. And the news is terrible!

Marco Rubio Dropping Out ? Florida Primary GOP

Marco Rubio Dropping Out ? Florida Primary GOP By Gage Skidmore

Marco Rubio Dropping Out ?

Speaking of damage. Here comes the needle. The needle that might poke a finale hole in the balloon that is the Marco Rubio campaign. Suddenly CNN fired up a banner live on air:

BREAKING NEWS: Marco Rubio Considers Dropping Out Of The Race for Republican Nominee

The story was backed by anonymous sources suggesting the Florida senator might drop out prior to voting in his home state of Floria for the sake of his political future. The Marco Rubio immediately went on air to dismiss any thoughts of dropping out. But the damage was done. The entire news narrative since that moment has been about whether or not Rubio should drop out, what the effect might be for the other candidates, when he might do it and so forth.

As the former leader of the Socialdemocratic Party in Denmark said after being dramatically ousted by his second in command Poul Nyrup Rasmussen: Never Threaten To Leave, Threaten To Stay.

The wisdom buried inthere is that the second people think you might leave, you become irrelevant. Nobody needs to worry about the guy who is about to leave. Nobody wants to spend time campaigning, donating to or voting for the quitter who is about to run away.

So what happened? Marco Rubio had a media-narrative knife jammed thoroughly in his back. Who did it? All arrows would point at Ted Cruz. The senator wants and needs Rubio out. Cruz has been caught in similar and rather dirty campaign tactics previously. And he has the most to gain. However. It could also simply be someone disgruntled within the Rubio campaign itself. The problem is it does not matter if the story is pure fantasy, the needle and the damage done. Once people speculate about your leaving. You might as well leave.

Is Marco Rubio dropping out then? Well yes. I think he is now. But probably not until the night of his defeat in Florida.

Republican Primary Final Four 2016 Caricature

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The democrats have reached Super Tuesday 2016. The battle for delegates will be fierce between establishment front-runner Hillary Clinton and revolutionary left-wing socialist Bernie Sanders. Democratic super Tuesday will be a nail biter. Hillary Clinton can effectively end the race with a resounding victory or Bernie Sanders may become the latest comeback kid with a strong showing spelling a long democratic primary season still ahead.

For explanations of delegate math, primary and caucus types and the like – have a look at our Republican Super Tuesday feature. It has all the details. Today, we will get straight on with the primaries, caucuses and the candidates for the democrats! Unlike the republican primaries and caucuses, the democrats generally use proportional awarding of delegates – meaning say a 60% victory in a state gives you around 60% of the delegates. As such, victory margins are more important in the Democratic primaries than in most Republican ones.

Democratic Super Tuesday

The Democratic Primary states on super tuesday 2016 are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. There will be democratic caucuses in American Samoa, Colorado and Minnesota – check here for the latest primary opinion polls for Super Tuesday and beyond.

Combined Hillary has a big lead. The Super Delegates are heavily in her favor. But they can be swayed. To do so Bernie Sanders needs a commanding Super Tuesday. He might be happy to stay in the race to spread the socialist word, but if he is to be the nominee, the democratic super tuesday is his last chance for a comeback. He will win Vermont. He needs several more. Can Hillary fight him off? The polls says she can. But they have been wrong before.

The delegates and the states at stake:

Alabama Democratic Primary
53 delegates in an open primary.
Alabama Superdelegates: 7 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 3, Sanders 0

American Samoa Caucus
6 delegates in a closed caucus.
American Samoa Superdelegates: 5 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 4, Sanders 1

Arkansas Democratic Primary
32 delegates in an open primary.
Arkansas Superdelegates: 5 – Currently Clinton 5, Sanders 0

Colorado Caucus
66 delegates in a closed caucus.
Colorado Superdelegates: 13 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 10, Sanders 0

Georgia Democratic Primary
102 delegates in an open primary.
Georgia Superdelegates: 15 – Currently Clinton 11, Sanders 0

Massachusetts Democratic Primary
91 delegates in an semi-closed primary.
Massachusetts Superdelegates: 25 – Currently Clinton 17, Sanders 1

Minnesota Caucus
77 delegates in a open caucus.
Minnesota Superdelegates: 16 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 11, Sanders 1

Oklahoma Democratic Primary
38 delegates in an semi-closed primary.
Oklahoma Superdelegates: 4 – Currently Clinton 1, Sanders 1

Tennessee Democratic Primary
67 delegates in an open primary.
Tennessee Superdelegates: 9 – Currently Clinton 6, Sanders 0

