Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Prediction: It's Going To Come Down to New York on April 19 for Bernie Sanders -- And Hillary Clinton Will Win

New York  is more than New York City

The Democratic Party nomination battle for President is going to come down to the important New York Primary on April 19.

Both candidates have ties to New York or course, and New York will be a bellwether for the other Northeastern States that vote on April 26.  Bernie Sanders is very much from New York City of course -- his folksy Brooklyn accent is a large part of his charm. Hillary Clinton represented New York State as Senator for eight years, and is a resident of Westchester County along with her husband.

Either Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton, or he pulls out of the nomination race. Even if he does not withdraw, his campaign will be seen as essentially over.

Hillary Clinton could survive a narrow defeat in New York -- she still has an enormous delegate lead as of the time of the writing of this post (225 delegates) -- but will need to win large states after this time, including Pennsylvania on April 26 to be seen as not collapsing.  A loss in New York of any size would set up questions among the Democratic establishment of her viability against Donald Trump (or another Republican) given her problems with her ongoing email investigation.

Bernie Sanders should win Wisconsin primary on April 5  for one reason -- it is open and anyone can vote. He then will win the Wyoming (the smallest state) caucuses on April 9. Then we have a merciful 10 day break until New York. If Sanders can win New York, he will have won 7 states in a row. The media will anoint him the candidate with enormous momentum.

Another factor in Sander's favor will be ad spending. He has more resources to put into this race than Clinton in terms of ad dollars. He is raising 10 million more dollars a month (40 - 30 million) than she is. However, I am not sure if saturation ad spending will make that much of a difference among the highly informed New York Democratic electorate.

Hillary Clinton has several advantages here:

1. She is well liked in New York, and won reelection in 2006 with 67% of the vote. She resigned in 2009 to become Secretary of State.

2. Clinton won a landslide victory in New York Primary  in 2008 against President Obama for the Democratic Nomination in 2008 (57% - 40%) in a hotly contested primary. She has a track record here.

3. New York is a primary and not a caucus (Sanders does well in a caucus format).

4. New York is a closed primary. Only registered Democrats can vote. Independents will not be able to -- and they have provided the margin for victory for Sanders in the open primary and caucus states he was won, most notably Michigan.

5. New York has a large registered Democratic African American and Latino vote, and a large senior vote. Sanders has done poorly with these groups.

The most recent respected poll in New York by Emerson shows Clinton with a 71% - 23% lead over Sanders. Although I do not expect her to win by that margin, she should win with at least 60% of the vote. If she does win by this margin, the Democratic Race will be over -- even if Sanders can win important California in June.

New York of course does has a large left - liberal element in the Democratic Party that will vote for Bernie, but unless Sanders can make big inroads in the minority community there is no way he can win New York. It is simply not going to happen.

It's New York or Bust for Bernie

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Reality Check: Bernie Sanders Still Has a Chance To Win the Democratic Nomination -- But He Must Win All Three Western Caucus States Today


Bernie Sanders still has an outside chance to win the Democratic Nomination for President. Although the odds are very much against him doing so (I put his chance at winning the Democratic nomination at 1 out of 10 at best), he must accomplish several things:

First, he needs a clean sweep of three Democratic Caucus states that are scheduled for today -- Alaska, Washington, and Hawaii. This will point the media narrative in his direction (a Sanders comeback).

Second,  he must gain a narrative of winning major primaries from now - early June.  These include:

Wisconsin on April 5

New York on April 19

Pennsylvania on April 26

Oregon on May 17

and finally, California on June 7.

Third, he must end up with more delegates walking into the Philadelphia Democratic convention in July. Right now, he is behind Hillary Clinton by over 300 delegates -- 1,223 - 920.

If Sanders can do this, he may be able to convince enough Clinton Superdelegates -- Democrats who hold office or are party officials -- to vote for him on the first ballot. The Democrats may not want to nominate Clinton if she has less delegates (and corresponding popular votes) and had lost major state primaries including the ones above.

