Beware the Ides of March

Today could be the unofficial clincher for Donald Trump, unless Kasich can pull through and Rubio can summon a miracle. 

It’s Super Tuesday Part Deux: Winner Take All (except for North Carolina).  Six primary contests will be held today on the GOP side, and five of them: Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and the Northern Mariana Islands are all-or-nothing.

Winner Take All

Florida: 99 delegates

Ohio: 66 delegates

Illinois: 69 delegates

Missouri: 52 delegates

Northern Mariana Islands: 9 delegates

Proportional

North Carolina: 72 delegates

 

Grand Total: 367 delegates


 

TRUMP1CRUZRUBIO1Kash

469 delegates            370 delegates            163 delegates             63 delegates


 

If Trump were to sweep all of the winner-take-all states and win in the proportional primary in North Carolina his total would sit at around 800 delegates, which would put him only 437 away from the 1,237 it takes to clinch.  It wouldn’t officially be over, if the tide suddenly shifted following the devastating Ides of March, and Cruz was able to win numerous states in a two-man field, he could still potentially force a contested convention in July.  But this would be highly unlikely as Trump’s lead would be all but insurmountable, and even if he fell short of the 1,237 delegates, he would likely be very close to the number making it all but impossible for the RNC to deny him the nomination and bring in a dark horse like Romney or Ryan.

Additionally, a loss by either Rubio or Kasich in their home states of Florida and Ohio would surely mean an end to both of their campaigns.  The latest polls out of Ohio show Kasich as even or +5  which gives him a punchers chance at pulling out the W.  Marco, on the other hand, is not leading in a single poll.  The most Rubio-friendly poll still had the freshman senator trailing trump by 17 points.  By all accounts, it seems as if Rubio’s rather calamitous campaign is about to come to an end.  It’s been…fun?

The way it looks like things may shake out is Trump wins: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, the Northern Mariana Islands and the proportional primary of North Carolina, and Kasich takes Ohio.  Now Ohio has 66 delegates, which is nothing to sneeze at, but even with the victory -and a few delegates from NC- Kasich would likely be around 160 or so.  And Trump would be somewhere around 750.  I’m not sure Kasich’s victory changes anything regarding the primary race, but it does bolster his appeal as a running mate – something, I’m sure Rubio was hoping to do.  Florida is the largest swing state in the country -with 29 electoral votes up for grabs- and Ohio is the second largest with 18.

So you’re thinking, is this the end?

Is this the moment when Trump finishes his ascension?

Is this when the RNC reluctantly places a golden crown (crafted from the bones of Jeb Bush) upon the Donald’s perplexingly-coiffed head?

It could be.

And it couldn’t happen on a day more fitting to the occasion: the Ides of March.  Trump is a man who -as the Huffington Post points out– shares many, unflattering qualities with Julius Caesar -the head of the Roman Empire who was brutally murdered by his own senate on this day in 44BC.

We were warned of this date, we were warned.

 

by Jesse Mechanic

 

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