Tuesday this week the Americans lived through a third so called Super Tuesday, where republicans in a bunch of states voted for one of the then four remaining presidential candidates in their party. Now there are only three candidates left standing, Rubio having finally done what I expected him to do a month ago. From the candidates that are left, and the states that are left, one can draw certain conclusions, which I want to write a bit about here.
Next week republicans in Utah and Arizona will vote for either Mr. Trump, senator Cruz or governor Kasich. Intuitively I first expected both of these states to go to Cruz. Utah is over 50% Mormon, which means that Trump’s shtick is probably too rough for that state. Arizona, furthermore, is the state that has continuously been electing John McCain as one of its two senators since 1987, even after he lost the 2008 presidential election. Trump has openly mocked John McCain’s military service, saying about the fact that McCain was a prisoner of war that Trump preferred those who didn’t get captured.
I have looked at a few polls now and begun to realize that I was probably halfway right. Utah will go to Cruz, I still maintain, but don’t be surprised when Trump beats Cruz in Arizona. Arizona is after all the land of not only John McCain but also sheriff Joe Arpio. The immigration debate has been a bigger deal in the last few years in Arizona than in the Midwest and a lot of the controversy surrounding Trump has been about his take on immigration. Now I officially call it, Trump will win in Arizona but lose in Utah. That is not particularly interesting, to be honest, these are both rather small states, but when you see the bigger picture these states start to matter more.
Arizona will be a second test, after Nevada, of whether Trump can or cannot win in the southwest. California is eventually coming up after all, with over a hundred delegates all going to the winner. If that winner is Trump, then he will most likely manage to win the nomination outright. But, depending on how the primaries go, it may be the case that Trump has a plurality but not majority of the delegates come June and the convention in Cleveland. Then all hell might break lose.
Consider what happens if the party bosses give it all away to Kasich in Cleveland. Why Kasich? Because he might be seen as a compromise between the Trump and Cruz camps, he is still in the race despite his very low delegate count for some reason after all. And the party bosses, I think, still haven’t forgotten or forgiven Cruz’ involvement in the government shutdown a couple of years ago. This possibility is the most interesting question left regarding the GOP primary. The question is not if Trump will win or lose, the question is whether Trump will win outright and be the nominee or get more delegates than anyone else but less than half and then get snubbed at the convention. That later case may lead to outbursts of unpleasantness regarding which I won’t speculate more here but which anyone who has seen a Trump rally can imagine.
The democrat primary is no longer nearly as interesting. If there was to be a Bernie upheaval, it would start in the southwestern states which will be voting soon. This pattern makes sense, Hillary winning in the south but then loosing in some other major region. But time has now run out, people have started saying that Sanders can’t win and enough people saying so makes it so. The potential Sanders voters are still there, but the fire in his campaign is gone. If something changes I will comment on it here, but default now is that Hillary wins.