Working in Sanders favor is the money he can raise. He has outraised Clinton by  at least 10 million dollars (40 million - 30 million) in the month of February.  He can buy a tremendous amount of television advertising with that that amount.

However, here is what is working against Sanders:

1. The Northeast states that are coming up in April, most notably New York and Pennsylvania, have a large share of minority and senior voters and favor Clinton.  Sanders does well with younger white voters -- Washington, Alaska, Wisconsin, other states fit the Sanders profile.

2. Sanders has done well with caucus states. He has won 16 out of 20 so far. After today, only the small states (delegate wise) of Wyoming and North Dakota,  and the territories and commonwealths of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands hold caucuses. All the other states will be holding primaries, which favors Clinton.

3. Most of the upcoming primaries will be closed to Democrats, including the important New York primary on April 19. Independents and Republicans who wish to vote for Sanders will not be able to unless the change their party registration in time for the primary --  which is something only the most committed do. Clinton does much better with registered Democrats, and would have beaten Sanders in Michigan, for example by a wide margin if only Democrats were able to vote. There are exceptions -- the important Wisconsin primary on April 5 will be open.

4. Unlike Republicans, Democratic delegates are elected proportionally in states. Winner-take-all is not allowed.  This format hurts Sanders -- because Clinton will still have more delegates than he even if he wins every state from now on by 57% of the vote on average. He needs clean sweeps in states and not just winning majorities.

Sanders of course can beat Clinton if something unexpected happens such as unexpected indictments in Clinton's email investigation -- which is very unlikely to happen.  But as things stand now, the odds are very much stacked against a Sanders nomination.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Reality Check - A Terrorist Attack in the United States -- Like the One in Belgium Today -- Would Fundamentally Transform the November Presidential Election

Brussels Belgium Airport - March 22,, 2016


The United States has been remarkably free of major terrorist attacks since the horrendous attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The biggest incident in the past three years was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in which 5 innocent bystanders and police were murdered, and 280 injured. As terrible as this attack was, it bares in comparison to the attack in Brussels Belgium today in which at the time I write this article 31 are already dead.

A major attack in the United States of America -- or neighboring  Canada for that matter -- of the size of the attack in Belgium today would become the dominant issue in the 2016 Presidential elections. Donald Trump, the assumed GOP nominee, has called for the banning of muslim visitors and immigration into the U.S.A.. As irrational as this sounds -- due to the large number of muslim servicemen and women in the U,.S. Armed Forces (over 5,000) and U.S. allies from islamic states abroad-  it does resonate with a minority percentage of the U.S. population. Trump's support with blue collar white voters who rely on news sources such as Fox News would likely increase after another incident.

Hillary Clinton, the likely nominee from the Democratic Party, has a good reputation when it comes to security issues with the American public - she was the top candidate on fighting terrorism in a 2015 Washington Post poll. This is despite the efforts of the Republican Party and the right-wing media to portray her as a security menace due to her email investigation. In addition, Clinton could point to the need to maintain relations with a broad range of U.S. allies, including islamic ones, as a campaign issue.

Could a major terrorist attack elect Trump President?  It depends on how close to the November elections an incident would occur, and how large it was. But any attack would on domestic soil would fundamentally transform the Presidential election, perhaps in unexpected ways. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Will Trump or Cruz Offer the Vice Presidential Spot to Kasich In The Next Few Weeks? It Could Happen and Makes Sense.

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio

The Republican Presidential race is down to three declared candidates - real estate tycoon Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich- who is the only survivor of the "establishment" big business wing of the Republican Party.

At least two candidates are waiting in the wings in case of a brokered convention -- Speaker Paul Ryan and 2012 candidate Mitt Romney -- which will happen if no candidate can get a majority of votes on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in July.

Kasich makes an ideal Republican Vice Presidential candidate for firebrand Trump or right-wing Senator Ted Cruz.

1. He is about as centrist as a Republican can be these days. It is a given that any Republican candidate must appeal to enough independents and conservative Democrats in order to be elected in 2016.

