Another PPFA Victory Lap

Presidential Politics for America is on a major heater. Remember Iowa? In addition to my “Clinton by a nose” prediction (she won by three-tenths of a percent), there was the following:

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After such success, I decided to expand my predictions down the board for the next state. However, a slight stumble regarding winning margins in New Hampshire followed, though I called the Sanders win (along with the rest of the civilized world, though the civilized world might have done better with the spread), and I had the basic idea on the GOP side:

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I admitted my hesitance to order that three-way tie for third; they finished with a percentage point of each other.

And then there was yesterday. I thought we would see “a very narrow Clinton win” in Nevada, and it looks like she’s headed toward a five-ish point win. Pretty narrow.

On the Republican side, I’m even prouder. Even with crazy, inconsistent South Carolina polling below Trump, I took a swing with:

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I, too, am shocked.


But enough gloating. What of yesterday’s ramifications?

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has her tourniquet. That gush of wind you felt yesterday afternoon was the Clinton Campaign breathing a sigh of relief. She’s now a lock to win South Carolina, where she’s still up big despite Sanders’s successful early stages of February. The narrative will now shift back to, “Can Sanders win a state that’s not white and liberal?” until Super Tuesday. A Clinton blowout will also creep back into the conversation.

Nonetheless, Sanders’s national momentum was real, and I don’t think Nevada nullifies that. Let’s keep an eye on those national numbers in this week leading up to South Carolina.


With the Republicans, we gained a bit more clarity. Jeb Bush’s withdrawal leaves us with just five candidates. One of them is Ben Carson, which leaves us with just four candidates.

Time to update the bracket!

Bracket 3

Our first upset! Who needs March to have madness? Rubio and Kasich are our last two establishment candidates, while Trump pulls away from Cruz in their antiestablishment regional final.

We can expect Bush’s five percent to split mostly to Kasich (a fellow moderate governor) and Rubio (the leading establishment candidate). His supporters have surely been alienated by Trump and have little in common with Cruz.

As for our remaining contenders, let’s see how they feel about their situation just two days before Nevada and nine days from Super Tuesday.

1. Donald Trump–32.5 percent in South Carolina: What a yuge night for Donald Trump. Of South Carolina’s 50 delegates, 29 are awarded to the overall winner. The other 21 are determined by South Carolina’s seven Congressional districts; winning a district earns a candidate three delegates. Trump has won at least five of them, adding 15 delegates to his haul and earning him at least 44 from the state. The other two districts are too close to call between he and Rubio, but a Trump 50-delegate sweep is in play.

Furthermore, Nevada polling — as scant as it may be with only two polls since New Hampshire (the only two done in 2016) — suggests another big Trump win coming:

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Once again, Trump is the heavy favorite. And once again, we’ll have a tight race for second.

2. Marco Rubio–22.5 percent in South Carolina:
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3. Ted Cruz–22.3 percent in South Carolina: For Rubio, even a ten-point loss to Trump and just a 0.2 percent point margin over Cruz is good enough for him to be extremely happy with this result. He’s bounced back well from New Hampshire, and the media clearly wants to anoint him despite Rubio having not yet won a state. Cruz, meanwhile, is claiming to be the only candidate who can beat Trump because he has been the only candidate to actually do it.

These two candidates will battle each other in Nevada and on Super Tuesday to be the obvious alternative to Donald Trump. They and Kasich like their chances if it comes down to a one-on-one with Trump, but their stubbornness to be a “one” means they’ll be part of the “three” for another few weeks.

4. John Kasich–7.6 percent in South Carolina: He’s totally fine with it. He didn’t spend any resources in the state, but he still capped Jeb Bush’s total and played a small part in forcing him out. Without Bush, Kasich can sponge up his voters that identified as moderate, establishment, or desirous of a governor. Expect Kasich to go hard after the Super Tuesday states of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Minnesota to pick up a couple strong finishes and survive until March 15’s winner-take-all Ohio Primary. That’s the same day as the Florida Primary, which Rubio now looks to win thanks to Bush’s withdrawal. That can be the date where the Trump tide starts to get rolled back.


Looking forward, we don’t have to wait long for more excitement!

Democrat Primary Schedule
Monday, February 1: Iowa caucuses
Tuesday, February 9: New Hampshire Primary
Saturday, February 20: Nevada caucuses
Saturday, February 27: South Carolina Primary
Tuesday, March 1: SUPER TUESDAY!

Republican Primary Schedule
Monday, February 1: Iowa caucuses
Tuesday, February 9: New Hampshire Primary
Saturday, February 20: South Carolina Primary
Tuesday, February 23: Nevada caucuses
Tuesday, March 1: SUPER TUESDAY!

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5 thoughts on “Another PPFA Victory Lap

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