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Friday, May 6, 2016

The May Primary Calendar.

With the Republican race now uncontested and the Democratic race all but over, the remaining contests have become less interesting.  Candidates will start talking more about their general election opponents and possibly consider their Vice Presidential running mates.  Still, with neither front runner holding a majority of delegates yet, the remaining races cannot be taken for granted completely.  Candidates must continue to address the remaining contests and collect their delegates.

Guam, Sat. May 7

This Saturday is Guam's Democratic Primary.  The Republicans had their contest weeks ago, selecting unbound delegates who added to no one's count.

I have seen no polls for Guam.  In 2008 the territory handed a close victory Barack Obama by less than a point, and with fewer than 5000 people voting.  In 2012, an incumbent Obama one only 58% of the vote, with the remainder uncommitted.  Therefore, the smart money is on a close election result this year as well.  With a mere 12 delegates up for grabs, if one candidate gets 7 or 8 and the other gets 4 or 5, it will be barely noticeable.  Therefore, both Democratic candidates are not terribly focused on this contest far away across the Pacific Ocean.

Nebraska & West Virginia, Tue. May 10

Nebraska and West Virginia both hold closed Republican primaries next Tuesday.   With Trump now uncontested, he should have no trouble taking Nebraska's 36 delegates and West Virginia's 34.  Assuming he wins all 70, he should be about 115 votes short of his inevitable delegate majority.

On the Democratic side, Hillary is again on the rope thanks to her a few weeks ago about putting lots of coal miners out of work.  Rather than worry about losing the State, Clinton should be more concerned about being lynched if caught in the State by locals.  Expect these conservative Democrats to give the Socialist Sanders a solid victory, perhaps by 20 points.  Again, not enough to threaten Clinton's majority, but another embarrassing defeat for her campaign.

Kentucky & Oregon, Tue. May 17

Kentucky holds its Democratic Primary on May 17.  Hillary has tended to do well in conservative states.  However, her comments about coal miners has pretty much handed the contest to Sanders, aka, anyone but Hillary.  This very conservative State will vote for the Socialist, probably by double digits.  Sanders will chalk up another victory and take a majority of the 61 delegates.  But Hillary will take a sizable minority share of them and creep ever closer to her inevitable delegate majority.

Oregon also holds its primary for both parties.  This liberal enclave is somewhere that Sanders is likely to do well, not just as the anti-Clinton but because voters actually like his socialist policies.  I have not seen any polls for Oregon, but expect a Sanders double digit victory, taking the bulk of the 73 delegates.  Again, it is too little too late to derail Clinton's ultimate victory.  It will, however, contribute to the perception that she is not popular, even within her own party and has a great deal of work to do.

On the Republican side, Oregon is a more liberal state where Kasich had hoped to do well.  Trump however, was looking for a win even before his opponents capitulated. Oregon awards its 28 delegates proportionally.  It is possible that some voters may vote for opponents who are still on the ballot. Trump may not win all of the delegates even without active campaigns against him.  This contest will be worth watching only to see how big Trump's victory will be, and whether he can continue to turn out large and enthusiastic crowds as the presumptive nominee rather than an outside challenger.

Washington Tue. May 24

A week later, we will have our final May contest in Washington State, the Republican primary. Again, not much of a contest since Trump anymore as Trump continues to acquire his needed delegate majority.  There are 44 proportional delegates up for grabs.  Even assuming Trump wins all of then, not guaranteed, he will still be about 40 votes short of a majority.

Looking Ahead to June:

There are a couple of minor caucuses for Democrats on the first weekend in June (Virgin Island and Puerto Rico).  But all eyes are on June 7, when California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, and both Dakotas all hold contests.  It will likely be on this date that both Clinton and Trump officially obtain their delegate majorities.  After that, only DC holds its Democratic primary a week later, when no one will care.  That will bring the primary season to its official end.

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