Sunday, March 06, 2016

Is Trump's Support Fading?

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump shared two victories each in voting that took place in four states yesterday. Cruz won handily in caucus votes held in Kansas and Maine, while Trump narrowly defeated Cruz in the only primary held yesterday in Louisiana and the caucus vote held in neighboring Kentucky. But in the all-important delegate race, Cruz captured 62 delegates compared to Trump's 44 delegates. Marco Rubio picked up only a dozen delegates and Kasich picked up only nine delegates.

Yesterday's vote was an ominous sign for Trump when it comes to reaching the majority delegates he'll need to win to prevent a brokered convention, which he will almost certainly lose. Nowhere was this more apparent than the vote in Louisiana where polls had shown Trump with a large lead. When the absentee ballots were first reported last night, Trump led in every county in Louisiana with 50% of the vote. By the time yesterday's votes were counted, Trump's lead dwindled to 41% with Cruz's share of the vote growing to 38% and with Cruz winning in eighteen counties. The onslaught of attacks on Trump after his big Super Tuesday wins, along with what many perceived as his poor debate performance in Michigan on Thursday night clearly took its toll on him.

The good news from yesterday's vote for Trump was Rubio's remarkably poor performance. He failed to win a single delegate in Louisiana or Maine where he captured only 11% and 8% of the vote, respectively. He fared better in Kansas and Kentucky but still finished in a distant third with only 17% and 16% of the vote, respectively. Kasich finished last in all but Maine where he finished third with 12% of the vote. Neither Kasich nor Rubio have any momentum going into key votes in their home states of Ohio and Florida where both men have been trailing Trump. Cruz performed well in every state, with a low mark of 32% in Kentucky to his impressive 46% and 48% victories in Maine and Kansas. He got 38% of the vote in Louisiana.

The good news for Indiana Republicans is that their vote in the May primary election this year may actually be relevant. If the vote in the neighboring Kentucky counties along the Ohio River is any indication, it's going to be a close race between Trump and Cruz. It's very likely that no candidate will have secured the number of delegates needed to win the nomination. Trump leads the delegate race over Cruz, 385-298, with Rubio in a distant third with 126. Due to the proportional allocation of delegates in future contests, unless either Trump or Cruz can win upcoming contests by significant majorities, it is unlikely either candidate will have won the 1,237 needed to secure the Republican nomination. Both Rubio and Cruz will be under heavy pressure to drop out if they lose their home states. Michigan votes on Tuesday, but Trump's early lead there in polls is fading. Kasich could very well win the Ohio primary, but Rubio looks weak in his home state right now. The next big vote occurs on March 15 where votes will be cast in several states, including Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio.


Anonymous said...

Both Independents and Disaffected Democrats were excluded from the Super Saturday contests and that will not be the case in Florida and Ohio. Caucus states have never been a good indicator of underlying support so in my estimation Trump came out ahead on Saturday regardless of the delegate count. Michigan will be crucial in determining whether or not Trump's support is waning or not. Without a win in Michigan Trump will not have enough momentum going into Ohio and Florida which are winner take all states.
Rubio is out.

Anonymous said...

Vote Rand Paul in the Indiana Primary!

LamLawIndy said...

Anon8:49, I disagree with your statement. Caucuses are the ULTIMATE demonstration of underlying support within a party. Indeed, an open primary allows for non-party members to influence the selection of a candidate, something which I have always opposed. IMHO, Indiana's primaries SHOULD be replaced with caucuses for a few reasons:
1. Less outsider influence means that only persons who have given time and money to the party will influence its selection of a candidate.
2. Taxpayers are forced to pay for the primaries, a fact which is atrocious when primaries are intra-party contests.
3. Caucuses increase the value of precinct committeemen positions, a fact which may cause more persons to run for PC slots.

Anonymous said...

Trump wins primaries. Cruz, more practiced in party slime politics, does well in caucuses. Louisiana borders Texas, as does Arkansas. That should worry Cruz. Cruz plays to the Plains and the Rockies, places that never had a manufacturing economy destroyed by free trade. Cruz doesn't play East.

Hillary will crush Cruz. With that matchup, we use the standard electoral map that favors every Democrat. The only candidate who can make a play for the swing states is Trump.

Sir Hailstone said...

"3. Caucuses increase the value of precinct committeemen positions, a fact which may cause more persons to run for PC slots."

No, A Caucus gives County Chairpersons a greater opportunity to rig the vote.

LamLawIndy said...

True enough...for now. If my PC slot has new, relevant powers, though, more ppl will run for PC spots. Elected PCs cannot be removed at the Chairman's whim.

Anonymous said...


I guess the question is: are the D's buying the Hillary B.S.? She didn't flat out crush him, which tells me not all the D's are thrilled with her either.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Elected PCs cannot be removed at the Chairman's whim."

True, though you have to get elected first. The chairman would plant someone on the ballot to keep you from being elected. Right, Gary?

LamLawIndy said...

That's if the Chairman can find a candidate in your precinct. If you're worth anything, though, you will have already ID'd that person before you file to run & gotten him/her to support you.

Anonymous said... If anyone wishes to "lighten up" instead of all this seriousness.