The Green Papers Commentary

Where we now stand in both Major
Parties' presidential nomination processes

Thursday, March 17, 2016


[C]ome St. Patrick's Day March 17th (by which time the numbers of National Convention delegates pledged to each presidential contender as a result of the Primaries held on Tuesday 15 March will themselves be fairly known and can then be added to those delegates previously pledged to candidates during the preceding weeks to create the newest running totals), one can raise a glass to one's favorite candidate for President (or, conversely, "cry in one's own beer")- depending on just where one's favorite candidate happens to then stand in the running delegate count!--
RICHARD E. BERG-ANDERSSON in his 18 January 2016 Commentary PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION: The 2016 Presidential Nomination "Pre-Season" can't end soon enough

Yes, indeed, I did write those very words quoted above just about two months ago now... and here we now are on St.Patrick's Day itself!

The state of the presidential nominating process on the Democratic Party side is now pretty much established: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rocked Senator Bernie Sanders' world this past Tuesday, sweeping all five Presidential Primaries held that day and- despite the "scare" the Sanders campaign might well have put in Mrs. Clinton's supporters (however much they might deny it now) via Senator Sanders' upset victory in Michigan the week before- Secretary Clinton seems well on her way to the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

This does not, of course, mean that Senator Sanders is now going to go away (nor should he! As I have written often enough before on this website [and I have said this about both Democratic and Republican presidential contenders over the now 5 Presidential Election cycles The Green Papers has been online]: if you want to run for President of the United States- even against overwhelming odds against your own success- in order to put forth the public policy options in which you most fervently believe and can still manage to have enough campaign funding to do so, then- by all means- this is America and you should just do it! Whenever I am asked whether or not this presidential contender, or that one, should now drop out of the nomination race [more usually the person doing the asking is someone who supports a different presidential contender doing better in the race], my initial response is always "Why?"). Senator Sanders has every right to continue to fight on, should he (and his own supporters) wish him to- certainly so long as he has not been mathematically eliminated from winning his Party's presidential nomination, if not beyond (so as to, perhaps, present his own political agenda before the Convention in Philadelphia)...

but the sheer reality of the delegate count, at this point, most strongly suggests that Mrs. Clinton will- over the course of the Democratic Party delegate selection events yet to come- be doing to Mr. Sanders what, eight years ago, now-President Obama once did to Mrs. Clinton. From now on, it's delegate math "Death by a Thousand Cuts": Senator Sanders can be even more successful in future, but the combination of proportionality at all levels of the Democrats' delegate selection procedures and those pesky "superdelegates" seemingly, right now, dooms any real chance of Senator Sanders being nominated for President by the Democrats in place of Hillary Clinton.

Thus, everyone (that is: everyone who does not necessarily have a vested interest in the outcome on the Democrats' side of things) is now watching what happens within the Republican presidential nominating process.

Of the four Republican presidential contenders (out of the 17 who originally started out as contenders a little over half a year ago now) who had managed to survive long enough to contest the Presidential Primaries this past Tuesday 15 March, the one whose supporters are- most certainly- "cryin' in their own beer" are those of Senator Marco Rubio, himself forced to give up his quest for the GOP presidential nomination. Once seen as the face of a new generation of Republican conservatism, Rubio simply couldn't hold his own against the veritable high tide (one is here tempted to, instead, write "tsunami") of 'Trumpism'.

As for the eponymous purveyor of 'Trumpism', Donald Trump himself, he comes out of this most recent round of Presidential Primaries with something on the order of 700 delegates (give or take); I write "something on the order" here because such delegate numbers as I might include herein as I now type this are still subject to at least some change (as the voting returns in each Primary- those that were not Winner Take All, as were both Florida and Ohio- become finalized) and the reader of this piece might well find the numbers I have presented to be at least somewhat wanting by the time he or she reads this-- but 'Trump- c.700' is as good a "ballpark" number as any right now (and it's not as if Trump will, somehow, gain the 1237 delegates necessary to nominate at the Republican Convention between the time I write this and the time it is first posted online!)

