Over the weekend, Republicans in 4 states and Puerto Rico and Democrats in 4 states voted in primary and caucus elections. Both parties held caucus elections in Kansas and Maine and a primary election in Louisiana. Republicans also voted in the Kentucky caucus and the Puerto Rico primary and Democrats caucused in Nebraska. All told, presidential hopefuls competed for 178 Republican delegates and 134 Democratic delegates, plus 22 additional superdelegates. The results of the weekend’s voting, both by votes earned and delegates, are presented in the following tables.
|State||Hillary Clinton||Bernie Sanders|
|State/Terr.||Ted Cruz||Donald Trump||Marco Rubio||John Kasich|
Several observations popped out at me from watching the returns this evening, and I want to go through them here.
Donald Trump is not running away with the GOP nomination
Even though Trump still boasts the lead in the GOP delegate count, he is not dominating the proceedings in a way that makes him invincible come convention time. To date, Trump has won just over 41% of the delegates awarded. That’s hardly a insurmountable percentage. And it seems Trump’s momentum may be peaking or even declining a bit. To illustrate, Ted Cruz won more delegates than Trump over the weekend (69-53), and the Donald’s portion of the 178 delegates at stake was just 30%. Those numbers hardly indicate an unbeatable candidate. Clinton’s nomination is assured, secured by those dastardly superdelegates
Bernie Sanders won two more delegates than Hillary Clinton this past weekend, taking 68 of 134 pledged delegates at stake. However, that victory rings hollow for Sanders’ supporter when the superdelegates are factored in. Fourteen of these unpledged party officials from the four states holding Democratic nominating contests this past weekend have voiced their preferred candidate. Thirteen of those back Hillary Clinton. So, as has been the case in many primary days so far, Clinton earned the majority of delegate support despite winning less than a majority of delegates actually up for grabs. Time will tell how far reaching the backlash will be over the Democrats’ superdelegate system after the 2016 nominee (Hillary Clinton) is officially chosen. Polls are having a hard time predicting the primary outcomes this year
Four polls were released in the days before the Louisiana primary. The final EP Poll Average Louisiana primary polls put Donald Trump in an overwhelming position, 16.8% ahead Ted Cruz, his closest rival. The actual votes painted a much different picture. Cruz ended up just 3.6 points behind Trump. In Kentucky, where the final EP Poll Average also gave Trump a sizeable lead, he barely won by a margin similar to Louisiana’s. Finally, in Kansas, I think I saw the worst poll ever. A Trafalgar Group (R) poll, completed just 2 days before the caucuses there, predicted a 6-point victory for Trump. The final result proved to be a blowout for Ted Cruz. He won by 25%, doubling up second-place Trump. How bad is that? Trafalgar was only off by 31 points! Tomorrow, the battles for the parties will feature five more important nominating contests. Caucuses will be held in Idaho and Hawaii and primaries in Michigan and Mississippi (the Democrats Abroad Primary will also chose 17 delegates for the Democrats…well, minus four superdelegates). Will polls be right this time? Will Trump return to his dominating ways? Will Bernie Sanders victories finally gain delegate ground on Hillary Clinton? All these questions will be answered tomorrow night, and Election Projection will be here to report them. So come back when the returns start coming in for frequently-updated vote totals and delegate counts.