Swing State Pres

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March 8 Post-Mortem: Bernie's Dilemma...A Big Upset Win in Michigan But a Net Loss in Delegates

Bernie Sanders came up with a shocking win in Michigan last night, defying a bevy of polls that had Clinton ahead by anywhere from 13 to 37 percentage points, to pull out a squeaker by two points.  This was a state Clinton had been counting on for some time, and her loss proves that even juggernauts hit speed bumps.

But let’s give this win a reality check.  Sanders picked up only 9 net delegates in Michigan, due to the wonders of proportional allocation of delegates.  The other primary was in Mississippi, which Clinton won by an astonishing margin (87/13) and picked up 29 delegates to Sanders 4.  So, on Bernie’s big night, he actually netted out by losing 16 delegates to Clinton, 88 to 72, falling even further behind in the only thing that matters, the delegate count.

For the time being, let’s ignore the superdelegates (Clinton has 472 to Sanders 23).  Clinton now has a 215 lead in pledged delegates.  For Sanders to overtake her in the primary season, he has to win 55% of the vote in the remaining contests.  Now, recognize that Clinton is likely to win big in North Carolina, Florida and New York…let’s say 65/35 in each.  That means Sanders now has to win more than 60% of the remaining vote…and again, that’s ignoring the superdelegates.  The math facing Sanders is overwhelming.

So, a big night for Bernie and a big win, for sure.  Moral victory?  Of course.  Meaningful in the delegate count?  Not so much.

On the GOP side, Donald Trump won Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii, while Ted Cruz took Idaho. This was, of course, an excellent night for Trump.  Trump is looking for a double knockout blow on March 15, over Rubio in Florida, and over Kasich in Ohio.  This night set him up for that outcome, though that outcome is hardly a foregone conclusion.  Rubio ran very weakly, making neither double digits nor the delegate threshold in Michigan and Mississippi. 

But Ted Cruz did not build on his weekend momentum.  He did pick up 7 net delegates on Trump overall, but that will not make much of a dent in Trump’s overall margin (now 101 delegates), and Trump picked up solid momentum for March 15.

BTRTN PROJECTIONS

This was not the sweep we forecasted for Clinton and Trump, but we did pick four out of the six elections correctly.  Clinton lost Michigan and Trump lost Idaho.

State
Party
Candidate
Predict.
Actual
Abs.    Diff
Pred. Rank
Act. Rank
Abs Rk Diff
Delegates Won
March 8
GOP



6.0


0.4

Michigan
GOP
Trump
42
37
5.5
1
1
0
25
Michigan
GOP
Kasich
24
24
0.4
2
3
1
17
Michigan
GOP
Cruz
22
25
2.9
3
2
1
17
Michigan
GOP
Rubio
12
9
2.7
4
4
0
0
Mississippi
GOP
Trump
46
47
1.3
1
1
0
13
Mississippi
GOP
Cruz
28
36
8.3
2
2
0
24
Mississippi
GOP
Rubio
17
5
11.9
3
4
1
0
Mississippi
GOP
Kasich
10
9
1.2
4
3
1
0
Idaho
GOP
Trump
43
28
14.9
1
2
1
12
Idaho
GOP
Cruz
28
45
17.4
2
1
1
20
Idaho
GOP
Rubio
19
16
3.1
3
3
0
0
Idaho
GOP
Kasich
10
7
2.6
4
4
0
0
Hawaii
GOP
Trump
39
42
3.4
1
1
0
11
Hawaii
GOP
Cruz
25
33
7.7
2
2
0
7
Hawaii
GOP
Rubio
22
13
8.9
3
3
0
0
Hawaii
GOP
Kasich
14
11
3.4
4
4
0
0
State
Party
Candidate
Predict.
Actual
Abs.    Diff
Pred. Rank
Act. Rank
Abs Rk Diff
Delegates Won
March 5/6
Dem



11.0


0.5

Michigan
Dem
Clinton
63
48
14.8
1
2
1
59
Michigan
Dem
Sanders
37
50
12.9
2
1
1
68
Mississippi
Dem
Clinton
75
83
7.6
1
1
0
29
Mississippi
Dem
Sanders
25
17
8.5
2
2
0
4


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