Texas Democratic Primary
222 delegates in an open primary.
Texas Superdelegates: 29 – Currently Clinton 17, Sanders 0

Vermont Democratic Primary
16 delegates in an open primary.
Tennessee Superdelegates: 10 – Currently Clinton 4, Sanders 2

Virginia Democratic Primary
95 delegates in an open primary.
Virginia Superdelegates: 14 – Currently Clinton 11, Sanders 0

The Democratic Candidates

Only two candidates are left in the democratic race. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As things stand all doubt about the eventual nominee could be wiped out on SEC Tuesday. Basically, the Nevada and South Carolina victories for Hillary Clinton has given her a momentum that if carried will give her a commanding lead after tuesday making further efforts from Bernie Sanders fruitless in terms of winning.

On the other hand, the democratic super tuesday is the perfect time for a resounding comeback from Bernie Sanders. If it is to happen. Several northern states are in play, including his home state Vermont. This is where he needs to show magnificent strength and then pull an upset or two. Then he is back in the running.

Democratic Super Tuesday is upon us. Who needs to win where? Is Bernie still in the running? Can Hillary do a clean sweep? Read our predictions below. The republicans might be louder. But the Democrats still have an interesting race. Follow it right here.

Need to win states: Make or break states for the candidate. Losing here is potentially campaign ending.
Should win states: States the candidate should win to be on track for the nomination according to their strengths and strategies
Favored to win states: States the candidate ought to win based on opinion polling and demographics
Might win states: States the candidate might grab on a good day
Look out for: The little important bits to keep an eye out for.

Hillary Clinton

Need to win states: Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas
Should win states: Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Virginia, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, Samoa
Favored to win states: All of them – except Vermont
Might win states:
Look out for: Basically Hillary Clinton is competitive everywhere except Vermont. Keep an eye on her numbers with blue collar Democrats, white males. She needs to do a clean sweep of the South. The more she grabs in the North, the shorter the race will be (Bernie Sanders might well stay in the race even if he is beaten badly, but the race for the win will be over. He will be staying to get his message out).

Hillary Clinton Campaign

Hillary Clinton Campaign By Gage Skidmore

Bernie Sanders

Need to win states: Vermont
Should win states: For a northern path to victory to work he should win Massachuchetts, Minnesota and be competitive in several other places like Colorado, Oklahoma and Virginia.
Favored to win states: Vermont
Might win states: On a good day Sanders picks up Oklahoma, Colorado, Massachuchetts, Minnesota and maybe even Georgia. Such a miraculous day would require serious momentum though. It isnt on the cards.
Look out for: Super Tuesday is decisive for the future of the Sanders campaign. Is he running to win or running to get his message out. He needs to beat all expectations to continue a run for the win. Otherwise, he can choose to drop out. Or stay to grab the podium. Look out for his performance in his favored Northern States. Check if he has finally broken into the black american voter segment – though, after his trashing in South Carolina that seems unlikely.

Bernie Sanders Campaign

Bernie Sanders Campaign By Bart Everson

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Republican Super Tuesday Guide. Super tuesday is coming up. See what shape each of the remaining candidates for the nominations at the republicans are in before what might be an decisive date of voting across America. The participating states in SEC Tuesday include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucuses), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia with Republican caucuses being held in Alaska and Wyoming.

See the guide to Democratic Super Tuesday 2016 right here.

Republican Super Tuesday Preview

The republican candidates enter super tuesday with caucus nights in Alaska, Wyoming and Minnesota. Primaries are held in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.

5 candidates are left competing for the delegates across the super tuesday states. The SEC Tuesday, Super tuesday schedule and delegates in play for the republican primary race:

Alabama Primary
Open primary with 50 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Alaska Caucus
Closed caucus with 28 at stake in a proportional system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 13%

Arkansas Primary
Open primary with 40 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 15%

Colorado Caucus
Closed Causus with 37 at stake. No Threshold.

