Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: The primaries come to a close

The Republican party held their last primaries last week on June 7th, however the Democratic party still had one to go. Not in a state or a territory, but in the District of Columbia. Leading up to Washington D.C.'s voting, President Barack Obama met with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and then Obama endorsed his former Secretary of State former New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Clinton won the District of Columbia in a massive landslide receiving 78.7 percent of the total vote. Sanders received only 21.1 percent of the vote. Washington D.C. had a total of 20 delegates to award. As can be expected, Clinton walked away with the bulk of the delegates, 16 to be exact, and Sanders didn't receive much at all, four to be exact.

This brings Clinton up to 2,219 delegates that have been bound through voting and Sanders up to 1,832 delegates that have been bound through voting. As of the time of writing, Clinton also has 587 superdelegates bringing her total up to 2,806 delegates and Sanders has 48 superdelegates bringing his total up to 1,880. Superdelegates aren't bound until voted at the Democratic National Convention.

There are 79 superdelegates that have not been pledged to either candidate yet. Even if Sanders could secure all 79 of those superdelegates that still leaves him 424 superdelegates short of getting the nomination. Sanders' chances of getting enough superdelegates to support him to gain the nomination aren't likely, especially since Tuesday's final primary he has already lost one superdelegate.

Despite popular rumor, the Democratic National Convention is not, at the current time, going to be a brokered convention. A candidate needs 2,383 delegates, though bound delegates from voters and superdelegates combined, to get the nomination. Clinton is well over the required number. A brokered convention will only happen if neither candidate receives 2,383 or more delegates on the first round.

However, Sanders has still not suspended his campaign and rumors from his campaign indicate that he is going to call for a roll call vote at the convention.

The next stop for the Democratic party is the Democratic National Convention from July 25th through the 28th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: Trump and Clinton win big on Super Tuesday

The last big super Tuesday of the 2016 presidential primaries occurred on Tuesday and for the Democrats, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton is battling it out with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders until the bitter end. Sanders was hoping for a big win today to close the large gap between him and Clinton and Clinton was hoping for major victories so she could get the required amount of delegates to claim the nomination.

The biggest state of the day was California, with its coveted 475 delegates up for grabs. Clinton won the state getting 55.8 percent of the vote and so far has collected 257 of the delegates. Sanders received 43.2 percent of the vote and so far has collected 188 of the delegates. Montana had 21 delegates up for grabs and Sanders won the state with 51.1 percent of the vote and collected 11 delegates. Clinton collected 44.6 percent of the vote and received ten delegates.

New Jersey had the second highest amount of delegates to award, 126 delegates to be exact, and Clinton won the state by a landslide collecting 63.3 percent of the vote and 73 delegates. Sanders received 36.7 percent of the vote and received 47 delegates. New Mexico, and its 34 delegates, had an almost tie with Clinton barely winning with 51.5 percent of the vote and collecting 17 delegates. Sanders received 48.5 percent of the vote and 14 delegates.

North Dakota was another win for Sanders in a landslide victory receiving 64.2 percent of the vote. Clinton received 25.6 percent of the vote. Sanders collected 13 of North Dakota's 18 delegates and Clinton received five delegates. The final contest of the day was in South Dakota, which was the closest contest of the day. Clinton received 51 percent of the vote and Sanders received 49 percent of the vote. South Dakota had 20 delegates to award and Clinton and Sanders split them evenly, each receiving ten delegates.

Overall, Tuesday was a loss for Sanders and a win for Clinton. Clinton didn't get enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, however she added an additional 72 delegates to the gap between herself and Sanders leaving Sanders now 380 delegates behind (not including superdelegates).

As of the time of writing, Clinton has collected 2,184 delegates and 571 superdelegates, giving her a total of 2,755 delegates. Sanders has collected 1,804 delegates and 48 superdelegates giving him a total of 1,852 delegates. Superdelegates aren't bound to a candidate until actually voted at the Democratic National Convention. Between unpledged superdelegates and the remaining upcoming primary, there are 158 delegates that haven't gone to a candidate yet.

Without superdelegates, Clinton is 199 delegates away from the necessary 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders is 579 delegates away from the necessary delegate total to get the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders has vowed to stay in the Democratic presidential primaries to the end and has hopes to win a brokered convention.

Next up for the Democrats is the final primary contest before their national convention. On June 14th Washington D.C. will cast their primary votes and disperse their 46 delegates.

For the Republican party, there were five nominating contests on Tuesday. Prior to Tuesday's primaries, billionaire Donald Trump had already passed the required 1,237 delegate count required for the Republican party presidential nomination. He is the only candidate still running in the Republican primaries. However, Tuesday may have actually been the most important day of primaries for Trump.

During the 2016 primaries, Republicans have been showing their disdain for the New York billionaire. Respected Republicans, such as George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John McCain, have refused to endorse and vote for Trump. As the primary season goes on more and more Republicans have jumped on the “Not Trump” bandwagon, some of the most recent being Republican Nebraska State Senator Laura Ebke, who switched her party registration from Republican to Libertarian over Trump, and Republican Iowa State Senator David Johnson, who switched his party registration from Republican to no party because of Trump.

Tuesday was the first day of contests since Trump has secured the nomination and a high percentage of votes for him, especially since he is running unopposed, would help his troubled image. Trump didn't get the percentages he would have wanted to on Tuesday, but at least for him he didn't lose any of the states. Trump received the highest percentage of votes in New Jersey, a winner take all state, with 51 delegates up for grabs. Trump received 80.6 percent of the vote and walked away with all 51 delegates. California was Trump's next best state, with 172 delegates on the line and proportional delegate disbursement. California hasn't finished tallying up all the votes and so far Trump has 75.4 percent of the vote and collected 166 of the delegates. He is likely to collect them all.