2. He is from the large State of Ohio which, with Florida, are the two biggest swing states.  Any Republican candidate will need to be win Ohio or Florida, and probably both,  in order to be elected.

3. Putting him on the ticket will probably stop talk of an establishment Republican candidacy if the favorite, Donald Trump, gets the nomination.

4. He has proven ability to get Democrats to vote for him in his home state of Ohio. He won reelection in 2014 in a landslide, with 64% of the vote by appealing to crossover Democrats.

I believe Kasich knows that he will not win the Republican nomination.  His only chance is a brokered convention, and he would be in competition with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who is immensely popular in the party. He is also considered to be too "moderate" by much of the party to placate conservatives.

If Donald Trump were to offer him the Vice Presidential slot, and if he were to take it, Trump would be assured of the nomination immediately.  The election would be over -- Ted Cruz could not stop this combined ticket.  Talk of a brokered convention would end.

Kasich might not want to take up Trump on his offer, since being associated with his candidacy might fatally destroy any chance he has of being elected President at a future date.

If Ted Cruz were to offer Kasich a Vice Presidential spot, which I assume he had already done, it could deliver the nomination to Cruz.  A joint Cruz-Kasich ticket would unite the Tea Party and Establishment wings of the party, and have great election appeal. However, I am not sure Kasich could tolerate playing second fiddle to the outspoken Cruz and his far-right policies.

But can it happen -- yes. And it might be a brilliant chess move for everyone concerned.

Note: Kasich said no to a Vice Presidential spot on a news program today. You can reliably discount his statement -- it is par course at this point of a campaign.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Reality Check -- Trump Cannot Win A General Election Against Clinton With Half of the USA Seeing Fascist Overtones In His Campaign

From Huffington Post - March 21 2016

Americans (citizens of the U.S.A.). do not like political extremes.  The term "fascism", with associations with Nazis, The Holocaust, and the ending of personal liberties for the benefit of the state is perhaps the strongest and most negative term to use to describe a candidate.  Calling a candidate a communist used to have firepower -- but has died out as a negative term since the ending of the cold war 25 years ago.

According to the Huffington Post today, over 50% of Americans see fascist undertones in the Trump campaign. This includes 29% of registered Republicans.  About 30% of Americans do not see facisim and appear to be comfortable with images like this shot at a Trump rally in early March - similar images are all over the media.  Trump asked his supporters for a loyalty pledge -- promising that they will vote for him under any circumstance, something no mainstream American politician in modern times has ever done.


Donald Trump Rally, Florida, 2016


The image above is too close for comfort to images like this taken from Nazi Germany in 1936:


Nazi Rally in Germany for Hitler, 1936

Although many will feel this post is obvious, I see virtually no chance of Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat for that matter in November. The poll average below from Real Clear Politics shows Clinton with a 6 point lead over Trump as of today. However, polls this early in a Presidential Race are very unreliable.

A Clinton victory over Trump could be as massive as the 1984 election -- when a very popular President, Ronald Reagan, beat well meaning but unexciting Democrat former Vice President Walter Mondale by about 59% - 41% of the vote, an electoral landslide which resulted in 525 vs. 13 electoral votes for the Republican Party.

A Clinton victory this large would likely turn the Senate, and perhaps the House of Representatives, back to the Democrats.  No wonder the Republican Party is doing whatever it can to deny Trump the nomination.



From Real Clear Politics -- March 21 2016

My Predictions For The Arizona Primary on Tuesday, March 22 - Will Trump and Clinton Extend Their Victories To the Western States?

Arizona Primary




Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton




Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump


The Republican and Democratic Party nominations will extend to the Western states over the next two weeks. Up on Tuesday is the primary in the large state of Arizona and caucuses in other Rocky Mountain states.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are heavily favored to win Arizona.  This will solidify their leads - even if Sanders and Cruz pull out victories in some of the smaller western states and territories which will hold caucuses today:

Idaho (Democrat)

Utah (Republican and Democrat) (Note: The Utah Republican Caucus will, for the first time, allow online voting).