A very good Primary night for Mr. Trump also was a good night for Governor John Kasich. While many in the Blogosphere and Twitterverse have been mocking Kasich's lone win (so far) in his own home State of Ohio (largely because his current delegate count- around 145, give or take- is still behind that of Marco Rubio): but, unlike Senator Rubio, Governor Kasich lives to fight on other days (and the GOP field is now down to 3, with Kasich- thought to be of more appeal to those Republican voters who don't much like the prospects of either Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz becoming the GOP presidential nominee- one of the 3)-- 'nuf said!

Ted Cruz now finds himself a tad under 300 delegates (again that phrase, give or take) behind Trump in the overall delegate count but his prospects, too, have brightened with the departure of Senator Rubio. The question of moment, of course, is who will get the votes- in future- of those who might otherwise have voted for Senator Rubio: Kasich? Cruz? Trump?

But the barest fact of all is that Donald Trump now holds nearly 57% of the bound GOP delegates he will need to clinch the nomination.

The Election of 1800 was certainly an early turning point in the history of the American Union: first of all, because it was the first time (ever-- in World History!) that a peaceful Transfer of Power from one political Party to another so diametrically opposed to the first took place within the framework of a modern Republic (indeed, many historians consider Thomas Jefferson's "Revolution of 1800" to have been the "real" 'American Revolution' within the longer context of American History).

But, second, it was the first true showing of an American ability to overcome what was otherwise an inherent defect within the larger context of American Constitutionalism: because each Presidential Elector, under terms of the original constitutional scheme, cast two votes for President of the United States- and each such Presidential Elector, by 1800, was (to all intents and purposes) an Elector on behalf of his own Party- the Presidential Election that year ended up in a tie between the two presidential candidates put forth by the "old" Republicans of that era: Jefferson (already holding relatively high Federal office as Vice-President) and former New York Senator Aaron Burr (Jefferson and Burr each, thereby, ending up with the same majority of the Electoral Vote: 73 out of 138 [the total number of Electors in 1800]).

Thus was one of the two cases in which the U.S. House of Representatives (voting as States and not as individual Congressmen) would have to decide the Presidential Election according to American constitutional norms now put in play (the other case was- and still is, of course- where no presidential candidate receives a majority of the Electoral Vote). However, there was a significant flaw within this procedure (one that would not be finally ameliorated until the adoption of the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in the early 1930s): the House of Representatives doing the choosing would be that of the outgoing (Sixth) Congress- still in control of Jefferson's and Burr's opposition, the Federalists of defeated incumbent President John Adams- instead of the newly elected Seventh Congress (which would be in Jeffersonian Republican hands).

To make matters worse, the House could not even begin to deal with this crisis until a Joint Session of Congress (with Vice-President Jefferson presiding) counted and tabulated the Electoral Vote and then officially declared the result (even though everyone in the brand new National Capital of Washington, District of Columbia already knew it had turned out a Jefferson/Burr tie) and this was not scheduled to take place, by Law, until the second Wednesday in February (a scant three weeks before a new President and Vice-President were both scheduled to be sworn in come 4 March 1801).

Although it was clear that Thomas Jefferson was pretty much the choice of the People as President (with the caveat that this term "the People" has to be at least somewhat taken with that proverbial "grain of salt" as seen from an early 21st Century perspective [for only 6 of the then-16 States of the American Union chose Presidential Electors by Popular Vote: the remaining 10 States, instead, utilized the more indirect method of Electors chosen by (albethey) popularly-elected State Legislatures. Please see this page on our site and, in addition, please also pay particular attention to the explanatory verbiage seen above the table on that page under the header by the People]), many of the Federalists in Congress at the time so despised, as much as these also feared, Vice-President Jefferson and his politics that they were tempted to attempt various machinations to deprive him of the Presidency. In this, these Federalists were also aided and abetted by Aaron Burr himself who, although it was equally clear he was intended- by his own Party- to be merely Vice-President, purposely refused to disavow any interest in the Presidency itself (something that soured his relationship to Jefferson, a souring that would end up well coloring Jefferson's First Administration [truth be told, the relationship was already much strained, going back to 1796- when Burr felt he had done much to "deliver" New York to Jefferson for President while not getting all that many 'second votes' of pro-Jefferson Presidential Electors]).