Georgia Primary
Semi-open primary with 76 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Massachusetts Primary
Semi-open primary with 42 at stake in a proportional system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 5%

Minnesota Caucus
Open caucus with 38 at stake in a proportional system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 10%

North Dakota Caucus
Closed caucus with 28 at stake. No Threshold

Oklahoma Primary
Closed primary with 43 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 15%

Tennessee Primary
Open primary with 58 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Texas Primary
Open primary with 155 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Vermont Primary
Open primary with 16 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Virginia Primary
Open primary with 49 at stake in a proportional system. No Threshold

Wyoming Caucus
Closed caucus with 29 at stake. No Threshold

  • Open or closed refers to who can vote. In an open primary or caucus anyone can turn up and register to vote. A semi-open caucus or primary has some restrictions whilst a closed primary or caucus requires previous party registration. The specific rules vary from state to state, if you are considering going to vote we advice you to visit the website of your local party to check the rules.
  • Primary vs caucus refers to the way of voting. In a primary you vote the same way you would in a general election. A caucus is a nomination meeting – the exact method varies from state to state, but generally you spend a few hours standing with your preferred candidate, getting counted and he who has most people in his corner wins.
  • Winner take all, winner take most and proportional. Winner take all is simple, the candidate with the most votes wins all delegates. A winner take all is either awarded for the entire state or per congressional district. Winner take most gives the vast majority of delegates to the winner but awards a few delegates to the runners up proportionally. In a propertional system the candidates are awarded approximately the % of delegates that equates their % of the vote (ie in a state with 100 delegates a candidate wins 40% of the vote – if its winner take all he gets 100 delegates, if it is winner take most he might get 80 and if its proportional he gets 40 …in simplified terms
  • Threshold. Many states have a threshold for awarding delegates. If the threshold is say 20% the candidate is only awarded any delegates if he obtains at least 20% of the vote. Ie, even in a state with proportional awarding of delegates but a threshold of 20% a candidate getting 15% of the vote would still not get any delegates.

The Republican Candidates

After the departure of prolific candidates such as Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie only 5 candidates are left in the race for becoming the Republican nominee for president 2016. The current frontrunner is obviously Donald Trump with 3 victories in the bag prior to the Super Tuesday spectacle. Runners up are Marco Rubio the establishments choice and far right conservative winner of the Iowa caucus Ted Cruz from Texas. Also running we have doctor Ben Carson and moderate northerner John Kasich.

In the run-up to the primaries CNN held a big debate night for the 5 republican candidates, which was one of the more bizarre events in American political history. It basically ended up in a shouting match between Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. For the first time Donald Trump was in the firing line for his business dealings, Republican credentials and non-political correct ways. How the voters reacted to the debacle remains to be seen. A post-poll showed Donald Trump the winner of the debate among voters, whilst commentators and pundits claimed victory for an aggressive Marco Rubio. Since the debate the shouting matches have continued regarding tax returns, Trump University, alleged Marco Rubio credit card fraud and many other topics loosely related to the race and the substance.

Lets have a look at the perspective for each candidate during super tuesday.

Need to win states: Make or break states for the candidate. Losing here is potentially campaign ending.
Should win states: States the candidate should win to be on track for the nomination according to their strengths and strategies
Favored to win states: States the candidate ought to win based on opinion polling and demographics
Might win states: States the candidate might grab on a good day
Look out for: The little important bits to keep an eye out for.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump walks into super tuesday as the clear favorite more or less across the board. The billionaire is self funding his campaign. Running against all common rules of politics. And so far the voters have favored him for it.

Need to win states: Trump doesnt have specific need to win states. To Trump it is about volume. He needs to win the majority of states. Which ones he wins is less important. 10 or 11 wins will be a super night. Below 8 wins will be a fiasco spelling future trouble.
Should win states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Alaska and Wyoming
Favored to win states: All of them except Texas
Might win states: Texas
Look out for: The number of wins. Trumps performance in Texas, if he wins he has effectively eliminated Ted Cruz from the race. If on the other hand he loses other southern states to Cruz the race is bound to tighten. If he loses to Rubio anywhere it will be declared a victory for Rubio. If Kasich does well in the north or midwest relative to Trump he might be on track to win Ohio and stay in the race.

Donald Trump Campaign

Donald Trump Campaign By Gage Skidmore

Marco Rubio

The junior senator from Florida is the establishments clear choice for nominee. He has seen a great influx of donor and endorsements. He had a strong and aggresive debate performance. Is it enough? Well. Rubio is not favored for any wins on Super Tuesday. But he badly needs one. He needs to end the “unable to win anywhere” narrative. He needs to feed the hope in his campaign. But it is difficult to find the optimal target.

Need to win states: None specifically. But he really needs a win. Apart from that he needs to beat Ted Cruz for second more or less everywhere that isnt Texas.
Should win states: Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Virginia. It sounds tough. But an establishment candidate with a path to victory should pull out wins in states like these. Or at least come very close.
Favored to win states: None
Might win states: Oklahoma
Look out for: Does he finally get his first win? How does he do compared to Ted Cruz. Does he rally the moderate Republicans behind him? Does he come close in places like Oklahoma or indeed anywhere.

