Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My take on the Wisconsin primary.

Official Senate pictures of Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders. 

As you probably know, the Wisconsin primary was yesterday. Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won, both by large margins. Cruz got 48% of the vote while Sanders got 56%. Both winners are still far behind in delegates and the front runners both got some delegates as well. It was an historic election where turnout was huge.

I live in Wisconsin and I voted for Trump. Obviously, my guy didn't do to hot, but that was kind of expected. Voting itself was relatively painless except for the fact that it took forever. I was in line for about 20 minutes. I don't know if that is a pickup or not due to the fact that I have only voted at this polling place once before, during the 2014 midterms. It did seem pretty busy, but I got there way early in the morning. I was #293, including absentees, and I got there at about 15 minutes after the polls opened at 7:00 AM. 

I was somewhat surprised at the crowd. I was probably one of the youngest people there, and I am about a month away from being 33. There was probably one or two people that were younger, a couple people my age and the rest were older then 50. Which is surprising to me because I live on a college town. To be fair the college has a different polling place, but I was expected a few younger faces. It was probably too early in the morning I guess. 

As for Wisconsin itself, I saw a lot more people enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders then anyone else. I know a couple of Cruz voters, maybe one person that voted for Clinton, a couple of Trump supporters and nobody who wants Kasich. Diving through town yesterday on my way to the polling place I didn't see a single sign for a presidential candidate, just signs for local elections. From my vantage point enthusiasm for Sanders was through the roof, but my social group is dominated by liberals for some unholy reason, especially considering how conservative I am. 

I'm pretty disappointed with the results. I figured Trump was going to lose Wisconsin. We have too many evangelicals here and with all the Bernie support there wasn't going to be many people crossing over to vote in the GOP race, which would have helped Trump. But I wasn't expecting him to lose the delegate count so badly. He only got 6 out of a 42 possible, which is way less then I expected. I thought he was going to get at least 10, but alas he did not. 

On the other side, I don't know how to feel about Sanders winning. He's got some momentum right now, and I think he might take a few states, but I also don't think he wins the candidacy. Hillary didn't campaign hard here, and she's got advantages going into New York and the other Eastern states. I still think that Sanders is a MUCH better candidate then Clinton, but remember, my goal isn't to have a Democratic president. I want Hillary to be the candidate because she's a weaker one then Sanders is. She'd be a much worse president but she's got a lesser chance of winning. But given how awful the GOP race is right now, it's very possible that the Democrats could win the White House. Again. If that happens, I want Sanders there instead of Clinton.

Some other things to note:

1. Sanders didn't gain much of a lead on Clinton. Though he got 56% of the vote, he only got 11 more delegates then Clinton did. Clinton's got an almost 700 delegate count lead on Sanders right now. That lead shrinks to about 250 without the super delegates, but Sanders needed to catch up more then he did. 

2. Kasich was a total non-factor. Granted he did steal votes, but I think he did it from both Trump and Cruz. He got zero delegates, but 150,000 votes somehow. If all his votes went to Trump then the election may have been different, but you know that some would have gone to Cruz as well. I don't think it really matters either way though. I know I probably live in a bubble but I have no clue who voted for him. I only know one person who said something about him that was good, and most of the people I talked to about Kasich didn't even really know anything about him.

3. Trump got a bloody nose  but I doubt he is going to lose the candidacy. He is going to do very well in New York, and the other eastern states, and I think he is bouncing back from a rough couple of weeks. He's planning on giving some much needed policy speeches and he has toned down the rhetoric a bit. I'm not sure how much it will help, but Trump should recover from this. His margin of error is quite a bit slimmer though... 

4. The chances of a contested convention have gone up. And that also means that the chances of a non-delegate leading candidate being forced onto the American people. If that happens the Republican party is dead. 

5. The Cruz sex scandal did a lot less damage then I thought it would. Indeed, it may have helped him a bit since the allegations were not proven. My reaction to it was to immediately dismiss Cruz as a candidate because the threat of it blowing up between now and November are still too high. Better to go with a guy without that threat. I don't want this to be an October surprise that hands the election to the Democrats. That's my thinking anyways, but I guess Cruz's supporters saw it differently. I think everyone was expecting a follow-up report that either proved or disproved the allegations, but right now it seems to have just devolved into a finger pointing match. Without a smoking gun, my guess is that Cruz's supporters just put their fingers in their ears and hoped the story would go away. I'm still very skeptical that it will...

As for me, I am just glad I voted. My vote didn't mean too much but at least I participated in the electoral process. Though my vote didn't effect the outcome of the race at all, at least it felt good. Me voting for Trump was a gigantic middle finger to the GOP elite for what they have done this election cycle and what they have failed to do since the last time I was in the voting booth. If nothing else, it was a moral victory for me. 

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