At first, these Federalists (historians still debate whether or not these ever truly represented a majority of that Party: although their position was especially strongly supported in New England, a region that had already become a veritable "fortress" of anti-Jefferson feeling) sought a constitutional means to, perhaps, delay the deciding of the 1800 Presidential Election to beyond 4 March 1801 (as a Special Session of the United States Senate was in the offing [a by then common practice- legalized by Proclamation of the outgoing incumbent President- so that an incoming President could have the necessary officeholders in his new Administration confirmed via the Senate's "advice and consent"] and it was the Senate that was constitutionally charged [as it still is, to this day] with choosing the Vice-President where no election of either President or Vice-President had hitherto been formally declared by Congress and, further, the powers and duties of the President "devolved" upon the Vice-President where there was a vacancy in the Presidency, it was thought that the Senate- on and after the ensuing 4 March, of course- could make a temporary "appointment" of what would amount to an 'acting President' [by choosing a Vice-President who would then immediately become just such an acting President] for the duration ["temporary" because, or so it was widely believed at the time, a Vice-President could not constitutionally "succeed" to the Presidency per se but, instead, could only act as President until a new Special Presidential Election (for a full 4-year term!) could thereafter be held]. Enough "holdovers" among the 2/3 of the Senate not up for re-election in 1800/1801 were Federalists to make this a rather attractive possibility [attractive, too, was the notion that, once the Sixth Congress was forced to adjourn sine die no later than 4 March 1801, the House would not be in session until the first Monday in December of 1801: thus, only the Senate, meeting by itself, could even rectify the crisis should it drag on for more than three weeks after the Electoral Vote tabulation before Congress])...

in essence, these Federalists were here trying to force a Presidential Election "do-over" in the hopes that 'the People' would thereafter "come to their senses" and, in such a follow-up election, reject the hated Jefferson.

Other Federalists, however- most notably, Alexander Hamilton (still lurking as at least a local Federalist leader in New York with still-no little influence [however diminished since his heyday as George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury a decade earlier] amongst his fellow Federalists outside the Empire State [particularly within the Middle States outside of New England])- thought such a thing politically stupid (where not also potentially damaging to key aspects within the very constitutional framework Hamilton himself most admired and had spent so much of his own political capital, over previous years, fighting for). In any event, as the Tabulation Joint Session come 11 February 1801 more and more loomed, it became quite clear that a delay of choosing the next President (and Vice-President) beyond 4 March 1801 was altogether impractical: the incumbent U.S. House simply had to decide the Presidential Election and this started a trend among many Federalists (especially those in New England) to support Burr for the Presidency over Jefferson.

To this last, Hamilton was positively beside himself! Burr and Hamilton had long been political rivals in New York (Burr had been elected to the Senate, back in 1791, by defeating incumbent U.S. Senator Philip Schuyler [who happened to be Hamilton's father-in-law]) and Hamilton was still smarting from Burr having, only the year before, craftily chartered a bank through a "sleight of hand" use of a provision in a charter for a water company (Burr's 'Bank of the Manhattan Company' was now in direct competition with Hamilton's own 'Bank of New York'). Every American schoolboy and schoolgirl who has paid the least attention in History class knows that, less than four years hence, Burr would kill Hamilton in a duel on New Jersey's Weehawken Heights across the Hudson from Manhattan-- however, the very roots of the personal, as well as political, feud between the two men went back long before that later, tragic encounter: the political and constitutional crisis ensuing from the 1800 Presidential Election would only serve to exacerbate it.

