Primary Victories Won’t Guarantee Nomination

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On the eve of the first caucuses and primaries of the campaign season, Donald Trump’s popularity remains potent and impressive and he looks likely to win most, if not all, of the early contests. But if he does, he’ll still probably fall short of an actual majority of delegates: proportionality rules mean that any candidate who scores more than 10% of the vote can claim delegates in most states.

Even if Trump romps to victory with 40% or more against multiple opponents, he might still fall short of the 50% of all delegates he needs for first ballot victory. Super-Pac funding makes it possible for up to five other candidates to stay in the race, picking up delegates, hoping to influence the convention or to grab a spot on the ticket. This year’s rules and the plethora of energetic contenders make it tough for Trump or anyone else to wrap up the nomination before the Cleveland  convention.

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  1. Nani  •  Jan 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    It would be amusing if it weren't so sad. One of two things will happen soon. Either the "real" Republicans will show up and give the pretend Republicans (aka Hard Line Conservatives) the door or the bullies will have their day and destroy the only party they had any influence with.

    In the end, the real lesson I suspect is that no party can afford to pander to their uncontrolled talk show media. The moment they start bashing their own, they need to be treated the same way that Ron Paul was; with smiles but the very obvious expression that he does NOT represent their views. Too long the Republican party has given credence and respect to the bullies of radio talk show and entertainment t.v. Fact is Republicans ARE responsible and tolerant and patient. They've left their tantrums and demands for perfection in their childhood. Most of all, they get that compromise and unity are not dirty nor weak concepts. It takes confidence and maturity to work with the opposition for the betterment of the whole.

    Yes, the lessons are a long time coming. Let us hope that the only party with the numbers to limit the Liberal agenda is still standing. And with her America. And with America, the world.

    A bit dramatic? Perhaps, but Obama has shown just what happens when the Liberals are allowed to run rough shod over the ideals and values of America…and what happens when America takes a knee.

    • Rizzo  •  Jan 26, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Go peddle your stupidity somewhere else. Do you think Trump is a "Hardline Conservative?
      Which candidate is a "hardline conservative"?
      Republicans are all but guaranteed victory in 2016… Dems have NO CHANCE. Their candidates have ZERO to offer.

      • greg  •  Jan 28, 2016 at 5:59 pm

        There is no way Cruz or Trump will beat Clinton or Sanders. The ONLY hope Republicans have is to elect Rubio as their nominee. Period.

      • Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        Mr. Rizzo, please don't call other people stupid. It is not only rude but also stupid to do so. Especially when they are smarter than you.

    • Nani  •  Jan 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Oh Greg, you're talking intelligence here. The Trumpettes and Cruzeres don't want the party of Republicans to actually win. To say they believe that either will win against the Dems is to call them stupid or crazy. No, they want above all for the party they claim to be the base of to DIE. They don't get that without the GOP, they will become what they were before they pretended to be the base: irrelevant. They actually think that the NON conservative Independents stayed home or simply refused to vote for McCain and/or Romney because they were NOT conservative enough; that the answer to getting non conservatives to vote is to offer a candidate that is MORE of what they are NOT. Oh wait, I'm making the case for stupidity huh?

      Sorry about that.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 28, 2016 at 10:42 pm

        Greg, Nani…

        Let Rubio win the nomination and I will happily vote for him. But, let's be REAL… WHOEVER WINS THE NOMINATION, will win the Presidency.

        BTW… Rubio need not worry about CONSERVATIVES, just watch the attack ads from BUSH… THE ULTIMATE RINO.

  2. Rizzo  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 8:14 am


    You actually think that Romney lost because he wasn't "NON conservative" enough and that Independents stayed home because he was too "Hard Line Conservative". What a joke! The IRREFUTABLE FACT is Romney won the independent vote… and what was the result Nani? ROMNEY LOST.
    NOBODY questions that Reagan was a CONSERVATIVE… and NOBODY questions that the pinnacle of The Republican Party was The Reagan years.
    The Republican Party is and always has been a Conservative party, no matter how much you want to wish that FACT AWAY.
    Get over your COMPLETE NONSENSE of what YOU THINK The Republican Party is… You obviously have NO IDEA.

    • Cynde  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      You might want to read the statement before you criticize it. Nani is saying just the opposite. Cruz is fond of stating that there are "millions" of conservative voters who stayed home because we put up moderate candidates in the past (McCain and Romney). This simply isn't true. There aren't enough Democrats or Republicans to win the presidency from just their party. By necessity, you must win over many independents. These folks are mostly independent because they don't totaly support either party. Putting up the most conservative of the right is a guaranteed failure. There are many Republicans (myself included) who can't stand Ted Cruz because he will do or say anything to be elected even if that means screwing over his own party. While I admire Donald Trump as a business man, I do not think he has the temperament to be president. I have yet to see a poll where either of these men wins against Hillary. Considering how damaged she is, that's saying something.

      • Nani  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        Cynde, the amazing thing about Hard Line Conservatives is that they LOVE to label anyone who isn't hard line RINO. RINO stands for Republican In Name Only and guess who are the Republicans In Name Only? Listen carefully, they will call themselves anything but Republican. They are very similar to Liberals who try to use the term "progressive" because Hard Liner of the Left gave "liberal" a bad name. To them, "Republican" is a bad name, to be used ONLY when they are running under the banner of or trying to control the party of REPUBLICANS. That is the reason why I deny their claim to be the base. How can anyone be the base of a party they hate and have zero respect for?