In Montana, a winner take all state with 27 delegates, Trump received 73.7 percent of the vote and all 27 of the delegates. New Mexico, a proportional disbursement state with 24 delegates, Trump received 70.7 percent of the vote and all 24 of the delegates. And in the final contest of Tuesday in South Dakota, a winner take all state with 29 delegates, Trump only received 67.1 percent of the vote and collected all 29 delegates.

Tuesday was the the final day of the Republican presidential primaries and this was probably not the percentages Trump wanted to finish with. Next up for the Republicans is the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, from July 18th through the 21st at the Quicken Loans Arena. At the convention Trump is expected to be officially named the Republican presidential nominee.

The next edition of The Campaign Trail 2016 will be after the Democratic primary results in Washington D.C. on June 14th.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: Trump seals the deal

Washington State held their presidential primary on May 24th, for both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Republican party is the only one that the day counted for though. For the Democrats, the primary is just a beauty pageant, this is because the Washington State Democrats pick their Democratic delegate dispersion through caucuses that they held on March 26th. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democratic caucuses. The Washington State Republicans pick their Republican delegate dispersion through a primary, that had 44 delegates up for grabs. Democrats can vote in the primary for Democratic candidates but all results are unbound since their delegates were bound by the previous caucuses.

Billionaire Donald Trump was unopposed in the Republican primary in Washington State since all of his rivals have suspended their campaigns. Trump collected 75.8 percent of the vote and has collected 40 of the 44 delegates so far. With the Washington State win, Trump was up to 1,229 delegates, just short of the 1,237 required total to clinch the Republican presidential nomination. Since the Washington State primary, through Republican superdelegates – yes the Republican party has superdelegates as well – Trump is now up to 1,239 delegates, over the requirement to win the nomination.

The final Republican presidential nomination contests are today in California (proportional), Montana (winner take all), New Jersey (winner take all), New Mexico (proportional), and South Dakota (winner take all). The Democrats have contests in the same states today as well as North Dakota. Despite winning the Republican presidential nomination already, Trump still needs to perform well in today's contests. Low percentage wins, or even worse loses to candidates that have suspended their campaigns, would give ammunition for his opponents the former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, the presidential and vice presidential team for the Libertarian party, and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The next edition of The Campaign Trail 2016 will come out after today's results are completed.

The Campaign Trail 2016: Clinton hits the mark

Saturday June 4th, the United States territory of the Virgin Islands of the United States held their Democratic presidential caucuses. While United States territories can't vote in the general election in November, they do partake in the presidential nominations for the Republicans and the Democrats. The Virgin Islands had 12 delegates to award, seven pledged delegates and five superdelegates, and Former New York Senator Hillary Clinton won the territory by a massive landslide. According to the unofficial results released by the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands, Clinton has received 84.2 percent of the total vote and received all seven pledged delegates along with all five superdelegates. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had a horrible showing getting only 12.2 percent of the vote. Sanders walks away empty handed from the Virgin Islands.

The United States territory of Puerto Rico then held their Democratic presidential nomination primary on June 5th. Puerto Rico had 60 delegates to award and seven superdelegates. Clinton won Puerto Rico by a landslide, although not by the same margin she did in the Virgin Islands, getting 61 percent of the total vote. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders only received 38.6 percent of the vote. The finalized vote from the primary isn't complete and so far Clinton has collected 36 of the delegates and Sanders has collected 20 delegates. Clinton swept all seven superdelegates that were available.

The two territories pushed Clinton over a major milestone in her battle against Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton now has, when you combine pledged delegates and superdelegates, 2,383 delegates, the number required for the Democratic nomination. At this point, unless Sanders can convince superdelegates to switch their vote, he can no longer win the Democratic nomination. Superdelegates aren't officially binding until pledged at the Democratic National Convention in July, so they can change their pledge to him at this point. This means that Clinton's delegate count isn't a lock. Sanders is trying his hardest to get superdelegates to abandon Clinton and go to him. This is Sanders' only path left to victory. Before superdelegates are counted, Clinton has 1,812 delegates and Sanders has 1,521 delegates. There are only 813 delegates left to be awarded, not enough for Sanders to cross the line without taking some from Clinton. Clinton currently has 571 superdelegates pledged to her and Sanders currently has 48 superdelegates pledged to him.

If Clinton secures the nomination, she will be the first female presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. However, the continuing fight between Clinton and Sanders is hurting the Democratic party at this point. The Libertarian party has already had their national convention and nominated Former Governor Gary Johnson as their presidential nominee and Former Governor William Weld as their vice presidential nominee. While the Republican party doesn't have their national convention until July, billionaire Donald Trump has secured the necessary delegates for the nomination. This means both the Libertarian party and the Republican party are already targeting their rivals while Clinton and Sanders are still fighting within their own party. Given that, in poll after poll, both Clinton and Trump have the highest disapproval ratings of any candidate from their respective party, they both need to do a lot of image fixing before November to win over the trust of the voters. The Democratic party infighting between Clinton and Sanders is, at this point, just pushing their party behind the other two for the general election.

Today, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota all have Republican and Democratic contests. Today is the last day of Republican presidential nomination contests. North Dakota holds a Democratic contest only today. The Democrats also still have Washington D.C. as their final contest on June 14th. The Campaign Trail 2016 will provide coverage of today's contests after the voting has been finalized.