March 16, 2016

By ALEX ALEXIEV

The second Super Tuesday primaries that took place yesterday have decided the democratic race and clarified the republican one.

The Democratic Party – Hillary Clinton’s decisive wins over Bernie Sanders in three states (Florida by 31 points, North Carolina by 14 points and Ohio by 13 points) have made her the certain nominee and there is now no conceivable way for Sanders to beat her. The only way to prevent that, as a pundit has put it, “is by an act of God, or an act of the FBI,” i.e. if she were to be indicted. Perhaps, aware of the latter, Sanders has not suspended his campaign and will soldier on.

The Republican Party – Things have not been decided in the GOP yet, but have been clarified in that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are now the only candidates left that have a real chance. Trump had another big night and eliminated Marco Rubio by beating him decisively in the winner-take-all Florida primary 44% to 27%. Rubio suspended his campaign last night and the only interesting question remaining from his candidacy is what will happen to his 169 delegates. According to a republican lawyer, they will go into the unbound pool of delegates for the first vote at the convention. Evidently, a Rubio endorsement of another candidate will not automatically bind his delegates to that candidate.

Trump’s one stumble yesterday was his loss in Ohio at the hands of native son and Ohio governor, John Kasich, by 10 points. Kasich has decided to stay in the fight until the convention in the hope that he could win in a brokered convention. This could happen only if Trump does not  get the necessary 1237 delegates before that, which, according to the experts, is possible but not likely. The distribution of the delegates among the remaining three candidates is as follows:

Trump – 661, Cruz – 406, Kasich -142. There are approximately another 1000 delegates remaining to be picked.

What’s unique about this year’s republican presidential race is that both Trump and Cruz are openly hostile to the GOP establishment, which dislikes them equally. This has led to much speculation of their ability to motivate republican voters to turn out on election date in November. This is a particular concern regarding Donald Trump. Exit polls from the primaries have consistently shown that between 30% and 40% of the republicans say that they’ll never vote for Trump. Thus opinions about Trump’s chances against Hillary Clinton in the general election have ranged from predictions of a huge disaster for the GOP to victory on account of millions of new voters that he might attract. All one on one polls so far have shown  that Hillary would easily beat him, while she would lose against all other republican nominees.

Latest Election Match-Ups: Clinton  – Trump: 47.1% to 41%, Cruz – Clinton: 46.2% to 45.4%

Rubio – Clinton: 48% to 44%.