As we reached a halfway-ish point in the 2016 political primaries, let’s take a step back to examine the chaos that has engulfed us all so far!
Tuesday’s primaries cleared a lot of questions we had about this election cycle, but it also created new ones. This election cycle has been… interesting… yeah, let’s go with interesting. Throughout the entire time in these primaries there are things we know (knowns), things we don’t know (unknowns), and things we know that we don’t know (“known” unknowns). If all of that sounds confusing, well then, welcome to the 2016 primaries! Let’s try to break it all down.
Known: Hillary Clinton Will Be Your Democratic Nominee
Before we dive head first into the perpetual dumpster fire of uncertainty that is known as the GOP primaries, let’s get the biggest “known” out of the way first, Hillary Clinton is going to get the Democratic nomination. After winning at least four out of the five major contests on Tuesday – and probably going to win Missouri, even though it’s too close to call – the path looks clear for Clinton to get the nomination at this point. As for Bernie Sanders, well… it doesn’t look good.
While Bernie Sanders has attracted a fair number of passionate voters to the polls, his wins have no real pattern to them. In other words, if Tuesday night he won either Ohio or Illinois convincingly, then you could say that Sanders had real support in the Midwest. This would have presented a path to the nomination. But without the Midwest, even if Sanders were to take Pennsylvania and California – which are BIG ifs – it wouldn’t be enough to get the nomination. With the combination of Super Delegates and Clinton winning decisively in the South, the Democratic side is all chalk at this point.
But some of you are probably saying right now, “this is just bull shit media bias on our part!” But honestly, it really isn’t. Just look at the numbers.
If you are to include Super Delegates – which we have to because they aren’t theoretical like the Sanders campaign claims, they actually exist – Bernie Sanders currently has 851 total delegates under his belt right now. To get the Democratic nomination you need 2,383 delegates. That means Sanders needs 1,532 delegates out of the 2,308 delegates still available. In other words, he needs to win around 66% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination. Whereas Clinton just needs to win around 33% of them (or 777 delegates) to clinch.
Let’s just say it’s hard to bet against Clinton at this point.
“Known” Unknown: Bernie Sanders Voters Getting Behind Clinton in the General Election
— CBS News Politics (@CBSPolitics) March 16, 2016
It’s strange that everyone assumes in the general election Bernie Sanders supporters will automatically just go over to the Hillary Clinton camp. Granted, if Donald Trump becomes the GOP nominee – which is looking more, and more likely each day – there should be a surge in the polls that goes against him, however Clinton’s inability to attract Millennials to her campaign should be concerning. As this SNL Short emphasizes, Clinton has been pivoting her stance on many issues for weeks in hopes of gaining some of Sanders’ votes. If she is going to win the general election, she’ll need them to show up on Election Day. But those votes aren’t guaranteed.
Much like how Donald Trump says he’ll win the general election based on the record number of GOP turnout in these primaries, there is no correlation that primary results carry over to the general election. The fact that Clinton – and other political analysts – are looking at Sanders voters and assuming they will vote for Clinton is a fallacy. They could just as easily stay home and not vote. Millennials are a fickle voting bloc, to assume anything from them is at your own risk!
Known: This Was an Actual Headline on The Hill Yesterday!
This pretty much describes 2016 presidential primaries in a nutshell.
Known: Donald Trump Will Be Getting the Most Delegates Come the GOP Convention in May
Let’s be real here, Donald Trump has surprised us all in these primaries. He continues to win states that a few months ago everyone would have thought he would have no business winning. The writing on the wall is clear, if he continues to win more races in the pace he’s going, he should have the most delegates out of John Kasich and Ted Cruz come the Republican Convention.
But notice the keyword there is “most”…
“Known” Unknown: If Donald Trump Can Actually Reach the 1,237 Needed to Clinch the Nomination
Let’s do a little math.
As of this writing, Donald Trump has 673 delegates. He needs 1,237 to secure the GOP nomination. That would mean he would need 564 more delegates to become the presidential nominee. Ok, simple.
Now there are 1,061 left in the GOP field in which Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich have to compete over. That would mean he would have to get over half – just over 53% of the delegates to be exact – of the 1,061 remaining delegates to get the nomination!
Granted there are still the winner-take-all states of California and Pennsylvania still in play here, but considering Trump would have to win over half of the remaining delegates to comfortably say he’s the GOP nominee, there is no guarantee that he’ll be able to pull that off. Considering both Cruz (will have to get 77% of remaining delegates) and Kasich (mathematically impossible for him to get 1,237) aren’t going to get there either, all this looks to lead to a brokered convention come this May.
Known: The John Kasich Campaign’s General Feeling of Winning Ohio
Kasich campaign: I'd like to order ALL OF THE CONFETTI
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) March 16, 2016
“I worry what you just heard was give me a lot of confetti. What I said was: Give me ALL the confetti you have!”
Unknown: If John Kasich Understands That He REALLY Should Have Won Ohio Anyway?
1) John Kasich spent two months trying to get Ohio to go his way.
2) Ohio is John Kasich’s home state, in which he was governor in for many years. To put that into perspective, in the 1984 Presidential Election even Walter Mondale won his home state of Minnesota. You know, the Presidential Election in which Ronald Reagan won EVERY OTHER STATE THAT WASN’T MINNESOTA and is still known today as one of the biggest political beat downs in election history! Even in that election, the guy who got electorally Suplex Citied by Reagan won his home state!
3) That fact that Kasich genuinely is looking at Ohio as a significant victory in his campaign after exerting so much effort to get it, tells you where his campaign is at right now. In that, this might be the only time he gets use of that confetti cannon.
Known: You Know It’s Bad When Ted Cruz is the GOP Establishment’s Only Hope!
Yup, THAT’S the only guy that can actually save the GOP Establishment from a Donald Trump nomination! Nas was right, sometimes…
Known: How Bad Marco Rubio Lost Florida
Humiliating. (NY Times map) pic.twitter.com/ZreHDUCNWy
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) March 16, 2016
“Known” Unknown: How Will 2016’s Primary Loss Affect Marco Rubio (and The GOP Establishment) Going Forward
Let’s not pull punches here, the 2016 primaries have been a disaster on the GOP Establishment. And in turn, they’ve been a disaster for Marco Rubio as well. It’s not that he lost the 2016 presidential primaries, he lost them when theoretically he was in excellent position to win them!
Look at it this way, if we told you last summer that come the beginning of March 2016, the last four contenders in the GOP primaries would be Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, EVERY. ONE. OF. US. would have bet on Rubio coming away with the nomination!
Consistently throughout the GOP primaries, Rubio looked to be in the “ideal position” to take the nomination from Trump with numerous second place finishes early on. But he could never bring it all together to win states when it mattered. So as Trump started to gain the delegate lead, Rubio tried to counter by going negative.
It didn’t go well…
That spelled the beginning of the end for the Rubio campaign. The question remains if this disastrous 2016 run creates a much bigger problem for him down the line, because if you’re an opportunistic politician in Florida and you see the delegate map above, challenging for Rubio’s Senate seat now isn’t completely out of the question.
But it isn’t just Rubio, the road to the 2016 GOP primary is paved with the fallen careers of GOP Establishment candidates. At this moment, Rubio isn’t just a symbol of the Republican Establishment’s woes, it IS the Republican Establishment. They’re both in deeper trouble than they would like to admit.
Or so it goes.
Unknown: What Does a Brokered Convention Even Look Like?
Our guess it’s something like that, so get your tickets now!
(Photo Credit: PixaBay.com, DonaldJTrump.com, HillaryClinton.com, Google Images)