Keep Calm and Carry On Voting

By | 4/06/2016 Leave a Comment
Wisconsin Primary, Sanders, Cruz

The results of the Wisconsin primary races confirmed what polls had been predicting in the run up to the voting, delivering wins to both Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. 

But for Cruz, was it “a turning point” as he – and CNN by virtue of their headline framing – announced on Tuesday evening? No, hardly. New York is the next state to hold its primary, on April 19th, and a new Monmouth University poll shows Trump leading there with 52% of Republican voter support, compared to a dismal 17% for Cruz. Of course, a lot can change between now and then, but it’s unlikely that New Yorkers with their “New York values” are going to warm to him anytime soon. And the states that follow on April 26th are likely to be equally unfriendly territory for the Texas Senator.  

Trump, meanwhile, suffered a resounding defeat in Wisconsin, but based on the forces leveled against him in the state it was hardly a surprising outcome. Even if his campaign hadn’t had such a disastrous gaffe and flip-flop ridden week prior to the vote, it would still have been a monumental task to overcome Cruz’ long-established ground game there, along with support from its popular governor and his vast political apparatus, a chorus of anti-Trump right-wing radio talk show hosts, and millions of dollars in negative ads from the Stop Trump super Pacs. While his troubles didn’t help matters, he would still have surely lost there even without them. 

For his part, Bernie Sanders managed to pull off a spectacular win in Wisconsin, finishing 14 points ahead of Hillary Clinton in a state where only a few weeks ago he trailed her. Even though recent polls had consistently shown Sanders ahead, it was only by about 4 or 5 points, so the end result was all the more remarkable. 

Mrs. Clinton, who was already in New York while the votes in Wisconsin were still being counted, has now lost seven of the last eight contests to her rival and continues to be frustrated by her inability to frame herself as the November nominee and turn her full focus on Trump. With the current losing streak casting an ignominious shadow over her campaign, she’s continually being forced to fight hard in races she’d long ago imagined would be something of a cakewalk by this point. If she can’t hold her ground in New York, despite the delegate gap between her and Sanders, there’s going to be a lot of soul-searching, head-scratching and consternation among the party establishment.

The upshot:

The sky didn’t fall in, there were no real game changers or turning points, and everyone’s free to keep calm and carry on voting in this most mind-boggling of election years.

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