Last gasp to stop Trump

Last gasp to stop Trump

The Briefing, Vol. IV, Issue 11-

This week:

  • Trump’s week in delegates was poor
  • Will the violence matter?
  • Delegate math

Tuesday’s GOP races:

Florida (99 delegates): Plurality winner take all. Bound for three ballots at the national convention unless released by their pledged candidate.

Illinois (69): Voters select 54 delegates by name from the ballot, where the names are printed along with presidential preference. Fifteen bonus delegates for the statewide winner. All delegates (except those elected as uncommitted) are bound for the first ballot at the national convention.

Missouri (52): Five delegates for the winner of each Congressional District, and 12 bonus delegates to the statewide winner. Exception: If a candidate receives more than 50 percent, he takes all 52.

North Carolina (72): Delegates awarded proportionally statewide to everyone, effective threshold of 1.39 percent. Bound for the first vote at the national convention. Delegates are bound at the national convention only for the first vote.

Ohio (66): Winner take all.

Little Tuesday, Small Saturday: The second big Tuesday election (not-really-super Tuesday) went mostly in Donald Trump’s favor. He lost big in Idaho, but Ted Cruz was unable to get to 50 percent and deny him all delegates. Meanwhile, Trump won Hawaii’s caucuses as well as primaries in Michigan and Mississippi. For the night:

Trump won 72 delegates

Cruz won 57

Kasich won 17

Rubio won 1

On Saturday, however, Trump was nearly shut out. He missed the threshold for winning delegates in Washington, D.C. He was shut out in Guam, and barely got one delegate out of Wyoming’s county conventions. Given Wyoming’s state convention rules, all of the outstanding delegates there will almost certainly go to Cruz.

So for the week, the count doesn’t look that great for Trump, despite his strong night on Tuesday:

Trump: 73

Not Trump: 138

He fell shy of 35 percent of delegates on the week. In that sense, he did not keep pace with what he needs for the nomination.

But in a more important sense, Trump still has a very clear path. With Florida, Ohio, Arizona and New Jersey still ahead — big winner-take-all states — he has the opportunity to make up for lost ground from this week, and then some. That’s where this coming Tuesday comes in.

The real Super Tuesday II is March 15. It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for Marco Rubio and John Kasich. The final result in Missouri and Illinois and North Carolina will be relatively inconsequential compared to the result in Florida (where Trump is expected to win) and Ohio (where he is expected to lose to Kasich, the incumbent governor).

A loss in either of these states makes Trump’s path much more difficult. It raises the possibility that Western states, which have not looked kindly upon his candidacy, will ultimately deny him the nomination on the first ballot at convention. A loss in both states would almost guarantee a convention fight.

On the other hand, a win in both Ohio and Florida makes a Trump nomination almost inevitable.

Political violence: The new discussion over the weekend was about this. It’s a grim topic.

Every election year, there’s some kind of incident involving political violence somewhere, but it’s usually isolated and minor. A campaign headquarters has a brick thrown through its window at night. There’s a confrontation between union workers and Republican volunteers. A campaign’s get-out-the-vote vehicles have their tires slashed. That sort of thing happens sometimes.

Never in recent history has it happened so often and with just one campaign in a primary, as is happening now with Donald Trump’s. And Trump has definitely been encouraging it. He has promised to pay the legal bills of people who assault protestors, and he said Sunday he may do just that for a man who suckerpunched one of them at a rally. He’s expressed his own desire to punch them in the face. He has complained that there are not severe enough consequences for protesting. He has expressed satisfaction that those who are arrested for minor disruptions in his events will now have criminal record for life.

Will it hurt him as suburban GOP voters witness the Weimar-ization of American politics in horror? Or will the admittedly well-organized leftist effort to force cancellation of Trump’s Chicago rally backfire and generate sympathy for him?

It’s really hard to say. What appeared to be a developing anti-Trump backlash fizzled last Tuesday. And nothing else has blocked Trump up to now. Republican voters who oppose Trump have proven in most places to be fractious and unwilling to sacrifice the idea that their candidate can still win.