 American Samoa (Republican)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Updated Odds On The Presidential Election




Here are my updated odds on who will be elected President in November 2016, with the MegaState Tuesday results of March 15 taken into account:


1. Democrat 61%

Candidates:

Hillary Clinton - 54%

 Bernie Sanders - 6%

 Any Other Candidate - 1% 

(in the event that an unforeseen event impacts the Democratic Primary elections). 

_____________________

2. Republican 38%

Candidates:

Donald Trump -  30%

Ted Cruz - 4%

Any Other Candidate: 4%

(John Kasich, late entrant like Mitt Romney,  or compromise candidate like Paul Ryan) 

_________________________


3. Third Party Candidate: 1%


The last "third party" candidate who was elected President was Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860 - four candidates actually competed in that election at the outbreak of the Civil War. The last third party candidate who came close to winning was former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912,  who ran on the Progressive Party and gained 25% of the vote. . However, there is always a chance this can happen, especially in an year like 2016 when one party (The Republicans) are in  disarray. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What to Watch For In the Megastate Tuesday Primary Results Tonight






Megastate Tuesday primaries happen tonight.. Four of the top 9 states vote, in addition to the large state of Missouri, will hold Democrat and Republican presidential primaries.

In terms of state ranking by population

Florida - #3
Illinois - #5
Ohio - #7
North Carolina - #9
Missouri - #18

Although I have made my predictions here on Sunday, I am less certain about getting exact states correctly but more certain about the results.


For the Democrats



Hillary Clinton should easily win Florida and North Carolina. If she loses these states, her campaign will be seen in serious trouble.

Bernie Sanders should win anywhere from 1-3 of the Midwestern states up -- Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio.  If he does not win any of these states, he will lose the momentum gained from his upset win of Michigan last week.  However, if he wins all three states, his campaign will get a huge boost and he will be seen as an equal challenger to Hillary for the nomination.

Hillary needs to win at least one of the Midwestern States tonight.  If she can hold her losses to two Midwestern States, and come out on top in delegates (Democratic States are proportionally awarded) she can still claim to be the leader for the Democratic nomination - but will be facing Sanders up until the end of the primary season in June.


For the Republicans


Marco Rubio will lose his home state of Florida to Donald Trump and be out of the race. If Rubio wins, this will be seen as a huge upset -- and will reinvigorate his campaign. I do not see any possibility of this.

John Kasich should win his home State of Ohio.  If he loses to Trump he will pull out of the race, and we will be left with a Trump-Cruz contest,  

If Donald Trump wins all 5 states tonight, which appears to be improbable, he will lock up the Republican nomination.

If Trump wins 4 states with the exception of Ohio -- which also assumes that Ted Cruz will not win any state -- he will not have the nomination locked up but will be close.

If Ted Cruz can win Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri -- and beat Trump in these states -- he will move into co front-runner status. This will probably indicate a contested GOP convention in July, something the GOP has not seen since 1952.








Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Predictions For the Five Large State Primaries on Tuesday, March 15 (Updated)



Florida



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton




Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump

_____________________________

Illinois



Democrat Projected Winner:  Bernie Sanders





Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump


_____________________________

Missouri



Democrat Projected Winner:  Bernie Sanders





Republican Projected Winner: Ted Cruz

_____________________________


North Carolina



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton





Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump


_____________________________

Ohio 



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton




Republican Projected Winner: John Kasich


_____________________________


North Carolina



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton




Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump





In addition, the Northern Mariana Islands will hold a Republican caucus today. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Reality Check: Winner Takes All is Why Donald Trump Can Wrap Up A Nomination Early- And Bernie Sanders May Find It Impossible



Next Tuesday, March 15 is Mega-state Tuesday.  Four of the top 10 (in population) states will hold primaries for both the Republican and Democratic nominations for President -- Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina. In addition, the large state of Missouri will vote. About 30% of the total number of delegates needed for nomination for both parties will be selected.