A little less than a month before Congress was scheduled to officially tabulate and declare the Electoral Vote, Hamilton fired off a letter to fellow Federalist James Bayard (the sole Congressman from Delaware, Bayard's family had strong ties to Hamilton's New York: Bayard himself was descended from the sister of New Netherland Governor Peter Stuyvesant [who was allowed to continue to own and farm his lands in Manhattan after the English had taken New Netherland from the Dutch in 1664] and a collateral branch of the Bayards had been "players" in pre-American Revolution New York politics). Congressman Bayard himself, as things turned out, would play a key role in breaking the deadlock over the Presidency (after 35 ballots over the course of most of a week in the House- in each of which Jefferson had the support of 8 States [he needed 9, however, as this was a majority of the then-16 States in the Union] to 6 States for Burr [2 States were equally divided and thus, effectively, cast no vote]- Bayard announced, in Federalist caucus, that he would be voting for Jefferson [giving Jefferson his necessary 9]: evidently in light of this, the Federalists regrouped and quickly arranged for Bayard and other Federalists to cast blank ballots [effectively abstaining], allowing Jefferson to then claim 10 States [the 2 States which had previously been equally divided would, thereby, be giving Jefferson this majority] while Burr would be left with 4 Federalist States [all in New England] and, more importantly to the Federalists as a Party, no Federalist would then have cast a single vote [as individuals] for Jefferson!)-- Hamilton is traditionally given the credit for this, if only through his influence with Congressman Bayard (although many historians wonder: if Hamilton had that much impact upon the outcome, why did it take nearly a week?)

In his letter to Bayard, Hamilton outlined his objections to Burr (almost all of them what Hamilton saw as serious defects in Burr's personal character: Hamilton may have disdained Jefferson's 'Republican's and their political views, but he- however begrudgingly and, perhaps, only somewhat- respected Jefferson [as much as Hamilton and Jefferson so strongly tussled over both domestic and foreign policy (largely with the French Revolution and its aftermath looming in the background) while both were still members of George Washington's Cabinet, the two often enough managed to work together (it was Jefferson, as Secretary of State, who had finally "punted" France's Citizen Genet, for example); whatever their differences, Hamilton and Jefferson had known each other as contentious colleagues: in contrast, Hamilton only saw Burr as purest opposition- an opposition, personal as much as political, to Hamilton himself and, thereby, utterly unworthy of such respect])...

If the Federalists substitute Burr [for Jefferson] , they adopt him and become answerable for him, Hamilton went on to opine to Congressman Bayard. And if he act ill, we must share in the blame and disgrace. By adopting him, we do all we can to reconcile the minds of the Federalists to him, and prepare them for the effectual operation of his acts [as President]. Hamilton went on to tell Bayard that Burr will doubtless gain many of them and the Federalists will become a disreputable and contemptible party.

Now, some 215 years later, simply replace the word 'Federalists'- where found in the quote from Alexander Hamilton immediately above- with the word "Republicans" and, in addition, pretend Hamilton was, instead, writing about Donald Trump and you pretty much have the attitudes toward- where not also the fears of- Mr. Trump found in many within the so-called Republican Party 'Establishment' today!

But there is even more going on here to which American Political History can again, if only to a certain extent, be most illustrative (where not itself also illuminating):

During the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the delegates to that Convention often wrestled with what they themselves saw as the dangers of all too much popular sovereignty. To our own early 21st Century eyes and ears, this reeks much too much of anti-democratic sentiment but, to be most fair to the Founding Generation, it was more complicated than that.

