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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Last Night’s Results: Landslides

By Jim Ellis

March 23, 2016 — There were no close results last night in the western states’ primaries and caucuses. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton easily won their respective Arizona primary events. Trump captured the Grand Canyon State’s 58 Winner-Take-All delegates.

Sen. Ted Cruz notched his biggest triumph of the campaign in Utah, with what appears to be a 70 percent total once all of the latest caucus votes are finally tabulated. Scoring a majority entitled him to all 40 Utah delegates, thus creating a backdoor Winner-Take-All victory.

Utah’s significance in shutting out Trump means the campaign leader’s road to a first ballot victory (1,237 delegate votes) became that much tougher.

Below are the latest unofficial delegate results:

REPUBLICANS

CANDIDATE ESTIMATED DELEGATE COUNT
Donald Trump 755
Ted Cruz 466
Marco Rubio 174 (out)
John Kasich 144
Others 15
Uncommitted 31
Needed to win: 1,237 Remaining: 885

Delegate Count Source: Unofficial — The Green Papers website


DEMOCRATS

Though Sen. Bernie Sanders scored his two most impressive victories of the entire campaign last night in the Utah and Idaho Democratic caucuses – almost reaching 80 percent in both places — his performance barely dented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s huge lead in delegate votes.

For her part, Ms. Clinton recorded 58-40 percent win in Tuesday’s Arizona primary.

CANDIDATE REGULAR DELEGATES SUPER DELEGATES
Hillary Clinton 1,214 467
Bernie Sanders 901 26

Total Clinton: 1,681
Total Sanders: 927
Needed to win: 2,383


Delegate Count Source: Unofficial — The Green Papers website


For more Floor Fight, please visit our page: Floor Fight

Voting Resumes Today

By Jim Ellis

March 22, 2016 — Republicans and Democrats in Arizona and Utah visit polling places and caucus meeting sites today, as do Idaho Democrats and Republicans in American Samoa. The big question is whether Sen. Ted Cruz can capture Utah with a majority vote, thereby making it a backdoor Winner-Take-All state. Arizona is the final large Winner-Take-All on the GOP side.

March 22 Lineup:

Arizona (Primary)

Republicans: 58 delegates; Winner-Take-All

Last Public Poll: Opinion Savvy – Fox 10 Phoenix (March 20; 588 likely Arizona Republican primary voters through interactive voice response system): Donald Trump, 46%; Sen. Ted Cruz, 33%; Gov. John Kasich, 17%

Democrats: 85 delegates; proportional – Super Delegates announced: Hillary Clinton, 5; Sen. Bernie Sanders, 1

Last Public Poll: Merrill/West Group (March 7-11; 300 likely Arizona Democratic primary voters): Clinton, 50%; Sanders, 24%
Continue reading

It’s Coming Down to Ohio

By Jim Ellis

March 9, 2016 — Donald Trump placed first in three of the four states last night, meaning next week’s Ohio Winner-Take-All contest may well determine if the Republicans will nominate a candidate on the first ballot or plummet into a contested convention. Sen. Marco Rubio had a terrible night, with only the two delegates he earned in Hawaii saving him from being shutout.

THE DELEGATE COUNT

REPUBLICANS:

Michigan Primary – 59 Delegates (15% Vote Threshold)
Donald Trump – 36.5% 25 Delegates
Ted Cruz – 24.9% 17
John Kasich – 24.3% 17
Marco Rubio – 9.3%
Mississippi Primary – 40 Delegates (15% Vote Threshold)
Donald Trump – 47.3% 25 Delegates
Ted Cruz – 36.3% 15
John Kasich – 8.8%
Marco Rubio – 5.1%
Idaho Primary – 32 Delegates (20% Vote Threshold)
Ted Cruz – 45.4% 20 Delegates
Donald Trump – 28.1% 12
Marco Rubio – 15.9%
John Kasich — 7.4%
Hawaii Caucus – 19 Delegates (0% Vote Threshold)
Donald Trump – 42.4% 7 Delegates
Ted Cruz – 32.7% 5
John Kasich — 10.6% 2
Marco Rubio – 13.2% 2
RNC Uncommitted 3

UPDATED GOP NATIONAL DELEGATE COUNT (UNOFFICIAL):

CANDIDATE DELEGATES PERCENTAGE
Donald Trump 460 43.7
Ted Cruz 361 34.3
Marco Rubio 156 14.8
John Kasich 56 5.3
Ben Carson 8
Others 7
Uncommitted 5
Needed to win: 1,237

In order for Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination on the first ballot, he will have to commit just over 54 percent of the remaining delegates, or 25 percent better than his performance to date. For Sen. Cruz to win on the first ballot, he must obtain 62 percent of the remaining delegate pool, or an improvement of 80 percent over his current rate of delegate acquisition.