The reality is, Trump is the only one with a realistic path to a majority of delegates. Cruz can only come close. Rubio is finished. Kasich can’t even get close.

Delegate Math: Barring a last-minute miracle of mind-changing or a severe drop-off in his election day turnout due to recent events, Trump is very likely to win Florida and all 99 of its delegates on Tuesday.

After that, even if Kasich deprives Trump of Ohio’s 66 delegates, Cruz probably has to win majorities and take all 40 of Utah’s delegates, plus prevail in the winner-take all contests in Nebraska and Arizona to have any chance of stopping Trump.

These outcomes are all certainly possible. Westerners and Plains Staters have not been kind to Trump so far. The map of the race, incidentally, shows a borderline for Trump support forming near the Mississippi River, with the exceptions of Maine and Nevada, where Trump has many employees. The Tuesday races in Missouri and Illinois will help define that border more completely:
Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 12.32.01 AM

(via Wikipedia)


But even all of these outcomes do not guarantee that Trump will be stopped. More importantly, they don’t guarantee that he will fall far enough short of the requisite number of delegates that he cannot win in a contested convention.

Trump’s best regions have been the South and the Northeast — two culturally different areas that share the trait of economic stress on white working class voters.

Although the South has mostly voted (Trump is likely to complete his sweep by narrowly prevailing in North Carolina), much of the Northeast remains available. And that has actually been Trump’s best region so far. He has to be considered a strong favorite in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, which together will award 193 delegates. (Pennsylvania is a bit more of a question-mark, but a Trump victory there is quite likely as well.) Of those, only New Jersey is winner-take all, but Trump is very likely to come out of the region with most of those delegates.

Right now, Trump’s opponents and the already-dropped-outs have a total of 511 delegates, and Trump has 460. There is a further handful of uncommitted delegates that Trump is unlikely to get. That means there are about 1,400 delegates left to be won.

The only real question at this point is how the non-Trumps get not only to 1,237, but also far enough beyond it that Trump can’t win by drawing a few strays on the first or second ballot.

Florida: Rubio has been working the early vote nine ways to Sunday. He should begin the evening with a large advantage in the count on those grounds. But it’s almost impossible to imagine him pulling off a victory when trailing in the polls by so much. Yuge advantage to Trump.

Illinois: Trump just fired his state campaign director on the grounds that his get-out-the vote operation there is a disaster. Cruz seems to have smelled blood earlier and scheduled extra campaign events in the Deadbeat State for Monday. It’s up for grabs.

Missouri: Trump leads narrowly in the polls, but Cruz has been been working every corner of the state hard, and with good surrogates like David Limbaugh. Most of the delegates are awarded by Congressional District, so keep an eye on where the votes are being won. The Evangelical core of the state’s Republicans should favor Cruz, but as always, the question of whether you vote for Trump depends more on whether you actually go to church.

North Carolina: Trump should win here, but he won’t get a majority of the delegates, thanks to its new proportional system. Delegates for everyone, even Rubio. Another win for team #nevertrump.

Ohio: Kasich has a narrow edge, and Rubio’s vote is collapsing in an effort to help him over the top. His campaign underperformed expectations badly in Michigan, but this is his home state. He should do better here, shouldn’t he?



  1. What a lot of BS! It is amazing to me how many supposedly educated people are trying so hard to dump Trump! Smells like the RNC who is in the pocket of the large donors and PACS is trying everything possible even border line illegal. Just remember “WE THE PEOPLE” , the voters have long memories and will be the fly in your ointment for a long time to come!

    • Well said parthenon1! The people will break the establishment king makers. We have spoken and will no longer settle for John McCain/Mitt Romney RINOs.

  2. So…let’s get this straight. So called conservatives – fresh from blaming The Donald for violent left-wing brownshirts/anti-White racists funded by Sonos causing trouble in Chicago – are not trying to win the nomination but simply trying to stop The Donald from winning? Wouldn’t that subvert the will of the people?