Due to different party rules, Donald Trump's path to the nomination becomes much more simple if he wins winner-take-all states. Under Republican party rules, individual states can decide that they will award all their delegates by a winner-take-all formula.  For example, if Donald Trump wins the most votes in Florida Primary, even by a plurality and not 50% of the vote, he will get all of Florida's 99 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July -- 1,237 are needed for nomination. The charts below show the Republican winner-take-all states, and the dates of primary elections.

The Democrats do not allow a winner-take-all formula. This will most likely benefit Hillary Clinton, because of her 200 elected delegate lead over Bernie Sanders to date.  The primary schedule should start benefiting Sanders after the March 15 states vote.  If Sanders can start winning more states like Michigan, he will take the primary fight through the June states, including the megastate of California on June 7. However, if Clinton gets 48%% of the vote as she did in Michigan, she will get a similar number of delegates. If California were winner-take-all for the Democrats, as they were in the past, Sanders would have a more realistic change of winning the nomination.

I will issue my predictions for March 15 on Sunday.







Note:  Charts Taken From The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/primary-calendar-and-results.html

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Prediction: Marco Rubio Will Withdraw From The Republican Race After Losing Florida on March 15



This is an easy prediction and one that others are making.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, not long ago seen as the Donald Trump slayer and the darling of the establishment Republicans, will withdraw from the Republican nomination race after losing his home state next Tuesday, March 15 on megastate primary Tuesday.

To date, March has won the Minnesota caucuses and Puerto Rico primary, and Hawaii primary. This is not enough of a track record to stay in the race.

The Republican race will dwindle down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. John Kasich needs to win his home state of Ohio to continue in the race.  He may be closing the gap, but I am waiting until Sunday to make my predictions.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders Pulled Off A Huge Upset in Michigan Last Night. What Happened?



Bernie Sanders pulled off a huge upset last night in the Michigan Democratic Primary. Just about every polling organization expected a clear victory for Hillary Clinton. Although the final vote was close (52 - 48%). this is a huge victory for Sanders. If he would have lost Michigan, and then large states on March 15 (including Florida, Illinois, and Ohio) his campaign would be effectively over as a serious entity.

Hillary Clinton won an overwhelming landslide in Mississippi with 83% of the vote. In addition, she collected more popular votes and delegates between the two states. than Sanders last night --     87 - 69 and added to her substantiation lead.

Despite this, Sanders is being seen as the clear winner last night because he is living to fight another day.

What happened?  And what does this mean going forward?

1. Why did Sanders win?  There are two answers:

First, according to reports, Sanders outspent Clinton in advertising by a factor of 5 - 1.  This helped swing undecided voters in the final week.  Sanders is raising a huge amount of money now from small contributors -- this will help him in future states.

Second, according to exit polls, Clinton actually won the primary among registered Democrats by a wide percentage.  However, the Michigan Presidential Primary is open to non-Democrats Party members.  Independents voted for Sanders by a factor of 70 - 30%, assuring him victory.

Let's look at the important upcoming Democratic primary states that are open to non-Democrats and will be important in the primary process:

March 15 -- Mega-State Tuesday:

Illinois
Missouri
North Carolina
Ohio
(Florida is only open to registered Democrats)

April 5: Wisconsin

May 3: Indiana

May 24: Washington (State)

June 7: California

Cllinton is still the favorite

Sanders is going to gain tremendously from independents in these states, as ill Donald Trump who gets cross-over support in Republican Primaries.

It also means Hillary Clinton is going to benefit in states that do not allow crossover voting, including Arizona, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.  Unless Sanders supporters take the initiative and register for a political party before the election, they simply will not be able to show up and vote.

Bernie Sanders is going to do better on Megastate Tuesday, March 15, but will probably not win Florida. Half the Florida vote voters early or in absentee ballot, and by all indications it has already gone to Clinton. In addition, North Carolina  and Missouri have a very large African-American Democratic Party voter base which should keep the states safe for Clinton.

However, Illinois and Ohio should not be seen in play.

