If you believe what happened yesterday in South Carolina and Nevada, Hillary Clinton edged Bernie Sanders for a few extra delegates in Nevada. Donald Trump trounced Marco Rubio in South Carolina and picked up some delegates for his campaign. Rubio finished second, just a handful of votes ahead of Ted Cruz, who had a disappointing night. But if you think that the general election ticket is going to be Hillary vs. The Donald, don’t stop reading.
My first inclination is that Clinton, while winning Nevada under-performed greatly. And while Bernie Sanders is getting larger crowds, younger crowds, more grass-roots crowds, and Hillary is dealing with hundreds at a time, not thousands; Bernie’s people are not going to automatically go to Clinton. I have a distinct feeling what happened to Mitt Romney in 2012 (he was too moderate, and the conservative wing of the party stayed home), is going to happen to Hillary. She’s a terrible candidate who can’t excite the crowd. When she tries to raise her voice, she screeches. And I haven’t even mentioned “email scandal” or “FBI investigation” yet. Both could be deal breakers for her. Yes, she should hold her firewall in place over the next two weeks, but the bigger question is does Sanders have enough oomph to close the deal with voters? He can obviously excite new people, but they aren’t turning out for him. We saw that in Iowa, and we saw that in Nevada. If he gets into the south and loses South Carolina and the bulk of the Super Tuesday states, does he even have enough energy to finish the primary season? All valid questions!
Over on the Republican side it’s pretty much the same question. This week it was Jeb! that dropped out. Ben Carson will be next, followed somewhere after Michigan and Ohio by John Kasich. Kasich I’m convinced, is not in this for the presidential nomination. He’s bucking to be VP. And if you think about a Rubio/Kasich ticket, it takes two key battleground states out of the picture and hands them to the Republicans. That would mean they’d need something like two more battlegrounds like Colorado, North Carolina, maybe Michigan or Wisconsin and they win the presidency. Pretty easy to do when you have a pathological liar and an FBI investigation going on with the Democrats’ candidate! Now, I’m not saying that a) the presidency is going to be handed over to the GOP, and b) that Donald Trump isn’t going to be the nominee. What I AM saying is that even with all that’s going on; Trump (who’s the only candidate on the GOP side right now that Hillary is beating in a head-to-head matchup) could very easily win the presidency if he gets the nomination.
And that brings me to the point, I’m still not sure that he will get the nod. The “establishment” candidates will be dropping out, and that will mean that their support will go toward more “establishment” candidates still running. Rubio stands to gain from Bush’s 5% or so. After that, it gets a little murkier because Carson isn’t an establishment candidate. Neither is Ted Cruz. And yes, Kasich is, and he’s gaining ground slowly, but isn’t going to make it, and won’t have many delegates to pass on. So, it could be Trump…it could be Rubio…it could be Cruz. We’re down to three. Let the mayhem begin!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!