Trump is in trouble

The Donald had a big night in New York, inspiring a lot of big talk about momentum. Ignore it. The math is pretty ruthless.

We are about to enter the best few weeks of Donald Trump’s life. He can expect to perform very well in Republican contests across the Northeast over the next few weeks. Look closely and you’ll notice two small losses folded into that string of wins.

Indiana (5/3) and Nebraska (5/10) are the contests that tell the real story. Trump has been performing quite well recently in places that don’t have any Republicans. Almost as many people voted for Ted Cruz in Wisconsin as the total number of Republican voters in the New York primary. That matters, because it tells a story about what to expect from the process behind the primary.

Trump can sweep all of the Republican delegates in the following states – CT, DE, MD, RI, WV, PA – and still go into the final June 7 primaries with the nomination effectively out of reach. And then even a win in NJ won’t be enough. He would have to sweep the races on June 7 to get past the 1237 mark, and that simply isn’t going to happen.

Ted Cruz has been dominant in the Plains and Mountain states. California offers some hope for Trump, but Cruz is strong in the Central Valley and the North. It is very unlikely that Trump can sweep the state in all of its Congressional Districts. It’s far more likely that California ends up being either a loss or a stalemate. Anything other than a complete sweep of California’s delegates almost certainly leaves Trump short of the nomination.

When the dust settles on June 8th, Trump will still be holding a first-ballot delegate lead. There will be about 125 uncommitted delegates he could theoretically recruit to his side prior to the convention. He might be close enough that he would only need 70-100 of them. Chances are a majority of those delegates will have been recruited to their positions by the Cruz campaign, but who knows. At any rate, it looks like we’re in a for a long, hot summer.

See the delegate math play out with this calculator from 270-to-win.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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101 comments on “Trump is in trouble
  1. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Our friends to the north in Oklahoma (hint – they are not OK) are doing and saying some seriously screwed up things.

    While deliberating and ultimately passing a wildly unconstitutional bill effectively outlawing abortion and having no exceptions for rape or incest, a well-reasoned republican said,

    “If we take care of morality,” bill supporter David Brumbaugh, a Republican, said during deliberations, “God will take care of the economy.”

    That he said such insanity is sad, but the fact that he wasn’t immediately bombarded by rotting fruit and vegetables is even sadder. I get that someone like Sheila Jackson Lee is an embarrassment, but the democrat’s stupid and inept barely compares to the GOP’s stupid and mean.

    • 1mime says:

      Someone needs to ask these true believers why “their” God gave mankind brains – big ones – ones that work for most people. Then they need to ask why they shouldn’t take their brain(s) off the back shelf and fire ’em up every now and then. It’s GOTV time for Dems because one thing is certain, wingnuts like this might not know how to think independently but they never seem to forget how to find the polls.

    • flypusher says:

      Makes me think a philosopher king/queen is the real way to go. Degree of difficultly, probably a mythological being.

      Forcing women to bear children fathered by rapists is barbaric.

  2. 1mime says:

    This article offers a different “take” on the common criticism by conservatives that the federal government is “bloated”. Technology can be a huge assist “when/if” Congress would approve budget increases for divisions to upgrade their technological capability. My IRS buds said that the age of a great deal of the computers within the division is seriously antiquated.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-a-leaner-federal-government-hire-more-federal-workers/2016/04/21/a11cf98c-fd8b-11e5-886f-a037dba38301_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_opinions

  3. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    On a side note, while I was sleeping last night, the story of Prince’s death broke.

    As someone coming of age in the 80s, Prince was/is an interesting figure. He certainly is not everyone’s cup of tea, but he put together a string of music in the 80s and 90s that is relatively untouched. He overlapped with Michael Jackson, who took most of the headlines (and Thriller top to bottom is one of the worlds best albums), but Prince certainly did more to shape the music of the period.

    Losing Haggard and losing Prince (two folks who probably never shared a beer together) both hurt. Just as I did with running through a long playlist of Haggard a couple of weeks ago, lots of people would be well served to do 10 or 20 Prince songs today.

    Also, if you never had the chance to see George Harrison’s posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, youtube “While my guitar gently weeps” to see/hear Prince absolutely steal the show with his guitar solo at the end.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, Hope you’re able to drum up some biz over on the other side! I went to youtube and was thrilled to see Prince perform at the end of the performance. His musical ability with the guitar was phenomenal and this performance truly proved so.

      Since you’re “down under”, there is a very accomplished Australian female guitarist named Orianti. She is a fine individual artist but also was selected by MJ for his world tour. Her accompaniment to “This Is It” is remarkable. Prince and Michael Jackson were incredible talents and they have both left this world too soon.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      HT, you’re right. Prince wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But that George Harrison hall of fame video made me a posthumous fan. I truly had no idea he could play like that. Soaring, skilled, 100% in the musical moment.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Homer, like you I grew up in the 80’s. I loved MJ and Prince and I am sad to see they are both gone. I downloaded a few of my favorite Prince songs and have been playing them over and over.

      Charlie Murphy on the Chappelle Show told the story of how he and his more famous brother Eddie met Prince one night and the insanity that occurred afterwards. Prince confirmed the story and even used a picture of Chappelle dressed as him serving pancakes on a record label.

      This skit is legendary:
      http://www.mtv.com/news/2871639/charlie-murphy-prince-chappelles-show/

    • flypusher says:

      I too have Prince’s music in the party sound track of my youth. Also loved that tribute solo, although throwing instruments will anyways make me cringe.

      I didn’t realize that Prince was the specific bee who got into Tipper Gore’s bonnet. I wonder how many extra sales were generated by those parental advisories.

