Really? That’s the naming convention we’re going with here, “Western Tuesday?” It feels like we dropped the ball on this one guys…
Even though this is not a make or break night for either Republican or Democratic primaries, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t important. Both Arizona and Utah have sizable delegate counts that are crucial going forward. So here’s what you want to keep an eye on in tonight’s primaries and caucuses.
Playing to Your Base
There is a lot of pandering that goes on in a presidential campaign. That fact shouldn’t surprise anyone. And there is a very good reason for that, because it works! Today the two biggest states on the docket for the GOP are Arizona (58 delegates) and Utah (40 delegates). Both states look to have predictable outcomes due to the very distinct messages coming from both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
In Arizona, Trump is expected to easily win in tonight’s primaries. Considering Trump has consistently backed a pro-wall agenda, many conservatives in Arizona believe he’ll be tougher on illegal immigration that either Cruz or Kasich. As for Utah, Cruz has been consistently courting the large Mormon community in the state. Whether it’s getting Mitt Romney to publicly tell people to vote Cruz or even going as low as to slut-shame Trump’s wife, anti-Trump Republicans are trying to curry favor with the traditional values that many conservatives in Utah. Considering Trump is trailing very badly in Utah, the strategy looks to be working.
As we said before, in a primary cycle where literally the most unlikely of GOP candidates is leading the delegate count, playing to your base is a “tried and true” strategy that has worked remarkably well. Arizona going to Trump and Utah going to Cruz should prove that tonight.
The Sanders Push
Many of you who are #StillSanders should have a relatively good night tonight. With both Idaho and Utah going in Bernie Sanders’ favor, his campaign should get some much needed delegatess from these states. Yet the bigger question remains, can Sanders get enough delegates to make it competitive with Hillary Clinton?
The real answer here is probably not. Considering the Democratic primaries don’t have winner-take-all states, it doesn’t look like Sanders will be able to catch up. Plus the states that Sanders looks to win Idaho, Alaska, and Wyoming, aren’t necessarily looked at as big delegate states (with Utah being the only minor exception). While tonight should be a good night for the Sanders campaign, it’ll need much more to make the Democratic primaries even vaguely competitive.
Democratic Primaries (75 Delegates):
1) Hillary Clinton
2) Bernie Sanders
- A big Clinton win tonight in Arizona, will be a 20% difference between candidates.
Republican Primaries (58 Delegates):
1) Donald Trump
2) Ted Cruz
3) John Kasich
- It will be much closer race between Trump and Cruz than people realize. But since it’s a winner-take-all state, Trump will take all 58 delegates.
Democratic Caucuses (33 Delegates):
1) Bernie Sanders
2) Hillary Clinton
- Will be much closer than expected (like a less than 10% difference between Sanders and Clinton).
Republican Caucuses (40 Delegates):
1) Ted Cruz
2) John Kasich
3) Donald Trump
- Trump will do an early press conference before the results of Utah come in.
Ted Cruz will win big in Utah (over 20% point victory).
(Photo Credits: Google Images, Bernie Sanders Instagram)