Sanders upsets Clinton in Michigan, Trump wins three states, Cruz one state

By Dave Andrusko

trumpcruzrubiokasich76reIt was difficult to avoid thinking ahead to the March 15 spate of winner-take-all primaries, but last night’s results–especially the shocker in Michigan–refused to play second fiddle.

Listening to the commentators last night, the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) assumed the former Secretary of State would crush Sanders in Mississippi (she did) and that the “best” Sanders could hope for was to be a respectable second in Michigan. After all Clinton led in the Real Clear Politics polling average by 20 points.

Lo and behold Sanders won in Michigan–by the thinnest of margins, 50% to 48%–but a much needed win nonetheless.

As the Detroit News reported, “Clinton lost a state she won in her 2008 race against then-Sen. Barack Obama, and also one that her husband first won in 1992, helping set off a streak of seven straight Democratic presidential victories in the Great Lakes state.”

But because Clinton overpowered Sanders in Mississippi–83% to 17%–she gained more delegates last night than Sanders did because delegates are awarded proportionally in Democratic races. According to the Wall Street Journal, Clinton’s delegate count now stands at 1,221 to Sanders’ 571.

On the Republican side front runner Donald Trump carried three more states– Michigan’s and Mississippi’s primaries and Hawaii’s caucuses –while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won in Idaho. Trump currently has a 93-delegate lead over Cruz, according to NBC’s First Read.

Here is the current delegate count, as tallied by First Read.

· Trump–456             (44% of all delegates awarded)

· Cruz –363                (35%)

· Marco Rubio–153  (15%)

· John Kasich–54     (5%)

Next week’s contests will likely determine whether Mr. Trump will attain enough delegates to win the nomination (a total of 1,237 delegates), or whether there is likely a contested convention. Here are the various scenarios after March 15 laid out by First Read:

If Trump wins Florida and Ohio

· Trump   718

· Cruz       440

· Rubio     186

· Kasich      65

Trump needs to win 52% of remaining delegates to reach 1,237 magic number

If Trump wins FL but loses Ohio to [Ohio Gov.] Kasich

· Trump    652

· Cruz        440

· Rubio     186

· Kasich    131

Trump needs to win 59% of remaining delegates to reach 1,237 magic number.

If Trump loses Florida to [Florida Sen.] Rubio and loses Ohio to Kasich

· Trump    553

· Cruz        440

· Rubio      285

· Kasich     131

Trump needs to win 69% of remaining delegates to reach 1,237 magic number