Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Trump & Clinton sweep the mid-Atlantic States.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both had a good night as the mid-Atlantic Primaries held their regional primary day.
Contests for both parties took place in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island.
Trump dominated the night, winning all five States. Particularly impressive was the fact that Trump won an outright majority in all States, some by over 60%. Trump has won most States with a plurality, leading to the story line that a majority of Republicans opposed him almost everywhere nationwide, regardless of how many opponents he had. After a majority last week in New York and majorities in five states this week, Trump shows that he can get a majority of Republicans to vote for him.
In Pennsylvania, the largest State, Trump won all 17 pledged delegates. Alert readers might note that 17 is not very many delegates, and that Pennsylvania is sending 71 delegates to the convention. The remaining 54 delegates are elected as uncommitted. Voters vote for specific people to be delegates, who may promise to vote for a particular candidate, but are not bound to anyone. So, this is part of that "rigged process" that seems to frustrate the Donald.
Maryland was the next largest, where Trump won all 38 pledged delegates. He also won all 28 in Connecticut, and all 16 in Delaware. Rhode Island was proportional, so Trump took 10 of 18, with Kasich getting 5, and Cruz 3.
These States should have been strong ones for Kasich: moderate Republican States. But it seems voters are not going to back him anywhere. Cruz's claims of a two-man race though were weakened by the fact that Kasich beat him in 4 of the 5 contests. Even if Kasich had dropped out and Cruz had won 100% of his voters, Trump still would have beat him everywhere.
At 983 delegates, Trump needs only 250 more to have a majority. That is just over 40% of the remaining delegates. At his current pace, that seems very possible. Even if Trump comes up a little short, it is almost certain that some percentage of the hundreds of unpledged delegates may go his way. So even there, he has wiggle room. The stop Trump movement seems to be close to collapsing, as the Republican urge to "fall in line" seems to be taking hold finally. The Trump bandwagon seems to be building up speed.
Hillary Clinton also did well, winning four of the five states by double digits. Bernie Sanders had a solid 12 point win in Rhode Island. But even if he had won all five states by 12 points, that would not have put him on a pace to catch up with Clinton. It seems clear that Clinton will hit the majority she needs before the convention. Her lead only continues to widen. Clinton is about 300 delegates ahead of Sanders in pledged delegates. But including Superdelegates, that lead widens to over 800.
To show how strong her position is, Clinton needs only 219 of the 1246 still available. She could lose 100% of all but one of the remaining primaries by 100-0, then lose California by 59% to 41% and still collect enough delegates to win a majority for the convention. If she wants to compete in all the remaining states, Sanders could win 80% in all the remaining States and still Clinton would win enough delegates. Stick a fork in Sanders. He's done.