The March 15 primaries that feature the Winner-Take-All states of Florida (99 delegates) and Ohio (66 delegates) will be critical in determining if the Republicans can nominate a candidate on the first ballot.

The five states and one territory voting next Tuesday will apportion 367 Republican delegates. With Trump running strongly in Florida, it is likely that Ohio will determine the nomination campaign’s future course. Should Trump win, he has a path to a first ballot majority. If Gov. Kasich scores the 66 delegates, then a brokered convention becomes the likely end game scenario.

Sanders’ Major Upset

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surprising win in Michigan last night adds a bit of intrigue to the Democratic battle. Winning in a big state with a significant African-American population for the first time, Sanders may be giving Democratic Super Delegates some reason for pause.

Until possibly now, Hillary Clinton has dominated Super Delegate acquisition, which is responsible for her large overall lead in committed delegate votes. But, most of the Super Delegates are not bound on the first ballot. Therefore, they can change their positions.

Since Sanders runs consistently better among white Democratic voters than does Clinton, and most of the states featuring few black voters are still to come, there is reason to believe that he could catch her in the regular delegate category. If so, will the Super Delegates begin to fold? It may become difficult for them, a delegate category comprised of Democratic elected officials and party leaders, to oppose their state constituents.

For weeks, it appeared that Clinton was a lock for the nomination, and still maintains the inside track, no doubt. Yet, there is a glimmer of hope for the Sanders camp, and now a scenario is developing that brings him back into the game.

The adjusted delegate totals account for more Super Delegate declarations and pledged assignments (needed to win: 2,383):
Total Hillary Clinton: 1,229
Total Bernie Sanders: 575
Clinton Super Delegates: 90
Sanders Super Delegates: 575
Clinton Regular Delegates: 707
Sanders Regular Delegates: 485
Delegate Compilation Source: The Green Papers website

Four More States Tonight

By Jim Ellis

March 8, 2016 — A quartet of states votes in Republican primaries and caucuses tonight: Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii, with the candidates fighting for an aggregate of 150 delegate commitments.

Democrats will vote only in Michigan and Mississippi. Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton is expected to carry both states in her party contests, while Republican Donald Trump is favored in Michigan and Mississippi.

Observers are closely watching to see if Gov. John Kasich can finish a strong second in Michigan, which would likely help him build needed momentum in anticipation of next week’s critical Ohio Winner-Take-All challenge. Sen. Ted Cruz has the strong potential of running well in Idaho. Hawaii is small and anyone’s guess, but Sen. Marco Rubio has a chance to come away with the most delegate votes. Continue reading

Trending Toward
A Brokered Convention

By Jim Ellis

March 7, 2016 — Republicans voted in five states over the weekend, and all four remaining GOP presidential candidates gained delegate votes. Both Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump placed first twice, while Sen. Marco Rubio scored a backdoor Winner-Take-All victory in Puerto Rico.

The Delegate Count:

REPUBLICANS

Louisiana Primary 46 Delegates
Donald Trump – 41.4% 18 Delegates
Ted Cruz – 37.8% 18
Marco Rubio – 11.2% 5
Uncommitted 5
Kansas Caucus 40 Delegates
Ted Cruz – 48.1% 24 Delegates
Donald Trump – 23.3% 9
Marco Rubio – 16.7% 6
John Kasich – 10.7% 1
Maine Caucus 23 Delegates
Ted Cruz – 45.9% 12 Delegates
Donald Trump – 32.6% 9
John Kasich – 12.2% 7
Marco Rubio – 8.0%
Puerto Rico Primary 23 Delegates
Marco Rubio – 71.0% 23 Delegates
Donald Trump – 13.0% 9
Ted Cruz – 8.6% 7
John Kasich – 1.3%

Continue reading

It’s Not Over Yet

by Jim Ellis

March 2, 2016 — Last night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took major steps toward winning their respective Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, but neither delivered a clinching blow. At least for Republicans, one mathematically viable scenario remains to fall into a contested convention (see “The Brokered Scenario” below). It appears we will know on March 15.

The delegate results:

Democrats

Clinton took seven of the 11 voting entities last night (American Samoa still must report) and, adding publicly committed Super Delegates, managed to top the 1,000 delegate-support mark.

Continue reading

Super Tuesday

By Jim Ellis

March 1, 2016 — Today is perhaps the most important day of the 2016 presidential nomination campaign as voters in 12 states and territories (11 for Republicans) visit the polls or caucus meetings to make their political selections.

Here’s what’s on tap:

Democrats

Democrats apportion delegates through a straight proportional system in all 57 voting entities with no vote qualification threshold. The Super Delegates are certain elected officials and party leaders from the various states, who are free agents throughout convention voting. The regular delegates are bound by state law to vote as the people have at least on the first ballot. There appears to be no chance that the Democratic process goes beyond one ballot.

Continue reading