Election 2016

3 Takeaways From the Super Tuesday Primary Elections

A good night for Trump and Clinton, and a bad night for Rubio.

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Foter / Gage Skidmore

Super Tuesday election results are still trickling in, but the endgames for both the Republican and Democratic primary races are becoming increasingly clear, as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, respectively, now look poised to win their party nominations. With the basic shape of the evening and the race now becoming clear, here are three quick takeaways from tonight's race:

1) Donald Trump had a very good night. Trump won in Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Alabama, and Arkansas, adding to the wins he'd already notched in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Perhaps the biggest of these wins was in Virginia, where Rubio, buoyed by support from Northern Virginia—which is literally the home of the Republican establishment—had hoped to eke out a victory. Trump's message in his odd victory press conference event was that he is a unifier, a descriptor he repeated multiple time. And while it's harder to make that case nationally given that 60 percent of the country says it has a negative view of Trump, it certainly seems that he is uniting the GOP, or at least its primary voters, around his candidacy. It is still possible for Trump to lose, but at this point he should be treated as something like, or at least close to, the presumptive nominee.

2) Marco Rubio did not have a great night. After a feisty debate last week, and surge of media interest over the weekend, the Florida senator had hoped to come away from tonight looking like the candidate best positioned to beat Trump in a one on one contest. Rubio slightly overperformed his polls, and he won Minnesota—but so far that is his only state victory. Instead, Texas Sen. Cruz stole some of Rubio's thunder by winning primary contests in both Texas and Oklahoma, furthering Cruz's argument that he has notched the most victories over Trump, and is therefore the candidate who has most demonstrated he can beat him. In the end, both candidates come away with plausible—though not exceptionally strong—cases that they can beat Trump in a head to head contest. Given their equally plausible claims, it may be that the most effective method of stopping Trump is for them to both stay in, siphon off delegates, and prevent Trump from getting the number necessary to win. 

3) Hillary Clinton is already running against Trump. Clinton won multiple victories tonight, putting her on a clear path to winning the Democratic nomination. And so her victory speech tonight was essentially a test-version of her general election pitch against Trump. Throughout her remarks, she alluded to Trump and his campaign. "The stakes have never been higher" she said "and the rhetoric we're hearing on the other side has never been lower." Referencing Trump's endless promises to build a wall along the southern border, she said that "instead of building walls we're going to break down barriers." Riffing on Trump's campaign slogan, Clinton said "America never stopped being great" and declared that "we have to make America whole." Clinton's speech, in other words, was essentially a quick take on the state of the Republican race—and she was calling it for Donald Trump.

Bonus takeaway: There's no candidate for libertarians to root for in the race. While it may be that libertarians find themselves backing one candidate or another in hope that some other candidate—say, Donald Trump—will lose, it's hard to find much for libertarians to positively latch onto in this race, which has descended into a contest between a super-hawk, a preachy social conservative, and a nativist authoritarian on one side, and a semi-socialist (who won't win) and a hawkish big-government liberal on the other.

NEXT: The Super Tuesday Super Results Super Thread!

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  1. Written too soon. Its a very good night for Cruz too.

  2. Since I won’t be voting for any of these fools, I’m cheering for a brokered convention. That would be entertaining.

    1. The whole system is brokered. Flat brokered!

  3. Unless Paul got the R-nom, everything else is commentary.

  4. BTW, left this in the other Super Tues thread:

    “FBI admits it wants access to even more smartphones”
    […]
    “WASHINGTON ? FBI Director James Comey told Congress on Tuesday that if the government succeeds in forcing Apple Inc. to unlock an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters, the case would establish a precedent that could be used to gain access to data in many more iPhones, an acknowledgement that runs counter to the agency’s earlier contention that the case is limited to a single device.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/a…..864178.php

    I’m sure you’re surprised.

    1. And that hag didn’t have any secret data on her private server.

      1. And the shipment is on the truck.

        1. And the check’s in the mail!

        2. You got the stuff? I got the money.

    2. Shh, shh, terrorism’s bad, m’kay. Everyone hates terrorism, pay no attention to these other cases behind the curtain.

      Big surprise: Feinstein supports the FBI.

      “The logic of encryption will bring us to where all our conversations and all papers and effects are entirely private so that no one can … look at our stuff without our agreement,” Comey said. Law enforcement calls the phenomenon “going dark.”

      Oh, noes!

      1. “The logic of encryption will bring us to where all our conversations and all papers and effects are entirely private so that no one can … look at our stuff without our agreement,” Comey said. Law enforcement calls the phenomenon “going dark.”
        I can think of many dictators, tin-pot and otherwise, who find that a really distressing prospect.
        I can think of many individuals who find that to be just fine, thank you.
        Or, in the words of many here:
        Fuck off slaver!
        (not you m-s)

      2. OMG, the horror.

        They barely bother attempting to conceal their totalitarian desires any more.

  5. I’m still not convinced Trump’s not a Clinton plant designed to hand her victory in November, especially with his little slips, e.g. the David Duke thing, that give “right thinking” people the cover they need to vote Hillary. It’s not like these people care about or will hear about her illegal abuses of power, etc.

    1. Sorry; 4D-chess is not what Bubba or that hag can do.
      Stupidity wins over cupidity every time.

      1. But is it something Trump would do?

        1. I just don’t see it. A massive ego like Trump, taking a dive in the world’s biggest contest, as a favor for the Clintons? Ticking off tens of millions of supporters and tarnishing his brand forever? It makes no sense. He’s in it to win it.

