Bernie Sanders pulls a shocker, and Donald Trump rolls on among the winners and losers of the Mississippi and Michigan primaries.
Winners and Losers:
1). Donald Trump – Trump swept Michigan and Mississippi convincingly. Trump blew out the rest of the Republican field in Mississippi, and he left John Kasich and Ted Cruz vying for second place. The idea that Ted Cruz stopped Trump’s momentum with a couple of wins on Saturday lasted for a couple of days. Trump is back on the march towards the Republican nomination, and the ballgame remains the same in for the stop Trump forces in the GOP. The stop Trump movement has to win in Ohio and Florida. If Trump keeps sweeping states, he will be on pace to clinch enough delegates for the Republican nomination.
2). Bernie Sanders – Sen. Sanders pulled off the shocking upset of 2016 by winning the Michigan primary. On the downside, Sanders didn’t make up much or anything on Clinton in terms of delegates, but the victory was gigantic in terms of political momentum. Some Democrats were suggesting that Sanders could no longer win after Super Tuesday. Those calls by some Democrats for Sanders to get out of the race will be silenced after his Michigan win.
Here are Sarah Jones and Jason Easley discussing Bernie Sanders’ big Michigan win:
3). Hillary Clinton – Hillary Clinton’s loss in Michigan will raise questions about her campaign, but she crushed Sanders in Mississippi, and she will come out of the Tuesday split no worse than even on the awarded delegates. Sanders is winning contests and raising money, but Clinton is still grinding her way towards the nomination. As bad as the loss in Michigan was, the reality is that Hillary Clinton is still on course to win the Democratic nomination.
1).Marco Rubio – Just when you think things can’t worse for Marco Rubio, he gets blown out in Mississippi while looking like he may not break single digits in Michigan. Marco Rubio is a dead candidate walking. He has no natural constituency outside of Beltway pundits, and Washington, D.C. Republicans. Marco Rubio may make a last stand in his home state of Florida.
Rubio could be holding on to the delusion that he could win Florida and win the nomination. The reality is that Rubio’s only purpose in Florida might be to stop Trump. The game is over for Rubio, and the Republican establishment is doomed.
2). Ted Cruz – Within roughly an hour on Tuesday night, Cruz’s argument for being the best candidate to take on Trump one on one was destroyed. Cruz needed to run close to second to Trump in both states. Instead, Cruz looks like a distant second in Mississippi, and he may finish third in Michigan. There is no way to parse the numbers to show that Ted Cruz could have beaten Trump in a one on one race. The takeaway from Michigan and Mississippi is that Ted Cruz has a better chance of stopping Trump than anyone else, but his odds aren’t good.
3). John Kasich – Michigan should have been a state that Kasich would do well in. The problem for Kasich is that he did not do good enough. Gov. Kasich has never been a serious contender for the nomination. If John Kasich is the last establishment Republican standing, it will be a testament to the insanity that has overtaken Republican voters. Like Rubio, Kasich’s sole purpose might be to win his home state, and deny Trump the delegates that he needs to clinch the nomination.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association