Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: Trump rolls on and Sanders causes an upset, the Events of March 8

Donald Trump continues to steamroll through the Republican primaries and Senator Bernie Sanders causes an upset in Michigan, but is it really the upset it is being made out to be?

The two main Democratic candidates faced off in two states last night in their struggle for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders pulled off a massive upset from what the polls predicted coming in first in Michigan. According to the pollsters, former Senator Hillary Clinton was expected to take the state by a decent margin. The two candidates struggled all night as the results came in showing them neck and neck all night. The final tally has supporters of Sanders cheering and the Sanders campaign talking up the win, is this win everything it is being made out to be?

While Sanders now has the biggest upset in election history since 1984 when Gary Hart won the New Hampshire primary and is definitely winning with press coverage over the win, Sanders still lost the night and unfortunately for his campaign is continuing the trend that started in South Carolina. The final results for Michigan were Sanders in first place with 49.9 percent of the vote and Clinton in second place with 48.2 percent of the vote.

It is this finishing that takes away what could have made this a big win for the Sanders campaign. The 130 delegates that Michigan are awarding are still being divvied up, so far Sanders has collected 65 and Clinton has collected 58. Both can expect to receive more before the final division is decided. In the 2016 Democratic primary, all the states award their delegates proportionally, which means that the award entirely depends on how well you do. Since Sanders and Clinton almost tied in Michigan, the final delegate award will be almost equal. So while the Sanders campaign can call Michigan a win, as far as the all important delegates go, it is essentially a wash, which brings us to the second contest of the night.

In Mississippi there were 36 delegates up for stake and Clinton took the state by a landslide collecting 82.6 percent of the vote. Mississippi is also still dividing their delegates, so far Clinton has collected 29 delegates and Sanders has collected four delegates. It is these delegate awards that really show how the night went.

Before the delegate awards from last night, Sanders trailed Clinton by 198 delegates won through primaries and caucuses. So far for March 8th, Sanders has collected 69 more delegates with more to be awarded and Clinton has collected 87 delegates with more to be awarded. This scenario is what has been playing out time and time again for Sanders ever since South Carolina. He may get a victory in name but at the end of the day, Clinton adds more delegates than him and increases the span between the two more and more making a victory harder and harder for Sanders to achieve. This doesn't mean that the race is over for Sanders, yet, but he needs to turn this trend around soon and close the gap to be able to pull ahead or he will find himself in an insurmountable hole.

Democrats Abroad finished their voting period yesterday and their 21 delegates are still being divided up. With the results that are in so far, Sanders is leading with 69 percent of the vote. This isn't overly surprising, for the town hall video conference for Democrats Abroad Sanders was the representative for his campaign whereas Jake Sullivan and Madeleine Albright were the representatives for the Clinton campaign, not Clinton herself. The final results of Democrats Abroad wont' be released until March 21st, so this can't be counted as a win yet for Sanders.

Next up for the Democrats is the territory of Northern Mariana Islands near the Philippians. The Northern Mariana Islands hold their caucuses on March 12th. After The Northern Mariana Islands are the states of Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio on March 15th.

Trump dominated the March 8th states with wins in three of the four states that had contests and Senator Marco Rubio and Governor John Kasich had an intense fight for last place in almost all four states.

Trump won the tropical island paradise of Hawaii with 42.4 percent of the vote with Senator Ted Cruz coming in second with 32.7 percent of the vote. The 19 delegates are still being divided and so far Trump has collected ten of the delegates and Cruz has collected six. Rubio and Kasich spent the night almost deadlocked in their fight for last place with Kasich finally taking the prize of fourth place and Rubio getting the third place spot. It is unlikely that Rubio or Kasich will receive any delegates from Hawaii.

In Idaho Cruz gained his one victory of the night with 45.4 percent of the vote. Trump came in a distant second with 28.1 percent of the vote. Idaho had 32 delegates up for grabs and has awarded Cruz 20 delegates and Trump 12 delegates. Rubio and Kasich again fought in Idaho for last place and when the dust had settled again Kasich found himself winning the fourth place spot with Rubio coming in third. Rubio and Kasich weren't awarded any delegates for their struggles.

In Michigan Trump took the state with 36.5 percent of the vote. In the Republican major upset of the night Cruz found himself fighting with Kasich of all candidates for the second place spot. Cruz ended up winning the battle with 24.9 percent of the vote with Kasich getting third with 24.3 percent of the vote. Rubio found himself in a distant fourth not even gaining ten percent of the vote. Trump will be getting 25 of Michigan's 59 delegates. Cruz and Kasich, in his only delegate win of the night, will both be getting 17 delegates each. Rubio will be the only candidate to walk away form Michigan empty handed.

Trump received his third win of the night in Mississippi claiming 47.3 percent of the vote. Cruz came in second with 36.3 percent of the vote. Mississippi gave out 40 delegates. The final delegate tallies are still being decided but so far Trump has received 24 delegates and Cruz 13. Rubio and Kasich again found themselves locked in a bare knuckle brawl for last place. The two of them put together only managed to take 14% of the vote. In the end Rubio won the fourth place slot with Kasich getting third. Rubio only won bragging rights though as Mississippi isn't awarding either with delegates.

Trump proved once again that he is his own man and listens to no one completely throwing aside the words Retired General Colin Powell said earlier this week about the current Republican campaigns and behaved more like a carnival barker at his victory speech than a president hawking Trump steaks to the attendees. He also had Trump water, Trump wine and Trump magazine on hand. Trump does have a lot to celebrate through, he is the first of the Republican candidates to break the one-third mark of the required delegate total.

Trump has collected 71 delegates over the course of the night bringing his total delegates up to 458. Cruz collected 56 delegates bringing his total up to 359. Kasich actually managed to collect 17 delegates last night bringing his grand total up to 54. Rubio's delegate total continues to be stagnate at 151. Rubio's performance is actually getting worse as the campaign goes on and neither he nor Kasich have any shot left of winning the Republican nomination.

Next up for the Republicans is The District of Columbia on March 12th with their 19 delegates. Washington D.C. is the last chance that the Republican candidates have before winner take all states start up. The territory of Guam is holding their caucuses on the 12th as well, but they aren't binding any delegates to any candidate. Then on the 15th are the states of Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio along with the territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. Four of the six states and territories voting on the 15th are winner take all states which will start adding to some delegate counts and showing why other candidates should have left the field ages ago.

Return after the results of March 12th for the next update on The Campaign Trail 2016.

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