04.06.2016 08:26 AM

Who will be the next President of the United States of America?

Increasingly, it is getting less clear.

The proud residents of Wisconsin probably always thought they were important enough to affect the future of the planet. But, with the greatest of respect, the rest of us didn’t. Last night, however, Wisconsin altered things, quite a bit.

To wit, from my much-beloved NYT:

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.01.26 AM

My impressions:

  • Neither the Democrat nor Republican membership are representative of the American public.  As of last night, partisans within both parties are clearly more comfortable with candidates who many other Americans simply cannot picture in the Oval Office (viz., Trump, Cruz, Sanders).
  • Trump’s self-inflicted wounds on the abortion issue – that is, that he’d “punish” women who get them – are more grave than previously thought.  He touched the third rail of American politics, last week, and thereby greatly increased the chances of a contested Republican Party convention in Cleveland.  That may not end well for him.
  • The people are rebelling.  As we saw in Canada in 2015, engaged voters are in a dyspeptic mood, and they are gravitating towards candidates who (like Justin Trudeau) are seen as unconventional, untested and unsullied by traditional partisan politics.  Americans, in 2016, are doing likewise.

2016 down there, like 2015 up here, is the year of the outsider.  God help you if you are seen as an incumbent.

So what do you think, O Reader?

30 Comments

  1. Pipes says:

    I think there are a lot of people combing through the Panama papers A SAP

  2. Aongasha says:

    Since you asked, I think this. What is going on in the US is a reaction against the elites of Washington and the media, who have controlled the agenda for so long. Your famous Joe and Jane Frontporch are just tired of them all. Trump and Sanders may be pretty poor choices for the tip of that spear, but I believe they are only the forerunners of what is to come. It’s not about socialism, Liberalism or any isms, it’s just about getting rid of the hoi poloi period. The same holds true in Canada and the day will come when the bell tolls for the same elites in Ottawa and Toronto, whether press or politicial elitist. Sorry folks, father no longer knows best.
    The worm is turning, perhaps just more slowly in this country. But the pablum we are being fed, the political correctness we are subjected to and the places our resources are being wasted are becoming less and less acceptable all the time to those of us who constitute the great unwashed.
    Here’s just one example of a useless institution, which does not reflect our views, yet our govenment spends our tax dollars supporing; http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/usual-suspect-article-1.2588385.
    And here, a pefect example of how someone tells an overwheening egotistical progressive to put a sock in it;
    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/barbara-kay-when-mark-steyn-struck-back

  3. Matt says:

    In case anyone else was wondering what happens to Rubio’s 171 delegates given he’s suspended his campaign:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/rubio-makes-unprecedented-bid-keep-delegates-contested-convention-n547646

    Basically, traditionally the candidate releases his delegates to support whomever they want at the convention, but Rubio is trying to hold onto them to prevent any of the 171 from going to Trump.

    • Matt says:

      Sorry, should have said releases his or her delegates.

      • Carey Miller says:

        Sorry but the kneejerk PC caught my eye. “His or her?” Rubio is a male and the proper word is “his.”

        • Matt says:

          It wasn’t PC. I was attempting to illustrate what traditionally happens to the delegates of a candidate who suspends their campaign. I then addressed Rubio specifically.

          Given there was a female candidate in the Republican race earlier, I felt adding the “his or her delegates” was appropriate.

        • davie says:

          Lol…I appreciate the ‘Sorry:’ very Canadian.

    • EB says:

      Listening to CNN last night, someone pointed out that Rubio is in third place with delegates. He “suspended” his campaign. If the convention ends up being contested, he could potentially offer himself as the not-Trump, not-Cruz candidate.

    • billg says:

      I’m not sure how accurate that is. I believe the delegates he won from the states he won them in have to remain with him until after the first ballot. Had he discontinued his campaign they would be free to vote for who ever, but, since this will more then likely be a contested convention the first ballot delegates remain with the remaining candidates, which is why he suspended his campaign and didn’t end it.
      Lincoln, Garfield and eventually Reagan all won contested conventions, not a bad line up, which is why Trump cannot win a contested convention, common sense wins.
      I can still see John Kasich coming out of this the nominee.

