(Beckley, West Virginia) – I’m on the road this weekend in the coal country of West Virginia. Candidates are already planning visits to the Mountain State ahead of the May 10 primary. So far, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are on the books; but before they get to “Almost Heaven,” there is campaign business to address elsewhere. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:
“The Final Five” – This may be the last “Big Tuesday” in the primary season. No one will win the nomination on April 26, but five states are up for grabs: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The big prize is delegate-rich Pennsylvania, but momentum is also at stake on both sides, so overall performance is crucial in these five states.
“The Last Stand” – Governor John Kasich (R-OH) has staked his hopes on his neighboring state of Pennsylvania. It may not play out. The latest Real Clear Politics Composite Poll has it: Donald Trump 44 percent; Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) 25 percent; and Kasich 24 percent. My prediction is that Governor Kasich will suspend his campaign Tuesday night or - at the latest - Wednesday, but will remain very viable as the pick for Vice President. Remember, Republicans win the White House only when they win Ohio. Kasich campaigned in Rhode Island this weekend (photo above).
“Let It Be” – Of the three remaining GOP candidates, only Donald Trump has a chance to win the 1,237 delegates for the nomination before the July GOP convention in Cleveland. He might make it; he may fall short. But at this point, is there any way to stop him without the Republican Party self-destructing? The brokered convention strategy could backfire, if the party – in essence – defeats itself in November. Might it be better if the party just let the campaign take its course organically and let the chips fall where they may?
“New York State of Mind” – The wins by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their home state of New York on Tuesday night were stunning. It’s no surprise that both won, but the margin of victory was well beyond what anyone predicted. Trump won with 60 percent of the vote; Clinton, with 58 percent. Those aren’t just wins, they are landslides, and there may be no philosophical (or mathematical way) for opponents on either side to stop what now seems inevitable.
“Reality Check” – With five primaries this coming Tuesday, there will be a lot of speculation about the meaning of the outcome. Here’s the “cold water in your face” analysis. There are not enough delegates at stake Tuesday to make anyone the nominee in either party; nor are there enough delegates at stake on May 3 in Indiana or on May 10 in West Virginia and Nebraska or the following week in Kentucky to accomplish that feat. I predict we’ll know the Democratic and Republican outcomes on June 7, when six states - including the big prize of California – hold primaries.
What are your thoughts on who will win the nominations, and when? Just click the comment button, at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
© 2016, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.
Photo courtesy: Alexandra Curtis.