Arab America Picks a President: March Madness (Part II)
BY: Fred Shwaery/Arab America Contributing Writer
Basketball is down to the Final Four and the presidential contest is down to the Final Five. Some might say the Final Four for president but John Kasich is hanging in there just in case.
It’s a smart move by Kasich as it looks like the Republicans will decide on their nominee at the convention in July. Even if he wins all remaining delegates, he cannot win the nomination before the convention – only Donald Trump and Ted Cruz can and that’s not that likely. Kasich and Marco Rubio might have enough delegates to affect the outcome of this race. If so, they become very important players in the convention.
Cruz needs to win a whopping 92% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination and Trump needs 60%. All Cruz and Kasich can do is to stop Trump from winning the 498 delegates he needs to win. In April and May, 536 delegates will be up for grabs so it looks like we’re headed to the final Super Tuesday on June 7 where the final 303 delegates will decide if Trump wins or they go to convention. Then, it’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen!
The Democrats are on “spring break” until April 5. They will have two more Super Tuesdays on April 26 and June 7. Now, there are 1,747 delegated still to be earned. Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by a couple hundred earned delegates. Where she has her big lead is with the superdelegates where she has a commanding lead of 467 to 26.
Superdelegates never have selected a winner over what the people have decided in primaries and caucuses. That is why counting earned delegates is so important. It is doubtful that the superdelegates who are supporting Clinton will actually remain with her if Sanders takes the lead in earned delegates.
He can catch her is he if he does very well in the remaining states. If he does, expect the superdelegates to join his side. Clinton has strong support of the superdelegates and many will want to remain loyal to her but it will be very difficult for these superdelegates to overturn the will of the people. Democratic Party leaders will not want to go to the convention and overturn the work of thousands of workers and millions of voters. It will be damaging to party unity to do so.
Both parties have difficult situations to face as they get closer to their conventions. Republicans have Trump earning more delegates and votes than any other Republican candidate and possibly not winning the Republican nomination. The Anybody-But-Trump activists are working to send this nomination to a brokered convention. Keep in mind that the actual nominee need not have been one of the original 17 Republican candidates for president. They can select anybody such as Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan.
Democrats will have an uncomfortable issue to face, too and that is superdelegates. What will happen if Sanders catches and passes Clinton in earned delegates? He’d have to finish strong and take the remaining delegates to catch her. If he does, what will her superdelegates do?
No matter how the people vote, these two contests are going to be decided in June. Enjoy the rest of March Madness.
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