Bye bye Little Marco. It was fun while it lasted.
Another Super Tuesday down and another set of landslide victories for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The big question entering Tuesday was whether the hatred and violence at Trump rallies that became such a big news item through the weekend would impact the candidate’s ability to win.
The answer was an emphatic no, as the Donald stormed to wins in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina and Illinois.
His taking of 65 of the 66 counties in the Sunshine State forced Sen. Marco Rubio to finally see the obvious – that even in his home state there was little support for his presidential run, and the time had come to withdraw from the campaign.
Gov. John Kasich prevented a clean sweep by Trump with his home state win in Ohio.
Some $35 million was spent in negative advertising to #StopTrump, but neither that messaging nor the candidate’s enticing of violence from his supporters cost the GOP frontrunner at the ballot box.
Currently Trump has 656 of the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination. Sen. Ted Cruz had a dreadful night in only adding 32 delegates to his total, giving him 408; Rubio has 172; and Kasich 138.
Trump remains widely unpopular outside the 30 to 40 percent of his party that militantly supports the New York real estate magnate. Trump has massive unfavorability numbers, but the Republican Party cannot figure out which of the remaining candidates to back in order to make this a two-man contest.
The longer the primary vote gets split three ways the easier it will be for the Trumpster to keep banking delegates.
The math for Trump to get the 1,237 delegates necessary prior to his party’s convention remains a difficult climb. He will have to win something like 60 percent of the primary delegates going forward, but it’s not impossible.
His party continues to prepare for a brokered convention and strategize for ways to prevent Trump from being the Republican nominee, citing his divisiveness, lack of conservative credentials and inability to compete in the general election.
To these allegations Trump threatened potential riots by his supporters at the Republican convention if the party attempts to steal the nomination should he be a few delegates short of a majority.
Meanwhile, Hillary enjoyed a clean sweep Tuesday, winning all five states over Bernie Sanders, and returning the Democratic side of the race to an inevitability that she will be the nominee.
Clinton has 1,606 of the 2,382 delegates required, compared to the 851 Sanders has secured. As the race turns to states in the West, Sanders anticipates his message will better resonate and bring some victories, but with the Democrats not having any winner-take-all states, it’s difficult to see how he will catch Clinton.
This election keeps getting stranger. Both party frontrunners, Clinton and Trump, have opinion surveys showing a majority of the electorate has negative feelings towards their candidacies, yet they likely will meet in the general election.
Clinton will be the favorite. She has the edge in experience and should get the vote from women and minorities. Still, Trump can’t be overlooked. He is unconventional and will attack Clinton in soft spots, where no other candidate of repute would deem it respectable to tread.
Buckle up folks, the Trumpster is going to make this a nasty ride to November.