A large part of this leaning against popular sovereignty was the general feeling amongst at least the most active, and vocal, delegates during the course of that Convention that, in order to succeed, a Republic must not be too large in geographical extent (thus there were grave concerns about the overall efficacy of a Republic embracing all 13 seaboard States [let alone the continent-wide Federal Republic the United States of America would eventually become]): already some of the larger States in the then-southern portion of the United States (Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia) were dealing with proto-secessionist movements (manipulated, to no little extent, by Spanish colonial officials [at the time, Spain still held the vast 'Louisiana' west of the Mississippi, the Gulf Coast [including New Orleans] and Florida]) among many trans-Appalachian settlers on the frontier (indeed, there seems good reason Kentucky and Tennessee soon enough- along with, eventually, Mississippi and Alabama- would become separate States of the American Union); to many of those meeting in Philadelphia, this only reinforced their own view that even "free and independent" States- if not rather compact in size- could become politically unstable! Yet, as the course of that very meeting in Philadelphia would itself show, enough of those in attendance also recognized the danger of the States alone having too much such 'freedom and independence' (the very cause of the failure of the Articles of Confederation and, thereby, the very reason for the Constitutional Convention in the first place).

While there was, indeed, much fear of Democracy all too easily devolving into 'mobocracy' as well, the delegates themselves (while certainly products of what Political Scientists and American electoral historians refer to as 'the Age of Deference', during which social status within one's home community often played a large role in directing- if not even, in certain places, dictating- one's own voting habits) did, in fact, all come from places where there were regular elections of some type (going back to even before the Revolution) albeit the more "democratic"- if you will- in New England, New York and New Jersey with their at least annual Town(ship) Meetings tied to also annual elections for members of the legislature even where (as was the case in New Jersey, as opposed to the other Northern States named herein) the Governor was not popularly elected.

James Madison's solution to the question of 'just how much popular sovereignty?' was a system of horizontal (between- and even within- branches of Government) and vertical (Federal vs. State) checks and balances which Madison himself made sure were at the very core of the so-called 'Virginia Plan' (which, once presented by the Virginia delegation soon after the Convention finally opened in late May 1787, became- pretty much by default- the working draft around which, over the course of the ensuing Summer, the Federal Constitution would be built): the People of the United States of America would directly choose only one branch of the Federal Government- Congress- and officeholding within the rest of the new Federal system would result from indirect (some much more indirect than others)- in essence, well filtered- input from the People.

But who were "the People of the United States"? Practically, just whom amongst all the population of the original 13 States of a newly-constituted "Union" would be entitled even to directly participate in the new Federal system via casting, from time to time, their own votes?

At the time the Convention met in Philadelphia almost all the States of the Union (Pennsylvania, at the time, was the most glaring exception) had some form of property requirement- almost always in real property (that is, land)- which tended to be such that (in New England in particular) many the (white) male holder of even a most modest farmstead could still vote: although in other States to New England's south a more stringent property requirement in exchange for the elective franchise reduced the potential pool of voters (see, again, my own mention- earlier in this piece- of Thomas Jefferson, in 1800, being "pretty much the choice of the People" as President). The 'Virginia Plan' itself was silent as to whether or not to add property qualifications to its own notion that "the first branch of the National Legislature" (what would become the U.S. House of Representatives) "be elected by the people of the several States".

On 31 May 1787- just two days after the 'Virginia Plan' was laid before the Convention- the body took up (among many other things that day) the very method of choosing this "first branch" of Congress. It produced a rather lively discussion which revealed that many of those assembled did not want any direct input of the People (however defined) in a potential new Federal Republic at all! On 6 June, there was a motion made on the floor that the 'National Legislature' (both chambers of what the 'Virginia Plan' foresaw as a bicameral Congress) be chosen by the State legislatures (which would, as things turned out, end up as the original method of choosing United States Senators)-- this proposal was immediately voted down. As late as 21 June, the Convention was still wrangling with the requirements for a Federal elective franchise when Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (apparently reaching for some kind of compromise between those more fearful of too much popular input and those at least somewhat less fearful of same) proposed that the "first branch" (again, what would become the U.S. House) "be elected in such manner as the legislature of each State should direct" (interestingly, language rather similar to that which would later come into the original U.S. Constitution in relation to the "appointment" of Presidential Electors)-- it, too, would be voted down.

