The O'l Wildcatter has had a decent couple of weeks. The Little Smart Pill Machine guessed at a Trump stall and a Sanders surge, going 8-2 with misses in the Idaho Democratic Caucus and the Hawaiian Classic while calling the Arizona Primaries (D & R), Utah Caucuses (D & R), the Great Alaska Caucus (D), the Washington State primary (D), and the Wisconsin primaries (D & R). The ongoing inability of the LSPM to predict island caucuses will be a source of much off-season re-engineering, likely involving boat drinks and jerked chicken.
Now comes time for Spring Break. The last midterm examination for the Democrats is this Saturday, when dozens of Wyoming Democrats will stream into venues as diverse as the Laramie Ice and Events Center and the Jackson Hole Senior Center to stand and be counted on behalf of their candidates. Lacking polling and any actual knowledge of Wyoming politics beyond the Wind River Reservation and what happened here eight years ago (Obama won), the Little Smart Pill Machine says the WILDCATTERS' LOSER: Hillary Clinton. (And, as always, this is an exhibition, not a competition, so please, no wagering)
Okay, having gotten that bit of business out of the way, all the presidential campaign geeks are staring at a solid two weeks or nothing before the Big Apple Primary. Campaign journalists will doubtlessly run off to the beach, catch some rays for a few days, have some drinks, and maybe have fling with a journalist from a rival news outlet they met at the Spinnaker III in Panama City Beach. Then, like all good Yankee preppies, they'll drag back home to the land of commuter trains, sunburned and longing for lost romance before they settle into a narrative built heavily on who can be the most New York of all, before pivoting to Philadelphia and the all-important cheesesteak with whiz photo op at Geno's.
So, what have we learned at this midterm point?
Most Republicans Don't Like Their Options. Republican voters are deeply fractured. And, to the extend that their candidates enjoy support, those candidates either draw support for being opposed to the GOP's own establishment (Trump), or to the establishment and Trump (Cruz). The GOP has gotten so good at opposing everything that they are down to opposing themselves.
The GOP Elites Hate Donald Trump so Much, they coalesced behind a guy whom they merely loathe. The desire to not have Trump has led to an establishment backing of the guy who has only thrown wrenches into the gears of the DC establishment since taking office three years ago.
The Seed Corn is Burned. Republicans came into this election season with a full deck of prime time leaders, including multiple governors and a very attractive speaker of the house. All their best talent either got burned badly in the presidential primaries (Christie, Walker, Jindal, Perry, Bush, Kasich, Rubio), or is too smart to get into this particular mess (Ryan). Is there anyone left standing who hasn't been verbally humiliated by Donald Trump in this process, including Donald Trump himself?
The GOP Convention Will Not Have Its Decision Made In Advance. The delegate projections show no path to an outright nomination win for anyone anymore. This means that conventioneers will have to put away the patriotic hats, Reagan rhetoric, and lay off the closet drinking, and instead get down to the hard job of picking a nominee. The job of delegate counting (and courting) just became big business. Look now for interesting stories about the campaign finance of delegate courting and the implicit advantage of the Cruz organizational apparatus. If you are going to Cleveland, the Ol' Wildcatter suggests that cardio is in order - and be sure to double-tap those hardcore Trump delegates.
Holding Tank:April 9: OU Spring Game, TAMU Spring Game. April 19: New York Primaries. April 26: Connecticut Primaries; Delaware Primaries (GOP winner takes all); Maryland Primaries; Pennsylvania Primaries (GOP unpledged winner takes all); Rhode Island Primaries.
Get me out of here Percy!