Reeher: Nothing Completely Resolved by Super Tuesday
Grant Reeher, professor of political science in the Maxwell School, director of the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute and host of the Campbell Conversations on radio station WRVO, says that “nothing was completely resolved by Super Tuesday, but the confusion got a lot clearer.”
He continues: “Despite some significant successes that will fuel a fight to the end, the hill to the Democratic nomination that Bernie Sanders must now climb has become K2. Absent a federal indictment or a serious health scare, the designation looks to be Clinton’s. Did anything actually change in the week leading up to the Super Tuesday contests? It appears that the media drumbeat that Hillary Clinton would ultimately be the Democratic nominee—always present but much louder after Nevada and South Carolina—deflated some younger voters’ level of enthusiasm and turnout.
“But before the Democratic establishment celebrates that all is finally right in the world, it must recognize that it has some serious construction and repair work to do, even in a matchup with Donald Trump. That a septuagenarian self-described socialist from a state with a single congressional district could take Clinton this deep into the contest—after the party leadership tried to clear the decks for her to run essentially unopposed—suggests there are gaps in her appeal which will need to be addressed. Once lost, trust is hard to regain.
“The math for Donald Trump’s path to the Republican nomination is starting to look persuasive, if not inexorable, as he racked up convincing wins in too many states in Super Tuesday for the other candidates to keep pace. He has momentum as the contest shifts to greater rewards for first-place finishers. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio ended the night with enough wins or delegates to stay in the race—and both have pledged to remain—so it’s too late for a gentlemen’s agreement among them to arrive at a single alternative.
“The most likely hope for a Republican nominee other than Trump now rests on a brokered convention. It will be interesting to see whether Trump, looking ahead to the general election, will become more ‘presidential,’ or whether he’ll stay true to the brash and reckless formula that brought him to this point.”