  3. As a Floridian I can tell you that me and most of my friends are voting for Trump. The Establishment king makers are not going to win this time. The establishment needs to get over it and bow to the will of the people. If you force a contested convention it will be the end for the GOP. We will leave in droves, possibly the Tea Party will become an actual independent party.

  4. There is only one candidate that can be the Republican choice and that is Trump.
    Cruz held dual citizenship for Canada and the USA, but that does not allow hime to be POTUS.
    Natural born requires the father to be a U.S. citizen because natural born follows paternal not maternal lines, that is why his mother became Mrs. Cruz and not vice versa.
    If Cruz were elected POTUS then we would have Obama until the Supreme Court decides.
    Use your grey matter people or do you really want the Bitch of Benghazi as POTUS.

    • “:Natural born requires the father to be a U.S. citizen because natural born follows paternal not maternal lines, that is why his mother became Mrs. Cruz and not vice versa.”

      It’s only Monday and you’ve already won the weekly prize for the most moronic statement.
      Citizenship in the US follows no gender. If a woman is born in the US she is a US citizen. The children she gives birth to no matter where are American citizens. Women who give birth to a child in a hospital in a foreign country have babies who are American citizens.If she brings the baby to the US it needs no Visa and no Passport.
      Foreign nations typically confer citizenship on any person born on their soil. Almost all nations recognize dual citizenship. The US does not. Citizenship from another country means nothing to the US since it isn’t recognized. If the persons declare themselves American citizens or the mother proves that she is an American citizen who gave birth outside the continental US the child who grows up in the US is a citizen. A birth certificate and an affidavit from the US embassy in the country of birth provides the necessary proof of the birth location taken from the birth certificate and the mother’s proof of citizenship.
      Another example?
      If a foreign national gives birth in the US that child is an American citizen. It happens many times every day especially in California. If the mother is deported and takes the child with her he can return any time he wishes just by showing his birth certificate.
      I’ve known of Trump’s antics for 40 years. When I worked in NYC he was on the Page 6 gossip page of the New York Post nearly every day. He files law suits more than you change your socks. He rarely followed through with the suits usually because he had no basis for the suit except for some trumped up reason. He uses them for attention and to force people to give in if they don’t want to go to court.

      • You call my statement moronic but you did not read it very well.
        Do you not understand the word paternal Vs maternal.
        Cruz is a dual citizen, but he dropped his Canadian citizenship.
        The father and only the father determines whether the child is natural born.
        Get your facts straight before you make yourself look more like a fool than you really are.
        Read up on Vattel.

        • Going for a second moron prize?
          I read very well, better than I write. Maternal and paternal descend from the Latin Mater and Pater. I also read the US laws and you should try it too.

          • Then you should look carefully at what you read because you are obviously not in communication with your brain.
            duces tecum

  5. Get 0ver it, The American people want and need Trump. We want you losers to just sit down and shut up and quit trying to stop Trump from the job the majority want him to have.

  6. Not only will Trump have the majority, but he is the only one who can beat Hillary! Cruz cannot. If the establishment puts him in with their games it will split the GOP and that will be the end and Hillary!

    • Actually, Cruz probably does beat Hillary. Hillary doesn’t poll very well against any of the Republicans. I live in Pennsylvania. She’s currently losing the state to all four remaining Republicans.

  7. “the question of whether you vote for Trump depends more on whether you actually go to church.”
    Really? How so? Have there been exit polls asking voters who they voted for correlated with a question how often they went to church? I think the anonymous writer is making this stuff up. I don’t find Cruz any more genuinely religious than any of the other candidates. Or are we to elect a President on their ability to memorize Bible verses?

  8. The more they squeal, the more we oil them with our votes for Trump! Drown out their squealing! #VoteTrump2016 #AlwaysTrump

  9. I think we’ve had enough of this hocus pocus BS. The people choose Trump and he will be President. Hillary is not in jail yet, so she will try anything that she can make appear legal. Her “rap sheet” should do her in. Trump needs to have body armor and a “popemobile” surrounded by bullet shields. These crooks will stop at nothing.

