Days of Change

Brokered Back Mountain

March 31, 2016
1 Comment

A few weeks ago, a caller to the Sean Hannity show brought up a point about voting for numerically nonviable candidates, namely John Kasich. What if you were not motivated by keeping the delegate majority from Donald Trump but instead wanted to help give another candidate a larger plurality? This would make a Trump opponent viable for a longer amount of time.

Right now, Kasich needs 113% of the outstanding delegates. He won’t win the majority. Cruz needs a pretty significant 82% of outstanding delegates. So far, he’s gotten over 65% in just two states, Wyoming and Utah. Donald Trump needs 53%. While that seems to be a much more achievable figure, he hasn’t hit 50% in any state yet. Getting 53% in even his home state of New York is uncertain.

If Ted Cruz drops below the point where he could get 1237 delegates, I don’t know if I could definitively want him to drop out. Even if Trump won every single delegate in the next 3 states, Cruz would still have a theoretical path to victory. If Cruz won the next 3 states, Trump’s requirement jumps to 64%. Right now, Cruz has the lead in one winner-take all state and another more proportional state.

If Cruz doubled his current delegate count, Trump would be mathematically nonviable for a majority. If that makes Cruz a spoiler, remember Trump is getting close to not being able to have the majority of delegates as well. If you start adding in unpledged and (zombie) delegates belonging to other candidates, Trump’s claim to the mantle of top Republican isn’t set in stone.

The bottom line is, this isn’t over in April. If Cruz gets 35 delegates in the next month, it won’t be over until June 7.

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Support Holes

March 30, 2016
1 Comment

The GOP race is really starting to fall apart.

In a town hall event, because debates are passe, all three candidates still running hedged on the whole supporting the nominee business. First of all, they all pretty much hate each other. Also, they don’t the GOP to pull a fast one and choose someone else. Well, maybe Kasich wants that to happen.

The race has gone from exciting to toxic. As much as I don’t like progressive rent-a-mobs, Trump supporters are really starting to act like douchebags themselves. One anti-Trump attacker was pepper sprayed. While viscerally satisfying, I worry about how close the first Trump rally murder victim is to becoming a reality.

I’d like to have a choice on the 19th. I just hope there’s a Republican Party by then.


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Very Touchy

March 29, 2016
3 Comments

In an excellent article on HotAir, the next chapter in the Michelle Fields story is addressed. First, however, is a flashback to comments by the accused, Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

Lewandowski was charged today with misdemeanor battery. These charges were filed by Fields when the Trump campaign, in typical combative fashion, chose to deny and blame the victim rather than simply apologizing.

In typical Tramp campaign fashion, now that video has surfaced of Lewandowski grabbing Fields, they have fired back that she touched Trump first. Even if true, Lewandowski did not make that case. He made the argument that nothing happened at all. No one touched anyone. That argument is a lie.

This is why I don’t like a douchebag campaign, even if it has strong border security. Trump and his people live in denial and deny what’s right in front of them if it impacts their delusions. Michelle Fields wasn’t hurt by this incident, but I suspect America will be hurt if the people involved have both money and power.


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My Vote

March 28, 2016
2 Comments

I’ve made a lot of arguments about Donald Trump. Some of them apply to other candidates. Others are unique to him. I also find aspects of his campaign statistically difficult for a win in November. To be fair, I would like to reveal my fundamental issue with Donald Trump. I think he’s a douchebag.

That term is somewhat vulgar and is another one of those insults involving the female gender. However, it’s colloquial meaning is pretty widely accepted. Trump’s arrogance, self promotion and exaggeration of everything makes me cringe at the sound of his voice.

Ultimately, my fundamental issue with him is personal. The other things I don’t like about him and his campaign only reinforce my fundamental issue with him. What that means, however, is that I really don’t think the average Trump supporter is dumb. I do find some Trump supporters inordinately taken with him, but that happens a lot with political candidates.

We’re in the home stretch now. On the plus side, my vote in New York will mean something, even if it won’t mean anything by voting for Cruz. There’s no way this nomination is decided before May.


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Leverage

March 27, 2016
3 Comments

This primary season has less than 20 states to go with about 1/3 of the delegates left. If Ted Cruz reaches the point of mathematical impossibility, all strategies boil down to spoiling the possibility of a majority of delegates for Donald Trump. After that, the possibilities are actually worse.

Let’s assume that no one thinks Donald Trump is a bad Republican or that he is unqualified for the nomination. From a numbers standpoint, Trump isn’t all that popular. Even his supporters think that Trump may be inducing Independents and Democrats into primary races and caucuses. Trump has yet to reach 50% in any state contest. In most cases, a plurality (sometimes in the low 30’s) is enough to win more than half the delegates in a state. While those numbers have gone up in what is essentially a two man race, the only majorities are being won by Ted Cruz and those are in small states.

