Clinton, Trump Take 7 Super Tuesday Contests Each

Yesterday was a big day in the race for the US presidency. Thirteen states had a primary or caucus for at least one major political party. Donald Trump on the Republican Side and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats won seven each. Bernie Sanders took four states. Ted Cruz won three. Marco Rubio scored one victory. The results of “Super Tuesday” merely confirmed what this journal has believed for months. The November election will be a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The Democratic race has always been a straightforward matter of how rapidly can Hillary Clinton amass the 2,382 delegates needed. Mr. Sanders is an excellent campaigner, and he has engaged the youth whose enthusiasm sustains his campaign. However, the black vote is solidly behind Mrs. Clinton in a way it wasn’t in 2008. The current delegate count has her ahead 543 to 371. When the superdelegates are added in, the score is 1,000 for Mrs. Clinton and 371 for Mr. Sanders. She is winning with large majorities and staying close in races she loses. That is the exact same formula with which Mr. Obama won in 2008, taking fullest advantage of the party’s proportional representation rules. This journal believes she will have a majority of convention delegates by the end of April.

On the Republican side, it takes 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. Mr. Trump has about 316, while Senator Cruz is at 226 and Senator Rubio has about 106. Governor Kasich, who didn’t win anything yesterday, has 25 and Dr. Ben Carson has 8. If the polls in certain states showed a close race, and if proportional representation were de riguer, Mr. Trump would be stoppable. Neither of these conditions is met.

In Florida, the March 15 race will be a winner-take-all affair, and with Mr. Trump leading by about 20 percentage points, it’s reasonable to anticipate all 99 of the Sunshine State’s delegates will fall to him. The same holds true for Illinois; Mr. Trump’s 33% support in the most recent poll is double Mr. Rubio’s support, which would give Mr. Trump another 69 delegates. In two weeks’ time, it is probable that Mr. Trump will be almost halfway to the nomination. By month’s end, that it almost inevitable.

Ted Cruz is the only candidate positioned to stop Mr. Trump, and in his speech last night, he said, “Republicans, together we have a choice. We are blessed with a deep, talented, honorable field. For the candidates who have not won a state, I ask you to prayerfully consider our coming together, uniting.” And for those voters “who have supported other candidates, we welcome you on our team, united standing as one.”

Mr. Cruz is disliked by the party establishment, almost as much as Mr. Trump is. So, the appartachiks were hopeful that Mr. Rubio would score well last night. He only won the Minnesota caucuses. The only other choice for them is Mr. Kasich, who could win Ohio on March 15. He is the governor there, he is quite popular, and its 66 delegates will be awarded in a winner-take-all format. That would bring him close to 100 delegates, while Mr. Trump would be pushing 500 or more. It is hard to see that margin being diminished greatly if Mr. Kasich and Rubio are both still involved.

Moreover, Rule 40(b) of the GOP says that to put a candidate’s name in nomination at the convention requires written support from eight delegations where the candidate has a majority in each. After all his victories, Mr. Trump only has four such delegations, Mr. Cruz one, and no one else has even one. If Mr. Cruz can’t secure the majority of seven more delegations, it won’t matter how many delegates he has. Messrs. Rubio and Kasich have even more to do to beat Rule 40(b).

So, it appears to be a matter of time before Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. His opponents remain divided, and the calendar is now in is favor. He could add over 300 delegates to his total on March 15 unless the polls are horribly wrong, and so far, despite everything, the polls this year have been fairly accurate.

November’s prediction: Hillary Clinton 304 electoral votes to Donald Trumps 234, give or take a handful.