Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Tiny Tuesday” Post-Mortem: Cruz and Sanders Win! Delegate Gap Reduced By...Um…Oh Well...

Does the Democratic storyline ever really change?  Bernie Sanders wins two out of three states!  Bernie Sanders is on the move!  Bernie Sanders….barely makes a dent in the cavernous delegate gap!   Yes, as predicted Sanders took the Utah and Idaho caucuses, and yes, as predicted, Hillary Clinton won big in the Arizona primary.  Sanders picked up 73 delegates to Clinton’s 55, thus reducing her pledged delegate gap from 321 to 303.  With nights like that, Sanders will not overtake Clinton until 2024 or so.  The math for Sanders remains daunting, or, better word, overwhelming; he needs to win 60% of the remaining delegates to overtake her, even more if one believes the polls that point to a Clinton rout in New York.

Ted Cruz did what he had to do in the quest to deny Donald Trump enough delegates to seal the deal before Cleveland – he won the Utah caucus and secured over 50% of the votes, thereby triggering a “winner-take-all” mechanism and picking up 40 delegates to zero for Trump.  On the other hand, Trump won the bigger stakes Arizona primary, establishing his own Western state cred.  Arizona is a very conservative state (home of Sheriff Joe Arpaio) and is a neighbor of Cruz’s home state of Texas, yet Trump won easily, picking up 58 delegates and widening his lead overall to 275 delegates.  Cruz has to start winning big-state primaries...winning small state caucuses is not going to get the job done.

I’ll be back on Thursday, with a detailed look at Trump’s chances of avoiding a brokered convention.  (Spoiler alert:  they are better than you may be hearing.)

BTRTN

We were five out of five on March 22, though our margin of victory estimates leaved a bit to be desired, particularly in those pesky caucuses.  At this point we have called 79% of all of the races correctly, much higher in the primaries.

Arizona
Predicted
Actual
Trump
46
47
Cruz
34
25
Kasich
20
10

Utah
Predicted
Actual
Cruz
54
69
Kasich
22
17
Trump
24
14

Arizona
Predicted
Actual
Clinton
65
58
Sanders
35
40

Utah
Predicted
Actual
Sanders
52
79
Clinton
48
20

Idaho
Predicted
Actual
Sanders
52
78
Clinton
48
21


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