Last night, the Midwestern state of Indiana went to polls to cast their vote in both the Democrat and Republican Presidential primaries. There were 80 pledged delegates up for grabs in the Clinton-Sanders fight and 51 in the winner takes all Republican fight. Victory in Indiana was crucial for Trump to avoid a contested convention while Clinton was looking out to finally shut down the Sanders threat. Pre-primary polls gave Trump a clear lead while the Democrat fight was less clear, with Clinton just edging out her challenger.
Apart from a smattering of northern counties, Trump locked down Indiana with his usual dominance, taking the state with a 17% margin (which translates to 184,000 votes more than Cruz). This victory bumped Trump’s delegate count up to 1047, meaning that nomination looked to be all but his. That was until Ted Cruz pulled the rug out from under everyone and dropped out of the race. That left Trump and the Phantom of the GOPera, John Kasich. Bar divine intervention, the Republicans will be represented by Donald J Trump come November. I stopped writing this on Wednesday to revise…and just as I did, John Kasich resigned. Trump is the Republican nominee. This means that he can reorganise and start campaigning for the general election while Bernie continues to deny Hilary the Democratic nomination.
While Trump was adding Indiana to his collection, there was a much more bitter fight between Clinton and Sanders. After 9 of the Midwest states, Sanders was winning the region, having taken 5 (Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan and Wisconsin) to Clinton’s 4 (Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio). Clinton was confident that Indiana would kill Sanders if he lost but she hadn’t invested too much time or effort into the campaigning. That may be why Sanders pulled off another Midwest upset and took the state by 5%. While the delegates made nothing more than a passing indent in Clinton’s lead, it does raise a concern that could come up in the general election- Clinton’s arrogance. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
The general election
With Cruz and Kasich gone and Clinton having built an unassailable superdelegates buffer, the general election is no doubt going to be Donald J Trump vs Hilary R Clinton. Clinton definitely holds the upper hand in current national polls. This is mostly due to Trump’s special kind of popularity- while he does seem wildly popular, this can be explained as a local popularity- state Republicans want Trump over Cruz, Kasich and whoever else ran against their ginger psycho and he will win the usual Republican states because let’s face it- they’d vote for a pig draped in an elephant blanket. However, while Clinton seems a shoe-in for the Presidency, she needs to watch her arrogance. She lost in Indiana because she saw she had a lead and left to pursue more lucrative delegate counts but not pumping the resources into a state like Indiana cost her the majority of 80 delegates. Take that to a national, general election level and maybe this arrogance gets applied to the wrong swing states and Trump slowly steals them from under. A slam dunk could become a Republican upset.
What do you think we have in store for the US general election? Do you think it’s Hilary all the way or does Trump have it in him to provide an upset? Let me know in the comments below?