2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Poll Watch, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Measuring the Conventions

July 19, 2016

The first day/night of the Republican National Convention was charitably shaky. The average voter may not have noticed or heard about the delegate scrum during the day when #NeverTrump forces unsuccessfully fought to have a full roll call vote. Whatever.

Commentators spent plenty of time talking about rising star Joni Ernst getting stuck speaking to an empty hall after the networks cut away, while actor Scott Baio, last seen playing Chachi back in the 1980s, had a better audience. General Flynn sounded like the Republic was ending next Tuesday. Donald Trump called in to Bill O’Reilly’s show, forcing him to cut away from the mom of one of the Benghazi four, who was emotionally excoriating Hillary Clinton from the podium. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

GOP Convention Preview: Can Trump Keep the Public Awake?

July 18, 2016

The convention is finally here. The last vestiges of the #NeverTrump movement were stomped out last week, so there won’t be the brokered/contested convention political junkies have dreamed of for decades. Even Bill Kristol is about ready to concede Donald Trump will actually become the nominee.

The choosing of Mike Pence takes any VP drama off the table. There were thoughts some delegates would attempt to throw their weight around on that pick, but the goal was to force Trump into picking a Pence-like person. Mission already accomplished. While it’s very possible he’ll give a solid and effective speech on Wednesday, it won’t have 2008 Sarah Palin levels of anticipation. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

The Agony of #NeverTrump

July 14, 2016

Until he actually becomes the official nominee a week from now, there’s still technically a chance the GOP nominee could, ever so possibly, be someone other than Donald Trump. You shouldn’t bet on it unless you get insanely good odds though. And only bet money you’re very prepared to lose.

More Republican insiders, delegates, and other elected officials are opposed to the nominee than any time since 1964. There are delegates pledged to Trump who strongly prefer Ted Cruz. Trump has record low favorability ratings. He’s somehow still trailing Hillary Clinton in more polls than not, even after FBI Director James Comey explained in great detail where she went terribly wrong with her email server. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, Strategy, Uncategorized

Ted’s Talk

July 8, 2016

Ted Cruz is now set to speak in Cleveland. Yesterday, he met with Donald Trump and Reince Preibus and a deal of sorts was reached. Cruz did not commit to endorse Trump. He did accept a speaking slot (at an undetermined/unreleased time.) What’s in it for these guys?

Why would Trump let him speak without first securing an endorsement? Why would Cruz link himself to Trump at this point? What might his speech sound like? Does this even matter? Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Trump Enters the Cocoon

June 28, 2016

Three weeks from today is Day Two of the Republican convention. Three weeks from tomorrow, Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee will give his/her speech. Between now and then, expect to see quite a bit less Trump. It doesn’t mean he’ll be out of the news, or won’t say anything interesting. He’s not entering the Candidate Protection Program, but he will be a bit under the radar, at least by Trumpian standards.

On the morning of April 6, Trump was in trouble. Ted Cruz had just defeated him in Wisconsin. This came after losing two of three contests in the previous round of primaries on March 22 (he won Arizona, lost badly to Cruz in Idaho, and finished third in Utah.) #NeverTrump was in the ascendant.  Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, State of the Race, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized

How Easily Could the GOP Dump Trump?

June 18, 2016

You’re starting to hear some loud whispers about an attempt to overthrow Donald Trump at the Republican convention. Like many dreams of the #NeverTrump faction, it’s technically possible and highly unlikely. The mechanism to toss out the primary/caucus results exists. Delegate commitments based on results, even on a first ballot, are only binding if the convention says they are.

Whether this is fair or just is a matter of opinion, but RNC bylaws and historical precedent allow the convention rules committee to do whatever they damn well please. Though Trump has the majority of currently pledged delegates, as we regularly heard back when Ted Cruz mattered, it doesn’t mean all of the “Trump” delegates would pick him on a first ballot if given the opportunity to choose otherwise. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, Counting Delegates, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Coronation Day (Sort of)

June 7, 2016

We’ve reached the finish line. Democrats in Washington D.C. wait until next Tuesday to participate, but for all intents and purposes the train stops here today. Last night, the AP declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee, after digging up additional super delegates who are supporting her. This stepped on Clinton’s plan to declare official victory in her rally tonight in Brooklyn and enraged Berners everywhere.

It doesn’t change the end nomination result in any practical way. Hillary had no chance of winning without super delegate help. She can’t get there on earned delegates alone. Bernie can’t catch up in earned delegates. He can’t catch up in individual votes won. Instead of networks declaring Hillary the nominee-in-waiting the second the New Jersey polls close, she wakes up this morning as such. Continue reading