I really have never felt that either the Republican or Democrat nomination would come down to just one state. I don’t think one state is going to make the difference for Hillary or Bernie, for Donald, Marco, or Ted (those are really the only three that have a shot on the GOP side). But I think today’s primary in South Carolina on the Republican side, and the Nevada Caucus on the Democrats’ side will be very telling. And it could go a long way toward picking the nominees on each side.
For the Republicans, eight of the last nine presidential nominees have been correctly chosen by South Carolina. The lone outlier was Mitt Romney in 2012, when South Carolina voted for southern favorite son, Newt Gingrich. So, if Donald Trump wins the state as the pollsters are suggesting, does that mean he’ll run the table? I’m not so sure about that, but it will give him a start of a winning streak…and he won handedly in New Hampshire. He’s up big in South Carolina. That could be the start of something big for The Donald. And fighting with the pope didn’t hurt him either…only 13% of South Carolina’s population is Catholic. There are more evangelical Christians than Catholics in the Palmetto State, so if the pope was going to choose a worse time to call someone “not a Christian”, he’d be looking for a long time.
For the Democrats, they seem to have a lot more on the table. The Republicans are pretty sure it’s going to be Trump, then either Rubio or Cruz second and third. That’s all there is room for at this point. But in the Democrats’ caucus, there’s a LOT on the line. Hillary was up by over 20 points just a month ago. Now, she’s in a virtual dead heat with Bernie Sanders. And Clinton’s campaign kid, Robbie Mook is down-playing Nevada. Don’t forget, he was the guy that was running Nevada for her in 2008 (she lost that as well!). A Sanders win here, even if like Iowa, its close, says that he can close huge gaps quickly and puts the vaunted “Clinton Firewall” in jeopardy. Sanders doesn’t need to win. He needs to be respectable. If he does that, the knock on Hillary is she can’t close the deal. Just like 2008, when she fell apart. And if, she somehow loses the South Carolina primary next week, it’ll be all over. She’s up by up to 30 points there, although it’s eroding.
I have to interject a personal opinion here. I really enjoy seeing Clinton get her ass handed to her. She’s so cute when she loses. But I’d really like to see her get the nomination over Sanders, and I still think she will. She’s a wounded candidate and much easier to beat than he is. You can’t call into question Bernie’s trustworthiness or his honesty. You can with Hillary. Oh, it’s tough to elect a pure socialist to be sure, but Bernie has this magic with kids that frankly is worrisome. He knows how to draw big crowds. She doesn’t have that luxury. While he’s out talking to 10,000 people, she’s talking to 100. That’s not a presidential-sized crowd! And I think in a debate, she folds a lot easier and makes a lot more mistakes than Sanders does. A Trump/Clinton debate basically becomes a walk in the park. And yes, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are both beating Hillary today in head-to-head matchups and Trump is losing by 6 points, but it’s really early for that yet! And with Hillary’s penchant for losing leads, I’d just as soon she become the Dems nominee!
A lot is riding on today in both states. Enjoy the day!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!