Another Tuesday, Another Vote
The praxis here has been for postings to be made in advance of key primary votes. Wisconsin today, so that means it is time for the usual update on the state of the race.
Par for the course on the Democratic side, with Hillary set to run out the clock on Bernie. Frustrating for his supporters, no doubt, but short of an indictment there is simply no way he captures enough delegates. Feel the math, as Krugman said a few days ago in a good little piece. How the Senator conducts himself in the coming months will be critical - but unifying against the eventual opponent should be about as easy as possible given the main contenders on the other side.
Trump has endured some difficult moments recently - exactly along the lines of what might have been expected shortly after his entry into the race. The surprise is that it has taken this long. His unfavourability ratings with women are verging on the hilarious. I love how his response is only that "Nobody respects women more than I do." How do you argue with that? Heh. I would not be surprised if he actually believed that, such is the ego.
I have long thought that the real fun would be in eventually watching Trump lose, that his downfall (when it comes) would offer even more entertainment value than the shockingly unexpected rise. He seems to be such a poor loser, and unwilling to accept any personal responsibility, that it cannot help but end terribly for him. The whining and bitterness at the voters and/or the system will be excellent.
For a long time, it looked like it would be Hillary to put him to the sword. Now it increasingly seems like Cruz could manage it in Cleveland. He performed strongly in Utah and looks set for an impressive showing tonight in Wisconsin. It is a sign of just how much Trump is struggling that Cruz is in with a chance. Early on I assumed that Ted would be the only one of the candidates that the Donald could beat head-to-head, but even here the signs of weakness are on full display as the party fears the full consequences of turning the keys over.
Let's see how far below the 25 delegate marker Trump falls tonight. Then it looks like the next big test is New York on the 19th and a bunch of states on the 26th. New Hampshire seems ages ago - running for President really is a monstrous, all-consuming enterprise. Trump will have a chance to regain some momentum in NY and after, but as the stories start to emerge about the extent to which convention delegates are bound after the first ballot, I really do wonder if all these crowds and rallies will be for naught. In such an organizational fight at the grassroots level, I would take the zealot and true believer who has been planning his Presidential run for years over the demagogue who is used to coasting on his personality. Every time. I would love to see Trump fall agonizingly close to 1,237, only to see waves of his supposed delegates desert him in the contested vote.
I have seen nothing to suggest that Cruz will get anything other than humiliated in the general election. So should we spare a thought for Kasich's chances, as he putters away? Nah. As rational as his argument about actually winning the Presidency for the GOP may be, when you have to make the statement: "I'm not gonna be a pincushion. I'm not gonna be a marshmallow...", that's when you should know your race is almost certainly run.