        I have yet to hear an explanation of how that works. Every time I hear someone say the GOP MUST be destroyed, I KNOW that person has as much loyalty and desires for the best for the Republican party as a liberal. BOTH want the GOP dead. As we say in marketing, you don't have to point out the flaws of your product; your competitor is all too willing to do that. It is the reason why I don't bother to engage them in conversation; it is as much a waste of my time and theirs as it would my trying to convince a liberal that the GOP isn't the devil.

        As for your voting makeup; I've heard both sides: Dick Morris who is credited with Clinton's win and Karl Rove who is credited with Bush's say that about 20% will vote for anyone with a "D" in front of their name and 20% will vote for anyone with a "R" in front of theirs. It is the rest of America, the majority 60% that win or break elections. These are people that lean left on some issues, right on others. So the best in political strategy agrees with you. The MAJORITY of voters are not hard line conservative OR liberal.

        You know it took decades for the Democrats to get that they NEEDED Blacks and minorities to win. I wonder just how many elections do Republicans have to lose before they get that the talk show hosts who peddle that stupidity that elections are lost because Republicans weren't MORE of what voters are NOT?

        Again, you are right, nominating either man will result in a President Hillary. Obama's DOJ will NOT indite her and Hispanics, Jews, Minorities, all those who have skin in the game will NOT allow either man to win the White House.

      • Curt  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 4:04 pm

        Rebublcans will not lose by running a too conservative candidate any more than they lost by running a too moderate candidate. The problem is that we treat our own policy differences as no better and possibly worse than policy differences both groups have with liberals. This prompts our candidates to tilt to whatever end of the spectrum seems to be the "winning" position. To set themselves apart from others in the party, they demonize each other.
        Independents are not monolithic any more than conservative or moderate republicans are. A person may be "hard line" on immigration for example but lukewarm on trade, climate, or social issues. This bleeds over to the constituency who start to "disqualify" candidates based often on single issues. So, for example, it doesn't matter if we like Rubio on most issues, he is labeled as "establishment" and eliminated from consideration because he is thought to be too weak on immigration. Similarly the constituency may agree with Cruz on everything except, for example, immigration, but because you think his approach is too harsh, he is labeled "hard line" and demonized by the moderate wing.

        In both cases, we ignore the the obvious fact that we're much closer to each other than to the liberals. When independents vote in the general, they must choose between democrats who go out of their way to hide policy differences.

        The irony is that the front runner is not really running as a conservative or moderate but rather as a populist trying to appeal to middle class concerns that I would say are conservative in nature for some aspects (social and foreign policy) but more liberal in others (trade, entitlements). It remains to be seen if this coalition of voters will be strong enough to win in November or in the end good for the country.

        I am really worried about this election because the next president will likely set the tone of the Supreme Court for a generation. If far left liberal activist judges like Sotomayor or Kagan take the bench, the constitution will effectively cease to exist.

        Anyone who has researched the constitution knows it was a study in principled compromise. It is not weak to compromise between getting some of what you want and all of what you want, especially when the alternative is likely nothing you want.

        Republicans, in the immortal words of the founders: unite or die.

  3. Nani  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Curt, another pleasant surprise. Someone else who gets it. Thank you.

    Let us hope that the party of Republicans have learned their lesson that listening to a "base" that hates and have no respect for them is allowing themselves to be destroyed from within. That the talk show mafia understands that firing up the "base" can also light a fire that will destroy the party they hang their credentials on. Most of all, let us pray that somewhere in their hate filled tantrum, the Hard Right finds a love for this nation strong enough for them to put aside sanctimonious demands and unify behind a president that will appoint SCOTUS judges that won't try to strip our rights.

  4. Jim Bird  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    II Professore B. Harmoni , Emeritus
    Department of Economics
    Slippery Rock JC

    I have the perfect job for you – as Special Adviser to President Pro Tem of the Senate, the Honorable Mitchell McConnell. Nani can be Press Secretary since he no longer communicates with anyone and has ceased speaking altogether in public. I can see the two of you now sitting in over-stuffed leather chairs in front of a low fire discussing the pressing issues of the day. Nani is sitting in a corner taking copious notes. Mitch with a Jack and Coke over ice and you with a brandy snifter of purple Kool-Aide and a pipe between clenched teeth pontificating RNC strategy until the wee hours of the morning. Nani could call daily press conferences to articulate her 37 bullet points on why crony capitalism and the GOP establishment is best for the Party at this time in America's history for the upcoming Election cycle. At least the voters would know that Mitch is alive and well somewhere in the country, probably.

  5. Matt  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 11:27 am

    You are omitting the most likely situation: An extreme underperformance for Trump. Especially, taking into account recent misleading polls that were prior to actual voting(Matt Bevin). It seems very likely to me that many of the Trump supporters who are representing these polls are low information voters; voters who usually do not end up voting. Particularly, after the excitement wears off in the early voting states, I think we'll see this trend increase. Some are saying that Trump-mania will produce these people to actually turn out this time, but I just don't see that happening.

  6. Franco  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 3:37 pm


  7. Franco  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof

    Can you please direct me to where exactly Mr. Rizzo called somebody "stupid"?
    To make false allegations, is not only rude, but stupid as well.
    So please stick to the facts, smart guy.

  8. Franco  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm


    "After the excitement wears off"? At least he has generated some excitement.
    I guess that's one problem the rest of these schlubs won't have to face… there was never any excitement to begin with.

    Yay… Now let's all vote for someone because they have a "R" by their name. Nevermind the fact that their politics, ideas and policies don't align with the people they claim to represent.

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