drwex (drwex) wrote,
drwex
drwex

So now we know two things more (politics)

Super Tuesday produced one surprise to me, and much that was expected. I was disappointed that Sanders did not win MA, which seemed a natural for him. I think he will wisely start looking for a best exit strategy, one that will allow him to have the most influence without opening Clinton to damage. Likely that will mean staying in the race until the math finishes and she has the nomination clinched. Sanders then bows out and throws his support to her. Clinton is a deal-maker and my guess is Sanders can deal for something he cares about, which will likely be something I care about.

Then I will hold my stomach for several months as Clinton careens hard right as far as her focus groups and strategy teams think she can go. Given the likely opposition that's pretty far.

The big surprise (thing 1) seems to be that the Republican electorate has made up its mind for Trump. Although Cruz took two states he's still about as done for as can be. I expected Rubio to do considerably better, but his heft has come from late deciders who have in the past gone for him. This time there was no late-breaking move. Trump's polling among Republican voters has broken the 35-38% ceiling he had been stuck at. He's now polling nearly 50% and his number now exceeds the combined numbers of Rubio and Cruz (thing 2).

That means it's officially too late. Even if one of the two did drop out (still not gonna happen- Cruz will claim he's on a comeback and Rubio will want to wait for Florida to vote) their combined support would no longer overtop Trump. And as we discussed last time we're entering winner-take-all season for Republican primaries, so expect Trump's lead to widen considerably.

So now it comes down to the RNC and what are they going to do. Despite the vocal flailings of "oh woe is us won't someone stop Trump" you see in the media I think the Republican strategists aren't going to go for that. A brokered convention or anything that smacks of stealing the nomination for Trump isn't going to fly. The RNC strategy will become to hunker down and try to contain losses. They'll pour money into purple districts and do everything they can to ensure they hold onto the Senate, expecting it to be a bulwark against President Clinton for four years. Everyone's eyes will be on 2020 and I would not be surprised to see the party making changes to primary rules to make it more difficult for the next populist upstart.

On the Democratic side they're going to have to spend hard to shore up a coalition. Having Trump as the nominee will make a lot of that easier as you can expect the black and Latino vote to fall massively on Clinton's side. The machine just needs to make sure they get to the polls on election day. I haven't done any electoral college counting yet, but Democratic turn-out this year has been low in primaries and that does not bode well for Clinton in purple states, especially if the RNC spends heavily against her. You can bet we'll be seeing ads along the lines of "Vote for Congress Candidate X; he'll take on Hilary".
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