Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: After New York only two still have a chance

In the days after the Wisconsin primary and Wyoming held their caucuses, a lot has been going on for all three parties with the New York primary and what has been going on outside of the actual primaries.

The Democrats, showing that they are no more congenial than the Republicans, had their Spring Slam in the borough of Brooklyn leading up to the primary in New York. The latest Democratic debate took place on Thursday night and both candidates took every opportunity they could to look as unpresidential as they could while slinging as many insults as possible at each other during the time allotted.

And it isn't just the candidates that are getting dirty in their tactics. So far this campaign season, Billionaire GOP front-runner Donald Trump has had the worst behaved supporters, now having several supporters having been arrested for alleged assault at rallies. But now Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters are stepping up to the plate trying to show that they can outdo the New York billionaire's supporters. One of Sanders' supporters created a superdelegate hit list website, which lists all of the superdelegate voters and how their superdelegates are currently pledged. Sanders' supporters have been allegedly harassing those who have currently pledged their superdelegates to Clinton. Sanders' supporters have allegedly gotten their hands on private cell phone numbers and have been allegedly harassing supporters using profane language and name calling.

What is sad about this, beyond the fact that this kind of behavior just isn't acceptable, is that it shows how little the supporters who are doing this actually know about the superdelegate system and how poorly informed they are about the electoral process. Historically superdelegates vote for whomever the front-runner is, who right now is former Senator Hillary Clinton. If Sanders actually manages to surpass Clinton in delegates it is likely that most of the superdelegates will switch their pledges to him. So, in actuality, right now what these alleged supporters are actually demanding is that the superdelegates back the current loser and go against the voice of the people.

The massive turnout on voting days, for both parties, this year is great as more people should be involved in the political process. It is excellent to see new voters getting excited about candidates. However, people who are getting involved in the political process should learn how the process actually works. And candidates, when they see misinformed voters, should do what they can to properly inform voters of the process as well as reeling in their supporters when they get out of line. Something that isn't being seen this campaign, by either the Republican or Democratic sides.

An NBC poll, taken between April 4th through April 10th shows that as of right now more registered Democratic voters preferred Clinton (49 percent) to Sanders (43 percent). These results show Clinton down two percent from the last poll and Sanders up one percent. If Sanders expects to win the Democratic nomination, he will have to have much higher percentages than this vote for him in all of the upcoming primary elections.

In New York tension was high prior to the primary as both Democratic candidates claimed the state as their home state. Sanders claims New York as his home state since he was born in the borough of Brooklyn and Clinton since she moved to Chappaqua in 1999 and served as a U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. Ultimately, Clinton beat Sanders getting 57.9 percent of the vote. Sanders only was able to get 42.1 percent of the vote.

New York was a big prize for the Democrats with 247 delegates being awarded. While the final delegate awards aren't completely finalized yet, so far Clinton has collected 139 of the total delegates and Sanders has collected 106. This loss is utterly devastating for Sanders' campaign and essentially ends his chances of getting the Democratic nomination. Clinton has only gained 33 more delegates than Sanders so far, which isn't a huge collection and doesn't seem like a campaign ending amount. However, this leaves only 1646 delegates remaining.

To get the necessary 2383 delegates for the Democratic nomination, without superdelegates Sanders will need to collect 75 percent of all the remaining unpledged delegates. A feat he is unlikely to do based on polling. Clinton isn't in too much of a greater position. She needs to collect 58 percent of the unpledged delegates to get the nomination without superdelegates, which while still achievable is a daunting task.

Clinton is all but assured now to go into the Democratic National Convention in July with the most of the delegates awarded by the voters. Superdelegates tend to back the leader, and with the superdelegates she will gain the nomination. At this point Sanders should suspend his campaign, prior to Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island voting on the 26th. All Sanders and Clinton bickering back and forth at this point is doing is damaging both Sanders and Clinton giving the Republicans and the Libertarians an advantage. He should suspend his campaign and allow Clinton, who has the greatest chance at becoming the nominee at this point, the chance to start going after her opponents.

