Four State Wins for Candidates Tightens the Knot: March 8th, 2016

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March 8th Republican primary candidates (l-r) Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio {photo: Fox News}

Written by Juliana Simone

March 9th, 2016

With three states in the United States holding primaries March 8th, and a fourth, Hawaii, holding a caucus, more delegates were up for grabs among the remaining four Republican candidates for President: Businessman Donald J. Trump, Texas U.S. Senator Rafael Edward (Ted) Cruz, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich. The state of Michigan had the largest delegate count at 59; Mississippi came in second at 40 delegates; Idaho, had 32 delegates. Hawaii, holding a caucus this evening, had 19 delegates for the Republican winner.

The Idaho primary was only for the Republican Party today. Democrat’s primary in Idaho will be held later. Statistically, less than one in ten voters are Democrat’s in the very red state of Idaho. Rubio visited Idaho three times, Cruz and Kasich twice. Trump did not visit Idaho to talk to their constituents.

After the results came in, Trump once again was the big winner. Michigan, the largest prize in terms of delegate counts for the candidates, voted strongly with 37.5% for Trump. A close second place went to Cruz who came away with 24.9%, while Kasich was edged out and placed third with 24.3% of the vote. Rubio placed fourth and last with 8.5%. Kasich had hoped to win his neighboring state of Michigan, for a much needed boost in a campaign that’s produced little results.

On the Democrat side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton soundly, earning 50% to Clinton’s 17%, giving him his one win for the night. Michigan made it clear, regardless of party affiliation, they prefer the anti-establishment candidates to be the nominees.

Mississippi also preferred entrepreneur Donald Trump, with the highest total return of any Republican candidate in all four states, by achieving almost half the voters nod with 47.3%. Ted Cruz, again placed second, with a respectable 36.3%, almost the amount that won Michigan for Trump. Rubio finished at 5% and Kasich with 9%.

Idaho was the one state won by Senator Cruz, who got the second largest return after Trump’s win in Mississippi, at 45.4%. Trump, though second, had his lowest return at 28.1%. Still, even so, that’s a favorable outcome for the one candidate who did not make a campaign stop in this state. Senator Rubio, who visited Idaho three times, still came in well behind at third, with 15.9% of the vote, which was his only double digit return in the three primaries. Kasich, who made two trips here, as did Cruz, came in with 7%.

Why Trump didn’t visit Idaho, could be for a couple of reasons. One, either his campaign believed with Idaho being such a red state, they would vote for Trump as the frontrunner whether he visited or not, or two, intel told his campaign Idaho was so strongly for Cruz, it wasn’t worth a campaign stop on this tour.

The Hawaii caucus was the third win for Trump Tuesday evening out of the four voting states with delegates up for grab. Trump, with a big percentage of caucus members choosing him to be their choice for President, got 42.4%, the third highest return for any Republican seeking the nomination. Cruz, repeating the pattern of the evening, placed second with a respectable 32.9%. Rubio, came in third with 13.1%, the second time he was able to get above ten percent. Kasich received 11%.

Still, despite the popularity of Donald Trump with the voters, he did not sweep the delegate counts as easily. As a result, the delegate rewards were split more evenly, which brought Senator Cruz closer to Trump in terms of total delegate counts to date.

Michigan, the most sought after reward for the evening that went to Trump, had split results among the delegates, giving the winner twenty-five delegate votes, but then seventeen votes also went to both Cruz and Kasich, with none for Rubio.

Mississippi, with the largest percentage for Trump out of the four states participating, delegates divided their results between Trump and Cruz. Twenty-five went to Trump; fifteen went to Cruz. Kasich and Rubio did not receive any.

Idaho, Cruz’s big win, received the majority of delegate votes at twenty, but twelve still went to Trump. Again, despite the campaign stops both Kasich and Rubio made here, they both failed to earn one delegate.

Hawaii delegates – Trump – 10; Cruz- 6; Rubio and Kasich – 0.

Going into yesterday’s primaries, Trump had the most delegates at a total of 384. Ted Cruz, who did well on Super Tuesday, was now is a closer second, at 300 delegates. Marco Rubio had a count of 151 and John Kasich held 37.

Last night’s returns leave the four Republican candidates with these current totals:

Trump: 458; Cruz: 359; Rubio: 151; and Kasich: 54. Cruz, now is 99 delegates behind Trump. Before Tuesdays four state returns, Cruz was 84 votes behind Trump. The numbers remain close between the New York businessman and the Texas Senator.

Today, former businesswoman, Carly Fiorina, who was one of the original seventeen Republicans seeking the party nomination, endorsed U.S. Senator Cruz. No surprise she would choose Cruz over Trump, after the ill feelings that grew between Trump and Fiorina in the early debates.

Speaking of ill feelings, former candidate Jeb Bush, who went into this race from the beginning with the largest amount of money raised and an important family behind him, with his loss in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa in February 2016, and low polling numbers for months, Bush suspended his campaign. It was announced yesterday, that now Jeb’s brother Neil, will be raising money for Ted Cruz, to help Cruz beat Trump.

There are 1,435 delegates left for the four candidates to win in their column, assuming all four candidates stay in the race, and Rubio and/or Kasich don’t suspend their campaigns. 1,237 are needed to win the national convention that is being held in Ohio.

Daily news reveals more facts that the Republican establishment continues to discuss how they can unseat Trump as the probable party nominee, and speak outwardly to the press against him. Former Massachusetts Governor and previous Republican Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who lauded the endorsement he received from Donald Trump when he was running against Democrat incumbent Barack Obama in 2012, came out last week in a press conference saying Trump was a fraud, a phony, and the worst choice for the 2016 nominee as a man he did not perceive to be a true conservative.

