Super Tuesday has arrived! And for the On Wisconsin Political Podcast crew, this is better an a final 4. Who needs college basketball when you have this march madness? Here are the teams “Brackets” and predictions for tonight’s political tournament.
By: Alejandro A. Alonso Galva, Originally Published on AleVida.com
The Democratic Nomination is All But Over:
I am getting the sense Clinton has weathered the Bernie Sanders storm better than the Obama storm of 2008. With her first solid win in South Carolina and Super Tuesday comprised of many southern states, this is shaping up well for her. Even with notable endorsements, Bernie Sanders has not fared well with black voters who have returned en mass to the Clintons. Obviously this was a weak spot for Ms. Clinton in 2008 while facing President Obama, but remember President Bill Clinton was “the first black president” until President Barack Obama really was the first black president. In a political season ripe with public discourse over race relations and inequity, black voters are currently in the position of playing king makers in this Democratic nomination. The DNC’s pushed to give southern African American voters a larger voice in the nominating process by making South Carolina one of the first four states. It has played out significantly this election cycle, a slight act of fate or serendipity perhaps.
On the Republican side the circus continues, and it is getting more exciting each day. The prospect of a brokered Republican National Convention is looming, and political journalists could not be more excited. The last time we were this close to a brokered GOP convention was in the wake of the Nixon/Watergate scandals in the 1976 primary between President Ford and Ronald Reagan. Ford won the RNC but lost to President Jimmy Carter.
Trump seems to break all political precedent and much like Beetle Juice, the more we say his name the stronger he becomes. Trump is going to have a big day today. The only question is, how big?
New Republican Rules
The key nuance in this election is the new Republican rule book regarding the allocation of delegates. After the drag out 2012 season, many party leaders believed Mitt Romney was hurt by party infighting. In an attempt to shorten the primary season, the party created a delegate system aimed at helping the front runner rap up a nomination quickly. In this season many states will only allocate delegates to first and second place finishers in congressional districts, with some delegates allocated to anyone who finished with 20% of the vote state wide. This has a few unintended consequences.
- Win or lose, Trump will win delegates everywhere since he has never finished lower than second place, allowing him to steam roll forward just as the mechanism was created to do. It’s the result the party leaders wanted, but not the candidate.
- Cruz and Rubio will be battling for those silver medals. These two are running in a statistical tie all over the country. Party leaders have to hope one of them finishes in third place consistently, allowing the other to take a delegate advantage. This could lead to a single challenger against Mr. Trump, something those party leaders have been unable to accomplish.
- Cruz and Rubio will have every reason to stay in the race. Texas has 155 available delegates, most will go to Cruz allowing him to stay alive. Meanwhile Rubio will pick up delegates from his many second place finishes and possibly a Minnesota win. This will set him up well for his home state of Florida, a winner-take-all primary of 99 delegates. The hyuge!
- Expect record turnout for the GOP across the board.
- Rubio has vowed to stay in the race until the convention. This news, along with a recent New York Times article regarding the desperate attempts by Republican leaders to stop Mr. Trump, means that regardless of Tuesdays results, we are in for the long haul…and perhaps a brokered convention.
- Take note, Trump is already laying the ground work for an independent run if he does not received the nomination. He has accused the Republican party leaders of not honoring their vow to support whomever is nominated. This is a legitimate complaint. But more importantly it allows him to back out of his pledge and tell voters the party leadership stabbed him in the back.
- Let’s remember Trump is winning the plurality of the vote with only 35.6% according to the Real Clear Politics average. He is a front runner, but not a 51%+ unbeatable candidate. There are plenty of anti-Trump votes out there.
- My nerdy political self is dying to see a broken convention. I’ll go!