Youse Lose Cruz, Clinton Loses but Takes Kentucky Border, Nate Silver Should Resign, and Other Election Thoughts

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Indiana Results - 538 is way off

Today was the Indiana primary.  It will all-but-surely (barring something truly untoward) spell the end of the Republican Presidential race.  And it looks like it will reinvigorate the supposedly-over-yet-not-over Democratic race.  Pretty good for one medium-sized state!

(1) The big news of the night is that Ted Cruz, after one last burst of vitriol at his smug and profane rival, gave up the ghost before 6 p.m. Pacific Time.  After Wisconsin, it really did seem, for a time, that he could come back.  The stars were aligning  Then almost all at once, it was as if most of the leaders in the Republican Party at the same thought: “If Ted Cruz beats Donald Trump … then we’ll be stuck with Ted Cruz!”  Some things are worse than losing with a bigoted, fascistic blowhard — and one of them, even in a state like Indiana that seemed tailor-made for his candidacy, would be losing with Ted Cruz.  After all: Trump has the entertainment appeal of professional wrestling; Cruz has the entertainment appeal of the Benghazi hearings.

(2) This is good news for California Republicans who can’t stand Trump.  Now you have two viable choices among the two major parties: you can support John Kasich, who will now move to his natural position as a conservative, or you can re-register as No Party Preference and vote for Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton.  Just got more tempting, didn’t it?  You have until March MAY 23 to re-register.

(3) Can we spare a moment to think about Carly Fiorina?  BWWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!  OK, moving on….

(4) With 85% of the vote counted, Cruz is ahead of Trump in five counties: Elkhart (mostly still uncounted); Allen County (home of Ft. Wayne) by 0.7%; Whitley, by 1.7% — and Wells, by 14.8% and Adams by a whopping 20.3%!  I think that we can all agree that we need to have a federal investigation of what the heck happened in Wells and Adams Counties, both immediately south of Ft. Wayne.  Are you guys up to something crazy or what?

(5) If “Most Trusted Polling Analyst” were a position like Chair of the Democratic National Committee, I would have to call upon Nate Silver to resign.  His track record this year of missing the rise of and calls on both Trump and Sanders has been ignominious — and, worse, smacks of serving his own personal preferences.  (I still have intelligent friends who, not having paid much attention, think that he’s been having another banner year this year.)  As the graphic shows, once again they gave Hillary a 90% chance of winning (using their preferred measure) and she lost by (with 85% of the votes in so far) about 6%.

(6) Reading the New York Times liveblog on the day’s developments is almost comical.  What scant analysis they did on Democrats addressed Clinton’s presumed huge win today — which is what happened with Trump.  Their analysis of why Trump might not win — that maybe his appeal tended to be limited to the Northeast (and South) — turned out to be a better fit for Clinton.

(7) Finally, they acknowledge that Trump was focused on three issues popular with Republicans: opposing free trade agreements, opposing immigration, and opposing Bush-era neo-conservatism abroad.  Two of those — trade and foreign policy — are not right-wing issues.  And Sanders agrees with him on those issues.  I can hardly believe that we’re going into an election focused on those issues — and the Democratic is not on the populist side!  One interview notes that a bunch of union members had reported being for Sanders — but that if Sanders lost, they would be voting for Trump.  This brings the Rust Belt in particular into play — something to which Democratic leaders seem willfully blind.  Yes, some more genteel Republicans quietly want to see Hillary win — but while they may vote for her they aren’t going to campaign for her!  What good is winning Virginia and North Carolina if you lose Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and maybe even Pennsylvania?

(8) I haven’t seen anyone pick up on this yet, but the counties that Clinton has won almost all border Kentucky — which votes in two weeks.  That bodes well for her there — as well as in West Virginia, which votes next week.  Of course, that success might be a function of her having suddenly warmed up again to increased digging of coal — and just in time!  But her embracing dirty energy to success in those states is likely to hurt her to an even greater degree in California.  She’s now going to be the candidate of fracking and coal — just what Democrats so dearly love!

(9) About Bernie Sanders dropping out of the race, as Hillary’s throngs have been demanding: this is a good short explanation for why the answer is “no.”  The longer explanation involves the quest on the part of my fellow seriously committed radical reform Democrats, who finally have their first viable candidate close to the nomination since about 1972, to be counted, to know ourselves and our number and our strength.  Every time someone asks us to give that up before California, an angel that was supposed to donate a dozen leftie votes to Hillary in November loses her wings.

(10) By the way, for those looking for the right historical antecedent for this race, it’s 1980.  Clinton is Jimmy Carter running for re-election and Teddy Kennedy is Bernie Sanders, roaring back and refusing to be stopped.

All right — the floor’s yours!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)