After Super Tuesday, Is The Republican Party Broken Beyond Repair?
Now that the dust has settled on the biggest day of primary voting in the election cycle, Super Tuesday’s aftershocks are still being felt throughout the Democratic and Republican parties. Nearly a dozen states opened their ballot boxes to voters and, by the end of the day, roughly 13 million votes had been cast to decide who the nominee should be for each party. Nearly a fifth of all delegates needed to win the nomination (2,383 for Democrats and 1,237 for Republicans) were divided up after the polls closed, and now we have the clearest picture thus far of whom we can expect to see in the general election this summer. Now that the candidates are gearing up for another round of debates ahead of the Super Tuesday sequel on March 15th, it’s time to take a closer look at who won, who’s done, and what it all means.
Depending on your ideological preference, last night might’ve been a living nightmare as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dominated a majority of the primary states. Trump’s wins in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia showcased his (unfortunate) electability and set off the pacemakers of more than a few of the GOP’s senior officials. With 315 delegates gathered, he’s now a fourth of the way to the nomination despite the Republican Party’s best efforts to stop him over the past few months. Hillary, meanwhile, won decisive victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia—with double-digit wins in a majority of the states. Her success is largely attributed to her dominance among blacks, Hispanics, women, and voters over the age of 30.
Thanks to Superdelegates (or Democratic Party leaders) who’ve already pledged their support to Clinton, she’s nearly halfway to the nomination with 1,033 total delegates, compared to Bernie Sanders’ 387. As the election cycle drags on, both Trump’s and Clinton’s rivals will have to hope for a miracle as they play catchup to secure enough delegates to compete for the nomination—and the frontrunners know that. Both of the leaders in their respective parties focused on the general election in their victory speeches and seemed ready to end the nomination process sooner rather than later.
If Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the winners last night, everyone else trying to secure the nomination were inarguably the losers and are going to have to scramble to find some footing moving forward. Bernie Sanders may have raised a remarkable $42 million last month without the help of Super PACs, but the enthusiasm has not translated into a solid voter base. He’s a champion among white men and voters under the age of 30, but in the modern Democratic Party, minority support is essential. Plus, when you rely on the support of the youth, it only works if they show up. The problem is that voter turnout for Democrats is at the lowest point in years. Sanders won in Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and his home state of Vermont, but he’s still struggling to convince the superdelegates to defect from their Clinton pledge.
For the GOP, the biggest loser was the Republican Party itself. Despite all attempts at stifling Trump’s rise in the ranks, his path toward the nomination looks to be a done deal by the end of the month. The only rival that seems to have a chance of beating him is Ted “Crazy Pants” Cruz, who has been pissing off fellow Congressional Republicans for years and terrifying us with his presidential plans for months. The GOP’s one last hope, Robo Rubio, crashed and burned after he won only one of the primary contests. As for the other two Stage five Clingers, Ben Carson gathered his fruit salad (and eight delegates) and dropped out today and John Kasich is still the happiest doomed candidate we’ve ever seen. With only 24 delegates, he’s become the human embodiment of the “this is fine” dog.
With the race narrowing and candidates scrambling to catch up to Clinton and Trump, all eyes are turning toward March 15th. It’s the big sequel to Super Tuesday because it’s another huge delegate dump—58 percent of delegates will be allocated by then after a number of big states head to the polls. In the meantime, debates will prove to be make-or-break moments for the remaining candidates and Chris Christie will probably still look like he’s starring in a sequel to Room.
Ok, wait. Now I see this pic later in the conference and it’s much clearer what’s different. His tie is crooked. pic.twitter.com/oMbsS1MGrq
— #NeverTrump (@BenHowe) March 2, 2016
Images via Stephen Lam and US News.
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