A bunch more updates. Bullet points incoming!
- People spend a lot of time talking about the Super Delegates on the Democratic side, but they tend to overlook the importance of the more than 200 unbound delegates on the Republican side. They’re unbound by rule, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have loyalties, and Ted Cruz is working his ass off to make sure that their loyalties are to him. So sure, Trump can wine and dine them at his cheesy house in Florida if he wants to, but do you really think that the kind of human being that’s loyal to Ted Cruz is going to be swayed by a trip to Florida or a box of Trump wine and steaks? I’ve got my doubts about that…
- Colorado is one of the state’s with unbound delegates, and that state is holding its conventions this weekend. To say that it’s Cruz in a rout doesn’t even begin to describe the disfunction that is the Trump campaign. In one instance Trump’s delegates weren’t on the ballot due to the campaign’s inability to complete paperwork in a timely fashion, in part (but only part!) because the Trump campaign fired their point person in Colorado the week before the convention. In another instance, the Trump team handed out flyers with instructions for supporters to vote for candidates who weren’t on the ballot at all. Tell me again how Trump is a business genius who has lead complex organizations to glory? [UPDATE: Cruz has won all of the state’s delegates. And Trump’s team is really just totally inept – in one instance they told their supporters to vote for a Cruz delegate!]
- Washington State is just as bad. Team Trump seems to have made something of a better effort here, but only marginally so. Two days after the filing deadline for delegates, the campaign sent out emails to its supporters encouraging them to register. Even worse, it appears that the campaign sent the email both to people in the state and to people living in Washington, DC. Well done Team Trump!
- And then there’s Indiana. State party leaders are working like crazy to make sure that the delegates the state sends are as hostile to Trump as possible. Just check out this fantastic quote from Craig Dunn, a local party official from Indiana’s 4th District: “If Satan had the lead on him and was one delegate away from being nominated as our candidate, and Donald Trump was the alternative, I might vote for Donald Trump. I’ve always wanted to own a casino, but he couldn’t give me a casino and have me vote for him.” If this Politico story is to be believed, this isn’t an instance of Cruz out-working Trump at the state level; this is simply the party people in Indiana despising Trump and working on their own to box him out. His people have tried to make some inroads in the state, but when the state party leaders are opposed to you, there’s really nothing you can do.
- As all this has been happening, Trump has ordered a major shakeup inside his campaign. As I mentioned in my last bullet-pointed update, Trump has named Paul Manafort to lead his hunt for the delegates, and perhaps to head his entire campaign. But this guy’s been out of the electoral game for a long time, and his first major interview with the Washington Post is a bit of a train wreck. But hey…let’s cut the guy some slack and wait to see how the next few weeks play out. Maybe he really will be able to turn this entire thing around?
- Oh who am I kidding. He’s not going to be able to do THAT. Check out this epic take on the three-ring circus that is the Trump campaign. I’ve been wondering why Trump has been so silent the last few days, and I suspect this article fills in the gaps that explain why. Everyone hates everyone else, no one is sure who is in charge, some people have quit and others have been laid off, and they don’t even have a campaign manager for the state of California. California, a winner-take-most state with more than 172 of the remaining 769 delegates up for grabs! Even if everything breaks right for Trump between now and California, he’s still going to need to do well there on Election Day AND then keep hold of his delegates as they work they way up to the state convention, and I wouldn’t be willing to bet money on either of those outcomes.
- Once last thing: Trump has taken to Twitter to complain about having to campaign for delegates. He’s amazing. He clearly has no idea at all how party politics works! We live in a republican, not a democracy, and that isn’t just something people like me say to annoy you. It has very real consequences for just about everything that happens in our government! I’m not precisely sure when people stopped understanding this, but it’s becoming increasingly clear to me during this election that the do not. More on that later…
- UPDATE: Cruz is also out-maneuvering Trump in Virginia and Iowa. Amazingly, however, Trump and Kasich appear to have secured some spots on the Rules Committee from Michigan. I love the Trump’s people in that state say it’s a “big win” for them to have secured all the delegates they “won” on Election Day. Well done guys, you did what you were supposed to do. It’s a head-spinning win! (Source)
- As expected, Bernie has won the Wyoming caucuses. But! Hillary did much better than expected, so they are likely to straight split the 14 delegates that come from the state. That means that as of this evening, Bernie is even further from the nomination than he was this morning. Assuming these results hold at the state’s convention, of course, which they might not! Gotta watch those conventions to know what’s going on. We live in a republic, not a democracy, people! [UPDATE: Confirmed: the delegates have been split despite Bernie’s “win.”]
- Sanders appears to be closing in on her in California, however, so there’s still reason for his supporters to hope. But the truth of it is, unless there’s a major change in the race, he’s going to have to win California by a very big margin to secure the nomination. And since California awards its delegates proportionally, and since he’s currently trailing her in the polls, it’s hard to see how that happens. But you never know, right?