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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Primary Lull

After the frenzy of primaries in March, ending with the March 22 contests in Arizona and Utah, the Republicans take a two week break, the next contest being the Wisconsin Primary on April 5.  That may be Kasich's last stand.  If he loses to Trump there, as polls predict, he has little credibility going forward.  With continuing third place standing in the polls of other upcoming contests, many in winner take all States, Kasich moves into the joke category.  Maybe Kasich can turn things around in the next two weeks if voters tend to drift from Trump, but right now he looks like a dead man walking.

Cruz will be happy to see Kasich go, making this a two man race against Trump.  Unfortunately, most of the remaining States will be hard for him to win.  Most of the remaining delegates come from the Mid-Atlantic, New England and West Coast States.  These more moderate voters without strong partisan ties are not likely Cruz fans.  Trump may defeat him in these states even on a two mar race.

On the Democratic side, Sanders may be in for a bit of a wild ride.  He won the two caucuses on March 22 (Idaho and Utah) but lost the bigger primary in Arizona.  Still, it shows he can win States by large percentages.  Sanders does especially well in closed caucuses, as we say in Idaho and Utah.  Up next on the calendar are three more closed caucuses on March 26, Alaska, Hawaii, and the big one in Washington State.  If Sanders can pick up all three of those, and there is a good chance that he can, he may pick up momentum for the mid-Atlantic States that follow later in April, closing in on Clinton's substantial lead.  If that happened, and Sanders passed Clinton in pledged delegates, you could see many of Clinton's super delegates also jump ship and move to the more popular candidate, as they did to her with Obama in 2008.

It is interesting that at this point in the process, neither party seems to have a consensus candidate. Both parties seem deeply divided with both front runners holding extremely high negative ratings. Whoever wins in November may face a deeply divided nation to lead.

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