Both the Democrats and Republicans have 3 states down in their race for the nomination of each party! Let’s take a look at how things went.
The Democrat Party went to Iowa with 3 nominees: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. The results were very close between Clinton and Sanders, but Clinton squeaked the win gaining 23 delegates, while Sanders got 21 delegates for his very close second place. Martin O’Mailley, who got less than 1% of the vote, decided to leave the race.
That left just Hillary and Bernie to head to New Hampshire as a now 2 person race. Bernie took the win their earning 15 delegate, while Hillary picked up 9 for placing second (last). If you don’t know what a delegate is… it’s what they are all competing for. Each state has so many delegates to give out and the first to reach 2,382 delegates on the Democratic side gets the party’s nomination for president. And as you see these first 2 states gave out a few delegates to each first and second place… but in some of the states coming up, all the states delegates go to only the winner. In fact I should take a moment to explain all the differences (or at least some of them) that are involved in the road to the presidential nomination.
Each state is different. And each party does things differently. For example I already said the Democrats need 2,382 delegates to win, the Republicans only need 1,237 delegates to win the nomination for their party. Also, there are these things called superdelegates. In the Democrat Party they belong to the official party apparatus, which includes all current Democratic governors and members of Congress as well as former presidents, former vice presidents, state party chairs, and that sort of thing. There are a lot fewer superdelegates for the Republican Party. They go to the three members of each state’s national party. But the biggest difference is how each party is allowed to use its superdelegates. Democrats can use them on which ever candidate they want and can change their vote whenever they want, while the Republican superdelegates must go to who ever won the state. This can be a big deal in the Democrat race, which I’ll explain better in a moment.
Besides all the differences between how each of the parties run the race, each state is different as well. Some states have a primary, some states caucus. A primary is a simple ballot cast vote, pretty much the same as a regular election. States that caucus hold public events where everyone gathers discuss all the candidates and then vote. Well, the Republicans then vote, but the Democrats line up in groups for each candidate where there is a count and if the counts are close there is more discussion and people try to get others to leave their group and join their group and sometimes coins are flipped to determine a winner. Seriously, it’s kind of crazy. But I bet that’s close to how are founding fathers did it… we just have lots more people to deal with… so yea, it’s kind of crazy.
So Iowa was a caucus state. Republicans had their discussions in schools, churches, and other public buildings (and some homes maybe), then went and did a ballot type vote (will get to those results in a second). Meanwhile democrats also got together and discussed their candidates, but then they lined up in groups for each candidate, and when O’Malley people didn’t have enough to compete they were told to either line up in the Clinton or Sanders groups or go home (well more or less). Which means people from the Clinton groups are trying to get them to join them, as well as those in Sander’s group would be trying to get them to join them. In the end some coins had to be flipped to determine winners because it was so close. In the end, as I already wrote above (and the news already said back when the caucus was held) Clinton squeaked by with a win.
New Hampshire is a primary state so people just went and voted. As we know, Bernie took that state. Which sent Clinton and Sanders into Nevada (my home state, well the state I live in, Cali will always be my home state). Nevada is a caucus state and once again it was close, but Hillary won giving her 19 delegates, while Sanders earned 15 delegates. Did you do the math yet? That leave them tied at 51 delegates apiece! The race seems to be way too close to know how it will turn out… that is unless you are really paying close attention.
I said at the beginning of all this I thought it was going to be a Clinton vs. Bush presidential election. I know, I was way off with bush, and we will get to the republicans in just a moment, but I’m afraid I’m probably right about Clinton being the Democrat nominee. This gets me in trouble with the many people I know who are BIG TIME Bernie supporters, but it’s not my decision, I’m just going by what I see. I’d love to support Bernie, he seems like an honest person, a genuine “good guy”. I don’t even mind he’s a 74-year-old socialist, though if he is the nominee, his age and socialist ideas will be used against him by the Republicans, and there are plenty out there in Americana who might be afraid to elect a 74-year-old socialist. But the Democrats are a sneaky bunch (so are the Republicans, and we are getting to them, I swear). So even though the popular vote is really close, and you would think the delegate count was really close, you have those superdelegates… and those are overwhelmingly being given out to Hillary. I think Hillary has like 451 superdelegates while Bernie has only 19. So the Democratic voters may be split, but the Democratic establishment seems to be backing Clinton. As I said, superdelegates can change their minds at anytime during this race, so maybe I’m reading too much into it. In the end it will come down to 3 things. The millennial vote, which so far seem to be going to Bernie. The minority vote, which seems to be going to Hillary. But most importantly how many come out to vote… so far Democrat voter turnout is not very high.
