SANDERS SWEEPS THREE CAUCUSES
(UPDATED SUNDAY, MARCH 27)
Bernie Sanders won all three caucuses on Saturday,
March 26, and he won them by landslides. Results from
Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii gave the Vermont
senator a boost in his contest against former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, although Mrs. Clinton enjoys a big
lead in delegates chosen so far. With margins of more than
two-to-one among caucus attendees, Mr. Sanders' effort
is a surprising development in a race many observers had
concluded was over. But his difficulty is that the remaining
states that vote allocate their delegates proportionally
instead of winner-take-all (as do some Republican primaries).
Mr. Sanders' hopes rest on his contention that the non-elected
super-delegates, most of whom now support Mrs. Clinton,
change their minds at the national convention in Philadelphia.
KASICH AND CRUZ SURGING
IN CALIFORNIA AND PENNSYLVANIA
New polls in Pennsylvania and California indicate that
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s
initial lead in these two states (which have very large
numbers of GOP convention delegates) is fading. In
California, with the largest delegation of all (172), Ted Cruz
has almost pulled even with the New York businessman;
and in Pennsylvania (71), John Kasich from neighboring
Ohio has almost pulled even with Mr. Trump from
neighboring New York.
CONSERVATIVES SAY OBAMA
COURT NOMINEE NO MODERATE
In spite of a media blitz contending that federal appellate
Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to fill
the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the recent death
of Antonin Scalia, is a judicial moderate, several Republican
U.S. senators are countering that Judge Garland is a
traditional liberal, based on his numerous court decisions.
MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES
At a critical stage of the 2016 presidential election campaign
season, it is becoming increasingly evident that both major U.S.
political parties are facing popular “mutinies” in their own
grass roots. Despite falling far behind in committed delegates,
support for maverick Bernie Sanders continues to surge in
several states which have yet to vote in the primary/caucus
season. At the same time, mavericks Donald Trump and Ted
Cruz hold the most committed delegates in the Republican
race for president. The Democratic “establishment” clearly has
supported Hillary Clinton since the outset of this cycle’s race,
and it does appear mathematically she will be nominated in
Philadelphia in July. Her challenge would then be to convince the
millions of Sanders voters to vote for her in November. On the
GOP side, presidential candidates that might be considered
establishment or mainstream have fallen, one by one, as
outsiders Trump and Cruz have dominated the primary and
caucus season so far. The only mainstream hope is for a
contested convention when, after the first and second ballots,
most delegate commitments will be gone, and then a creating a
groundswell for John Kasich among the delegates. In the case of
a successful GOP grass roots mutiny, the challenge for Trump or
Cruz, should one of them be nominated, would be to keep the
millions of mainstream conservative voter on their side in
November. The bottom line is that positive identification by
voters with the major political parties is evaporating, and the
numbers of voters who are leaning to ideological factions,
within and outside the major party organizations are rising.
From the point of view of these national political parties, this
crisis could not have come at a worse moment, and it has
produced the most un-traditional presidential election in
IS A CONTESTED REPUBLICAN
CONVENTION BECOMING MORE LIKELY?
For now, yes.
Copyright (c) by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.