Whatever the case, the Democratic Primary season will not end soon. Hillary Clinton is still the clear favorite -- but Sanders can still pull off an upset in the race, particularly if he keeps on raising money the way he is. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What To Watch For In the Michigan Primary Results Tonight



Several states will vote tonight.   The two largest states that will vote are also the only ones holding both a Democrat and Republican primary --  the southern state of Mississippi, one of the poorest in the United States, and the large state of Michigan, the first of the big Midwestern States to vote. All eyes will be on Michigan, since it is by far the largest state delegate and population wise to vote

Here is what to watch for for:

Democrats:

I have already predicted that Hillary Clinton will win both Mississippi and Michigan. These states are tailored for her demographically.  Mississippi should go for Clinton by at least 70% of the vote due to its large number of African American voters.  However, if she wins in Michigan by less than 10% of the vote it will raise eyebrows, and Sanders will be seen as doing better than expected.

Bernie Sanders is not expected to win any of the large states that vote on March 15 - Florida, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina. He is spending heavily in all states due to the huge amount of money he is raising from 5 million contributors. Tonight's vote will see if his ad dollars can make a difference in stopping the March Clinton juggernaut.


Republicans:

The situation in the Republican primaries are far more volatile.

The Republican voters in deep south Mississippi are very conservative.  I have already predicted that Ted Cruz will carry this state. Donald Trump is still a factor, and if he can squeeze out a victory here, it will allay the fears of some that his campaign is beginning to collapse.

Trump should win Michigan. His crossover appeal to blue collar Democrats and Independents should make this a perfect Trump State. However, Ohio Governor John Kasich is gaining in some polls. Ohio is next door to Michigan and very similar demographically.  If Kasich manages to squeeze out a victory here, the Trump campaign will be seen as very damaged and will lose its frontrunner status to Ted Cruz.   However, a win is a win, and if Trump pulls one out -- even by 5% or less of the vote, it is another indication of his front-runner status.

Watch Marco Rubio's numbers.  If he comes in fourth in Michigan, and fails to get 10% of the vote, it will will portend very unfavorable results for him on March 15, including in his home state of Florida.

Idaho will also be holding a Republican Primary, and Hawaii will be holding Republican caucuses. The impact of these two races will not be as large as the others, and I have not made predictions.




Sunday, March 6, 2016

Reality Check: Is Donald Trump's is Self-Destructing His Candidacy? It Sure Looks Like It



Donald Trump's bizarre actions in the past week are self-destructing his candidacy.

On March 1, Super Tuesday, he appeared to be an invincible juggernaut blitzkrieging his way to the Republican nomination.  Our of 14 important early primaries and caucuses, Trump has won 9, Ted Cruz 4, and Marco Rubio 1. Trump was also amassing an important lead of delegated. Mainstream Republican politicians, including Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a former candidate and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama endorsed him. As the old saying goes, all Trump had to do was show up  and be his entertaining  self in order to win.

However, the resistance of the "establishment" Republican Party to his nomination reached a head on March 3 with the blistering attack  by 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Romney holds a position as a leader of the establishment Republicans -- big business interests -- along with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Romney's attack on Trump was position based and potentially devastating.

Trump replied to Romney the same day. All he had to do was take the high road and point out that Romney was not successful in his presidential run and be humorous and biting in his response. Trump did not do this. Instead, he resorted to sexual innuendo and said that "Romney would have fallen to his knees for his endorsement" for a candidacy this year. This term is considered obscene in American English, and certainly not appropriate for broadcast in front of children in the socially conservative American Republican heartland.





Then at the Republican Debate that night , Trump opened  alluding to the size of his masculinity by showing everyone how large his hands were. The entire debate went downhill after this point - and consisted of shouting and insults that were, to say the least, highly non-presidential. Trump was the clear loser of the debate. Much of America was clearly embarrassed by Trump.