Leading up to New York, and as the Republican National Convention looms closer and closer, The Boston Globe jumped on the anyone but Trump for the GOP nominee bandwagon publishing a front page parody on April 10th, displaying the date April 9, 2017 and highlighting mass deportations, trade wars, stocks plummeting, laws being changed to end the freedom of speech, US soldiers refusing unconstitutional orders, among other events.

Whether this is too little, too late, to stop the New York billionaire from gaining the Republican nomination is unknown. However, all voters, regardless of party or candidate they are supporting should look at the parody and remind themselves of how fragile our Constitution and Bill of Rights really are and how much we stand to lose if they are slowly taken down. All voters should also read The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, a series of essays about the, at the time, unratified Constitution.

In the same NBC News poll, the majority of registered Republicans preferred Trump as the nominee (46 percent) to Senator Ted Cruz (30 percent) and Governor John Kasich (16 percent); both Trump and Cruz have shown more support in this poll than the last one (Trump one percent and Cruz two percent) and Kasich has less support (down two percent).

Trump took his home state of New York yesterday by a huge margin with 60.5 percent of the vote. Kasich received one of his rare second place finishes with 25.1 percent of the vote and Cruz came in last with 14.5 percent of the vote. New York didn't offer the Republicans the hefty prize that the Democrats had, but did have 95 delegates up for grabs. New York awards their Republican delegates proprotionally. Not all the delegates have been awarded yet. So far Trump has collected the bulk with 89 delegates. Kasich has added three delegates to his total and Cruz hasn't received any.

At this point, both Cruz and Kasich should suspend their campaigns prior to the next primaries on the 26th. Kasich needs to receive 149 percent of the remaining 734 unpledged delegates to reach the required delegate total of 1237, which is an impossibility. Cruz still has a theoretical chance of getting the nomination, but like Sanders, has no real chance at pulling it off. Cruz needs to win 92 percent of the unpledged delegates to reach the required total. Trump still has a possibility of gaining the required total since he only needs to collect 53 percent of the remaining unpledged delegates.

On the 26th, Delaware and Maryland are both winner take all states and Connecticut and Rhode Island are proportional. Pennsylvania uses an odd calculation method that I am convinced most residents of Pennsylvania wouldn't be able to explain properly to anyone. After the 26th, the Republicans only have nine more contests, four of which are winner take all states, four that are proportional, and one that is bound by voter preference. Trump is the only remaining candidate that has a realistic chance of getting the nomination without a brokered convention and the infighting among the Republican nominees is just harming their eventual nominee at this point giving the Democrats and the Libertarians a better chance of winning the general election.

As the Libertarian national convention in Orlando Florida looms closer and closer, the NBC News poll shows more potentially positive news for their party. According to the poll, if the general election in November were held today with Trump and Clinton as the candidates, 16 percent of voters would be willing to vote for a third party (The poll has Clinton winning with 38 percent of the vote, Trump with 36 percent of the vote, and eight percent of those polled not voting). With Cruz running against Clinton the results were even more in favor of a third party with 19 percent willing to vote for a third party (The poll has Clinton winning with 37 percent of the vote, Cruz with 32 percent of the vote, and ten percent of those polled not voting).

How can 16 to 19 percent of the vote be good news is a fair question. If Trump, Clinton, or Cruz were polling nationally at those percentages they would be written off as not electable (and rightfully so) and the Libertarian party can't be held at a different percentage standard to be electable since to win they would have to gain the majority vote.

Trump, Clinton, and Cruz have been dominating the news now for over six months. They are all household names. The Libertarian party, which is on all 50 state ballots in the November general election, is just starting to get their name noticed in the news now. They will have to increase the household knowledge of their party and their presidential nominee to win the general election. However, with interest in a party that isn't Republican or Democrat in the general election growing it is going to be harder and harder for the Commission on Presidential Debates to justify excluding the Libertarian candidate from the national debates this year.

The Libertarians are best off if Sanders, Cruz, and Kasich stay in the primaries and the Republicans and Democrats keep up their infighting, increasing the number of voters who are dissatisfied with both of those two parties.

Return for the next installment of The Campaign Trail 2016 after the results of April 26th when Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island all vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment