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Editorial: Presidential campaign remains very unpredictable

The New York presidential primary Tuesday provided some clarity for both parties — Democrats and Republicans.

Hillary Clinton’s victory over Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primary was overwhelming as she received more votes than the three Republican candidates combined. Donald Trump dominated the Republican primary, which will be beneficial for his delegate count.

All the candidates are focusing on next Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island plus Indiana a week later.

Clinton’s win Tuesday enabled herto start refocusing on the fall campaign and the eventual Republican nominee. Still the campaign does not want to become overconfident as Clinton still has a bit to go to reach the delegate goal herself.

Sanders is facing a tougher road as he truly faces a challenge with the coming contests Tuesday. If he does not pull strong wins in those five states plus the May 3 primary in Indiana, the door of opportunity will be virtually closed.

Trump continues to dominate public opinion on his Republican candidacy, both positive and negative. He remains the preferred candidate for many Republican primary voters. His challenge is whether he can collect enough delegates to reach the 1,237 delegate total needed to win.

The current delegate total for Trump is 845, while Ted Cruz is behind at 559 and John Kasich is far behind at 148.

Cruz faces challenges as his Texas brand of religion-oriented conservatism may not play well in Tuesday’s primaries. It is virtually impossible for Cruz to gain enough delegates to win on the opening ballot, so his strategy is to engage the delegate body and win the nomination on the second or third ballots at the Republican National Convention.

Kasich remains optimistic, even though he is far behind in the delegate count. The Ohio governor believes his candidacy is viable through the convention, betting that he could become a compromise candidate.

Trump continues to rail against the Republican Party and its nominating process. He attacks his party, his opponents and his critics. It will be hard for Trump to be elected president if the Republican Party is not behind his candidacy.

Clinton has her own share of political baggage, but these facts will benefit her campaign in the fall: gas prices are averaging $2, unemployment is at a low 5 percent and the Misery Index, reflecting the combination of the unemployment and inflation rates, is near its lowest point in decades.

A lot can happen between now and November. The two things to count on in the 2016 presidential campaign is that a large segment of voters are angry and this election year will continue to be one of the most unpredictable in history.

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