The beginning of May tends to mark a time of unity in a presidential election. By this point in the election, each party’s nominee is often decided and the other opponents in the primary election support the winner. Yet, like many other aspects of this election, the opposite of what is expected to happen has taken place. In fact, there is a lack of cohesive unity behind the leading candidate in each party to a level that voters have rarely seen before.
Can Trump be Trumped?
On the Republican side, despite Donald Trump’s insurmountable delegate lead and total vote lead of more than 3 million, there are still many members of the #NeverTrump movement (composed of Republicans) who pledge that they would never vote for him if he becomes the Republican nominee. These folks are going to soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place as Trump appears to be on a path to win the Republican nomination. To win the nomination, one has to have won 1,237 delegates, which is considered to be a majority. If nobody reaches that number of delegates, the whole election becomes a free for all where delegates can choose to support whomever they want. Right now, it is mathematically impossible for Ted Cruz or John Kasich, Trump’s two remaining opponents, to reach the 1,237 number. However, they are banking on Trump not reaching the number, which would effectively create the free for all situation that was previously mentioned. This may be confusing, so just think of all of the delegates as a pizza. A candidate needs to have at least half of the pizza to win the nomination, but if four or five different people are sharing the pizza it is entirely possible that nobody will have at least half. At this point, Trump is on the verge of having half of the pizza, but Cruz and Kasich are desperately trying to divide and conquer the remaining slices. Conventional wisdom would have it that Donald Trump will end up with at least half of the pizza, but conventional wisdom has not been too accurate during this election cycle, so anything can happen.
Will Bernie Burn Out?
Though it is not generating as much media coverage, the Democrats have their own troubles with nominating a presidential candidate. Similar to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is expected to obtain a majority of the delegates, which would effectively make her the party’s nominee. In the words of a Bernie Sanders supporter, “Not so fast!”. In the Democratic Party, there are people called “superdelegates” that are elected officials and party leaders who choose which candidate to support, purely based on their own opinion. In the past and in this election, the nominee will need to have the support of at least some of the 719 superdelegates to reach a majority and win the nomination. Currently, 520 of these superdelegates have stated that they will support Clinton, whereas 39 have said that they will support Sanders. The Sanders campaign is using the 2008 election as a comparison for what they expect to happen with the superdelegates this time around. Early in the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton led future-President Obama by a 2:1 ratio among superdelegates. As Obama won more and more states, these superdelegates switched their support from Clinton to Obama. In the end, Obama had roughly 562 superdelegates and Clinton had close to 211. The argument from the Sanders campaign is that a similar switch can still happen and work in Bernie Sanders’ favor. However, there are a limited number of primaries left and Sanders does not exactly have the momentum. Last Tuesday, Clinton won 4 out of 5 states, including Pennsylvania. It is not impossible, but it is looking to be very unlikely that Bernie Sanders obtains the Democratic nomination. Bernie might just burn out.
Pennsylvania in the Spotlight
Rarely has the Pennsylvania Presidential Primary been this significant. For the reasons pointed out above, Pennsylvania found itself right in the middle of a mess. Right here in Montgomery County, even as specific as Upper Dublin, voters had tough decisions to make and beared a great responsibility. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won their respective primaries by a substantial number of votes in Montgomery County. They both also won the state as a whole which shows that Montgomery County is a good representative of the entire state of Pennsylvania. Below are the results from this past Tuesday’s primary in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Presidential Primary Results
Hillary Clinton- 59.01% 75,333 votes
Bernie Sanders- 40.66% 51,913 votes
Donald Trump- 48.31% 51,444 votes
John Kasich- 29.33% 31,228 votes
Ted Cruz- 20.09% 21,395 votes
*the remainder of the vote was split among write-in candidates and those who have already dropped out of the race