Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Math and Momentum

Party nominations in the modern era are determined by two factors---math and momentum.

The math---you have to amass a certain number of delegates pledged to support you at the party convention to gain the nomination.

For the Republicans that number is 1,237 delegates.

The momentum---in the modern media age the primary process normally evolves such that only one or two candidates can gain the media attention and the money necessary over the long term to appear as credible candidates to the voters. Candidates that finish out of the top two places in the early primaries simply do not have the mojo to have much of a chance with voters in the later primary states.

So how does the math and momentum look in the Republican primary right now?

15 states have selected delegates in either primary or caucus elections. This is a graphic view of how the delegate count looks right now compliments of Bloomberg News.

Donald Trump has earned just 319 of the 1,237 required delegates---which is only about 1/4 of the total that he needs.

Trump leads Ted Cruz by less than 100 delegates. In fact, Ted Cruz has a bigger lead over 3rd place Marco Rubio than Trump has over Cruz.

Looking at the math, there is a long way to go and plenty of future delegates in play for Trump to be defeated.

A big reason for the relatively small difference in the delegate count between Trump and Cruz is the fact that the early Republican primary states typically are required to proportionally allocate delegates. This will change on March 15 when Florida and Ohio are among the first of 8 states that have "winner take all" votes. Ohio has 66 delegates and Florida 99 delegates. Of course, Marco Rubio of Florida and John Kasich of Ohio remain in the race. Will either be able to hold their state against Donald Trump's momentum?

And Trump has considerable mojo going for him right now.

How can his momentum be stopped?

Who is capable of stopping it?

It seems clear to me that if Trump wins Ohio and Florida he will be almost impossible to stop. Winning just these two states will put him almost halfway to the nomination without considering any other states. And big states such as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are still ahead on the schedule which should favor Trump.

Republicans who want to stop Trump need a game changer. And they need it right now.

It is not likely going to occur by Trump saying something stupid or outrageous. There does not appear anything that he could say that would turn his supporters against him.

It will have to be externally driven. A revelation from an outside source about something regarding his business success, finances or taxes that would undermine Trump's credibility would be the most damaging to him. However, I have a feeling that Trump is guarding this information as closely as Barack Obama has protected his college transcripts.

It will also require a two man race. Cruz, Rubio and Kasich cannot all stay in and have any hope of defeating Trump.

Cruz and Rubio getting together on a unity ticket as President/Vice President would put the Republicans in the best position they could be in to take on Trump. If we are dreaming, also announce that John Kasich would be their OMB Chief in charge of the federal budget and Ben Carson would be the head of HHS to assist in dismantling Obamacare.

Trump has shown that it is no longer politics as usual.

If he is going to be defeated, the opposition has to respond in new ways.

Egos also cannot get in the way.

Math and momentum require it.

My math on getting egos out the way and thinking in new ways?

Chances are about 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000.

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