      • ottawacon says:

        The responsibility of the delegates to their state/county convention or associations is a state-level rule.

  4. Mike Adamson says:

    I agree with your general point although I’m struck by the fact that the most likely winner is the candidate most closely tied to the establishment everyone is rebelling against. Of course the Democratic race would be much closer were it not for the influence of the super delegates so I suppose my observation is fairly easily explained. It’s difficult to get a clear picture of what the Primaries nonparticipants think about all this as media coverage is so locked into primary winners and losers. Do we actually know how unlikely the vision of Trump,Cruz or Sanders in the Oval Office among the voting public is?

  5. davie says:

    I can only go with polls I see on this machine. It looks to me, consistently, as if quite a few Americans can see Sanders in the White House. A majority of those polls suggest that Sanders if seen much more favourably than Clinton, Cruz, Kasich and Trump.

    (I figured I would list Trump’s name last, just to see what that looked like.)

  6. Ron Waller says:

    The establishment may speak for Canadians. But it does not speak for Americans. So your analysis if off: “partisans are not representing mainstream America.” Polls shows Bernie does better against Trump and Cruz than Clinton.

    Justin Trudeau may be unconventional is saying silly things off the top of his head and taking selfies with fans, but he ran on low taxes and free trade to “create middle class jobs and grow the economy.” Larry Summers (of “Inside Job” infamy) would be right at home on Team Trudeau, and would suggest a larger stimulus package.

    BTW, Clinton got paid big bucks to push through the US-Panama free trade deal whose entire purpose was to create a tax haven for bankers and plutocrats. Bernie warned of the dangers of this deal.

    These days politicians who don’t take bribes are considered radical. The establishment wears no clothes.

    • Art says:

      Polls show Sanders doing better now because Republicans have been hands off, preferring to run against him than Clinton. In the general they will simply crucify him with socialist (commie) rhetoric. I shudder at the thought of it.

    • davie says:

      Looks to me as though Clinton picks up delegates in states likely to vote Republican in a general election; Sanders, in states likely to vote Democrat.

  7. doconnor says:

    Trump got the 35% he usually gets. The difference is that the not-Trump forces are finally consolidating around one candidate.

  8. Carey Miller says:

    We actually saw our first outsider vote some years back with Stephen Harper. He positioned himself as being outside of the long-time Ottawa corruption, fed and watered by the Liberals. Now we see JT taking that spot.

    There is a school of thought that says we can make bigger changes in Canada because of the NDP. With 2 major and 1 minor party, the math needed to win an election (majority and minority) makes change easier than in the binary US.

    People down south are beginning to realize that they live in a surveillance state whose military and law enforcement arms are used to protect corporate interests and whose politicians are, in fact, bought by the only interests big enough to support their campaigns. Moreover, they have started to understand that, for the purposes of a lower middle class citizen, there is no real difference between the two parties. Both are true believers in a neoliberal economics and dedicated to fighting for the American empire. Both parties use constant fear, uncertainty and doubt, the better to keep the voters pliable.

    I suspect the underlying questions of both the Trump and Sanders supporters could easily be, “How much worse could they do?”

  9. Art says:

    Clinton is doing just fine. It was an open primary and Sanders won independents 72% to 28%. Most big remaining States are closed with only Democats allowed to vote and Registered Democrats favour Clinton by a healthy margin. She is leading Sanders by 2.5 million votes. It’s not even close.

  10. BillBC says:

    “gravitating towards candidates who (like Justin Trudeau) are seen as unconventional, untested and unsullied by traditional partisan politics. Americans, in 2016, are doing likewise.”

