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The 2016 Presidential Election: An Update

Trump and Hillary Clinton

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By Valentino Stradford-

In my last article, “Caucuses and Primaries What Are They and Why Are They Important,” I explained the early importance of caucuses and primaries. When that article was written, there were two main Democratic candidates running and nine Republican contenders. At the time of this writing, both Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are still in the race for the Democratic nomination. However, only three Republicans remain in the fight for the Republican nomination: Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

That means that since the New Hampshire primary in early February, six Republican candidates have dropped out of the race, a few of whom began the race with a lot of traction and support. A candidate’s decision to stop his or her campaign is influenced by two main things, low poll numbers caused in part by a disappointing debate performance, or, more importantly, a lack of voter support in a primary. Since the New Hampshire primary on February 9th, 28 other states have held a primary or caucus and there have been four GOP debates.

Low voter support was the cause for the departure of Martin O’Malley, a third Democrat who ran against Clinton and Sen. Sanders. It was also the cause for three of the major Republican candidates who dropped out. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who many thought would be the Republican frontrunner of this election, and most recently Florida Senator Marco Rubio who lost in his own state to none other than Donald Trump, all dropped out due to a lack of voter support.

Earlier I used the phrase “in the fight” when describing the Republican race, but that isn’t really an accurate descriptor. Mr. Trump and former New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been sweeping the primaries with 673 and 1,139 delegates, respectively. Sen. Cruz, the only serious challenge to Trump, trails by over 200 delegates with a total of only 410, and Sen. Sanders follows Clinton with a total of 825 delegates.

In order to formally win the Republican nomination Donald Trump would need the majority of 1,237 delegates, and Hillary Clinton would need the majority of 2,383 and it certainly seems that both are well on their way to attaining those goals. Given this eventuality, many Americans seem to believe that Clinton will easily win the General Election against Trump in November. However, in the spirit of un-biased reality, I believe it is necessary to recall that no one thought Trump would make it this far in the race. He was not supposed to beat out any of the far more qualified and experienced candidates, let alone be the dominating force, and yet, here we are.

Going forward, there are 17 primaries left for the Republicans and 22 for the Democrats. June 7th is a big date for both parties since that is the date of California’s primary. The first place winners of both parties in California stand to win the majority of 172 and 546 delegate votes, respectively. Simply put, if Cruz and Sanders somehow manage to close the gaps between themselves and the frontrunners by June, then winning California could make a big difference as to who actually wins the nominations.