  4. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    G’day mates…I’m in Sydney for some work and had the opportunity to talk politics a bit with some Aussie colleagues last night.

    General consensus: “We really thought it was all a joke, but then, it is beginning to look like you are serious.”

    See, Trump is a uniter. People around the world are having the exact same reaction to a Trump candidacy that we are having in the US.

    The other themes were:
    1. We really don’t worry too much about American politics
    2. Hillary is going to win right?
    3. We have our own craziness in our politics as well

    I had a similar reaction with folks in the UK a couple of weeks ago.

    Both of these trips were for oil and gas folks, and I was struck that these oil and gas folks from overseas would likely fall squarely within the realm of the Democrat party in the US, while our oil and gas folks are overwhelmingly GOP.

    • johngalt says:

      A quote from Winston Churchill is perhaps appropriate: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

      • 1mime says:

        ““Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.” Adlai Stevenson II

        Oh for a leader who is even interested…

      • WX Wall says:

        Churchill also said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other ones”. However, he also said: “The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.” Sounds elitist 🙂

        And as for Adlai Stevenson: “I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.”

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, I love that quote too, WX Wall.

    • 1mime says:

      There are too many people who adopt a label but don’t understand what it stands for because they don’t know what they stand for. It takes courage to simply be who you are….Our Obama/Biden yard sign got a lot of looks in our neighborhood – for both elections – and I suspect my 2016 yard sign will as well. It was kinda’ fun, actually…I could watch the walkers shake their heads from the privacy of our front window. Our AC guy made a lot of snide comments when he saw our O/B yard sign stashed in the garage to which I replied: “Where are you keeping your winning candidate yard signs these days? Honestly, I keep the signs just to be ornery…..and I make sure they are visible….makes for some interesting comments when I have people come through the garage (-;

      Your fellow blue Democrat in “red” Texas, 1MIME.

  5. 1mime says:

    The decision by the RNC to follow Reince Priebus’ recommendation that no rules changes will be made by the committee prior to the convention means “what”? They don’t want to “tip” their hand early? They are still waiting to see if Trump can make it to 1237? They have more delegate arm twisting to do for a Cruz nomination?

    Or, something else?

  6. Rob Ambrose says:

    Well, this is maddening. And so utterly, utterly predictable.

    This is why the religious rght should be used as a litnus test. “Do the Christianists support this bill? If so, then kill it”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/04/19/alabama_s_unregulated_religious_day_cares_are_a_horror_show.html

    • 1mime says:

      What is it about these southern states that results in such poor judgement? On so many issues? Childcare!

      • Griffin says:

        Much of the South is basically a developing country inside a much larger developed country. So many of the issues in the South are actually not dissimilar from those in other underdeveloped nations. A poor, backwards economy that relies more on quasi-feudalism than modern capitalism, an underfunded education system combined with a culture that tends to emphasize faith and traditionalism over science and modernism in achieving knowledge and settling social issues , general corruption, etc.

  7. Anse says:

    Trump is in trouble? Maybe so. But not in nearly as much trouble as the Republican Party. I really think the GOP had this election in the bag. Americans have a long history of voting against the party of a sitting two-term president. And Hillary is hardly unbeatable. All they had to do was nominate a solid moderate candidate. But the GOP can’t do that. They had to go full-crazy. You either have the clown or the Christian Nazi. I hope to God Trump wins, I really do. He’s the final nail in Movement Conservatism for a generation, I’ll bet.

    • flypusher says:

      ” Americans have a long history of voting against the party of a sitting two-term president. ”

      And Congress HAD a long history of at least getting at least the gov’t housekeeping done. While the Dems have had a long tradition if snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the GOP is going for a record &$#%up here.

    • 1mime says:

      Meanwhile, the RNC leadership is meeting in Hollywood, FL. Cruz’ campaign manager, Roe, made their case that Cruz is the best candidate. “Roe made the case Wednesday that Cruz, unlike Trump, can appeal to crucial traditional Democratic constituencies needed to win in November. “We have a life story that’s compelling to women, that’s compelling to minorities, and is compelling to younger voters,” he said. “Our opponent in our primary doesn’t have that.”

      Uh hum, which “women” and “minorities” would that be? You know what? I think the RNC leadership just needs to “trust” Cruz….take the man at his word….after all, his record in Congress speaks volumes about what a great guy and team player he is….Why wouldn’t they just take this guy at his word?!

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/trump-nomination-gop-jeff-roe-222215#ixzz46OiKWD3M

      • johngalt says:

        You’ve got to hand it to Cruz’s people – they are willing to go big when it comes to telling lies. Honestly, Trump’s core constituency of working class whites overlaps much more with the Democratic union base than anything Cruz brings to the table. Cruz’s strident and unyielding conservatism is pretty unappealing even to moderate Republicans. He’s not going to win too many minorities or women in a contest with Hillary.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Republicans have been capitalizing on the politics of white supremacy for decades and it’s finally time to foot the bill. This result was probably inevitable and I for one don’t feel sorry for the GOP in the least.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      Actually, there’s no trend of Americans voting against the party of two-term presidents. Gore won the popular vote in 2000. HW Bush won in 1988. The Democrats won five terms in a row between FDR and Truman. And, well, let’s face it – as Adlai Stevenson said, “don’t run against war heroes”.

      The reality is that if you actually look at things, the swings back and forth have nothing to do with two-term presidents and everything to do with something bad happening. 1968 – Vietnam War, riots, busing. 1976 – Nixon was a criminal and Ford pardoned him. 1980 – Bad Economy. 1992 – Bad Economy. 2008 – Bad Economy (and, well, bad everything – Dubya was a bad president). 2000 is the only real anomaly, and Gore won the popular vote there.

