One week ago, Barataria asked if it was over. “It” meaning the Democratic presidential primary season and “over” meaning decided. The theory was that unless Sanders won at least a few of four key states on Super Tuesday everyone would write his political obit.
He won three of them – and this week a big surprise in Michigan. Combined with the death match in the Republican Party we have an unusually fascinating endorsing season ahead of us as both contests will definitely run through to the convention floors.
But what that is likely to mean is something very different in the case of both parties. One will be fighting to not lose and the other may wind up fighting to not win.
We’ve talked about the existential search for the soul of the Democratic Party, but what about the Republicans? They aren’t a party for much in the way of soul-searching by nature. They’re typically driven by two important forces: conservative ideology and winning.
Then again, there’s a third force that’s always present – the establishment and their ability to control things.
Today, most of this has been thrown out the window. The defenestration (a word I have longed to use) of the party’s most cherished forces has come down to a rough populist sense of conservatism. Winning? It’s not worth it if all we get are RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). Control by the establishment? Hahahaha! The Iowa Caucus, never a reliable gauge of anything, may have given us some guidance only in the sense that the top three are likely to dominate New Hampshire and maybe beyond. Let’s run this down and see where it takes us.
With the election about to start winding its way through the nation in primaries and caucuses, can we start predicting who will win mathematically? The surprising answer is yes, we can take a stab at it – or at least lay down what to keep an eye on based on a few models. And the wonks of the nation are responding with perspectives and tools that allow us to do just that.
The short answer? The electoral map still heavily favors Democrats for a lot of reasons. But that doesn’t mean that things can’t change or that the nation will find a way to defy the models. No matter what, however, it doesn’t look good for Republicans based on the 2012 results, Obama’s popularity, and demographics that turn against them every election cycle.