Wednesday, March 16, 2016


With the latest primary results now before us, the 2016 major
party presidential nominating campaigns are down to their

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s significant lead has
been further increased, and it is more and more difficult to
imagine her opponent Bernie Sanders winning the top of the
ticket spot in Cleveland through his efforts in the remaining
primaries. Mrs. Clinton, however, has many problems as her
party’s putative nominee, and it is not yet certain what the
outcome will be in Philadelphia in July, or after July.

The Republican contest, on the other hand, remains laden
with uncertainties, few of which were clarified on March 15.
Once again, Donald Trump prevailed in most of the primaries,
and he did win all of the delegates in the large state of Florida.
Furthermore, by doing so he eliminated one of his major rivals,
Marco Rubio. John Kasich did win his first primary in his home
state of Ohio, and also all of its delegates. But Trump won only
a portion of the delegates in the remaining three states (Missouri
was so close there will likely be a recount), and his need to win
more than a majority of the delegates remaining to be chosen
was again not appreciably advanced.

All eyes now turn to Mr. Kasich and his ability, as the sole
remaining non-Trump, non-Cruz candidate, to create a coalition
in the primaries to come --- and at the GOP convention in
Cleveland. In short, Mr. Kasich has to win more primaries (such
as in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Oregon).

Ted Cruz has now won eight primaries/caucuses, and is
relatively close to Mr. Trump in committed delegates. There are
also states ahead, especially in the West, that he can win.

Mr. Trump has already asserted that he ought to be the nominee
by virtue of the success he has had so far, and particularly if, after
the final primary, he is in the lead. He has also suggested dire
consequences if he is not nominated. While conceding that if he
is very close (less than 100 votes short of a majority) going into
Cleveland he will likely win, a contested convention is very much a
possibility as of this writing. “Threatening” the Republican Party
will not gain him the nomination; he must continue to win primaries
if he is to prevail in Cleveland.

Mr. Trump often writes about and speaks about his ability to make
“a deal.” In that process, the key and final moment is when the
deal is “closed.” Whether Donald Trump can close the deal on his
candidacy in 2016 remains his greatest challenge.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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