March 02, 2016

A clevr little newsletter. Edition #2

Super Chooseday: what happened and what next? 
edited by Peter Fray
featuring the work of Evan Halper, Aaron Blake, Tory Newmyer, Rick Klein, Nate Silver and Joseph W McQuaid (with assistance from Politico and Vox)
Read their full stories by clicking on their names in blue below
Hilary Clinton is looking solid, Donald Trump almost unstoppable and the Republican Party a total mess. They are the takeouts from the Super Tuesday vote-a-thon now wrapping up here in the United States. Here’s a quick primer on what the day is all about.

The results were not super-decisive for the main presidential hopefuls, though they are likely to see the end of a couple of the also-rans. 

Clinton is pulling away from Sanders
In the race for delegates, the former secretary of state is beating her challenger, Bernie Sanders, by about 4 to 1.  Winning a seven states puts her in a commanding position, as Evan Halper writes in the LA Times.  She is already starting to tackle the Trump rather than the Bern.
For his part, Sanders, who carried four states, says he will keep going, but in polite progressive circles the talk is turning to who would make a good running mate for Hilary. It won't be him.

Meanwhile, on the rough side of the house
The main political game in town remains that man Trump who, like Clinton, picked up seven states. Ted Cruz won Oklahoma and Texas, his home state, and used his victories to call for the party (read: Marco Rubio) to unite behind him as the anti-Trump candidate. Writing in the Washington Post, Aaron Blake was quick to temper Cruz’s enthusiasm.

So what about Marco? 
Marco Rubio won just one state (Minnesota) — and despite his centrist appeal he will come under intense pressure to do well in the March 15 primary in Florida, his home state. Rubio could still emerge as the middle ground candidate at the Republican convention. That’s not impossible but, as Tory Newmyer argues in Fortune, the road to Washington is becoming narrower by the day for Rubio. 

So what happens next? More blood on the sawdust 
No one watching this battle can escape the fact that it’s not only Trump v The Rest, it is a struggle for the soul of the Republican party. For Australian readers, it’s the ALP split meets the Joh-For-PM all rolled in to one never-ending spectacle. Here are a couple of informative pieces on that. Rick Klein from ABC News, the US broadcaster, paints Super Tuesday as a meltdown while Nate Silver, writing on FiveThirty Eight, describes the situation as the unstoppable force meeting the intractable problem. And that was before Trump's seven wins. 

There will be more counting and results to come in over coming hours.
Here’s a good spot to keep up to date
But it’s pretty much all over bar the shouting. There will be plenty of that. 

Finally, a plug for media humility 
Late last year the New Hampshire Union Leader, the most influential paper in Manchester, the state’s biggest city, endorsed Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, as its pick for president. When Christie pulled out of the race a few days ago, he endorsed Trump. In response, the Leader’s publisher Joseph W McQuaid penned an editorial in response.  
It starts: Boy, we were wrong.