In the end, as was the case with many a dicey issue yet to be fully determined by the Convention, this "bone of much contention" was- along with all the motions actually carried in the Convention to that point- thrown into the lap of the Committee of Detail which would, not all that long thereafter, report back to the Convention as a whole a provision that, as regarded the choosing of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives (this was all after the famous Great- or 'Connecticut'- Compromise had already arranged for a popularly elected House based on population in each State and two Senators from each State to be chosen by that State's legislature), "[t]he qualifications of the electors ("electors" here meaning ordinary voters) shall be the same... as the electors of the several States, of the most numerous branch of their own legislatures".

To this, on 7 August, Gouvernour Morris raised the most strenuous objection: not only did he want a property qualification specifically written into the new Constitution, he also wanted it be a freeholder requirement (that is: not only did a [white male] person have to actually own land, he had to also own it "free and clear" [no mortgage, no liens, even no other encumbrances such as using that land- or a portion thereof- as collateral for an outstanding loan]-- as we would say nowadays, the landowner would have had to have 'complete equity' in his real estate in order to vote for merely the lowest chamber in the new Federal legislature!).

While a few delegates indicated their agreement with Morris on this point, most of the delegates- whatever they might have thought of property (or even freeholder) requirements for voting back home- argued against him on grounds of practicality (how was it even practical to extend a uniform elective franchise across all 13 States for a non-State purpose?) and fairness (the dangers inherent in thereby creating a dual 'elective citizenship' in which a person permitted to vote at the State level could, nonetheless, be barred from voting at the Federal); many delegates, however, also feared the potentially poisonous effect on getting the Constitution ratified by the People of the several States (would the ordinary folk in each State so willingly give up a Right of Suffrage in relation to a central government they already enjoyed within their own State?).

Among those most concerned about the potential negative impact of Morris's proposal on future Ratification was James Madison himself: above all else, he wanted a Constitution that would rein in what he himself saw as the excesses of State Government since Independence, excesses with which the Confederation Congress under the Articles had already proved powerless- nay, much too impotent- to at all deal and, in addition, Madison was someone who seemingly knew his own limitations (he inherently knew that he would have to give up perhaps much in order to get at least the necessary basics of just such a new, "more perfect Union" through the States come the inevitable debates, in each, over Ratification). Getting those already jealous of their well-established, over the course of more than a decade, prerogatives as State citizens to so ratify a new Federal Union would be nigh unto impossible if the very document fundamental to this new Union rewarded only the freely-landed with its elective franchise.

If nothing else (and there, of course, was plenty else!), Madison proved himself- or so the historical record shows- quite adept and adroit at use of the 'I would otherwise be on your side, but--' argument (not only during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, but also during his long colloquys with Patrick Henry on the floor of the Virginia Ratification Convention and, later still, the debates over what would become the 'Bill of Rights' on the floor of the House of Representatives in the First Congress) in order to get his own way (or, at least, most of it).

In future times, Madison thus told the Convention, a great majority of the people will not only be without landed, but any other sort of, property. These will combine under the influence of their common situation; in which case, the rights of property and public liberty will not be secure in their hands. I have found on the Internet, of late, more than a few uses of this very quotation from James Madison in a manner so clearly intended to be read as a warning from the Founding Generation against- in the context of the 2016 Presidential Election cycle- that 'Democratic Socialism' seemingly now being promoted by the Democratic Party presidential nomination candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. But what many of these same Internet sources forget- or, perhaps, even purposefully ignore (and, as a result, then leave out)- is that which Madison said next: or which is more probable, they will become the tools of opulence and ambition, in which case there will be equal danger on another side.

