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Analysis: Super Tuesday Wasn’t the End

Democrats and Republicans took to the polls yesterday in 11 states to declare their preferred candidate for President. This morning, most of the articles from major news networks are pushing the narrative that the race is essentially over on both sides. That isn’t the case.

Clinton vs Sanders:

Clinton was absolutely the big winner coming out of Super Tuesday. She won the most states and the most delegates, but she wasn’t able to win big enough to make the case that Sanders should drop out. Sanders was able to win 4 of the 11 states and came to a near-tie in Massachusetts. His campaign is able to make the case that he is within striking distance. His case is helped by the fact that the upcoming states seem to be more likely to be receptive to him.

Some Clinton supporters will argue that since she has hundreds of Super Delegates that she will have no problem wrapping up in nomination even if Sanders does mount an unlikely comeback. This argument assumes that the Super Delegates (who can change their support at any time) will decide to deny the Democratic Party their hypothetically-elected candidate. I tend to think that Super Delegates would recognize that taking the decision-making ability away from party members would wreck the Democratic Party. We don’t know that for sure, but Sanders absolutely has a chance to come back and win the nomination.

None of this is to say that Sanders has an above 50% chance of winning. Clinton has had a strong month and seems to be ascending. She has the support of nearly all Democratic elected officials and has proven to be the solid favorite of voting African-Americans – a key demographic for the Democratic Party. She will most likely be the nominee.

Clinton: 544 Delegates
Sanders: 349
(2383 needed to nominate)

Trump vs Brokered Convention:

Before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, I was laughing along with everyone else at the prospect of him entering the race. But I watched his announcement live and thought immediately that this was a guy who could win in a Republican Primary. He was saying the things that other Republicans danced around; the things many grassroots Republicans said themselves.

Fast-forward to now and Trump is the leader by far. He has knocked out most of his opponents and collected a large delegate lead. Super Tuesday helped to strengthen his lead. Cruz’s campaign won enough delegates to stay in. Rubio won one state and has the high-profile backing to keep him in the race. Kasich and Carson don’t seem to have a chance but they’re sticking around anyway. All of this is good news for Trump who has been able to win in a divided field that has split the anti-Trump vote.

If this was any other candidate, the race would be over after such a dominating performanc. But such a large portion of the Republican power structure openly disdains Trump that there is a possible scenario in which Trump doesn’t become the nominee. For the first time in a long time, a brokered convention looks like a serious possibility.

Trump is going to win more delegates that any other candidate. But there will be a brokered convention if he isn’t able to secure a majority. This scenario is unlikely but certainly a possibility. Trump barely has a majority of the delegates awarded at this point. Cruz and Rubio (neither of which have incentive to drop out at this point) would need to pick up some steam. Cruz seems like the most likely one to do that given his three wins last night.

But if there is a brokered convention, we have no idea who the nominee would be. Would it be Cruz who has been the closest rival to Trump? Would it be Rubio who has the backing of the people who will be running the convention? Would it be a completely different candidate brought in to save the party from itself? Trump is most likely the nominee, and if it isn’t him, we have no idea at this point who it will be.

Trump: 285 Delegates
Everyone else, in total: 281
(1237 needed to nominate)

Super Tuesday gave us a race that will likely last us well into the summer. We’ve got a while to go and North Carolina will vote on March 15th (early voting starts tomorrow!!). Polling indicates that we will vote for the front-runners, but anything is possible. We still have a chance to have a large impact on the race. Make sure you go vote and have your voice heard. And if you would like to share with us your preference for President, let us know! We’d love to publish your opinion. Extra points if you can write a whole article without using the word “establishment.”

Uriah Ward, Opinion Editor

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