Update:The Big Five: Final Contest or Validation?

The Big Five: Final Contest or Validation?

Written by Juliana Simone

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GOP candidates for President 2016 (l-r) U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL-R), Businessman Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX-R) and Ohio Governor John Kasich {photo: ABC/AP}

FINAL Update II:

Missouri’s update today, March 17th, has the delegate counts with 99% reporting for Trump at 25, and Cruz at 5.  A newer post by CNN within the hour, has just changed this total, that the numbers now from pledged delegates give Trump 25 to Cruz’s 15, out of 52 delegate’s total.

Missouri, the fifth and last state to report the Republican winner with numbers between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz just about even, announced Donald Trump as the winner with 40.9% of the total votes, and Ted Cruz right behind him at 40.7%. The amount of votes that gave Trump the win was 1,726. At this time, Trump earned Missouri’s 15 delegates, as well, and Cruz none. 

Kasich came in with 9.9%. Despite Ohio being the only state Kasich has won so far, he maintains he is staying in the race until the national convention where the RNC delegates will choose who the nominee is going to be. 

Delegate totals with this finish leave three out of the four participating candidates Tuesday night with these numbers:

Trump:  661 Cruz:  406 Kasich:  142.  

Trump’s four-state win Tuesday night broadened the amount of delegate votes between the businessman and second-place candidate Texas Senator Cruz. Going into Tuesday, Trump led Cruz by 99 votes. Now his lead over Cruz is 255.

However, there are still 1,079 delegate votes to be gained for the needed 1,237 to secure the nomination assuming the convention remains uncontested. If contested, the rules committee, super-delegates and delegates can make changes that allow them to deliver a different outcome of who the Republican nominee will be, regardless of how many states and votes a candidate won from the people as their choice. 

In the Democrat primary, the race between former N.Y. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, which was also too close to call and nearly a tie, gave Clinton the win when all votes were counted by a very small margin, as with Trump and Cruz. Clinton received 49.6% to Sander’s 49.4%. Clinton came out on top with only 1,531 votes more than Sanders. They each picked up the same number of Missouri delegates with 32 each. Still, Clinton’s win of all five states is a poor sign for Sanders, but he plans to remain in the race as the democrat candidate strongly popular with the under-thirty voters.

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Update: With Missouri still undeclared at 99%, and Trump winning by a hair, here are the delegate totals as of tonight:

Trump: 619 Cruz: 394 Rubio: 167 Kasich: 136

Update: Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz takes the stage tonight in Houston, still waiting for a close race in Missouri to give him a win tonight. It is too close to call now. Former fellow Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, gave opening remarks as a campaign endorser.

Ted Cruz said if elected, he will take away welfare benefits from those here illegally, improve the economy and get rid of the cronyism in Washington surmising “less government is more freedom.” Cruz also said he would uphold the Second Amendment and gun owner rights, uphold the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and stand by the nation of Israel. Unlike Trump, he pointed out he won’t try to negotiate the nuclear deal Obama made with Iran, but will “rip it to shreds.”

He added as President he will pass a flat tax, get rid of amnesty, and abolish the IRS. Cruz told supporters “enough with the Washington corruption,” and projected, “Together, we can turn things around.” He encouraged viewers to remember the Constitutional liberties that turned America around, and asked voters to come together and stand as one.

Cruz told supporters “enough with the Washington corruption,” and suggested, “Together, we can turn things around.” He told viewers to remember the Constitutional liberties that turned America around, and asked voters to come together and stand as one.

On the Democrat side, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, appears to have won all five states over her competitor Bernie Sanders, who has a lock on the under-thirty vote. Numbers were close between the two, in Illinois and Missouri. At this time, Sanders has a slight lead over Clinton in Missouri.

Regardless, as noted in this blog before, how many states or votes the Vermont U.S. Senator acquires, he will never get his party’s nomination. With Democrat super-delegates in a large majority, if not total, casting their votes for the previous Secretary of State in their national convention, they will assure her of the nomination she could not achieve when she competed with Barack Obama in 2008.

Update: Trump is the easily projected winner of Illinois and maintains a lead in North Carolina over Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Kasich wins Ohio, the state he governs, with 47% currently to Trump’s 35.9%, 95% reporting. An important win for the former Lehman Brothers’ investment banker (2001-2008), who has not won a state yet in all of the preceding primaries.