And, of all the presidential contenders- in both Major Parties- whose campaigns survived at least long enough to "battle it out" this past Tuesday (15 March), none so strongly suggests just such "opulence and ambition" as Donald Trump. Thus, what the Republican so-called 'Establishment' now most fears is that Trump has, indeed, turned even the common people now supportive of his candidacy into such "tools of opulence and ambition" as James Madison himself had once opined and, in this regard, many within the hierarchy of the Grand Old Party are as afraid of the ramifications of a possible 'President Trump' as they are (or, at least, were- given the veritable "body blow" Sanders' own candidacy took in the voting on the Democrats' side this past Tuesday) of a potential 'President Sanders'.

All eyes on the future now, however: at least as regards the Grand Old Party.

As already noted earlier in this piece, Donald Trump is now well past the halfway mark of the bound Republican National Convention delegates necessary to win that Party's presidential nomination (his roughly 700 of the 1237 necessary to nominate=56.6% of same). At the same time, he still needs 537(give or take, for reasons already noted above) to actually clinch that nomination and there are the presidential preferences of roughly 1,000 GOP delegates still to be determined in delegate selection procedures yet to come (91 of these remaining delegates are to be officially "unbound", thereby joining the 22 or so already Uncommitted by delegate selection events already held): thus, Trump will have to win roughly 59% of the bound delegates still "out there for the taking" in order to then clinch the nomination before the Convention in Cleveland. Can he do so? Yes, of course he can...

but will he? That yet remains an open question:

for, of the remaining delegate selection events (which do not wrap up until Tuesday 7 June this year), only 6 are pure 'Winner Take All' (in which the highest vote-getter statewide gets all the GOP delegates from that State). 5 of the remaining Republican Presidential Primaries- although often described as Winner Take All- are really 'Winner Take More' (where a presidential candidate other than the statewide winner might possibly also win delegates- by getting the most votes in a Congressional District; while the statewide winner still gets the proverbial "lion's share" of the delegates, in a State of large enough population [and, therefore, a fairly large delegate "pot": California is a most obvious example] a trailing candidate can still win 3 delegates here, another 3 delegates there, and so on in more than a few Congressional Districts despite not winning the Primary itself).

There are still 3 pure Proportional Primaries yet to come, along with 4 what might be best described as "modified" Proportional delegate selection events (those that include such provisions as 'if a candidate wins a majority of the statewide vote, it's Winner Take All- but otherwise the winning candidate has to share'). Three States still have Conventions yet to come that not only choose persons to be the delegates but, in two cases, also bind them to presidential contenders (the remaining one- North Dakota- allows the presidential preferences of the delegates so chosen to be merely 'voluntary').

And, finally, there is Pennsylvania's Presidential Primary on Tuesday 26 April which- depending on what happens in the GOP delegate count in the meantime- will certainly be one to watch: 54 of that State's Republican National Convention delegates are directly elected in the Primary, but without indication as to their respective presidential preferences; at least theoretically, they are not to be committed to any presidential candidate (but what will be in their own hearts?)-- the remaining Republican National Convention delegates from the Keystone State are bound to the statewide winner of the Primary (thus, only about 1/4 of Pennsylvania's GOP delegates are awarded 'Winner Take All').

All in all, however, whether Donald Trump can win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination outright (that is: before the Convention) or not, there is now the proverbial "clear and present danger" that the Republican Party of this era might very well just tear itself apart anyway (although, as I myself have said all along to this point, I still remain skeptical about the prospects of a truly contested Republican National Convention in Cleveland [that is: a battle over the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on the floor of the Convention itself; a "battle" over who might have become the GOP presidential nominee may yet loom- among many Republicans- going the General Election this coming November, however]: this doesn't mean there won't be a truly contested GOP Convention, just that we're not yet at that point where you can "show me" [and my own native New England will not ever willingly take 'second place' to Missouri in that particular regard!])


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