PHOTO: Hillary Clinton celebrates in Florida on Tuesday night
Adam Quinn of the University of Birmingham writes for EA:
UPDATE 1500 GMT: Adam Quinn has outlined his four points further in a conversation with the BBC World Service’s World Update.
The Republican establishment could deny Trump the nomination with a brokered convention. Whether that works out well for the party — I think it’s somewhat of a disaster either way.
We’ve seen the mood of some of his supporters in recent days. If it was felt that he was denied the nomination by some kind of chicanery, it might make some of the rowdiest conventions in American history look like picnics.
ORIGINAL POST: Your essential four-point takeaway from “Mega-Tuesday” in the Democratic and Republican contests for the US Presidency:
1. Hillary Clinton is — finally — home and hosed. It turns out that Bernie Sanders couldn’t replicate the Michigan miracle in Ohio or anywhere else.
Hillary won comfortably, largely because she got a bigger share of the white vote this time and because the young voters Sanders relies on made up a smaller share of turnout. She crushed it in Florida, which is delegate-rich, and depending on how the knife-edge in Missouri turns out, she may have won all five primaries.
Bernie Sanders may carry on campaigning — no reason he shouldn’t — to do what his campaign was originally intended to do: raise his issues and force Clinton to engage with them. He ran an amazing campaign to get into what seemed like serious contention for as long as he did. But that chapter of the race is over now.
2. Good night for Donald Trump again. Looks like he took everything except Ohio, where John Kasich held his home state, although Missouri is a squeaker between him and Ted Cruz. He smashed all opposition in Florida, which is a big, diverse state. So he’s picked up plenty of delegates and is out in front by a mile as frontrunner.
If he were any other candidate you’d say this race was done and he would be the nominee.
3. But Trump isn’t any other candidate, and the rest of his party really, really, *really* doesn’t want to have him as nominee. Delegates secure nominations, not states, and he still has to pick up a lot more of those between now and the finish line to have a nailed-down majority of pledged delegates. With just Cruz and Kasich still running against him, it looks impossible barring something remarkable for anyone else to get a delegate majority either.
Their hope — and that of many more Republicans — will be that they can deny Trump that majority when the bound delegates cast that first vote at the convention, then make a contest of it once those delegates are freed up.
A contested convention is a disaster for Republicans no matter which way it goes, and if Trump is denied by what looks like chicanery, it may make the riotous ambience of the Democrats in 1968 look like a picnic.
4. Cheerio, Marco Rubio. Humiliated in his home state, he drops out. If the stars had aligned he might have been the best the Republicans had in the general election, and Clinton will certainly be delighted to see him go.
Rubio’s ultimate problems were (a) he was everyone’s second choice, but didn’t have enough of a constituency of his own, (b) he turned out to be brittle under the pressure of the big game spotlight, (c) like a lot of other Republicans who might have had a shot in a normal year, he was unlucky that his time coincided with the Tasmanian devil that is Donald Trump’s campaign.
Not sure what you’re going to do for the next four years, Marco, but maybe see you again some happier time.