Trump's conduct on March 3 was bizarre and counter productive. Although it may have had some appeal to what he calls his "uneducated base", it was offensive to religious conservatives and women. But what happened yesterday, March 6, in Florida, which votes on an all-important large state primary day on March 15, was frankly unbelievable. Trump asked his followers to take a personal pledge to vote for him by raising their right hands in a salute.  Social media went reeling with comparisons with the personal pledge Adolf Hitler demanded of Germans along with a similar salute. Americans are taught to pledge to their Flag and take oaths of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and perhaps to their God. They are taught at an early age to never gives oaths of support to individuals, for such behavior is considered totalitarian in a democracy. Fair or not, it was not good publicity.





Donald Trump did not do well yesterday, March 5,  in several Republican primaries and caucuses. Right wing Texas Senator Ted Cruz  won the day - he not only won more delegates (69 - 53), his main competitor as the non-Trump conservative candidate, Marco Rubio, performed poorly and will  need to drop out of the race on March 15 if he does not win his home state of Florida -- which now appears unlikely.

Trump  lost two state caucuses to Ted Cruz -- Maine that was widely expected to go to him by a wide margin, and Republican heartland state Kansas, which Cruz was expected to win -- but not by the huge margin that he did with double the vote of Trump.

Trump won the Kentucky caucus primarily because of his strong appeal in the economically depressed eastern part of the state, coal country. However, Ted Cruz unexpectedly came with 4 percent of his vote, and took 15 of the state's delegates to Trump's 17.

Although Trump managed to hold on and win the Louisiana Primary, the largest of the day, by under 4% of the vote, it is widely assumed that he at best tied, and may have lost,  the actual Saturday vote. Louisiana allows for early voting which occurred before the bizarre Trump outbreaks.  Both Cruz and Trump won 18 delegates each. from Louisiana.

The big winner on Saturday March 5

Trump is still, as of today, the most likely candidate to win the Republican nomination.

However, Trump is clearly tired and may be exhausted from all his travels and campaign stops -- as would a person half his age. This may explain for his strange behaviour this week -- as would a self-destructive (and perhaps unconscious) desire to be "mischievous" as he gets closer to his goal - something he is clearly doing. But, for whatever reason, he is self-destructing and will not be President if he continues with this behaviour.

Trump is widely expected to win the very important state of Michigan on Tuesday, a state which is tailored for much of his message. I still think he will win there. John Kasich, the governor of the neighboring state of Ohio and a mainstream Republican is surging. If Trump loses to Kasich his candidacy will be seriously damaged.

Mississippi, a very conservative Southern State, is also voting on Tuesday March 5. I think Ted Cruz will pull off an upset there and beat Trump. Cruz should also win the Republican primary in Idaho on that day.

Will Trump self-destruct?  Watch his behaviour after Tuesday March 8, and how he campaigns on the megasite primary day for March 15. The next debate is set for Miami Florida on Thursday, March 10. Another clown show will not be do the Trump campaign any good.

My Predictions for the Presidential Primaries to be held on Tuesday, March 8 in Michigan and Mississippi. (Revised)



Michigan 



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton





                                                  Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump 


______________________

Mississippi



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton


                                        
                                                     Republican Projected Winner: Ted Cruz

__________________________


In addition, the following contests are scheduled.

Republican - Hawaii caucus, Idaho primary

Democrat -- Democrats Abroad caucus

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Reality Check -- The Republican Party Has a Choice. Go With Donald Trump or Lose the 2016 Presidential Election to Hillary Clinton

It is Trump or Clinton for Republicans

The attack on Donald Trump by 2012 Republican candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney today was unprecedented in American politics. I cannot think of any other time that a former nominee has attacked a leading candidate so late in the nominating process.

Hillary Clinton has an overwhelming lead for the Democratic Party nomination.  I predicted on October 21 2015 that she would be the Democratic nominee -- the only way Bernie Sanders can stop her now if her email problem gets out of control and results in any indictments of her or her staff which is highly unlikely.

I previously said that at least half of the Republican party will not tolerate a Trump candidacy.  On February 29, I predicted a good chance for Mitt Romney to enter the race if establishment favorite Florida Senator Marco Rubio did not win one state on March 1. Rubio ended up winning the Republican caucuses in Minnesota. However, I still believe Romney could enter the race after the March 15 large state elections.

