2016-05-04 / Political Page

Presidential Primaries Near Exciting Conclusion

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Donald Trump needs only about 250 more delegates from 10 states still to hold presidential primaries that would put him over the 1,237-delegate mark that would make him the Republican Party nominee in the 2016 presidential election. The billionaire real estate mogul would, by all indications, be facing Hillary Clinton, who seems a sure bet to become the Democratic Party candidate opposing Trump (or whomever) before the final primaries are held in California (and New Jersey and Montana) on June 7.

Whereas there is no question that Clinton is assured of her nomination, there are scenarios that show Trump could be (confronted with and) blocked from reaching the key 1,237-delegate mark that would give him the crown and the Republican nomination.

The first of these is the primary that was held yesterday in Indiana, which adds 57 delegates to the mix. If he won that contest – running against Ted Cruz, – the share he would get from the 57 delegates offered would depend on how badly he defeated Cruz and John Kasich, the Ohio governor.

A major victory by Trump or Cruz would give either winner the lion’s share of the 57 delegates. Possibly, Kasich might only come away with a small share since he reportedly made a deal to not campaign strongly so that Cruz could have a better chance to defeat Trump, under an agreement Cruz and Kasich made.

Under these conditions, Trump and Cruz have been waging furious campaigns here. We haven’t seen any reports about Trump’s cash outlay here, but he has campaigned here frequently.

Cruz, meanwhile, has reportedly poured $5 million into the torrid battle and has pressed Carly Fiorina into it also. The last poll we saw on the outcome had Trump at 39.3% and Cruz at 33% and Kasich at 19.3 percent. Obviously, if the Cruz and Kasich machinations played out as planned and somehow some of Kasich’s voters were convinced to switch their votes to Cruz, it might make Cruz the winner. Or if the Cruz-Kasich plan flopped, it makes Trump the winner. We’ll find out when the final votes are counted.

A Trump victory would clear the way for him to run out the string of primaries remaining and make it easier for him to reach the 1,237-delegate mark. But a Cruz victory in Indiana would put him back in play again to plot more misery for Trump, whose goal going forward would become more problematic.

The next major scene of the Trump- Cruz battle would come on June 7th with the ultimate prize being the California primary and its prize of 172 delegates. But in between, beginning next Tuesday, May 10, the schedule calls for primaries in W. Virginia (34 delegates) and Nebraska (36 delegates). Then Oregon (28 delegates) on Tuesday, May 17, followed by the state of Washington (44 delegates) on Tuesday, May 24. After a two-week break, to Tuesday, June 7, the primary finale occurs. On that day’s schedule, it could be do or die, with primaries in California (172 delegates), New Jersey (51 delegates), Montana (27), New Mexico (24) and South Dakota (29).

Obviously, Trump and Cruz will set their final strategies to win the California election. By that time, if Trump hasn’t yet nailed down the approximately 250 delegates he needed coming out of the Indiana election and into the California primary, it will become the primary of all primaries.

If this is the case, the two-day protests that surprisingly confronted Trump last week Thursday when he arrived in Burlingame to address the California Republican Party Convention may resume. A story in the Daily News said protesters carrying anti-Trump signs greeted his group, shouting, “You’re a racist – you don’t belong here.”

The placards they carried were just as insulting. One said, “Dump Drumpf,” and another read “F--- Trump.” Police intervened, as Trump, surrounded by bodyguards, was led by police to the back entrance. The protesting group later swelled to several hundred and even forced their way into the convention, but police forced them out.

The following day, the story continued, protesters stormed into a Trump rally at another location, where it turned violent and one person in the Trump group was “left bloodied after unrest broke out…”.

The group was not identified by name, but it was obvious from the placards, they were there protesting Trump’s presence. The question remains whether the protests will surface any other place where Trump plans on campaigning. It could easily upset those plans he has to win more delegates in the state.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton also resumed her campaign yesterday in

Indiana, seeking to defeat Bernie Sanders and collect the 79 delegates available there. Presently, Clinton has 2,165 delegates and Sanders 1,357 including unpledged super delegates. Clinton needs about 218 more delegates to reach the goal of 2,383 needed to win the nomination.

The Clinton camp, in addition to closing the books on the Sanders campaign, also is anxious to bulk up to face either Donald

Trump or Ted Cruz in the coming campaign to win the presidency. Toward that end, her campaign is preparing to get ready to do battle with Trump or Cruz or whoever becomes her opponent. Meanwhile,

Sanders is said to be planning to campaign through to June 7 and also to prepare to be involved in the Democratic National

Convention in Philadelphia in July.

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