Marco Rubio Campaign

Marco Rubio Campaign By Artaxerxes

Ted Cruz

The consistent conservative with the TrusTed campaign slogan Ted Cruz is in a fairly desperate situation. In pure numbers he is a clear second in the race. But his path to victory is very hard to see. His problem is Donald Trump eating into the evangelical and very conservative vote. On a level that steals the southern victories he should be bagging.

Need to win states: Texas. If he does not win Texas he is likely to withdraw from the race.
Should win states: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Alaska
Favored to win states: Texas
Might win states: Basically none, but he ought to be doing better than his polling in places like Alabama and Georgia
Look out for: Texas is make a break. Apart from that look at the evangelical vote – he needs to fight off Trump in that segment. Further, he needs to outdo Marco Rubio for second. He further needs to show strength in the south.

Ted Cruz Campaign

Ted Cruz Campaign by Gage Skidmore

Ben Carson

The doctor had his hayday in the polls many months ago. He has not been in the top 3 anywhere. He is not polling in the top 3 anywhere. He has no path to victory. Carson may have his reasons for staying in the reason. The strongly religious man might be hoping for a miracle. He needs one.

Need to win states: None. He does not seem to compete to win.
Should win states: None.
Favored to win states: None.
Might win states: None.
Look out for: Carsons biggest influence on the race is what he steals from others. Does he grab evangelicals from Cruz? Does he cut into Rubios strongholds? Does he drop out?

Dr Ben Carson Campaign

Dr Ben Carson Campaign By Gage Skidmore

John Kasich

Need to win states: None. Kasich is playing for an Ohio win later on.
Should win states: The northern states with more moderate Republican voters. Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Virginia should probably be wins if he was on path to the nomination.
Favored to win states: None.
Might win states: If he is to bag a win anywhere it would have to be Massachusetts.
Look out for: How does he do in moderate states. Does he get any second places. Can he pull an upset? Does he drop out?

John Kasich Campaign

John Kasich Campaign By Marc Nozell

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Unstoppable Trump ?

The results from the Nevada republican caucus are in and Donald Trump took it in a landslide.

Currently the count is:
Donald Trump 45%
Marco Rubio 24%
Ted Cruz 21%1,
Ben Carson 6%
John Kasich 4%

These are the numbers with only 14% counted but victory has long since been declared for Donald Trump. Ted Cruz yet again has declared himself victorious after a rather disappointing display. His argument is that Marco Rubio still hasnt had a win and should have done so in his Nevada firewall. This, however, is getting old. The argument is stretched too thin. Third place again without victory anywhere but Texas in sight. Basically Ted Cruz looks finished.

Can Donald Trump be Stopped?

Yes! Donald Trump can be stopped. He still might have a ceiling too low to win a one on one contest against an establishment candidate. He might still finally do something that outrages his supporters sufficiently to make them look elsewhere. Some external event still might switch the focus, priorities and ultimate choice of candidate.

But. We are approaching Miguel Indurains black cat territory. The legendary Spanish Tour De France winner always argued that victory could be snatched from him at every turn of the road by a crossing black cat. However, the black cat never came. Indurain kept winning. And by all accounts so will Trump.

It is fully possible that Ted Cruz will carry the Texas primary. He should. It is his home state and base for his entire operation. It is equally possible that an upset happens here or there. But overall, everything points to Donald Trump having a cruising time past super tuesday. He is building a commanding lead in delegates. He is polling impressively across the board in upcoming primaries. He keeps ruling the media cycles. He seems unstoppable!

donald-trump-rally

Rubio or Cruz ?

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are still battling to be the alternative to Donald Trump. But, as we debated in the past they are more or less already too late to settle that score – Rubio and Cruz should have united prior to letting Donald Trump run away with the momentum, delegates, attention and winning narrative!

But still. Ted Cruz is not gonna bow down to Marco Rubio, though Cruz has the hardest path to victory. Instead, he is spoiling for a fight. Marco Rubio isnt going anywhere either. He is consolidating establishment support, donors and endorsements. But. Neither of these two look like they have anything up their sleeves which might rattle the Donald. Even if Kasich and Carson drop out they are unlikely to pick up enough steam to be competitive.

Super tuesday might well be the end of the line for anyone hoping to stop Donald Trump!

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