However, here is the problem for Republicans. As much as many despise Donald Trump, if he is denied the Republican nomination at their Cleveland Ohio nominating convention which begins on July 18 2016 -- and has the most delegates of any candidate which seems probable, a high percentage of his supporters will be livid.  I think the number could be as high as 50%. They could either vote Democrat for Hillary, vote for a yet to be determined third party candidate, or simply stay at home and sit out the election.

If Trump ultimately is the nominee, which I still believe is not yet locked, a good percentage of Republicans and Republican-inclined Independents will do the same.

This is a disaster for the Republican Party, and one now that seems unavoidable.

Based on this I now predict a Democratic controlled Senate after the 2016 elections.  I am also upping my odds of The Democratic Party winning the Presidency to 60% and will revise my projections shortly.

This is a good year for Democrats.  The Republican Party is in civil war between Trump and non-Trump supporters. All the Democrats have to do is stay united for victory. However, those who know the Democratic Party know that this task will not be that easy.

The next President of the United States -- Hillary Clinton-
 if her email problems do not get out of control

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

This, I Believe, Is My Best Prediction To Date: Predicting that Donald Trump was the most likely Republican nominee back in October 2015.



My best prediction to date I believe is this.

Last October, when Donald Trump's quest for the Republican nomination was seen as a non-starter by just about every major political blog,  On October 12, I stated that he was the leader for the Republican nomination.

This was back when the Republican debates were just underway -- and Donald Trump was seen as an entertaining sideshow to the nomination. His early poll numbers, however, pointed to where he is today.




I stated my conviction about Trump again on October 21, 2015.

You can check out what Nate Silver had to say about Trump at his highly regarded 538 blog last October here.  He put the odds at only  2% for a  Trump nomination.

I hate being a braggart -- but I do believe I got the Trump phenomenon early in the game.

However, I do not believe Trump has a lock on the nomination.  Not yet. But if he keeps on winning major states, he should have it all locked up on March 15 when 5 large states, including Illinois and Florida, cast their votes. A contested convention may still be a possiblity. 

My Predictions for the Louisiana Primary on Saturday, March 5

Louisiana 



Democrat Projected Winner:  Hillary Clinton





Republican Projected Winner: Donald Trump



In addition, the following caucuses are being held on March 5:


Kansas - Democratic and Republican Caucuses

Kentucky - Republican Caucus

Maine- Republican Caucus

Nebraska - Democratic Caucus

Here is My Prediction Track Record to Date For the 2016 Primary Season-- 79% Correct



Here is my prediction track record as of March 2, 2016.

23 Correct Predictions (79%)

6  Incorrect Predictions  (21%)


My Correct Predictions


February 2016

Iowa Caucus--  Clinton (D)

New Hampshire Primary--  Sanders (D), Trump (R)

Nevada Caucus-- Clinton (D), Trump (R)

South Carolina Primary-- Clinton (D), Trump (R)


March 2016 - Super Tuesday March 1


Alabama Primary-- Clinton (D), Trump (R)

Arkansas Primary--  Clinton (D), Trump (R)

Georgia Primary--  Clinton (D), Trump (R)

Massachusetts Primary-- Clinton (D), Trump (R)

Tennessee Primary--  Clinton (D), Trump (R)

Texas Primary-- Clinton (D), Cruz (R)

Vermont Primary-- Sanders (D), Trump (r)

Virginia Primary-- Clinton (D), Trump (R)

______________________________

My Incorrect Predictions

February 2016 

Iowa Caucus - I predicted Trump, Cruz won (R)



March 2016 - Super Tuesday March 1


Colorado Caucus -- I predicted Clinton,  Sanders won (D).  Note that  Republicans will not hold a nominating caucus but will send uncommitted delegates to their  national convention.

Minnesota Caucus -- I predicted Clinton,  Sanders won (D). I predicted Trump, Rubio won (R)

Oklahoma Primary--  I predicted Clinton,  Sanders won (D). I predicted Trump, Cruz won (R)