  8. flypusher says:

    OT, but such a cool story- Harriette Tubman gets all the 20s:

    http://www.vox.com/2016/4/20/11469736/harriet-tubman-twenty-why

    Her history is fascinating-the woman was a stone-cold badass!

    About the NY primary, yeah I’m so totally enjoying the heaping helping of crow served up to one Mr. Ted Cruz. But he still could get the last convention laugh. Chris called the deficits in the Trump ground game months ago, so kudos for your keen observation skills.

    • 1mime says:

      Last night, Ben Ginsberg noted that however belatedly, the Trump campaign has brought on board some real pros at GOP convention dynamics. It may be too late to forcefully compete against Cruz’ delegate recruitment but at least he has some pros who know how the game is played.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Great decision. And as a bonus, we get the added bonus of watching the RWNJ’s freak the F out.

      Their tears are delicious.

      • flypusher says:

        “Commie slave stealer??????”

        I’d really love to believe that those were all trolls. But there are idjits out there who really believe that crap. White genocide my @$$!!

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Yeah that one stood out to me as well.

        The idea that in 2016, someone might make the argument that someone who helped slaves escaped was somehow in the wrong because it was illegal at the time is mind blowing.

        These white supremacist are becoming totally emboldened by Trump, basically legitimizing their racism. The good news is that some positions are simply untenable and merely stating it acts as the best argument against it. Being angry about Harriot Tubman being put on the money is one of them.

        I don’t know the numbers, but I would have to imagine she is near universally admired worldwide. There isn’t mang ways you can dig whistle opposition to get.

      • 1mime says:

        It doesn’t “jive” until you realize that these are the same people who approve of killing doctors who work in Planned Parenthood Centers – all in the name of “life”! Or, who still believe the Dalaiden video of PP was not the meanest little cut and paste job you’ve ever seen – and, the perpetrators have been charged with a felony while the same Grand Jury exonerated PP; or, the people in NC who passed religious discrimination laws in twelve hours in order to avoid public opportunity to protest; or or or

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        *her

      • 1mime says:

        Oh, Rob, you do have a talent for getting right.down.to.it. (-; Cheers, my friend!

  9. 1mime says:

    Off topic, but so relevant to the myopia in Republican Party to the outcry from their worker base who finally realizes: the establishment is ignoring their needs. I am on Speaker Ryan’s email list which has helped me learn a great deal about his ideas and plans for the direction of the Republican Party agenda. He is proposing US import tariff reform which on the surface is a very good “tool” to lower business costs. EXCEPT that it totally misses the point that Trump and Sanders blue collar supporters have been yelling from the top of their lungs. They want to bring as many manufacturing jobs back to the US as possible, not make imports even cheaper! This criticism does not ignore the fact that there are products that American companies “will have to” import. Instead, it is focused on the lack of commitment to restore production of as many of these products as possible to our domestic industry and our workers. This could be a jobs creation initiative for the GOP, but instead of taking the harder road which would commit to expanding domestic manufacturing, Republicans are focused on the “quick fix” legislative removal of import tariffs. If successful, the possibility of bringing back any of these manufacturing jobs will be lost forever.

    Once again, the American worker is being ignored, and they are finally understanding exactly where the loyalty of the Republican leadership lies. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders understand this well, and, if they are smart, this issue – import tariff reform – will be front and center at every stump speech. Obviously, not all imported products have a realistic chance to be brought back to American manufacturing, but it is pretty clear that Republicans have given up any pretense of trying when they pursue elimination of import tariffs. If I were a blue collar worker, I would feel vindicated in my anger towards GOP establishment candidates. Unions are going to go after this as well as they should. There is simply zero Republican commitment to their blue collar working base. They’ve gotten away with it up til now.

    We keep talking here on this blog about the wealth divide and how our economy is shifting away from manufacturing. There has to be a transition for those who have lost jobs through this process through re-training and helping them find jobs they are qualified to perform. This legislation is a bottom line move by Republicans that basically says: forgetaboutit.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “There is simply zero Republican commitment to their blue collar working base. They’ve gotten away with it up til now.”

      There never has been Mime, and as you say, the gig is up. The deal has always been “OK, we’ll do what we can on abortion, gays, blacks, and basically try to turn America into a Christian theocracy, and you support us on lowering taxes forbthe rich and cutting regulations everywhere”.

      The base held up their end ofbthe bargain, and the elites haven’t. And I dint think there’s any going back.

      I simply cannot envision anyway the GOP keeps the coalition intact. And frankly, since the base vastly outnumbers the elites, I see no reason why the elites should keep the GOP brand. I think the GOP will become basically the Trump wing, and the business/moderates/elites will stake out on their in, as we discussed the other day

      • WX Wall says:

        I don’t know. This blog has had several very convincing articles that make the case that the Republican culture wars to preserve white male supremacy were actually about protecting the economic privilege of working class whites. Their support for Republicans did not necessarily go against their economic interests.

        As Democrats, if we want to win their votes, we need to show that if we dismantle white male privilege, we’re going to replace it with something else that provides economic security for them. Otherwise, we’ll lose their votes. Personally, I think massive investment in infrastructure and education (like Bernie’s proposing) will improve our competitive advantage against places like China (actually China is already becoming uncompetitive due to rapidly rising labor costs and looming demographic catastrophe, and manufacturing is “re-shoring” rapidly) and provide enough jobs that even without white male privilege, working class whites will be better off than they were before. A true rising tide lifting all boats.

