I hate to say I told you so. Wait, no, I looooove saying I told you so. And frankly, I need to say I told you so. In my slow scale from the depths of “Marco Rubio will win the Republican Primary,” every step counts. If you want analysis, skip to the end or come back later in the week, when I plan to break down the Cruz-Kasich alliance. If you want unabashed boasting, and I know you don’t, keep reading.
“I think too many people are ignoring how Trump’s big win in New York will set up the rest of the calendar to get him to 1,237.” –PPFA, April 8
A week later, sites like FiveThirtyEight still severely underprojected what Trump would do in the northeast. It said Trump was projected to 71 of New York’s 95 delegates, to say nothing of winning only about two-thirds of the delegates in the five other northeast states.
That was despite the fact that three days earlier, my second post back said Trump would get 90 delegates in New York and Kasich would earn 5, which is exactly what happened. That post also pointed out that “To make matters worse, the week after New York will be Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Each have their own quirky allocations, but, as always, they are kind to the winners and will allow them to quickly accrue delegates. None of them are up Cruz’s alley, and all available polls (linked in the first sentence of this paragraph) show Trump ahead across the board. Cruz will be mathematically eliminated from getting 1,237 by the end of April.” –PPFA, April 10
That happened, too. What also happened was my prediction that Republicans were about to start talking themselves into Trump in large numbers, and the “the Republican mainstream will eventually circle the wagons.” –PPFA, April 15
Yesterday’s numbers, which showed a comfortable majority for Trump in all five states, reveal that the Trump’s support ceiling of yesteryear has been substantially raised.
Perhaps most pointedly, on April 17, two days before the New York Primary, I wrote “End Game,” where I predicted Trump would win 196 of the 213 pledged delegates across the six northeast states, including delegate sweeps in Pennsylvania and Delaware with good shots to sweep Connecticut and Maryland as well. Trump is on his way to clearing a few more delegates than even I expected. I thought that by the time we got done with this eight-day stretch of primaries, the overall delegate standings (with percent of remaining delegates needed to reach 1,237 in parentheses) would be:
But I was wrong. As of now, the standings are:
- Trump 956
- Cruz 547
- Kasich 154
This hot streak culminated in yesterday’s predictions for the I95 primary:
I hedged against my “End Game” prediction that thought Trump would sweep Maryland and stupidly gave Kasich a Maryland district yesterday. Other than that: rock solid.
It carried over into the Democratic Primary, too (results so far):
Okay, bragging over.
What does it all mean?
Isn’t it obvious? There’s a reason my discouraged last post before PPFA’s hiatus depicted Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump yelling. It was a preview for a general election that will have Republicans warming up to Trump as he screams things about Clinton that they’ve been dying for a high profile politician to say for years (Benghazi, emails, Monica, corruption, woman card, and so, so much more), and Clinton will scream back about Trump’s unAmerican bigoted xenophobia (for starters). It’ll be fun, assuming your idea of fun is having a nightly cry about what’s happened to this country.
On the Democratic side, we can say last night ended the Sanders campaign, but it’s been effectively dead since New York (and I’d say since Nevada). Its spirit lives on as Sanders pushes forward to keep the party as progressive as possible, but the competitive part of the primary is dead.
As far as the GOP, Indiana will serve as New York did last week for the Democrats. It can be the official burial of the challengers, or it can extend the process a bit further. For the Democrats, it put Sanders six feet under. For the Republicans… well, we’ll know in six days. Next time, I’ll look at the crazy Cruz-Kasich collusion and how it might impact Indiana and the final ten primaries.
In the meantime, make no mistake: despite six weeks of the media’s (social and otherwise) hopeful noise about Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders still having a chance, we have been careening toward a Clinton-Trump general election for quite some time. Ted Cruz frames them as “two New York liberals.” I see them as the two most unpopular politicians in the country, a thoroughly depressing condemnation of our political system. The path to victory for each will be to get you to hate the opponent more than you’ve hated anyone, even though there’s a strong chance you already do.
See? I told you it’d be fun.