Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Your guide to the Wisconsin Primary
The obsession with the Wisconsin Primary tonight shows the desperation of the cable networks (and the increasingly irrelevant Conservative Commentariat Concentrated in the Capital) to keep alive a Republican nomination process that ended on Super Tuesday. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are addicted to Donald Trump, as are those who hate him. They are the most likely to tune in, as Trump supporters know they have won and are moving on with their lives.
But hey, I will play along because readers need some guidance to get through the fog of cable news.
1. From Fox News: "Wisconsin Republicans have picked their party’s eventual presidential nominee in every primary since 1968."
That is because the primary comes after the nomination has been decided.
2. From Chuck Todd: "Since Mitt Romney delivered his anti-Trump speech a month ago, the Stop Trump forces haven't been able to beat the real-estate mogul -- outside of Ohio (John Kasich's home state), Idaho, and Utah. So a win in Wisconsin would be a real victory for the #NeverTrump folks."
Actually not. Wisconsin was never a Trump state. Back in December, Nate Silver figured out the separate paths to 1,237 delegates for each candidate. He said Trump needed just 18 of the 42 delegates in Wisconsin, while Cruz needed 33.
But wait, there is more. Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit just shocked everyone by pointing out that because Trump's real states -- New York, New Jersey and other cosmopolitan places -- vote this month, Cruz will be mathematically eliminated from hitting 1,237 by month's end. That is after Hoft gave Cruz 40 Wisconsin delegates and Trump 2.
3. More from Chuck Todd: "Wisconsin awards 42 delegates, and it's possible that Cruz can win all of them -- given that they're allocated winner-take-all by both statewide vote (15 total delegates) and results in individual congressional districts (three delegates in each of the state's eight districts). So Trump's current lead could shrink from 275 delegates to 233 (if Cruz wins all of the delegates). Or it could shrink to around 260 (if Trump is able to win some of the congressional districts). And in race where EVERY delegate matters, this is important."
What Todd left out that after tonight, there will be 806 delegates left to pick, and Cruz would need to take 533 of the 806 (66 percent) just to tie The Donald.
A split of 403 each with Trump taking only two tonight would give Trump a lead of 1,141 to 906 over Cruz.
Do you think Republicans would get away with denying a man with 46 percent of the delegates the nomination in favor of someone with 37 percent?
The real story is that Trump is within single digits in the polls (which again I still do not trust given the big misses in Iowa and Michigan) despite sailing into the headwinds of unfavorable demographics and opposition by Governor Scott Walker and the rest of the Republican Party.
I cannot emphasize this enough: Trump is winning despite himself because the message -- not the messenger -- is of primary importance this year. Supporters do delight that Trump is entertaining and bombastic. Few things are as satisfying as flipping the bird. But the rebels won the nomination because their message is clear: Make America Great Again.
On Wisconsin, my prediction is: Cable news will drag this on because they need the ratings. The Panama Papers scandal doesn't attract eyeballs because most normal people think the Panama Papers are used to smoke Panama Red. But like Watergate, it could develop into a story.
Till then, cable news is Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump.