Has Donald Trump’s campaign finally jumped the shark?
Trump’s terrible, awful, no good very bad week culminated in a stinging loss in Wisconsin on Tuesday, basically guaranteeing that he won’t head to the Republican convention with enough delegates to prevent a floor battle. (Trump, who has struggled to get more than 40-percent of the vote in any state, now needs to win 60-percent of the remaining delegates to avoid a contested convention.) He now is in the uncomfortable position of having to engage in trench warfare, battling Ted Cruz in a delegate-by-delegate scrum for which the New York billionaire is ill-equipped.
Trump’s bandwagon started to leak oil in the week leading up to Wisconsin. He trashed Cruz’s wife; he muffed an abortion question that he should have known was coming; and his top campaign operative, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with assault. All took their toll.
Even though the delegate match has forced Trump to change his tactics, he still has the edge as the campaign heads east into his home territory. The real-estate kingpin now gets to sleep in his own bed while Cruz – who took a shot at Trump for having “New York values” – sleeps in buses and hotels in a hostile region. The craziness of New York should provide the “Teflon Don” with plenty of batting-practice fastballs.
Bernie Sanders keeps on losing even as he wins. The Vermont Senator has oodles of momentum after winning seven of the last eight Democratic primaries/caucuses, but the absolute math still runs against him. Lily-white Wisconsin gave him a nice bump, but he’s headed into gritty Clinton territory now, and trailing by 200 pledged delegates. If he can win New York, though, the Dem race will be turned upside down.
John Kasich remains a pebble in the shoes of both Trump and Cruz, and seems to be loving the fact that he is aggravating the two front-runners. Kasich relishes the idea of throwing his weight around at the convention in his home state of Ohio, and might be able to swap some influence for a cabinet job, or the RNC chairmanship if Republicans lose in November and whack Reince Priebus.
Kasich has no chance to win the Republican nomination (on the first ballot), but polls show that he is the only one favored to beat Clinton in the general election.
Clinton seems like she needs a week off, because Sanders is getting under her skin. Aides need to tell the former first lady that she’s playing with house money right now, and unless she does something Trump-like, she could have this thing wrapped up by late this month.
To the odds:
2016 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ODDS
ODDS TO WIN THE MOST DELEGATES IN THE WYOMING DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES (APRIL 9):
Bernie Sanders: 1/7
Hillary Clinton: 7/1
ODDS TO WIN THE NEW YORK REPUBLICAN PRIMARY (APRIL 19):
Donald Trump: 1/5
Ted Cruz: 8/1
John Kasich: 40/1
ODDS TO WIN THE NEW YORK DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY (APRIL 19):
Hillary Clinton: 2/5
Bernie Sanders: 5/2
ODDS OF A CONTESTED REPUBLICAN CONVENTION: 1/25
ODDS TO WIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINATION:
Donald Trump: 1/3
Ted Cruz: 4/1
ODDS COREY LEWANDOWSKI IS TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER ON DAY ONE OF THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION: 2/5
ODDS TO FORM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TICKET IN NOVEMBER (VP CANDIDATE LISTED SECOND):
Cruz/Carly Fiorina: 8/1
Cruz/Nikki Haley: 8/1
Trump/Scott Walker: 9/1
Cruz/Mike Lee: 9/1
Trump/Jeff Sessions: 12/1
Trump/Jan Brewer: 14/1
Trump/Joe Arpaio: 18/1
(Photo credit: Michael Vadon (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)
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