It’s hard to avoid news of the US presidential election, even with just less than 7 months to go until the Democrats and Republicans square off for control of the White House. So, rather than admonish the electoral system or preach the dangers of voting for a certain Republican candidate, let’s look forward to the National Conventions and beyond, and discuss 5 ways the US Presidential election could play out come November:
- Hillary Clinton (Democrat) v. Donald Trump (Republican): This race is by far the most likely- Hillary needs 627 from 1914 remaining delegates to win, while Trump needs 494 from 867 to secure a definitive majority. While most polling services give this match-up to Hillary (with a the latest Marist poll from April 7th giving her 9 point victory over Mr Trump), this election would be interesting due to the stark differences in the voter demographics they attract- Hillary is winning the female vote and the vote of the ethnic minorities whereas Trump is winning the votes of those who didn’t get a college degree and those who are tired of the current political system. However, neither candidate polls well among younger voters or independents, meaning that this may be a race to capture the hearts of the established America, rather than the generation to come. However the candidates choose to campaign, Trump polls woefully as a general election candidate amongst Republicans and so, unless she managed to screw up beyond belief, this would be a pretty safe victory for Hillary Clinton.
- Hillary Clinton (Democrat) v. Ted Cruz (Republican) v. Donald Trump (Independent): After a decisive win in Wisconsin on April 5th, Ted Cruz made a brokered Republican convention all the more likely. Heading into New York and beyond, Donald Trump needs to secure 57% of the remaining delegates in order to win the nomination outright. Sidebar: Here’s the 4-1-1 on a broker convention- especially at the Republican National Convention, there can be several rounds of voting. In the first round of voting, delegates must cast a vote for the candidate they are pledged to. However, if no candidate gains the 54% of delegates needed for an outright majority, all delegates become unpledged and are free to side with any candidate in subsequent rounds of voting. This leads to a lot of backdoor deals- say, get your delegates to vote for me and I’ll throw your state a bone after November or say, get your delegates to vote for me and there’s a cabinet position in it for you.Due to Trump’s overall unpopularity, a brokered convention is the perfect way for the GOP to field their preferred candidate,possible Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz. The big GOP fear is that they won’t be able to control Trump if he gains control of the nation’s executive branch, whereas Cruz is a Republican darling who can somewhat unite the party. There’s only one problem with this- Trump is a man who has never been told no, which explains so much about his behaviour. If he doesn’t get the nomination, one of two things will happen- he runs as an independent and takes enough votes away from Cruz to hand Hillary the victory OR he kicks up enough of a fuss about running as an independent that the GOP gives in and gives him a position of political power. The general consensus is that the GOP is facing a Catch-22- nominate Trump and lose the election due to his unpopularity or don’t nominate Trump and lose the election as he takes the voter base with him.
- Hillary Clinton (Democrat) v. X (Republican): Here’s a thing about a brokered convention- pretty much anyone could get elected. That’s right, if the first round of voting does not yield a nominee, delegates are free to vote for anyone. This was curbed by the Republicans in 2012 with something called Rule 40b but that rule has not been enacted for the 2016 convention. There has been much speculation about this decision by the Republican National Committee, with some pundits speculating that there may be a dark horse, such as Mitt Romney, waiting in the wings to sweep in and unite the party. However, it is more likely that if things went to brokered convention for the Republicans, the powers that be would push for unification behind Cruz and not a candidate they hadn’t field-tested during the primaries. Furthermore, the nomination of an individual not previously running would probably push Trump to run as an independent, citing the constitution or whatever it is he does when he doesn’t get his way. In addition, with Cruz and Kasich both saying that they wouldn’t endorse Trump if he was nominated, an unforeseen convention nominee would have to truly be something special to unify the GOP.
- Bernie Sanders (Democrat) v. Donald Trump (Republican): Unlikely due to Hillary’s strong lead in the Democrat race (yeah, thanks superdelegates) but there are still enough delegates out there for Bernie to win. Bernie is the far more popular candidate in the battle of the political outsiders. Most polls put Bernie as the clear winner, citing a bigger margin of victory than the Clinton/Trump race. However, Bernie’s viral popularity may spell disaster for Hillary, with numerous Sanders supporters potentially staying at home on November 8th, rather than backing the Democrats. However, overall, Bernie is slated to win against all current GOP candidates, whereas Hillary is down to beat Trump, tie with Cruz and actually lose to Kasich.
How do you think the race for President will end up? How do you think a brokered Republican convention would go? Let me know!