        People who talk about “we can’t leave our children to pay this enormous deficit” frustrate me, because they assume that’s the worst thing we can leave our children. How about a child who grows up in poverty because her parents don’t have jobs? That’s a pretty rotten legacy too. Or a person who doesn’t go to college because she can’t afford it? That will affect her life much more than a higher tax rate to deal with a future deficit. Studies show that young people who enter the job market during a recession *never* catch up in earnings to peers who entered during a period of economic growth. That’s a lifelong burden that’s far, far more damaging than leaving them a deficit that, as a % of GDP, is still quite manageable. And yet deficit spending during a recession to prevent those ills is shrugged off as too irresponsible. Sorry to go off on a tangent… 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        We agree on the “means”, but we disagree on the matter of White working class people voting “for” their economic interests by voting Republican. Democrats have done a pitiful job of selling what they do for working class people. Republicans have actively fought against plans to put people back to work via jobs initiatives such as O’s infrastructure proposal years ago. Republicans oppose the social safety network and have horribly diluted workmen’s comp laws and welfare in state after state. They want to cut social security, medicare and medicaid and have offered NOTHING in the way of health care except to vote 69 times to end the ACA – which is far from an ideal program but is “more” than many people have ever had access to in the past. The red state legislatures and governors have refused to expand medicaid programs in their states, leaving millions without health care. Then there is the whole “outsourcing” of manufacturing with little preparation or concern about a loyal work force that has served these big industries well. They just don’t care about these people. Does anyone?

        The other point Lifer made is that because white working class people lack the skills to compete up the jobs ladder, hard working minorities have become competitors for their jobs. This has created resentment and unfortunately racism as they try to find someone to blame for their crisis. Who they should blame is the party in power. The Republican Party.

        What BOTH parties should be doing is addressing the fundamentals of the income divide – improving basic education, re-training for market related jobs, expansion of health care, expansion of child care, shoring up vs constantly threatening massive changes to safety net programs, supporting a sensible, graduated, area-specific wage increase plan, funding a solid, comprehensive infrastructure repair and expansion program that will put millions of working class people to work in jobs they “have” current skills for while re-training them for future jobs, removing profit motives from student education loans to make higher ed more affordable, working “with” unions to allow them to do more skills training, expansion of vocational ed and community college programs that offer relevant training in less time that meet local market demand….This is off the top of my head, but my point is this:

        The Republican Party has ignored and obstructed any real effort to address significant jobs solutions for working class people and this class has not penalized them for ignoring them. Democrats have tried to help but they have been blocked. Congress is not doing their job and they have made it impossible or extremely difficult for government to function. I squarely place the blame on the Republican Party which for over seven years has done everything in its power to thwart/block/stop any efforts that would help working class people. They get all the credit for what they “haven’t done”. And, it is appalling to me that the needs of working people have been ignored for political reasons. I think working class people are starting to understand who the boogeyman is here. Whether they will vote accordingly will become clear in November. Let us hope that if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders candidacies have achieved nothing else, they have opened the eyes of the disenfranchised as to who is to blame and what they need to do as citizens to bring about change.

        VOTE!

    • antimule says:

      Yeah, but this raises the question: how much can one even help workers at all?

      China is going to be cheaper no matter what. And there’s relatively untapped India and Africa. And there are robots. “Educate them” sounds nice, but (i) America doesn’t need infinite number of engineers either and (ii) not everyone has brains for it. So wtf to do?

      • 1mime says:

        Re-train where possible. Implement public programs where people with these kinds of skills can function: infrastructure repair? I don’t have answers but if as much effort was put into addressing the needs of these people as is being spent on “stupid stuff” …. endless investigations into PP/Benghazi/IRS/Iran….and more focus expended on figuring out practical ways to help people, the situation could at least be improved. We can’t write off this many people, and that’s what’s happening. There has to be at least an effort to examine what products could be made in the USA at a competitive cost. After all, government subsidized everything from highways to dams to space exploration to tobacco to oil and gas to to to…maybe this is also the time to implement the guaranteed income to help these people bridge this time in their lives. I don’t know but someone should at least try.

      • Creigh says:

        We can choose to let China be our workforce or we can choose not to. We chose to. We can choose to let robots do all our work or we can choose not to. We are choosing to. We can choose to have the economy we have or we can choose something else. The shape of our economy is not divinely determined, it is determined by our choices. We are not helpless bystanders unless we choose to be.

      • 1mime says:

        The real question is: WHO gets to choose?

      • Creigh says:

        If you want to figure out who is pushing these choices, start with who is benefiting. These are also the people who are trying to convince you that “there is no alternative.”

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t have any trouble figuring out “who” is pushing these things, my comment was meant to demonstrate that only a chosen few get to make decisions. That’s not how it ought to be and if people voted, it could change.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      American jobs are heavily dependent on imports. You need to be able to import cheap stuff so you can build much better stuff.

      The US is the #1 importer and #2 exporter. Our economy is extremely dependent on global trade.

      Moreover, these people buy mostly imported consumer goods because they’re cheaper than American-made goods.

  10. Chris Weigant (http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/04/19/what-is-trumps-real-magic-number/) has a good blog on what Trump’s real number is.

    If he doesn’t get 1,237, what happens if he gets a small number:

    e.g. if he gets 1,236, he can surely expect to pick up at least one of the unbound delegates. Same for 1,235, etc.

    Weigant proposes 1,138 (99 short) as the point where he can expect to get pushed over the top by unbound delegates (most of PA’s delegates are unbound, for example, so there may be as many as 200 in play, however most estimates are in the low 100’s).

    In addition, most Republican voters believe that the candidate with the most votes/committed delegates should win.

