May 7, 2016 [LINK / comment]
On Tuesday, Indiana voters handed Donald Trump the clear-cut victory needed to assure the Republican nomination, while Bernie Sanders scored yet another surprise win over Hillary Clinton, prolonging the fight on the Democratic side. On Tuesday night as the election results came in, Ted Cruz shocked his supporters by announcing the end of his campaign, and the next day John Kasich did likewise. Game, set, match to Trump.
Since then, Republican leaders have been scurrying about trying to figure out what to do. Paul Ryan said he is "not ready" to endorse Trump for president, prompting Trump supporters to label Ryan a "RINO." Pretty ironic. Ryan's in a tough position because he needs the support of the GOP right wing, many of whose members support Trump) in order to get legislative bills through the House of Representatives. If he could speak his own mind, there's no doubt he would decline to make such an endorsement. In contrast, Sen. Lindsey Graham made it clear that he will not support Trump (see Washington Post), while Mitt Romney has begun organizing some kind of last-last ditch effort to stop Trump, apparently via a third party candidacy. I was amused when Graham made a speech in February bemoaning that many in the Republican Party have gone "batshit crazy." (See usnews.com.)
Many people have concluded that Trump will not only lose badly to Clinton, but will drag the Republican Party down with him. Maybe yes, maybe no. According to Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, "Donald Trump will win in a landslide" because he has tapped into the emotions of American voters. See washingtonpost.com; hat tip to Shaun Kenney.
Trump won all 57 of Indiana's Republican delegates, even though he only received 53% of the vote ("The system is rigged!"), while Clinton won 46 (39 pledged delegates plus 7 "super-delegates"), two more than Sanders' 44, even though Sanders received 52.5% of the popular vote. Apparently the Democrats are planning to sharply limit or eliminate "super-delegates" for the 2020 campaign. In any case, I updated the Decision 2016 page with the latest delegate totals.
Here are the current totals showing the delegates won by each candidate in each state that has had a primary election or caucus thus far. Sadly, John Kasich never caught up to Marco Rubio's delegate total, even though he campaigned for an additional month. I previously presented those figures on March 26 ("Trump triumphs, Republican Party implodes"). Today I updated the big spreadsheet which I placed on the wall at Sweet Briar College.
|Democratic candidates||# of delegates||Republican candidates||# of delegates|
|H. Clinton||2,228||D. Trump||1,068|
|B. Sanders||1,454||T. Cruz||564|
|Martin O'Malley||0||J. Kasich||153|
|Needed for Nomination||2,383||Needed for Nomination||1,237|
Since The Donald has nailed down the nomination, I thought I should check to see what I have written about him in the past. (I made a point not to mention him last year, either on my blog or on Facebook.) So I searched my archives for the years before 2015, and came up with this:
March 30, 2007: "Generally speaking, I pay little or no attention to the snit fits of Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell and other media personalities."
June 2, 2011: "Working in Romney's favor is the weakness of the Republican field. Donald Trump is a joke, and few of the serious candidates have much going for them."
November 4, 2012: "By now it is fairly well established that Barack Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen, not a Kenyan or an Indonesian. Aside from Donald Trump or Glenn Beck, not many mainstream political figures would question that." Ironically, Glenn Beck despises Donald Trump, notwithstanding their common status as "birthers."