More primaries Tuesday night? What in the who? Even though Donald Trump has wrapped up the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton has nearly closed out the Democratic nomination, two states will nevertheless make their preferences known. West Virginia will host primaries for each party; Nebraska will host its Republican primary. There are some narrative stakes in the West Virginia Democratic contest, while there are no stakes in the Republican contests … UNLESS THERE ARE?
Clinton and Bernie Sanders will vie for 29 delegates allocated proportionately. At this moment, according to the Associated Press’ count, Clinton leads Sanders by 290 pledged delegates (1,705 to 1,415), and 774 total delegates (2,228 to 1,454) when superdelegates are included. She will be unable to reach the overall majority mark of 2,383 total delegates Tuesday night, but proportional allocation ensures she’ll inch closer.
Thirty-four Republican delegates are up for grabs in West Virginia through an annoyingly complex system. They’re alloca … ugh, do we really have to do this now that it’s just Trump? … OK fine … they’re allocated mostly through direct election of delegates. Nine delegates will be elected directly by congressional district (three per district). Then there are 22 at-large delegate candidates, with no more than seven coming from each congressional district, chosen by voters statewide. The overall leading delegate candidate in the at-large contest goes to the convention regardless, so really one district will get eight at-large delegates. (There are several hundred delegate candidates running for the 22 at-large slots.) Then another three delegates go to the statewide winner. That was exhausting! Nebraska, which we like better for allocating its delegates in simpler fashion, awards all 36 delegates to the statewide winner.
Polls close at 7:30 p.m. ET in West Virginia and 8:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. MT in Nebraska.
Hillary Clinton may be finished with Bernie Sanders, but he’s not finished with her. There’s been sparse polling of West Virginia, but what does exist gives Sanders the edge, as should be expected in a mostly white state. Neither candidate supports burning hydrocarbons limitlessly, forever, and this is a state in which Donald Trump would wax whatever Democratic competition is sent his way.
If Sanders wins as expected, it will barely make a dent in his pledged delegate deficit, just as it barely made a dent when Clinton won the state late in her 2008 challenge against Barack Obama. It will offer Sanders further justification for staying in the contest through the June 7 primaries and perhaps beyond, if he’s really serious about using the time between then and the Philadelphia convention to sway superdelegates.
West Virginia was always going to be one of Donald Trump’s best states given his strength in Appalachia. He is even more likely to win West Virginia now that his Republican rivals have all suspended their campaigns …
… but only so they could later unsuspend them??
Sen. Ted Cruz was always favored to win the Nebraska primary. He cleans up in the Great Plains. Even though he suspended his campaign a week ago, his name is still on the Nebraska ballot. If he somehow manages to win Nebraska, could Lyin’ Ted’s suspension of his campaign prove to have been his greatest lie of all? Cruz is bizarrely not ruling out the possibility:
Cruz, who suspended his White House run last week, said he does not expect to win Nebraska’s primary but is leaving the door open.
“We launched this campaign intending to win. The reason we suspended our campaign was that with the Indiana loss, I felt there was no path to victory,” he said Tuesday on conservative host Glenn Beck’s radio program.
“If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly.”
Right. Even if Cruz did take Nebraska, that win was already factored into everyone’s math last week, and everyone’s math—including his own!—showed that he was cooked. So I don’t know what the hell he is talking about. He held the interview on his way to the airport, where he was about to fly back to Washington, D.C. and his lousy job in the lousy Senate where everyone hates his lousy guts. Whatever he has to do to get his mind off of that, I guess.