Monthly Archives: May 2016

McCain Complains

By Jim Ellis

May 9, 2016 — Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) said late last week that he is “worried that [Donald] Trump as the GOP nominee puts his own seat in play”. Later in the day McCain partially walked back his comments by saying he would vote for Trump.

McCain’s observation about his own re-election status is both right and wrong. He’s correct in detecting that his seat is competitive this year, and a sleeper race for the Democrats, but erroneous in attributing the reason to Donald Trump’s impending national presidential candidacy as the Republican nominee.

The Arizona Senate race may well be in play, but it has been trending that way for some time and before Trump became a serious fixture in the presidential campaign. In surveys dating back to mid-January, McCain was seen as dropping into a virtual tie with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-1), his presumptive general election opponent.

The Behavioral Research Center tested the Grand Canyon State electorate in January and again in April. In between, Arizona-based Merrill Polling also fielded a survey (March 7-11). Two of the three polls found McCain leading Kirkpatrick by just one point. The other found the pair tied.

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Trump’s Makeover

By Jim Ellis

May 6, 2016 — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) departing the 2016 presidential campaign on successive days unofficially awards Donald Trump with the Republican presidential nomination. Though it will still take the New York real estate mogul until the final primary day (June 7) to commit the 1,237 delegates he needs for a first-ballot nomination victory, he is, nevertheless, now beginning a general election campaign effort against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Cruz’s abrupt about-face on previous statements that he would not leave the race is a bit curious. With the ebbs and flows of this campaign, it would not have been surprising to see yet another switch in campaign momentum. In mid-April, for example, it was Trump who was floundering and on the political ropes just before the New York and eastern regional primaries launched him back on the final course toward the nomination.

It is clear, however, that what looked to be coming Cruz winner-take-all victories in Nebraska, South Dakota, and possibly Montana, along with surely accumulating more delegates in the remaining proportional states of Oregon, Washington and New Mexico, the Cruz campaign analysts obviously came to the conclusion that they could not overcome Trump.

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The End; Sanders, Again; State Results

By Jim Ellis

May 5, 2016 — Speculation as to whether the Republicans would host their first contested, or brokered, presidential nominating convention since the 1940s ended when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suspended his presidential campaign after a bruising loss in Indiana.

Though the party nomination is still not officially, mathematically clinched, and won’t be for some time, Cruz’s departure followed a day later by Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) as an active candidate, leaves Donald Trump a solid month to campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, boxing her in from the right while she must continue to court her party’s left base in order to become the nominee while the Democratic race still is ongoing. It will be an important period for Trump, since he will have a distinct short-term strategic advantage.

Indiana, as Trump has been saying since his major victory in the eastern regional primary April 26, proved to be definitive. The new unofficial nominee racked up a 53-37-7 percent victory over Cruz and Kasich, and possibly scored a backdoor winner-take-all result with a sweep of the statewide vote and possibly all nine Indiana congressional districts.

The CDs, which produce three delegates apiece for the candidate placing first in the particular domain, are going at least eight strong for Trump. The 3rd District (Rep. Marlin Stutzman-R) was not fully reported at this writing and Trump led Sen. Cruz here by only 926 votes. If he holds the 3rd, Trump will have secured a winner-take-all 57 delegates, far beyond the 39 he needed to establish a first ballot track.

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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.