Friday, March 25, 2016

Between Super Tuesday Part III and the Day Before Easter Caucuses

Hey!  Sorry for the delay in getting posts out but I've been busy doing some work for relatives and had my mind elsewhere.  With caucuses in Washington State,m Alaska, and Hawaii tomorrow it seems like we had some primaries a few days ago.  Oh yeah, the primary elections in Utah, Arizona, and Idaho were last Tuesday.  So, let's discuss those briefly, shall we?

On the Republican side there was a slight shake up with Ted Cruz winning Utah while Donald Drumpf- I mean Trump won Arizona.  While it slowed Drumpf's momentum a little it was pretty much as expected.  The only real shock here was the Donald's son claiming to be amazed that Mormons didn't like his old man very much..  They also only had two states to deal with. 

As for the Democrats Hillary Clinton appeared to win Arizona easily (it was announced with 1% of the vote and while many voters were still in line.  What was expected to be a high turnout primary election was made worse in Maricopa County (a county with a population of over six million people) when the umber of polling places was cut from 200 to 60.  In the process some people spent all day in line waiting to vote with many waiting for hours after the polls closed.  Add to this a closed primary and some reports of recently registered Democrats not being listed as such (and given provisional ballots) and it's inevitable that some may cry foul if not fraud.

Was Clinton and company behind this?  Some have insinuated as much but I'm not certain.  The scaling back of polling places (as well as incidents of voter suppression in Latino areas) seems more in line with Republican dirty tricks (especially since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act) than any one candidate.  Is it possible that someone in the DNC may be complicit to a degree in this?  I think that's a maybe but I don't see any proof at the moment.  Nor do I see former Sec. of State Clinton cackling in glee over sabotaging her rival. 

This makes more sense when one factors, as Sen. Sanders did, that "We don’t know if they wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, whoever. We don’t know that.”  Because of that, it's less likely to be sabotage from one candidate than it is systemic problems and a refusal to take into account that a county with millions of residents may need more than 60 polling places. 

Sanders eventually ended up with 30 delegates to Clinton's 44 and there's some murmurs about investigations.  For now though this is how things stand.

Things were more decisive in Idaho and Utah with both states giving Sanders a clean victory over Clinton (17 to 5 in Idaho. 26 to 6 in Utah).  While this keeps Sanders competitive there is still a 303 delegate lead for Hillary Clinton at the moment (not including superdelegates) that shows the race is far from over.

As for tomorrow's caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state, the big delegate grab is for Washington State.  However, there are no polls to look at for either candidate and while the superdelegates seem to be going for Clinton, Sanders appears to be a better fit when you factor in how the state leans in a lot of ways.  There are reports that Sanders is expected to win all three states but sure things are hard to predict in normal election times, much less a time like now when it's not business as usual. 

What I do know is what I've always said since I started briefly commenting on the primary races.  Mainly, for the time being things are far from over. 

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