Primary Analysis (4/26): The Endgame Takes Shape

Hillary is now inevitable, Ted is now mathematically eliminated, and Ol’ Don is still the best thing to happen to fascism since a plucky young failed painter looked out at post WWI-Germany and said, “I can work with this.”

Voters in Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Pennsylvania finally got their say tonight. And much like the New England weather, it was depressing. Trump swept the night for Team Red, and on Team Blue Clinton won all but one and welded the door shut on Bernie.

Oh, and John Kasich is still a thing.

Let’s break it down:

Team Red

Donald Trump

Real estate magnate and cartoon parody of himself; Donald Trump swept the night and is now dangerously close to crossing the pivotal line of 1,237 delegates with only 12 contests to go. But the fact is, there’s really not much drama to this anymore. After Cruz and Kasich’s disastrous showing in New York and last night, a contested convention now looks like a fond pipe dream.

Trump poses for the nation’s political cartoonists

Assuming Trump maintains current poll numbers, he will cross the 1,237 threshold well before the convention and win the Republican nomination on the first ballot. Sorry, GOP.

I say “sorry” because Trump’s nomination all but gift-wraps the election for Hillary Clinton. Not only that, it will affect every down-ballot race and force GOP candidates to spend much of their time distancing themselves from the standard bearer of their party. In other words, Hillary won’t just get the White House, she’ll most likely get a Senate to go with it, and possibly a House of Representatives.

Trump’s negatives with key voting blocks are indisputable. Women, Hispanics, Blacks, Muslims… all are overwhelmingly opposed to him and you simply can’t be president without at least one of those groups.

Trump was gracious in victory. Of course by “gracious”, I mean he was a gloating, malevolent monster. He declared himself the presumptive nominee and called on the party to unite behind him. A fate to which many in the GOP have already resigned themselves.

Meet your nominee. A laughable fascist tyrant with thin skin, a foul mouth, an unrealistic agenda who scares the living daylights out of the rest of the world (who has seen their fair share of tyrants) and whose proposals would bankrupt, embarrass, and possibly destroy this country according to every expert in economics, foreign policy, the military, and basic human decency.

Speaking of hopelessly flawed candidates who can’t put together a winning coalition…

Ted Cruz

Mathematically speaking, Ted is Dead. Texas Senator and guy whose face is permanently stuck between “I hate you people” and “Please love me!”; Ted Cruz will not clinch anywhere near 1,237 delegates before the convention.

Right? That’s the face.

His only hope now is to coordinate with John Kasich and split the remaining states between them so they go one-on-one with Donald Trump in every remaining contest. But even then, it likely won’t be enough to stop Trump from getting to 1,237.

The lights are going out for Cruz. Even with his impressive delegate operation, his data-driven army of volunteers, his unreasonably strident adherence to his purist brand of conservatism, it was not enough to overcome.

Cruz will now try to finish as strong as possible, but even if Kasich now left the race, a brokered convention is slipping away. Which brings us to…

John Kasich

Ohio governor and that nice, sheepish guy in high school who never got the girl, but probably would have made a much better boyfriend than the jerks who did; John Kasich did not fare much better last night.

“She’ll come around.”

After promising that up north was his territory and where his strengths lay, Kasich got beat up as though he was caught by the quarterback handing notes to the cheerleader (which later turned out to be math formulas).

Yes, it seems the Republican electorate is eager for a bad boy this time around. Nice, reasonable, and religious just aren’t doing it for them, no matter how many times their parents try to set them up.

But much like any 80’s movie about socioeconomically forbidden love, the big ball is coming up and he’s hoping to storm in and shock everyone when he walks out with the girl… he won’t though.

Speaking of getting the girl…

Team Blue

Hillary Clinton

The game is up. New York put Sanders on his back, and this was just four more punches that landed before the referee stepped in and called the fight. Former Secretary of State and threatening figure conservatives use to get kids to eat their vegetables; Hillary Clinton is now the presumptive nominee.

“Game over, Hope.”

Yes, there are still contests left, but she is less than 150 delegates away from crossing the 2,383 threshold. Sanders, on the other hand is over 900 away from that mark. The math is cold and brutal here. Team Blue will be forced to unite behind the amalgam of every female Disney villain ever.

The question now becomes how far she’s willing to go to win over Sanders’ dedicated army of contrib — I mean supporters. Their small-dollar donations were Bernie’s fuel and Hillary wants to tap that well and drill baby drill.

That’s really what’s going on behind the scenes of the Democratic party right now. Sanders’ people want concessions. They want Hillary as far to the left as they can get her before they hand over the treasure trove of email addresses and personal information to supercharge Clinton’s data operation.

Hillary now wants Bernie to play nice and go gently into the convention, where he will urge his supporters to unite behind the nominee. At least that’s what she wants.

On the other hand…

Bernie Sanders

Defeated elder statesman, Vermont Senator, and proud owner of at least three suits; Bernie Sanders now has the cards to make this easy or hard on Clinton. I think he’ll opt for option B. Sanders is an ideologue and a purist for the left. He will want assurances from Clinton that his causes will be addressed by her administration.

“Number 4: Free Veterinary Care. No squirrel who works all year storing up nuts should have to worry whether they’ll make the next jump from branch to branch…”

In a very real way, he’s already achieved that. She has had to veer left the entire primary rather than going after the GOP. But now he has the leverage of his donor list and his endorsement; although Sanders has been coy about the latter.

He’s said she will have to earn the support of his supporters on her own. Though, they are still technically duking it out and the prospect of a Trump presidency on the other side can and will unite the Democratic party like a Lord of the Rings battlefield speech. But Bernie still has a platform and can still impact the conversation.

Look for Bernie to begin shifting his fire to the Republicans and easing off Clinton. Neither one wants an all-out brawl at the convention. But most likely Sanders will throw his support to Hillary in Philadelphia and not before.

Summary

  • It’s Trump. Republicans are now beginning to accept that. The drama is fading. Go see your conservative friends. They could use a hug right now.
  • It’s Hillary. Go see your liberal friends, they could use a hug too.
  • If you know a Hillary or Trump supporter, probably best just to keep your distance for about the next year or so.
  • If you’re for Kasich or Cruz… well, you’ll see.