Update: Marco Rubio loses Florida to Trump

Marco Rubio loses Florida to Donald Trump except for Rubio’s own Miami-Dade county  at 62%. Trump, with latest numbers showing his returns at 45% to Rubio’s 27%, won considerably in this important contest. Florida, Trump’s second home when not in New York, has created many jobs and businesses in Florida compared to the U.S. Senator who like all members of the Legislative Branch and their staff, are compensated through taxpayer money. Whether this was a factor or not, Rubio did make some notable comments before suspending his campaign tonight.

With opening remarks, he congratulated Trump for his win this evening. An audience participant yelled repeatedly at Rubio, and the Senator told him {Ed. Paraphrasing at this time} it was okay, he wouldn’t call the police and he didn’t have to worry about any violence here. His voters gave a strong chorus of support after this, chanting, “Marco! Marco! Marco!”

Reminding his audience of his upbringing, where his two parents fled communist Cuba to find freedom in Florida, and worked as a bartender and maid to give him the opportunity to one day, as an American born son, the opportunity to run for the office of President of the United States, he was proud his eighty-five year old mother could cast a ballot for him today for America’s highest office.

He commented on the economic state of the country, that since 2007, 2008, there has been a horrible downturn that has left many voters upset. He said he knew what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck, and grew up that way, where if the air conditioner broke, money had to be found somehow to fix it.

Rubio also noted that people are tired of hearing if they’re anti-illegal immigration, they’re bigots, and are tired of hearing from the self-called establishment elites who tell them what they should think.

Observing former esteemed President Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment that premised no republican should speak ill of any other republican, Rubio maintained this rule by not mentioning Trump directly, but by using sentences that started with the words “what we don’t need” and then referring to things that Trump has said throughout his  campaign.

On policy, Rubio told the crowd that America needs a vibrant conservative movement, a strong military, and to keep its Judeo-Christian values that founded our country. He reflected that we were a country formed by descendants, from settlers, to pioneers who ventured west, and to slaves, and we should not lose this, or America won’t be special anymore. He observed, “When America doesn’t lead, it leaves a vacuum.” This vacuum, leads to chaos.

The results that will come in tonight from five big states will either determine the current front-runner in the Republican race, who is to become the party’s nominee by the people, which at this time is businessman Donald Trump, or the second place winner, Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who is still not far behind in popularity. It will also validate why Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich, should not suspend their campaigns, in their view, if they each manage to win their own states.

Both Florida and Ohio are delegate-take-all states, so a win for any candidate here would be a hefty boost, whether you’re in the upper numbers among delegate counts, like Trump and Cruz, or in the lower numbers, like Rubio or Kasich. The remaining three states, Missouri, North Carolina and Illinois have divided delegates, so portions of those counts can be distributed among any of the four candidates.

Going into today’s vote, Trump has the most delegates with 469; Ted Cruz about a hundred behind Trump has 370; Marco Rubio holds 163; and John Kasich comes in last with 63.

Of the five states up for grabs tonight, Florida has the most delegates at 99. North Carolina, which hasn’t had as much attention from the press, comes in second with 72. Illinois has 69, Ohio has 66 and Missouri has 52.

For the candidates who aren’t in first place, and two who need to win their states to maintain respectability among their constituents, Rubio said today on the stump, “We’re going to get the 99 delegates that we need…,”and remained positive that he will win his home state. Cruz said, “If Trump wins, it’s a disaster.” Cruz, who did not receive as much attention this cycle, due to two legislators needs to win their home states, still hopes to do well.

Kasich also said he believed he would win his state of Ohio, and in his view, would then go on to win many states and ultimately the party nomination. Even with a gain of 66 delegates, and the only state won so far under his belt, he would still be in last place.

Kasich also received some help going into this primary, from Republican Party nominee for President in 2012, Mitt Romney, who paid for two advertisements that were anti-Trump. He also made appearances on behalf of the Ohio Governor, in hopes to secure the win for anyone-but-Trump, and in this instance, John Kasich. As commentators have noted, myself included, if perhaps Mitt Romney had put this much energy into beating incumbent President Obama, America would be in a much better place today without four more years under the Obama administration and its failed policies.

Trump noted today at an event speech that as the nominee, we would win states no one ever thought would be possible to win. Traditional states that run blue, or Democrat, have shown a trend of cross-over party votes for Trump, which any Republican candidate will need to win the White House in 2016. However, he has not been performing well in the Midwest, which may give an edge to his competitors. This may or may not reflect on Trump solely as a candidate, as the bulk of the U.S. has never truly embraced a candidate from the Northeast.

What’s different this election, is Trump himself and his “Make America Great Again” message that is resonating with voters beyond party lines. This theme crosses state lines and appeals to many Americans today.

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