    Cruz has two challenges:

    1. Forcing the second ballot and then converting enough delegates to beat Trump, even using some of Trump’s own delegates in the process

    2. Selling this to the Republican voters effectively enough that even a few % don’t decide to abstain

    I think the establishment want Cruz to win (it will kill two birds with one stone – Trump will be seen off, and the purity nonsense peddled by Cruz and the extreme right will be shown to be nonsense) and if at the same time Cruz is vilified by the Republican base, that is just icing on the cake.

    • 1mime says:

      Are you suggesting that the GOPe is willing to lose this election in order to avoid Trump and deep-six Cruz forever? I don’t agree. The GOP has sold its soul already to its far right base and their deep pocketed donors. Why would they forfeit a major win of POTUS and control of SCOTUS? They know that just as they have “controlled” Obama for his presidency, they can also control whoever is elected – even a Cruz or a Trump….After all, they’ve perfected the art of obstruction and delay without any regard to the working class or the general economy of our nation. Why would they change UNTIL the American voter forces them to. It really is up to America’s people this time to take back their government and remind these people who believe they are entitled to their positions exactly “who” their employer is.

      VOTE! Make a difference!

      • irapmup says:

        Vote! You hit the nail on the head.

        If we all vote there is no gripe about anything. Of course there will always be a “How could you be so stupid” or “I told you so” when things don’t pan out as predicted.

  11. “Trump has been performing quite well recently in places that don’t have any Republicans.”

    Bingo. And the corollary is that he’s done quite well in places with open primaries (NY is closed), suggesting he’s getting crossover votes. Assuming Trump does get the nomination (God forbid, and by no means assured, especially if does not win the first ballot), he’s going to pose an interesting problem for his Democrat opponent. It’s entirely likely that Trump would have a better shot at breaching Chris’ infamous “blue wall” than somebody like Cruz, because Trump would potentially put states like NY into play. (And he’d likely easily win FL.)

    Based on the above, I think the real bellwether will be CA. If Trump wins convincingly there, the hard-eyed GOP “establishment” is going to have to reassess their innate dislike of the man. My best guess is that the simple desire to win will trump the #NeverTrump factor at the end of the day. If the GOP concludes that Trump has an actual shot at winning the whole shootin’ match, they will fall in behind him like whipped curs.

    • johngalt says:

      There is no way that Trump puts NY or CA in play in November. Nearly a million more votes were cast in the Democratic primary than the Republican one in NY. One of the votes cast for Trump yesterday was by my brother-in-law who said he would not vote for Trump in the general over HRC, and he probably wouldn’t over Sanders either.

    • Stephen says:

      Mitt could not win Florida even after 4 years of unrelenting attacks on President Obama. The voters in presidential years are very different than mid term years. Yes yahoos will vote Trump but they will be the minority this fall.

    • 1mime says:

      Good point, Tracy. Countering that possibility is that many conservatives will just not vote. The other wild card (for those of us who enjoy games of calculated chance) is that the Hispanic voter is expected to be energized by either a T or a C win. IF they turn out in the numbers that have been predicted, they will vote for a Democratic presidential candidate. SCOTUS may help mobilize them if they deadlock on the TX immigration E.O. by Pres. Obama (DAPA & expanded DACA) and remand this action back to the states.

      2016 is going to be an election for the political history books, alright, only no one can predict with any probability how it will end. Where we agree is the role CA will play and that the GOPe will fall in line.

      • Good point back at ya, 1mime. I’ve never *not* voted, but if Trump wins the nomination I’ll be hard pressed. I’ll have to break out the Blanton’s for my psyche and a clothespin for my nose, and will hit the polls three sheets to the wind. (Hmm. VWI – Voting While Intoxicated…) I console myself with the fact that while I *know* your candidate will be an unmitigated disaster for the Republic, Trump remains an *unknown*. I have absolutely no idea how he would actually govern.

        As do you, I expect SCOTUS issues to energize a lot of people. For instance, Hillary has publicly declared herself to be an enemy of people like me, has publicly declared that Heller should be overturned, and is bound and determined to make ownership of the most popular long gun in history illegal. (In this she is simpatico with her ardent supporter, Chris “GOPLifer” Ladd – never was sobriquet less aptly coined.) These statements are almost as boneheaded as Cruz’ NY values misstep. A significant percentage of the NRA is Democrat; 11% of NRA political contributions go to Dem candidates. A great many gun owners on both sides of the aisle are going to be “energized” by Hillary’s extremist gun control views, particularly when it comes to SCOTUS nominations.

        Hillary math: NRA = Iranians = Republicans

        http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/hillary-clinton-supreme-court-second-amendment/2015/10/01/id/694323/
        Hillary political philosphy 101: 2A bad, NRA bad, gun ban good, Heller wrong

      • 1mime says:

        It is clear that the NRA and HRC are not buds. For some, this single issue will determine their vote. For me, it’s much more complex and broad – which doesn’t make me correct, just makes me have to think harder…..not a bad thing (-;

        Here’s a most interesting explanation of the primary/caucus process – its strengths and weaknesses and how it relates to the current election. I think you’ll find it instructive. As the author notes: America is not a Democracy (though I wish it were), but a Republic, and as such, our political process is not driven by one man one vote as we like to think of it. That becomes extremely important when you have a messy nomination situation such as we’re witnessing.

        I wish we had better candidates on both sides but we have who we have and will vote as we feel best. The good thing about America is that we manage to survive the worst that politics throws at us because as a nation, we’re better than any one person in any one office. That is our strength while it poses many challenges in governing.

        http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/primaries-versus-caucuses-the-score-so-far-in-2016/

      • Excellent article, 1mime. I’ve had to point out the same salient facts to several of my friends, and my offspring. Governance of both parties is much like that of the Republic itself, i.e. representative. None of us expects those we send to office to vote on every issue as we might wish; they go to office as (supposedly) independent actors. So it goes with party delegates.

