It’s a Wednesday in March, which means that somewhere in America yesterday, people voted. After a Super Tuesday and a Semi-Super Saturday, this Tuesday was a bit more sedate; Republicans and Democrats in Mississippi and Michigan voted, as did Republicans in Idaho and Hawaii. So how did everyone do? Whom should we pity? Let’s head to our official election results to find out.
Tuesday was fun and all, but WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN ON MARCH 15?! John Kasich and Marco Rubio will find out if their home states' senate or governor like them or president likes them, and the Republican delegate floodgates will open as states become winner-take-all. If people not named Trump want to best him at the polls, next week will mark their first real chance.
So far, the divvying up of Republican delegates has been like a dreadfully slow game of Plinko. Winning a primary hasn’t meant that you won all the prizes too -- you had to wait and see how the rules of each state would govern how many delegates each candidate received. But now that some states are shifting to give winners ALL the delegates, it’s like we’re about to take a Super Soaker full of momentum and just douse the candidates in it. Whether this gives one candidate a substantial lift or just complicates the race even more remains to be seen. But still. Proud of you, delegates. It’s your time to change some games. And if not, just get excited to make everyone angry at the convention?
He may have no friends, but he’s also right when he says he’s the only person who’s been beating Trump lately. Who needs the respect of your peers when you can have victory (and by "victory," we mean "mostly coming in second place a bunch," but also a hint of winning — thanks, Idaho). You know who else had lots of endorsements from friends? JEB BUSH. Guess where he is now. Exactly.
Wait, what? There's an election? We didn't notice because JUSTIN TRUDEAU is coming to America. No, not forever; no, he’s not running -- the Constitution says that only one Canadian can run for president per election cycle. He’s heading to the White House for a state dinner and a chance to talk climate change. D.C. seems excited; an Obama administration official who went anonymous "for obvious reasons" told Politico, "Seriously, with his looks, heart, and mind, he's dreamy." Trudeau, who took photos with baby pandas before leaving to visit the cousins down South, has been paying attention to the presidential election -- and says he welcomes anyone who wants to escape to the North.
No, not because he just scored an endorsement from his favorite newspaper, the National Enquirer. Trump triumphed in Michigan, absolutely ROMPED in Mississippi, capped off the night with a win in Hawaii, and brought Trump steaks to his post-victory press conference. What more is there to say?
Hillary Clinton was supposed to sweep tonight; instead, Bernie surprised everyone and managed a big win in Michigan. (And the polls were very wrong there. Nate Silver said it "will count as among the greatest polling errors in primary history.") Down in Mississippi, Clinton won by a huge margin, as she has everywhere in the South. The delegate math still looks good for her in the long run, but Sanders has made it clear that he is capable of making sure this race doesn't end anytime soon. In the short term, winning in Michigan will surely keep Sanders's fundraising humming along nicely. And the longer he can stay in the race, the more he pulls Clinton to the left. The rest of the month is going to be interesting.
Became the first player to hit 300 3-pointers in a season yesterday against the Magic, on the shot you see above. You may say "that's basketball, not politics," to which we say: (1) "Faugh, what do you know?" and (2) In the current environment, mere competence is a political act. Excellence is nigh revolutionary.
Ohio and Florida
If Bernie Sanders got five cents every time someone mentioned these two states in the next week, the size of his average donation would probably go from $27 to a dollar.
Nobody grows them better.
Everyone and Everything, Including You and All That You Hold Dear
Don't worry, everyone, everything is just fine, everything is going according to plan. Just sit back and relax -- someone (not sure who) has it all under control, and certainly nothing is falling apart or spinning wildly off its axis. Don't open the blinds or look out the window; there's nothing there for you to see. Just be calm; it will all be over soon and everything will be back to normal, and a few years from now, you won’t remember this moment at all.
Here, watch this very soothing video of two otters holding hands:
Yeah... that's, uh, not what intersectionality means. It doesn't mean "a lot of intersections."
Of course Trump can be a winner and a loser. He's been both for most of his career. The frontrunner is still beating his opponents in plenty of states, but his share of the vote hasn't been increasing. In some states, in fact, it's been shrinking, and Ted Cruz has been nom nom nom-ing up the scraps. In the past few contests, voters who have been making up their minds at the last minute have preferred Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich to Trump. Also, no one wants to build his dumb wall.
Oh, wee Marco. Have you seen the polls in Florida? Maybe it's best not to look at them. Did you also hear that there are other states besides yours? Did you know you are losing them badly? Also, when you say "where it all began," what is "it"? Can you call "it" running for president? It seems more like strolling for president. Or maybe doing water aerobics for president.
The novelist and former Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia, who ran for the Democratic nomination for President before dropping out and running as an independent — and then dropping that idea too — says that he would definitely not vote for Hillary Clinton, but might consider voting for Donald Trump. This might be a last grasp at political relevance, but it's also true that Trump is addressing, at least superficially, some of Webb's political hobbyhorses — skeptical of both trade and immigration, and appeal to the white working class. Alas, Webb is an ornery and uncharismatic political veteran instead of a silver-spoon’d billionaire blowhard. Life ain't fair.