He also recorded a taped message for robo calls to be sent to voter’s phones in all four states Tuesday, which encouraged them to vote for any of the other three candidates than Trump, particularly Rubio. With the heavy losses Senator Rubio saw last night, Romney’s message didn’t show much influence. Romney keeps swinging though on his public campaign against Trump. He appeared on the night time talk show with host Jimmy Kimmel, to read some of the insulting tweets Trump had made about the former presidential candidate over Twitter. Though Romney kept his appearance light and took the remarks with a sense of humor and some fair rebuttal, it’s clear the democrats and competing Republican candidates, can count on Romney to keep hitting the frontrunner for them in any venue, given the opportunity.

Apparently, secret meetings are being held, as well, among Republican leadership where they discuss, one, how it can have happened that Trump is so popular and be the preferred nominee, and two, what can they do to take a perceived endorsement away from him. Some of these Republicans have said they will vote for former First Lady, N.Y. Senator and SOS Hillary Clinton before voting for Trump. (It should be noted Clinton was never a New York resident until she chose to run for the U.S. Senate after leaving the White House as First Lady…with quite a bit of furniture, and other White House antiques the Clinton’s felt fine with taking on their exit.)

Fox News Anchor, Megyn Kelly, still wore her personal distaste for Trump on her sleeve, (if she wore one) repeating comments Trump made in his press conference after the results from Mississippi and Michigan came in, with a sneer and a laugh.

Anyone over forty recognizes objective journalism is a thing of the past. Anchors have interjected themselves into a whole new persona, where in their minds, their remarks are more important than the people covered in their lead stories. Despite trying to lead the narrative for at least two decades, and sway the opinion of Americans who don’t follow politics 24/7, it must be frustrating to them to see they haven’t been able to dispose of successful businessman Donald Trump this far into the process.

From Florida, taking the podium to address his supporters last night, in a lengthy appearance, Trump took a higher road and said kinder comments about those who have said derogatory things about him over the past few weeks, including Romney and Kelly.

Plainly answering Mitt Romney’s attacks in his press conference the other day, he rebutted the negatives about some of his brand name spin-offs, such as Trump steaks, Trump water, Trump magazine and Trump University. {In re the latter, he explained in detail that Trump University was still in a lawsuit and explained he had been taught that when one was in a lawsuit, one never settled, because if one did, everyone then could sue.} He assured once the lawsuit was settled, Trump University would start up again and go on to be a success. He cited numbers from participants at TU, that were high up in the ninety percentile, that there was no reason to settle when that many people said it was a good experience.

He also mentioned in regards to his product, Trump Vodka, for the press to please check the records on how well it was doing. He added he owns two thousand acres in Virginia, close to the Jefferson estate, that produces the finest wines.

On the positive, Trump said statistics were showing people who had never voted before for a Republican, voted tonight for the first time. He then thanked the lobbyists for their influence on getting out the vote from this group. He also noted turnout was tremendous – 102% over a year ago.

He thanked golfer Jack Nicholas for his support and Ohio native former Yankee player Paul O’Neill, who endorsed Trump and was in the crowd. Trump is popular with other famous athletes, as well. New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady is a Trump supporter, as well as Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz. Brady even wears Trump’s baseball cap with the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again.”

He said he would like to congratulate all of the candidates – “it’s not easy stuff.” Trump said he hoped all of the House Representatives and Senators are re-elected despite whether they supported him or not. He thanked House Speaker Paul Ryan, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his endorsement, as well as Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is another advocate for stopping the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States. Former Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, has also endorsed Trump.

Arizona, a southwestern state, greatly affected by illegal immigration that bears the weight of this invasion every day, in terms of jobs, state assistance, education, crime, incarceration and drug cartels, would naturally support a candidate tough on securing America’s borders.

Donald Trump told the crowd and reporters that tonight’s primary results show, “advertising is not as important as competence.” In talking about U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, he said “he’s a nasty guy.” “Hostility works for some people; not for everybody” he noted when asked about Rubio and others who have recently attacked him. Looking back at his campaign, the billionaire remarked that every person who has attacked him is gone, and that out of seventeen candidates, we’re now down to four.

The victor also noted there’s never been more money spent than what is being spent now to take him down.

With big wins in Mississippi and Michigan, Trump said even Kelly and Charles Krauthammer said I did well tonight; he’s been waiting a long time to hear Charles say this. With Florida voting next, it’s an important last breath for Florida’s Senator Rubio to win, but with Florida being Donald Trump’s second home, and as a businessman whose provided many jobs there, it will be a tough challenge.

As for the second place winner, the Cruz campaign released the fact they only spent one thousand one hundred in advertising dollars in Michigan to come in second, while Rubio and Kasich spent the most. Rubio’s Conservative Solutions Super PAC spent 1.2 million to walk away with zero delegates. Kasich’s PAC spent $770,000. For the record, Trump spent far less at $184,000. for the win.

Cruz also has his sights on Florida, opening ten campaign offices there to get out the vote hoping to come in second over Senate colleague Rubio. The Florida primary will take place on March 15th and has 99 delegate votes. Rubio trailing Trump in the polls in his home state, could get a boost from former competitor for the nomination for President, and former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, with his endorsement, but it is not expected for Bush to endorse his former colleague Rubio at this time.

Other states voting on March 15th, will be Kasich’s Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri. The five states together have 358 delegates for the four candidates to earn. After this primary, it would be surprising to still see four candidates in the Republican race.

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