        Trump, in his typical brilliantly demagogic fashion, decries the “process” as unfair when it doesn’t go his way, but is curiously silent when anybody has the nerve to point out that he’s won 45% of GOP delegates with 38% of the votes, largely due to his success in winner-take-all open primaries. Nor does Trump complain when he hauls in 89 delegates in NY in comparison to Cruz’ 36 in WS, when Cruz’ vote total in WS was considerably larger than Trump’s in NY. And so it goes.

        Democracy = Demos + Cracy; Demos: the people, i.e. the mob; Cracy: rule by; ergo,

        Democracy = Mob Rule

        The Athenians learned all about the pitfalls of pure democracy as a form of governance 2,000+ years ago. From current goings on, one gathers that the Founders and Framers were a better educated bunch than today’s lot of political leaders.

        With respect to above, I used to chide my Dem friends on their choice of party name. I suspect I may find myself hoisted on my own petard, in the case that our innocent and unsuspecting populace ends up on the receiving end of an object lesson on the tender mercies of democracy leavened with demagoguery, delivered at the hands of one D. Trump.

      • 1MIME says:

        If Donald Trump is elected president, you will have a lot of company in your grief.

      • Creigh says:

        Tracy, I think it was Winston Churchill who said “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with a typical voter.” I suppose the best argument for democracy (representative democracy, at least) is every other form of government we’ve tried.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Easily win FL? Let’s parse that out a bit, shall we? Currently, Hispanics and Latinos make up about 24% of the state’s population, lagging behind only California and Texas. Of those, voter registration on the Democratic side in recent years has been overwhelming Hispanic, and there’s no question that President Obama won my home state in both 2008 and 2012 due to their votes.

      Source: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/09/democratic-edge-in-hispanic-voter-registration-grows-in-florida/

      Bearing that in mind, Trump will lose this group by an absolute landslide; no ifs, ands or buts about it. So, if he’s going to “win FL easily,” he’s going to have to make up those votes elsewhere. Also something to pay attention to; those moderate Republicans that will either just stay home or vote for HRC as they can’t bring themselves to vote for Trump.

      All that said, and if I understand you correctly, the presumption is that Trump will have enough crossover appeal (by which you really mean that he’ll turn out more white voters to vote for him) to carry the state comfortably. This is the same magical thinking that lends people to believe that The Donald can put otherwise solidly Democratic states into the competitive column. It’s just not gonna happen.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      You’re forgetting this pesky thing called “Most independents aren’t actually independents”. The “independent voter” is actually one of those Big Lies.

      The overall fraction of independent voters is about a third.

      But only about 7% of the people are actually independent voters. All the rest of them are actually Democrats or Republicans who refuse to sign up for one of the parties because they’re totally independent, yo.

      And by that I mean “idiots who think that being registered as a part of a party means something other than who you can vote for in the primaries”.

      Basically, Trump is getting the independent Republican voters to vote for him. These are the idiots who think that being registered as a Republican somehow would contaminate their precious bodily fluids. The same is true for Sanders on the Democratic side – he’s drawing in the Independent Democrats who feel the same way.

      These people are nutters.

      Trump is actually utterly screwed in the general election. Even if he managed to pick up some of the union vote (unlikely), he’s going to lose the non-white nationalists, who outnumber the unionists vastly.

      One poll indicated he might well lose UTAH. If you have forgotten, that was the state that was the MOST Republican in 2012.

  12. 1mime says:

    Ben Ginsberg (GOP legal counsel) was interviewed last night on MSNBC and he responded to a question about the issue of first ballot delegate count. He stated that if Trump is “close” in his delegate count, it is going to be very difficult to “ignore” this. One thing every source I have heard or read is in agreement on is this: Trump will fight this – one way or another. Then it will be up to Cruz to try to win despite an actively vocal and possibly third party candidacy of Trump. Cruz may lose by winning.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      It’s obviously too late for Trump to mount a serious third party candidacy. Too many states are already out of contention and any efforts on his part would amount to nothing more than a protest against the rascally Republican establishment who ‘took’ the nomination away from him.

      Behind the scenes, I think Lifer’s right in that most Republicans know that they’re screwed in 2016 no matter what they do at this point. The party’s already fractured and the only real decision that needs to be made is how to go about delivering that final blow that splits them apart permanently. The GOP needs to get off their short-term mindset and start thinking about the future, like Bruce Bartlett and others are already doing.

  13. irapmup says:

    Where is our Trudeau? Our Kennedy? Even our Carter or Eisenhower?

    This is the best we can do?

    • Creigh says:

      I’m constantly amazed by Obama’s wisdom (there’s no better word for it.) We are going to miss him.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know if you watch the Charlie Rose Show (evenings – at 6 or 9, but he will interview Pres. Obama in an hour long program. Here’s a link of the original taping if you prefer to view online. I agree with you about Obama – more so for his decency than wisdom, although I feel he is a wise man. He is also a good man and he has worked extremely hard as President.

        https://charlierose.com/videos/26938?autoplay=true

  14. johngalt says:

    Trump score of 694 (“Irrelevant clown”, but 30 points better than Melania Trump!).

    Things we know:
    1. Trump will go into the convention with the most pledged delegates and will be well ahead of Cruz, but not over 1237.
    2. Cruz is working magic behind the scenes, which gives him a huge advantage beyond the first ballot.
    3. Trump has no loyalty to anyone but himself, and certainly not the GOP.
    4. Cruz is particularly weak in battleground states like VA, OH, FL.