Not so on the Republican side of things, who are having record turn outs. Let’s take a look at the 3 states the Republican candidates have behind them.
The first 2 states were the same as the Democrats. In Iowa Ted Cruz took 1st place earning 8 delegates, while Donald Trump came in second and Marco Rubio came in third each earning 7 delegates. Ben Carson got 3 delegates for 4th place while Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee all got 1 delegate while Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, and Jim Gilmore got nothing for coming in 10th, 11th, and 12th. No wonder they are having such a large voter turn out, they had so many people running for President. But after the first state 2 jumped out. Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul left the race.
So 10 remaining candidates went on to New Hampshire where Trump came in first receiving 11 delegates. Kasich surprised everyone with a second place win getting 4 delegates. Ted came in 3rd and Bush came in 4th each getting 3 delegates. Rubio got 2 delegates for 5th place. The rest of the order was: Christie, Fiorina, Carson, Santorum, and Gilmore. They all received zero delegates from New Hampshire, and when all was said and done all of them in last place in New Hampshire receiving no delegates from the state dropped out of the race. Well all of them but Carson. He joined the other 5 delegate winning candidates and went on to the next state…
As I wrote, the democrats third state was Nevada… but the Republicans disconnect from the Dems for a moment here and they go to South Carolina. And guess what… South Carolina is a “take all” primary state. So since Trump came in 1st he got all 50 of the states delegates which kind of puts him out in front. The rest or the order was Rubio, Cruise, Bush, Kasich, Carson… though they got no delegates regardless. In the end, one more would drop out of the race… Jeb Bush.
Yes, I was wrong on my first predictions that Bush would win the republican nomination… but I have to say, Trump has changed the republican race so drastically that all early predictions or thoughts on the Republican side of this race is out the window. Plus Trump really went at Bush… and let’s face it… Bush didn’t look like his heart was in the race at all.
So will the Trump Train just keep on going all the way to the nomination and dare I say… the White House?
It definitely could happen.
Ben Carson should have dropped out with Bush, and I can’t see why he would stay in much longer. I like John Kasich, but if he doesn’t win a state soon… I’m guessing he too might have to drop out.
That leaves Trump. Rubio, and Cruz… kinda scary, huh? Will Rubio or Cruz pick up enough voters from those who have dropped out to put them up over Trump? That’s what some are banking on… but I’m not to sure about that. I do think we could come to the end of this without any Republican candidate reaching the magic number of 1,237 delegates and then I’m not sure what will happen. That’s if the Trump Train doesn’t just leave the rest behind and runs a way with it.
Republicans have their caucus in Nevada tomorrow… and Trump is polling pretty well here.
Democrats will have their South Carolina primary on Saturday… if it’s not close and Hillary takes it big… it may just be “all she wrote”… and if it’s close and/or Bernie wins… you still have to think about the superdelegates.
Things will really heat up on March 1st when 12 states and one territory hold primaries and caucuses. It’s called Super Tuesday (Superdelegates… Super Tuesday… I swear politicians think they are super heroes).
I had originally said it would probably be Clinton on the Democrat side, Bush on the Republican side, and Trump running as an independent… I was wrong. But I still think I had it close… though we will have to see how the rest of this race goes. It definitely is exciting!
One last thing… I thought Bush would be the next president because of a 3 Bush thing I convinced myself was an omen that would not be denied… it has been. Now, will that be a good thing or a bad thing?