Unfortunately, Harley Brown was not a choice on ballots in the state this week. The perennial candidate, who looks like Davos Seaworth's biker half brother, is best known for his star-making appearance in a 2014 gubernatorial debate. He wore lots of leather and had a stash of cigars in his front pocket, and made sure to wear a nice tie. He campaigned against Political Correctness and Those Insider Politicians, and broke with his party on gay marriage. "And they have true love for one another," he said. "I'm tellin' you, they love each other more than I love my motorcycle. And you know, they're just as American as a Medal of Honor Winner. And, uh, liberty and justice for all! Equal protection under the law! I'm glad that judge made that decision, and I'm glad they wanna get married and live like that."
According to Boise Weekly, Brown talked to TV producers shortly after the debate about possibly doing a reality show. "We politicians crave publicity like an alcoholic craves his next drink," Brown told the alt-weekly. "This is essentially giving me my own liquor store."
Brown briefly ran for president before suspending his campaign last summer — the Facebook page "Harley Brown for President" notes that the once and future candidate thinks that Donald Trump "would be the best choice for many reasons."
Most of the delegates in the Democratic primary are decided by votes in primaries or caucuses, but some of them are under the sole control of the so-called "superdelegates," who, in theory, can vote for whoever they like. In theory, this means that these superdelegates could serve as a bulwark against the unwashed rabble, swinging the primary election from a candidate that the party establishment finds unacceptable to one which they do. (You can probably guess who has the most superdelegates right now.)
In practice, though, the mandate from the voters is so clear that superdelegates can't really play a tie-breaking role, and they tend to just cast all of their ballots for whoever wins the majority of the ordinary delegates in the primaries and the caucuses. We’re willing to bet, though, that Republican party officials wish that they had a superdelegate system right about now, though. Like… an all-superdelegate system.
Realizing that he needed to seize the moment while a handful of people still cared, the former New York mayor announced on Monday that he will not be running for president. He apparently just realized something we could have told him months ago: "It’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win."
Candidates Who Brag About Their Poll Numbers On The Trail
Trump started it, and now suddenly it’s a trend. Cruz talks about his poll numbers. Bernie brings them up. Stop it. Now. It’s the campaign trail equivalent of biting your nails — all it really does is betray your insecurity, especially when you interpret the data incorrectly or ineptly as suits your needs. Which all of you do, all the time.
Super PACs With Lame Names
Nearly every single presidential candidate running this year had a super PAC volunteer to be its creepy, obsessive super fan. (Yeah, yeah, Bernie and Donald, chill out. We're not talking about you.) Nearly every single one of these super PACs has a vacuous whiff of a name, perfectly designed to be as similar and forgettable as a Nicholas Sparks book title. Now, nearly all of these super PACs have lost the only thing that gave their lives meaning: their candidates. Let us say goodbye to these organizations, which found ways to use the word "America" that were so bland, even Lee Greenwood, who probably has a wind chime made of red, white, and blue truck nuts on his front porch, wouldn't even get excited.
Goodbye, Right to Rise, which is not a bakery advocacy group, but the name of the super PAC that wasted more than $100 million trying to convince Americans that they liked Jeb! Au revoir, America Leads! So long, Security Is Strength! We’ll miss you, Believe Again! (At least you'll have company with Working Again!) How will we go on without you, Unintimidated PAC! Who thought you were a good idea, Pursuing America’s Greatness? Toodle-oo, Opportunity and Freedom PAC! It will be lonely without you, Our Children’s Future!
The Democratic Candidates
Thought your primary was nice and low-key compared to the Republican one? At least they didn't think it was a good idea to have two debates in one week. You guys are going to be so exhausted by the end of the week. If you hadn't evolved on the issue of debates so late in the game, after months of holding them on holiday weekends, maybe you wouldn't have to do them all in a single two-week span.
You might want to do some exercises to make sure you’re ready to do some intense finger wagging tonight, Bernie.
Smells like voter fraud.
Thirty-one percent of GOP voters surveyed by Morning Consult said that Mitt Romney's speech against Donald Trump made them more likely to vote for the frontrunner. Forty-eight percent said the speech did not affect them at all. If there's any fig leaf to throw on this naked failure, it's that it made supporters of other Republican nominees say that they are less likely to support Donald Trump, which might mean that they're less likely to support him if their preferred nominee drops out. Maybe? Great job, guys.
Perhaps buoyed by the plaudits for his broadside, Mitt Romney recorded robocalls for both Kasich and Rubio in his native state of Michigan, pleading with voters there not to throw in with Trump. Not only did voters keep up their proud tradition of ignoring who Mitt Romney says to vote for, but Kasich himself made a somewhat garbled attempt to distance himself from the ads Romney had recorded, saying, "The situation is, you know what I'm for. I'm for the things that I know, and I have done to help lift the country. Gov. Romney's kind of recording robocalls for everyone, and I didn't want somebody to think that he favored one person over me, because he doesn't. You know it's his words, I don't write his scripts." Uh, okay? "Mitt's not for me, but he's also not not for me?" Kind of a weird play, given that Kasich’s campaign, you know, paid for the ads. And this is is one of the Republican party establishment's steady, experienced hands. Everything is fine.