    • Today Hillary stated that the USA suffered no deaths in Libya during her time as Secretary of State.
      Do you think her shoes might stink if she smelled them. She forgot about Benghazi, again.

  10. Reminds me of the Stop Reagan rhetoric i.e., ‘Class B Actor’. It’s time the news media gets a grip and starts ‘objective’ reporting. Everything you write is stained with ‘Anti-Trump’ and is reprehensible. Notice the popular appeal of Trump to the American working people. Doesn’t that mean anything anymore?

    Trump 2016!

  11. Actually Trump will lose largely to Hillary.. I’m not saying I will or won’t at this point, but I can tell you that a very large % of republican voters will stay home if Trumps the nominee..

    • Today Hillary stated that the USA suffered no deaths in Libya during her time as Secretary of State. She forgot about Benghazi, again.

      • Look, Hillary is a bad nominee, no doubt about that. As Americans, we better figure out how to work together against these two establishments because it appears that Kasich and Rubio won’t leave. What I see going on today with the Republican side, making points how some delegates wouldn’t have to pledge to the winner on the first ballot only means that neither Trump, nor Cruz have any shot at getting the nomination in a contested convention. Did I mention Jeb Bush stated he would win the nomination without winning the primary? Don’t trust these corrupt politicians, both Cruz and Trump are anti-establishment, the only way we Americans have a chance at winning this thing is for one of these guys to humble themselves and put America first by pledging delegates to one or the other. Only way we win.

        • Rubio is now history. Kasich has no chance of getting the nod.
          Trump has over 60% support of Republicans and over 50% of independents.
          Since Cruz is not natural born, he might as well just pledge his to Trump.
          Then Trump might get him on the Supreme Court where they do not have to be natural born.
          There is no way that the establishment wins this year.
          Additionally, some experts have suggested that the precise meaning of the natural-born-citizen clause may never be decided by the courts because, in the end, presidential eligibility may be determined to be a non-justiciable political question that can be decided only by Congress rather than by the judicial branch of government.

          • Ron, anybody that can read and think care very little about the birther issue. Trump had a good day, but as long as Kasich stays in he won’t be able to get 50% in the states to steal all the delegates.. No one is going to make it to 1237.. Kasich gets out, possibly… Trump still needs close to 58% of the delegates left to make it. Sorry but you look at the states, like Utah, Arizona, Wisconsin. He is not going to make the magic # and the establishment will never vote the delegates to him. Cruz isn’t going to get out either. He’s raised a lot of money and btw has support in a lot of these states.. If Rubio would have got out when he should The delegate count would be much different. Don’t kid yourself by parroting some in the tank Fox News analyst.

    • Please tell us where you purchased the crystal ball that so accurately predicts the future?
      Any republican nominee will out shine Hillary or Sanders. And any Republican voter that sits out this election pouting because their candidate didn’t make the cut will spend the next 4 years pissing and moaning about the horrors of socialist democrats.

  12. All the conversation is of stopping Trump. How about a conversation in reversing 8 years of social democrats “Fundamentally Changing America”, oppressing the middle class and favoring special interest groups. This is not about hate … it is about EQUALITY for the middle class who has been victimized by both political parties.

  13. What makes you think Republicans want to stop Trump??? I VOTED FOR HIM!!! And, I hope he gets the nomination. If he doesn’t it’ll be because of all the liberal creep intervention that has been taking place. Go Donald!! You’re the only one running that can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!

  14. Once we get Trump in office let’s clean the house and Senate. We must get all old timers out of office,they think they can not be taken out of office. As far as all the cut to SS and Military salaries, let’s cut their retirement and benefits to be more what our framers had in mind. No one is supposed to be in politics as a career. Serve your term and get out. Then we can end their retirement and benefit package. These people ride the real grave train.

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