It’s pretty clear that Donald Trump’s campaign is leveraging lower popular support for proportionally higher delegate counts. He does just well enough to get the higher number of votes because he can’t get a majority. He’s attacked his opponents pretty much evenly, so they will all take similar sized pieces of the pie. This way, the big piece doesn’t have to be that big.

The Trump general election strategy is probably the GOP playbook for 2016: A Ham Sandwich Could Beat Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has the one thing that can lose any Republican the presidency, weak support among Republicans. If you think Trump doesn’t believe in conventional political wisdom, the biggest lie is that Republicans will go out and vote for the guy who’s not the Democrat. That piece of wisdom lost the 2012, 2008, 1996, 1992 and probably the 1976 elections.

I’m going to be really annoyed if I have to say I told you so to Hillary opponents who see her win the White House.


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Half Off

March 26, 2016
1 Comment

Now, Donald Trump is over halfway to the majority of delegates while Ted Cruz is just over a third of the way. Trump has won 20 states and Cruz has won 9. Here’s a fun fact. With only 19 states to go and about 900 delegates left, Donald J. Trump has yet to break 50% in any state. Cruz has topped 50% in 2 states out of 9, or 22%.

Even this week, Marco Rubio is still pulling significant numbers, partially due to the travesty of early voting. Trump also benefits from this ridiculous practice, with late deciders rarely going for Trump. Donald is “winning” with a non-majority plurality of votes.

If anyone can’t understand how Donald Trump can poll so badly against Hillary Clinton, just look at the GOP primary season. Trump has been using a numbers game to win winner take all states with the slimmest of pluralities while ignoring states with low delegates counts where he gets destroyed. Anyone who counters that Trump wins more Democrats and Independents in the primaries should realize that means he’s even less popular with Republicans than the polls would indicate in that case.

Even among Republicans, the anti-Trump vote is well over 50%. That works for him in what is still a 3-4 man race. However, he will only have one opponent in the general election. Republicans have a history of handing elections to Democrats when they can’t stand the Republican nominee. Even if Trump dropped out and Ted Cruz won, it might not save this election.

Putting my personal disdain for Trump aside, the numbers I see are not encouraging. These vapor polls and “gut feelings” that Trump will set the world on fire are not coming to pass in real life. If Ted Cruz is such a bad candidate, why can’t Donald Trump get even half the Republican voters to pick him?


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Macho King

March 25, 2016
1 Comment

The presidential election has hit maximum levels of stupid this week. A Super PAC supporting Ted Cruz put out a picture of Donald Trump’s wife in a naked modeling pose as part of an ad. Trump then implied that he had dirt on Cruz’s wife. Then someone freeze-framed an unflattering 1/30 of a second picture of Heidi Cruz as a comparison to a posed photo of Trump’s (current) wife.

Now, we have an Enquirer story about Ted Cruz having affairs with 5 different women. I have to say, in this election year Cruz should run with these allegations, even if they are false. I think he looks more macho than Trump if he slept with those women, especially if one was a Trump spokeswoman.


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The Biggest Loser

March 24, 2016
1 Comment

Ted Cruz won Utah and Wyoming with more than 50% of the vote. Donald Trump has yet to beat 50% in any state. Trump is pulling ahead in the delegate count, but it still relying on winning bigger states with just enough of a plurality to get the delegates. It seems pretty likely that even if Trump gets the nomination, less than half of Republican voters will have chosen him.

These kind of statistics are why I don’t accept that there is some kind of miscarriage of justice if Trump does not become the nominee. Then again, i don’t have much faith that the GOP can even use its own rules to prevent him from winning 1237 delegates.That’s what it takes, no matter what the GOP says now.


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Bad Apple

March 23, 2016
1 Comment

When Trump supporters talk about “the system,” they could be talking about soemthing like this.

One of the San Bernardino shooters had an iPhone 5C that had not backed up t the cloud weeks before the attacks. The government wanted to get into the hardware and Apple thought the method would make the phone vulnerable to others. The government made this information public and so did Apple in their response regarding security to their customers.

Most people (especially with iPhones) supported Apple since it seemed that the feds wanted a pass key into any phone instead of the data from one phone. This week, another entity (hackers?) notified the government they had a way to get into that phone and that also became public.

So, now we have a government that may have the key they wanted, a phone company with the credibility of defending personal liberty and regular citizens who may be subject to another NSA-style round of data mining. Plus, the government made sure to stick it to Apple by implying that their phones are not as secure as advertised.

Everyone wins, except for most of us.


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Arizona

March 22, 2016
1 Comment

Trump won a state. I’ll be asleep before Utah is decided.


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