    So the most likely scenario is a Cruz nomination on the second (or more) ballot. Trump will cry foul (and he will have a point – as he made last night – that Cruz’s support comes from the insiders in caucuses and amongst delegates whereas his comes from the people voting in primaries) and he will not support “Lying’ Ted.” He may actively campaign against him as a third party candidate or, more likely, by just saying nasty things all fall. At least some percentage of Trump supporters will not go for Ted (a few might vote Hillary, most will skip it).

    Short of an indictment of the Democratic nominee (which ain’t gonna happen), it’s hard to see how this is anything other than a bloodbath.

    • 1mime says:

      I note that you leave your predictions of the winner of the bloodbath aside. In listening to Sander’s campaign manager last night on MSNBC, it appears that his campaign is going to strive on for several more states….gambling big on taking CA and sweeping all those delegates (172) while either outright winning the states in between or, “ta da” going after H’s super delegates. This is where the fact that Sanders is NOT a Democrat becomes very significant. He doesn’t have party loyalty concerns; he perceives the party establishment as “preferential” to H (why wouldn’t they be?); and, more importantly, Sanders “feels” that he has momentum and he really, really “wants” to be the nominee.

      What I have noticed in the last view debates and in his email messaging is more bashing of Clinton and a decidedly more negative tone. He looks angry, and I think he is angry. He is becoming more thin-skinned about his positions – not appearing to be open to input or variation which will exacerbate the divisive climate in our country. He will NOT have the skill to implement his agenda with an attitude that is obstinate.

      Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate – Heck, just about all of us here would be flawed candidates if our lives have been scrutinized so intensely over our entire careers, but she is qualified and competent and she is the best chance we’ve got to “check” the rightward movement of the Republican Party. Sanders is doing harm to her chances by continuing his vitriolic attacks on her, and he does himself little good in the process.

      As Lifer stated months ago, barring a terrible misstep from Democrats, Clinton should be the next POTUS. Sanders is not helping her and I have come to the opinion that the damage that he is inflicting on her will keep his base at home, regardless if or when the outcome of this race becomes clearer to him. Boy, there is so much at stake.

    • johngalt says:

      That omission wasn’t on purpose. I think HRC is the clear nominee and, while I believe that there are Republicans who could beat her, I think it is very unlikely that the GOP will nominate one of them.

  15. vikinghou says:

    Add John McCain to the list of Senators who will be skipping the GOP convention. It’s looking like many GOP Senators who are up for reelection this year are going to steer way clear of the Trump/Cruz debacle in Cleveland.

  16. Stephen says:

    I was watching Morning Joe this morning. He and his commentators seem to think Trump has pretty much won the primary.
    You are a political scientist and I think a good one. I trust your analysis more than the season politician. They did point out the Democratic party is as extreme left as the Republican party is extreme right.
    Is there any place for moderates any more?

    • 1mime says:

      I am always intrigued when I read that “the Democratic Party is as extreme left as the Republican Party is extreme right”. I flatly disagree. Are there “extremists” in the Dem Party? Sure, but they absolutely pale in comparison to the right wing of the Republican Party. Anti-vaxers may be dumb and irresponsible, and GMO folks (who are focused on health issues) may be taking their cause too far, but what other extremism do they espouse? Equal rights, marriage equality, women’s rights? Aren’t those “good” things for our nation to embrace?

      What am I missing here? Oh, it was Morning Joe. Sorry, Joe Scarborough has an axe to grind and he has his own problems. Bottom line: the Republican Party’s “crazies” outweigh any of the lefties. Both parties have their problems but Dem’s are more organizational not positional.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “They did point out the Democratic party is as extreme left as the Republican party is extreme right.
      Is there any place for moderates any more?”

      Huh? Of course there is. The Democratic Party, which is why the Blue Wall exists.

      In what universe is the Dem as extreme left as the right? Please, list even one or two examples of this. The Democratic president is a staunch center-left moderate. The likely democratic nominee for president is even more centrist.

      Where are the democratic senators/governors/congressman that refute scientific consensus? That are willing to shut down the entire government over policies they don’t like? That call out the national guard to prevent America from invading American soil? That are enacting laws that are drawing unprecedented rebuking from Corporate America? That are bankrupting their state with tax breaks and STILL refuse to roll them back?

      Seriously…..list just two pieces of evidence to back up the demonstrably false position that “both aides are just as bad”

    • Stephen says:

      I have read that many people would like to repeal the ACA and replace it with single payer like Medicare for all. This to me is an example of left wing thought and policy. This a radical change just like the more extreme right wants to repeal the ACA and leave people at the mercy of the market place which has been a failure. I prefer gradualism with as little disruption as possible to peoples lives. Too many people get their beans and corn bread from the old system. Even with a reform needed as much as reforming our health care system care needs to be took in doing that. That is one of the traits of conservatism. I really do not see Senator Sanders as of the more extreme on the left. But if he were to win the nomination the GOP will cast him as the second coming of Mao. But against Trump or Cruz I think he could still win. Not because he is a strong candidate but because his opponents are so weak. Personally I like Sanders more than Hillary. But I try not to let emotion make decisions. Hillary is more experience although Sanders is also qualified. But she is a moderate like me and I agree with most of her positions. And so does Senator Sanders. I think she of the two is the most competent. And will win more independents and moderate Republicans in the general election.

      There are very radical people in our country. They are in the minority. But yes I agree none to few of them are in power within the Democrat party. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the GOP. But as Lifer has said that could change.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I mean….how does on define “extreme”? You say going to single payer is too extreme, but how do you get there? Based on how you personally feel about it?

