Saturday, February 27, 2016


The 2016 presidential nomination contests could be concluded
much earlier than recently expected.

March 1 is the date of Super Tuesday with about a dozen state
caucuses and primaries, and March 15 is the date of five large
primaries, including Florida and Ohio. In between are numerous
state primaries and caucuses, including Michigan on March 8.

With Texas on March 1, the latter two could provide Donald
Trump a knockout punch against his three major opponents
whose home states they are. Mr. Trump currently leads in two
of them, and is close in Texas. Should he win all three, it would
be most difficult to imagine an argument against his winning the
Republican nomination.

Bernie Sanders is now expected to lose South Carolina by more
than 25 points, but it would be a massive blow if he cannot win
some states on March 1 and March 15, especially outside the
South. Sanders disadvantage to Mrs. Clinton’s huge lead among
non-elected super-delegates then becomes critical.

Of course, 2016 has been a disaster for conventional wisdom
and predictions, and the electorate is remarkably volatile, so
surprises in the next several days are possible. Marco Rubio
clearly won the the most recent GOP debate, especially in his
confrontation with Mr. Trump, and he and Ted Cruz have
enough apparent support to carry on past March 15, but they
need to begin winning primaries soon to remain as credible
candidates at the GOP convention in July.

Bernie Sanders has the campaign funds, grassroots volunteers,
young voters (and Mrs. Clinton’s unpopularity) to stage a revival
of his campaign, but he, too, has only a limited amount of time
to once again surprise the experts and pundits.

Scenarios that lead to brokered conventions in Cleveland and
Philadelphia, once popular internet subjects, are beginning to
look, as they have for decades, to be fantasies.

This could be over sooner than later.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casslman. All right reserved.

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