Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: And Then There Were Four (A.K.A. Four Little Politicians)

Since Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland held their primaries on April 26th there has been a bustle of political activity.

In under a week, the alliance between Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich has already dissolved. The details on what broke up their happy marriage aren't fully known, but smart money says the irreconcilable differences came up when Kasich found out that when he was eliminated from mathematically getting the Republican nomination he was supposed to announce his vice president and at that time, Cruz failed to notify him of that fact. Since Kasich has still not announced his vice presidential pick yet, it is becoming clear that no one other than Carly Fiorina was willing to sign on to a campaign that can't become a Republican nominee.

The Hoosier State was a winner take all state for the Republicans and last night billionaire Donald Trump ran the table. Trump collected 53.3 percent of the vote, with Cruz taking second with 36.7 percent of the vote, and Kasich coming in last with 7.5 percent of the vote. Indiana is giving out 57 delegates which moves Trump up to 1,047 of the required 1,237 delegates for the Republican presidential nomination. The Republicans only have nine more primaries before the 2016 Republican presidential nominee campaign is over. The next Republican primary is in Nebraska on the 10th. After the primaries on April 26th, Trump was the only Republican candidate that could still win enough delegates to win the nomination outside of a brokered convention.

“I'm sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed,” said Cruz in Indianapolis, Indiana, as he ended his campaign to become the Republican nominee for president last night. “Together we left it all on the field in Indiana, the voters chose another path. And so, with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism, for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign. But hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty.”

And with those words, there were two Republican candidates left in the race; Trump who can see the finish line, and Kasich, who fell off the track ages ago and hasn't yet recognized it.

Last night, Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, tweeted, “.@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton”

With Priebus' tweet last night it is obvious that the Republican party is going to accept Trump as their nominee and do not expect to have a brokered convention. As to why Kasich has still not dropped out is a mystery that only he knows.

So far there has been no news on whether Kasich is currently courting Fiorina to be his vice presidential nominee.

For the Libertarian party, last night's events can only be seen as good. After the news spread that Cruz had suspended his campaign and Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee, Google searches for the Libertarian party surged.

Graph from Google Trends 5/3/16

Whether the searches were done by Cruz followers looking for another choice or Republicans looking for another choice is unknown. What is obvious from the data is that voters do want another choice and are looking at the Libertarian party for that choice. The Libertarian National Convention occurs in Orlando, Florida, later this month from the 27th through the 30th. This event can't come soon enough for the Libertarian Party. Trump has already started attacking Clinton, who he presumes will be the Democrat Presidential Nominee, and Clinton has already started attacking Trump. The Libertarians need to start working on aggressively going after disenfranchised Republicans as well as going after disenfranchised Democrats, of which there will be many when Senator Bernie Sanders inevitably suspends his campaign. If the Libertarians want a chance at winning this election they must bring in voters from both of the other national parties as well as getting their name in the public light.

On the Democrat side, Sanders won The Hoosier State last night with 52.7 percent of the vote. Clinton came in second with 47.3 percent of the vote. Despite Sanders winning Indiana, the night was a loss for the Senator from Vermont. Indiana is awarding a total of 83 delegates and so far Sanders has collected 43 of the delegates and Clinton has collected 37. This only narrows the wide gap between Clinton and Sanders by six delegates leaving a gap of 321 delegates between the two candidates (This is before superdelegates are considered.). Without superdelegates considered Sanders needs to collect 87.9 percent of all unawarded delegates, with superdelegates he needs to collect 84.5 percent of all unawarded delegates. Clinton on the other hand needs to collect 60.3 percent of all unawarded delegates without superdelegates and 15.6 percent with superdelegates. Based off of his past performance in the 2016 campaign, Sanders has no possible chance of getting the necessary delegates. With superdelegates Clinton will easily grab the Democratic presidential nomination. The Democrats only have 13 primaries and caucuses left with the next one on the 7th in the territory of Guam.

For the next Campaign Trail 2016 Republican update, return after Nebraska's primary on the 10th. For the next Campaign Trail 2016 Democratic update, return after Guam's primary on the 7th. As always, news on the Libertarian party will be as it occurs and a Special Edition Libertarian pre-National Convention update will come out the weekend of the 21st.

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