    I think Trudeau won because people, rightly or wrongly, were tired of Harper and were anxious to see him gone. I suspect any reasonable Liberal could have won. As for Trudeau, he’s certainly untested and unsullied, but philosophically, he’s anything but unconventional.

  11. Mark says:

    The abortion issue is utterly ridiculous. Its like becoming angry with a child for swearing when the parents are cursing constantly at home. I’m no Trump defender, but what exactly was his response supposed to be? Some jack-shit roundabout non-answer about punished doctors?

    I don’t understand the hypocritical response by Cruz conservatives on Trump’s answer. If they are so vehemently opposed to abortion and equate it to murder, then by extent, isn’t the mother of guilty of murder as well? If a doctor carries out an abortion and is punished for doing so, which is something Cruz supporters are advocating for, then why shouldn’t the mother bear responsibility for this as well?

    I don’t understand how the mother should be absolved of any guilt for carrying out an abortion just because she’s not the one with the medical degree.

    What Trump said shed sunlight all over this ridiculous logic. Exceptions are made for women who were raped (some conservatives finally accepting this a responsibility) but when an abortion is undertaken in the situation where a mother is woefully unequipped for parenthood and lacks any resources and mental health to rear a child, then we cast judgement upon her as if she was a criminal?

    How can something be illegal, but non-punishable for an offence? This is the fundamental problem with this issue. If you restrain and claw back resources for abortion to a point where its difficult to have one, it doesn’t make the possibility of an abortion disappear. What happens then? Jail time? Fines? Where is that line drawn and why? I think Trump’s answer was great because it forces anti-abortion advocates to address this flaw in their own logic. He gave an answer based on what he perceived as the climate of opinion towards the issue. Yet, apparently a doctor should be held culpable for providing a safe abortion while the mother remains irrelevant in the matter.

    I understand there are varying opinions on the matter. But where the rubber meets the road and we attempt to impose restrictions through the law, its crucial to get your shit straight before someone like Trump points out the obvious inconsistencies in that approach.

  12. Barry says:

    At this stage of the race its all about the delegate count. National Democratic and/or Republican polls mean precisely nothing at this point. Even ‘Winning’ individual states counts for very little especially for Democrats who utilize proportional allocation of delegates for all of its Primaries and Caucuses unlike the Republicans. What does count is by what percentage did a particular candidate win or lose a state. Thus it is very difficult for any trailing candidate(s) to catch up to their front runner and yet very difficult for any front runner to put away their challenger(s).

    NBC’s First Read Spelled it out very well, “He outspent Clinton over the Wisconsin airwaves by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, beat her by 14 percentage points, 57%-43%, but only picked up a net gain of just 10 pledged delegates. And despite that gain, the percentage of overall remaining delegates that Clinton needs to clinch the nomination actually got smaller (from 34% to 33%), because there are fewer delegates left to win….Clinton must win 33% of remaining delegates to hit the 2,383 magic number (was 34%). Sanders must win 67% of remaining delegates to hit the 2,383 magic number (was 66%).”

    The delegate math is an overwhelming juggernaut that just keeps getting worse for Senator Sanders as the number of contests for him to challenge Secretary Clinton’s delegate lead diminishes thus increasing the overall delegate percentage requirement he faces in the remaining contests in order to secure the nomination.

  13. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Clinton only wins because she’s seen as the least threatening, most conventional of the top four candidates, and not because she’d be the ideal POTUS.

    The discontented rallying behind both Trump and Sanders, and to a slightly lesser extent Cruz, still represent a relatively small minority of voters…there will be about 110,000,000 or so of them in November.

    All that said, this remains the most bizarre presidential campaign in living memory, one in which pretty much everyone loses.

    …except, on the longest of shots, perhaps Kasich at a contested convention. In which case, Americans end up doing not so bad as presidents go. He’d clobber both Clinton or Sanders in November.

  14. MonteCristo says:

    Its all about those superdelegates.

    If they get freed up because of the next batch of Panama Papers due out on 1 May 2016.

    Then, its a whole new ball game.

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