Category Archives: Floor Fight

A Contested Convention After All?

By Jim Ellis

June 27, 2016 — There is clear evidence that “Never Trump” Republican national delegates are organizing an effort to force a national convention rules change and, in effect, fully open the floor proceedings when all delegations gather in Cleveland.

The movement received a shot in the arm earlier in the week when Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus appointed former US Rep. Enid Greene Mickelsen (R-UT) as chair of the national convention rules committee, and veteran RNC committeeman and former White House staff member Ron Kaufman (R-MA) as her co-chair. In doing so, Priebus by-passed the current RNC eules committee chairman, Arizona committeeman Bruce Ash, who is a strong proponent for keeping the rules consistent.

That’s not to say that Mickelsen and Kaufman would be sympathetic to opening the convention, but it was clear that Ash is hostile to the idea. In media interviews, Ash repeatedly stated that Donald Trump has abided by all party rules and fairly won the nomination through his particular strength in primaries. Trump has amassed more votes than any Republican candidate in history, meaning his presidential nomination is clearly legitimate. Ash further indicated that the GOP delegates, including himself, represent the Republican voters of their states, and they have clearly selected Trump.

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Nomination Tuesday – Yesterday

By Jim Ellis

May 4, 2016 — There will be no floor fight in Cleveland. With Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) exiting the presidential race last night after Donald Trump’s backdoor winner-take-all victory in Indiana, the nomination battle has effectively ended. Sen. Cruz’s campaign suspension announcement means that only Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains as an active Trump opponent.

Though Kasich has still yet to exit the race, his ability to stop a Trump first-ballot victory is non-existent. Long ago, Kasich was mathematically eliminated from a obtaining his own first-ballot win, and he now trails Trump by 870 delegate votes. To stay on the first ballot track before last night, Trump needed 39 delegates coming from Indiana. He blew away that metric by winning the statewide vote, all nine congressional districts, and 87 of 92 counties, which earned him all 57 delegates in Indiana’s winner-take-all by congressional district apportionment formula. Cruz realized such a margin and the momentum it was generating made denying Trump a pre-convention victory highly unlikely.

Ironically, it is now Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT), winner of last night’s Indiana Democratic primary popular vote, who says he will wage a floor fight at the national convention in Philadelphia. This will not happen, either.

Despite Sanders’ 52.5 percent win in Indiana, and carrying 74 of the 92 counties, it is still former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who leaves the state with a 46-44 delegate margin thanks to the Super Delegates. Needing only 19.4 percent of the outstanding delegates in the 14 remaining states and territories going into last night, Clinton easily exceeded her delegate quota projection and will clinch the nomination on June 7.

Below are the latest unofficial delegate results:

REPUBLICANS

CANDIDATE ESTIMATED DELEGATE COUNT
Donald Trump 1,023
Ted Cruz 570
Marco Rubio (out) 173
John Kasich 153
Others (out) 16
Uncommitted 92
Needed to win: 1,237 Remaining: 445

DEMOCRATS

CANDIDATE REGULAR DELEGATES SUPER DELEGATES
Hillary Clinton 1,702 527
Bernie Sanders 1,406 39

Total Clinton: 2,229
Total Sanders: 1,445
Needed to win: 2,383

Remaining: 1,114


• Delegate Count Source: Unofficial — The Green Papers website (for both parties)

• The Democratic totals include some Super Delegates who have announced their support for a candidate even though their states have not yet voted.


FLOOR FIGHT!! Hoosier Tuesday

By Jim Ellis

May 3, 2016
— The Indiana primary was never one that attracted much attention in early prognostications, but that has changed. Placed alone in early May, it appeared that either the Republican nomination battle would be over, or the candidates would be deadlocked and clearly headed to a brokered convention. Either way, the Hoosier State was not supposed to be a defining primary. Now, however, the Indiana winner-take-all by congressional district event may well provide the final momentum deciding election, at least for Republicans.

Originally, Indiana figured to be a Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) state, with him winning the 27 at-large delegates and most of the nine congressional districts (also 27 delegates, with three apiece going to the first-place finisher in the particular domain). Late polling, or at least seven of the final eight that were conducted in mid to late April, suggests, rather, a Donald Trump victory. To remain on his first ballot victory track with no unbound delegate votes, Trump needs to secure at least 39 delegates of the state’s 57-member contingent. Considering the polling results, though no study delved into individual CD’s, such a quota appears highly attainable.

Mathematically, no matter what happens later today, the Republican nomination will not be clinched. A big Trump win, however, could ignite such a momentum drive to overwhelm Sen. Cruz and cause the race to effectively be over. At least this is the unfolding scenario according to Trump … and, he may be right.

For the Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton needs less than 20 percent of the outstanding delegates to clinch her party’s nomination. Polling suggests the Indiana result will be close, but halving the delegates with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT) would still be a major victory for the national front-runner. It is now only a matter of time before Clinton becomes the official Democratic presidential nominee.

Below are the latest unofficial delegate results:

REPUBLICANS

CANDIDATE ESTIMATED DELEGATE COUNT
Donald Trump 966
Ted Cruz 570
Marco Rubio (out) 173
John Kasich 153
Others (out) 16
Uncommitted 92
Needed to win: 1,237 Remaining: 502

DEMOCRATS

CANDIDATE REGULAR DELEGATES SUPER DELEGATES
Hillary Clinton 1,663 520
Bernie Sanders 1,367 39

Total Clinton: 2,183
Total Sanders: 1,406
Needed to win: 2,383

Remaining: 1,206


• Delegate Count Source: Unofficial — The New York Times (for both parties)

• The Democratic totals include some Super Delegates who have announced their support for a candidate even though their states have not yet voted.


Cruz, Sanders Storm Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis

April 6, 2016 — The closing polls consistently found a tightening of both the Badger State Republican and Democratic races, but they were wrong. The data from Marquette University Law School and Fox News that revealed a widening spread, and reported more than a week ago, proved more accurate.

Last night, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) easily won the Wisconsin primary and took 36 of the 42 Republican delegates in the Winner-Take-All by congressional district format. His popular vote margin was 48-35-14 percent over Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH). Trump won CDs 3 and 7, located in the state’s western sector, giving him six delegates. Gov. Kasich, despite being favored in Madison-anchored District 2, failed to win any delegate votes.

The result was a major setback for Trump’s quest for a first-ballot victory. Early national delegate projections suggested the Republican front-runner needed a Wisconsin victory to secure the nomination on the first convention roll call.

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Wisconsin Today

By Jim Ellis

April 5, 2016 — Today’s Wisconsin primary looks to field a closer Republican race than was projected last week, as well as a very tight margin for Democrats.

Republicans

The closing polls find Donald Trump gaining momentum with the last research study from the American Research Group (April 1-3; 400 likely Wisconsin Republican voters) actually showing the national front-runner regaining the lead. This poll may be an outlier, however, as six others still find Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in first place, but with smaller margins.

Wisconsin Republicans apportion their 42 convention delegates through the Winner-Take-All by congressional district system, meaning three delegates awarded to each of the eight district winners. The 15 at-large votes and three Republican National Committee delegates are bound to the statewide winner. Therefore, in what projects as a close statewide finish, the delegate count will be relatively large because the winner will gain an extra 18 votes even if the candidates split the CDs. Most polling also suggests that Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) could take the Madison-anchored 2nd District, thus giving him three delegates.

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