Saturday, February 20, 2016

Palmetto

Today South Carolina votes (at least for the Republicans) and Nevada caucuses for the Democrats. The results should be surprising for...well, someone.

For the Republicans, it looks like (sadly) Trump will win; his lead is somewhere around thirteen points. Even if my (largely discredited) theory that his support melts away when people actually start voting erases some of that, it still means he is going to win. For people like me who think a Trump candidacy will be a disaster for the Republicans (and, uh, everyone else, really) in the general election, it's starting to become a bit of a crossroads. As other candidates drop out, Trump's support has largely remained the same, but that might not be the case as the remaining names, like Bush or Carson or Kasich, drop out. Trump may, indeed, lose once it tightens up to a two-man race, since it appears that Trump has a ceiling to his support; the problem is that Super Tuesday is coming up, along with a lot of winner-take-all contests, and by then it may be too late.

The good news, relatively speaking, is that South Carolina is still only the third primary. It seems like there's been a thousand elections already, but there hasn't. Even though there is a bit of a time crunch, it's still a long way to the convention.

For the Democrats--well, Nevada is an enigma. Because of a bunch of different reasons, it's hard to poll in Nevada (their caucuses are a little strange, even by caucus standards) and so a lot of what they have is sketchy at best (and they don't have a lot). This could very well be an upset for Sanders, but it seems unlikely--although it also seems like it's not going to matter quite so much. Even if Sanders wins, he's going to get creamed in the Democrat's South Carolina primary, stopping any momentum; the only thing he can glean from Nevada is to pick up signals that he is able to get minority support.

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