        I think if something is ” extreme” or not has to be objective, not subjective, and based on what the majority of citizens want.

        A solid majority of ALL Americans want single payer, and 83% of Democrats do. Frankly, with that kind of support, the “extremist” position for a Democrat would be to be against it.

        Any policy that is supported by a majority of all Americans cannot be, by definition, “extreme”. If anybody thinks it is, its much more likely that they’re just out of touch with what the electorate wants.

      • Creigh says:

        The largest health care provider in the country (the Veterans Administration) has already gone beyond single payer all the way to a government owned and operated system,and studies show it has better outcomes than the current private insurance based system. No rational person would recommend transitioning to that kind of thing overnight, but moving gradually in that direction can’t be characterized as a leap into the unknown.

      • 1mime says:

        The VA is a single payer health program, and, to my knowledge, has always been. Care is mixed mostly based in how many people it serves and the serious trauma involved. The appointment process has been criticized as being too lengthy with some cases of outright misrepresentation. Every administration has grappled with trying to make positive changes in the operation of the department. A friend who has gone to work for the VA to synchronize records as an assist to scheduling and care feels much can be done to improve the administrative mechanics of VA care through better use of technology; however, it is still ver;y much a numbers game – of those needing care and those providing care. Recent changes are allowing those seeking treatment to utilize private providers if their wait time for care/appointments exceeded a certain number of days. This is a new approach which opens the door for private care in addition to the regular VA. Where this will go is not clear but it has changed the single payer operation.

      • Creigh says:

        Technically, Medicare and Medicaid are single payer. Medicare and Medicaid pay the bills, but private hospitals and doctors do the work. The VA isn’t just a payer, it owns its own hospitals and employs its own staff, including doctors.

        A number of studies have shown that the VA is more efficient than private care, and this jives with what I’ve been told by VA patients, including my partner’s former boss, a quite wealthy business owner who wouldn’t go anywhere else.

        For a very interesting perspective, google “The VA isn’t broken, yet” by Alicia Mundy, about astroturf efforts to discredit the VA (sorry, I don’t know how to do links on this computer).

        Calling either of these programs “extreme” seems a bit hyperbolic. Extending either one to more people would mostly just be a matter of time and overcoming vested interests.

      • 1mime says:

        America really missed a big opportunity when Congress chose “not” to allow people over 55 to enroll early in Medicare. Of course, the big health insurers wouldn’t have been too happy, but it would have put us on a more viable footing.

      • Stephen says:

        I am not saying never single payer. Just gradual shift to it. As correctly pointed out Medicare, Medicaid and veteran care already are single payer or out right socialize medicine.

      • 1mime says:

        No, medicare and medicaid are not socialized medicine because the doctors are not employed by the government and hospitals are independent. In socialized medicine, such as the VA (except for the new expansion that allows vets to use other docs when appointments or services are too difficult), the facilities, physicians, everything- is government owned and operated.

        I have often wondered why the government doesn’t relocate the huge VA hospital downtown in the medical center to a more central location that reflects growth of the population. The real estate that massive hospital network sits on is incredibly valuable.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      The Democratic party is a liberal center-left party. We combine a bunch of centrist liberals with a bunch of leftist, more socially conservative union members, blacks, and Hispanics, plus some center-right former Republicans like Hillary.

      The far left – communists and socialists and anarchists – barely exist. The SJWs make some noise as well, but they’re not all that numerous.

      And the unionists and SJW types don’t get along at all. Nor do the unionists particularly get along with blacks and hispanics.

      The centrist liberals get along with everyone.

  17. tuttabellamia says:

    Off topic (sort of), but I just took that Trump test that Fly posted over the weekend, and I scored 510, which means IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION for me.

    My favorite “punishment” — I have a 95% chance of being put in a room alone with Ben Carson for one year . . . Hmm . . . I kind of like the idea . . .

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I humbly request to be deported to France.The important thing to be deported AFTER my year with Ben Carson.

  18. antimule says:

    Yeah but Cruz is going to get slaughtered by Hillary (so would Trump, although probably not by the same percentage), if he wrestles nomination out of Trump on a convention.

    • 1mime says:

      A word to the wise, antimule – few would have predicted (except Lifer) that Cruz would have “Ever” been considered the GOP establishment pick for the Republican nomination. Don’t dismiss him. He is running as good a campaign as I have seen for someone who is so personally deficient. We would all love to believe he will be easily beat, but he has won in many states and the race is far from over.

      • Well, if you call personally insulting one of the most populous and important states in the union, and as much as calling Trump voters stupid, running a good campaign, then, yeah, Cruz is running a good campaign. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: while I favor his policy positions, Cruz’ political judgment is poor. He paid the price for it last night. One hopes he’s humble enough to learn, but all indications are to the contrary.

      • 1mime says:

        Cruz is personally flawed but his campaign (when he keeps his mouth shut) has been pretty damn good. It’s not Cruz’ political judgement alone that is flawed, it is his narcissism and total disregard for other people. He just can’t help himself. He is so “I, Me, My” in his thinking that he just can’t relate to the needs of other people…..a character flaw and an important one for a president of the United States.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Cruz isn’t even winning the Republican nomination.

        And you expect him to win the national election?

        Backroom dealings only get you so far. They haven’t made people want to vote for Cruz.

        If Cruz wins the nomination, how many GOPers are going to vote for Hillary? I have to imagine it is going to be at least some. If you’re Lindsey Graham, sitting there in that polling booth, do you actually vote for Cruz and die a little on the inside, or do you vote for Hillary?

        How many Trump folks are going to stay home?

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