The Indiana primary has been all around good news for the Trump Train. His decisive win, combined with Cruz’s withdrawal from the race, all but ensures his nomination at the Republican convention in July. There was no question that Trump was favored to win-and favored to win big-in Indiana, as he was polling strongly against Cruz and Kasich going into the race. The scale of Cruz’s loss in Indiana is astounding:
Cruz was handed a crushing defeat, winning only in perhaps more Evangelical/tradcon strongholds of the state, who knows. Overall, the bulk of his victories took place in states where the primary processes were heavily brokered and highly undemocratic. There are 9 remaining contests leading up to the convention with 520 delegates up for grabs. Without Cruz playing obstructionist, there is no doubt that Trump will obtain the necessary 190 delegates and thus garner the nomination:
Kasich has always been an irrelevancy, a plant in the race only for the purpose of spoiling the race for Trump in Ohio. With Cruz gone and with Trump only 190 delegates away from securing the nomination outright, the Republican Establishment can no longer plausibly flirt with a brokered convention, a very good thing. The Establishment cannot deny Trump the nomination without openly engaging in chicanery that will further undermine the Party’s legitimacy/put it even further down the road towards schism. Overall, events in Indiana telegraph clearly the Republican base’s disgust with politics as usual and with the open borders/free trade/foreign intervention stances characterizing the Republican elite that has served only to dilute the national character, export jobs abroad by the millions, compressed wages, and dispossessed and impoverished the average American.
On the Democratic side of the equation, Sanders won in Indiana, but it’s unclear whether his win makes a difference to the bottom line:
Sanders currently has 1400 delegates: 1361 pledged delegates and 39 superdelegates. Clinton, by contrast has 2202 delegates: 1682 pledged delegates and 520 superdelegates. The Democratic nominee needs 2383 delegates to secure nomination. 1163 delegates remain and realistically speaking, Sanders would have to score just about every last one of them to stay alive:
While superdelegates can support any candidate and remain uncommitted until the convention in July, the vast majority of those superdelegates are Party functionaries likely to back Clinton come hell or high water, as she is the Democratic Establishment’s clear choice. It’s hard to tell if Clinton is better or worse off for relying so heavily on these SDs. On the one hand, the SDs are convenient way to circumvent the political process and place a modicum of power back in the hands of the Democratic Party machine (to the extent that democracy matters, or is desirable). On the other hand, Clinton’s delegate to superdelegate margin is massive and her reliance on them is substantial. 23.6 % of her tally is comprised of superdelegates whereas only 2.7% of Sanders’ tally is; it seems as though her win depends upon the caprices of a few people with the ability to switch sides at any moment. Improbable, but far from impossible.
An interesting development is how quickly the media has accepted the inevitability of Trump’s nomination, transitioning from Trump denialism and shifting gear into manufacturing reasons as to. . .the inevitability of Trump’s loss in a Clinton-Trump face-off in November. (See here, here, and here). While Trump may be trailing Clinton, he has been steadily closing that gap. Furthermore, now that Trump no longer has to spend time and resources rebuffing Republican competitors, he can train all barrels on Clinton. Clinton has failed at everything she has put her hands to. She is churlish, inauthentic, and utterly lacking in charisma. Her political career is entirely the byproduct of her husband’s political career. Left to her own extemporaneous devices, she’s liable to say things that piss off the various elements of her fractious and childish base. Trump by contrast is a YUGE business success who is relatable, jovial, and ultra charismatic. He also doesn’t have to worry about the hurt feelings of a perpetually aggrieved base-much of his appeal comes from his reputation as a straight talker. Barring some catastrophic skeletons-in-the-closet revelation, I think Trump has a great chance of winning the general.
It’s clear that Clinton stands for nothing more than the status quo of globalism, expansive government, and demographic replacement, propositions which the average American has decreasing tolerance for. I think that a Clinton presidency will serve to accelerate the decline, which is probably a welcome thought to the accelerationist set. At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see how things shake out over the next few months.
Edit: 2:57 PM CST: Kasich is out.