March 16, 2016 (San Diego) Clinton swept all five states on this last Tuesday. in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. Florida, North Carolina and Ohio were not even close. Missouri as of this morning trends Clinton with 99 percent of the tally, but has yet to be called by the New York Times and Illinois was close last night, but still went into the Clinton column.
So to the numbers that matter. The pledged delegate count. Clinton widened her count, to 1050 pledged delegates, which translate to 44.1 percent of the necessary delegates to secure the delegation at the convention floor. She needs 2383 delegates to secure this. There is a slight chance, that Sanders might surprise everybody since only 37 percent of the delegates have been allocated. The problem is what Sanders needs to do to first catch up, and them overcome the Clinton campaign. It is the level of over performance and upsets that are needed.
We know that this is the way the Sanders campaign feels, and they expected to be behind at this stage of the game. They told as much to CNN overnight. So while we see an extremely narrow map, that includes big wins in places like California, which are rich delegate states, we are having a problem seeing any path for the nomination. As the race continues, this is not set in stone. races remain dynamic. So the numbers might change. For the moment we see this as a difficult, almost impossible task.
We know that the campaign is revealing deep fissures in the democratic party. We expect the Democratic party to continue to drift right, and like the Republicans, to split. The left wing of the party feels unrepresented, and ignored. While that division is far more under the surface, it will continue to fester. As the parties realign, and the Republican Party going away is possible, the left wing will feel increasingly left out. So as the democrats abandon their old coalition, a new party in the left will rise. The Sanders voters are not going away. They want change. We are seeing the beginning of major changes in the American political system.
Trump and the Republicans
Donald J Trump won three of the states, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina. Florida for example was a winner take all state. So all 99 delegates went to Trump. Missouri is still to be called between Ted Cruz and Trump, and Governor John Kasich won his home state of Ohio.
So now to the all important delegate count. Trump widened his lead. He has 690 pledged delegates, translating to 66.8 percent of the delegates needed. Ted Cruz is behind him with 419, which translates to 33.9 percent of the delegates needed. Kasich is behind, and would have dropped off if he lost his home state of Ohio, with 146, which translates to 11.8 percent.
With Senator Marco Rubio dropping off from the race the math has become that much easier for Trump. In our mind, Trump is very much so on the way to the nomination. He needs 1247, with 58 percent of delegates allocated so far. He might fall short, and if he does such, we will have, very much so, a brokered convention.
On to the General
The Democratic Party will nominate Clinton in Philadelphia. There is no doubt of that at this point. Before last night, the math was still difficult, but possible for Sanders. At this point we just don’t see it. In our mind, Democrats are nominating one the weakest candidates in decades and this is still a change election. To be blunt, calls for party unity will not go well and we do expect many Sanders supporters to either vote third party, or stay home, or vote for Trump if he gets the nomination.
Moreover, Sanders has run one of the cleanest campaigns in recent memory. He really never went negative. What the Clinton campaign called smears, were not. We don’t expect that from whoever the Republicans run. The pummeling will soon start, and we expect to see one of the dirtiest general elections in recent memory. To be blunt, Republicans have enough opposition research to fill a few landfills. Anybody who expects them not to use it, is dreaming.
We also expect Kasich to drop off soon, and that will simplify the math and make Trump able to take it on a first vote. What we have seen in the primary, we will continue to see. Trump will go after Clinton in ways that are out of the norm of U.S. politics. We have said in the past. As much as we consider Trump a danger, he has a very good chance, due to the dynamics this year, of becoming the next President of the United States. The democrats are helping by nominating a weak establishment candidate. One that we expect to shift right, not center, right, as she moves to the general.