        2. I was thinking that way back in late 2015 when he first started making some noises. But even if that was the case it “backfired” because he siphoned off enough support to win. And, as much as I dislike Trump and don’t want to see him President, Hillary is an awful candidate who is relying on the kindness of the Obama DOJ to avoid indictment for a fairly serious bunch of felonies and is hoping to get through a brutal and stressful schedule without any sort of public stumble regarding her health. She can, probably will, beat Trump, but she is not a shoe-in no matter what she campaign and the DNC ops with bylines believe.

          1. If there is the slightest bit of Justice left in this country, Cankles will die in prison.

            1. I think that as soon as she sees that as an inevitability otherwise, she’s going to commit suicide & make it look like an accident or a natural death. If she dies during the campaign & before any indictment is unsealed, she’s a hero: the lady who would’ve been president. She’s especially a hero if a Republican wins & turns out to be unpopular.

            2. And if there was a God she would already have died of a heart-attack.

    2. If he is, it may backfire. Nobody is going to turn out to vote for Hillary. Donald will siphon a lot of dumb middle class white votes, many of whom are Democrats, and despite the KKK flap I bet he gets significantly more black votes than any Republican in the last 20 years. All this talk by Dems and the media about how terrible Trump is has blinded them to just how equally terrible Hillary is, and they are all completely out of touch with the America outside a 5-mile radius from big cities.

      1. But if it has so blinded them, couldn’t she win?

  6. There’s no candidate for libertarians to root for in the race.

    Unless you’re a libertarian who hates the Republican party with their “small government” lies and who tank their one job of countering the opposition party. If you hate Republicans you root for Trump. This must sound appalling to a couple of RINO-remora like the McSudermans but it’s the truth.

    1. Uh, can you put that in English?

      1. We’ve swung from cosmo to RINO the space of a week.

        Reason has always been RINOs.

        1. Pretty much. Except Sheldon. Who wants to live under the yoke of Iranian mullahs.

    2. Trump may well be an all-purpose middle finger to the establishment. He has been for a lot of people who vote Repub regularly. I have no idea how he would govern and doubt anyone else does, either; and, it could well be that many of his supporters don’t care.

      1. Trump is running as a “socially liberal” paleocon. That’s not hard to grasp.

        “Populist” and “:authoritarian”, while descriptive of aspects of his campaign style, are more smears than a description of a distinct coherent political ideology

        1. SIV|3.2.16 @ 12:02AM|#
          “Trump is running as a “socially liberal” paleocon. That’s not hard to grasp.”

          Yes, it is.
          AFAICT, he’s running as blowhard alternative to the felon or the commie. He seems to have very ‘flexible’ positions on most issues other than ‘the messicans!’.

          1. Well, for those of us who favor a rational immigration policy, and believe in the sovereignty of our borders, his ‘messican’ policy largely makes sense. My concern is that he will perpetuate the juggernaut federal government, and further erode personal freedom.

        2. he’s running because this thing caught far more fire than he ever expected and, as such, it is impossible to gracefully back out.

          1. it is impossible to gracefully back out.

            He could Perot it.

            1. But Perot had been known to be eccentric. Not so Trump.

        3. There are no words in the English language that you could put into any kind of sentence that could convince one into thinking Trump has a “distinct coherent ideology”.

      2. By now I want to see him elected just to satisfy my curiosity. If he does win & turn out to be better than most, that becomes the new strategy: be, & vote for, the mystery candidate for every office in every election. It’s the next best thing to sortition: sortition modified by ambition. Meanwhile autospell keeps wanting to change sortition to sortation.

    3. If you hate Republicans you root for Trump

      Which has shit all to do with libertarianism.

  7. Hillary’s only “hawkish”? I feel like she’s being sold short here, probably due to sexism.

    1. She can start just as many unnecessary wars as any man!

      1. You know damn well that she is salivating of the the idea of here very own drone kill-list – she probably just needs the drones.

        1. jees ….over the idea of her…

          1. How are Libertarians ever going to get things done at the National level if we can’t even get a damn EDIT button in a comments section….REASON!

  8. While it may be that libertarians find themselves backing one candidate or another in hope that some other candidate?say, Donald Trump?will lose

    Well I hope Hillary loses.

    1. I understand not liking Trump. I do not understand disliking him more than Hillary. Anyone who wants to know what a Herself presidency would look like only need watch how she has conducted and still conducts herself: secrecy, serial lying, self-enrichment, utter ineptitude as SoS, criminality in selling influence while on that job through the family foundation, etc. This is who she is.

      1. I understand not liking Trump. I do not understand disliking him more than Hillary.

        She’s definitely a lying, conniving cunt and a felon who deserves to be behind bars. But at least she’s not Trump.

        May they all burn in hell.

        1. She’s definitely a lying, conniving cunt and a felon who deserves to be behind bars. But at least she’s not Trump.

          If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you do it? I would not, because without Hitler, who knows what Stalin may have done – and Stalin was worse than Hitler. Yes, Hillary may literally be worse than Hitler – but Trump may be worse than Hillary. I’ve heard any number of people saying they’d vote for just about anybody to stop Trump but they’d also vote for Trump to stop Hillary. If you think Trump is bad but at least he’s not Hillary, if you can’t imagine how Trump could possibly be any worse than Hillary, I’d suggest you don’t have much of an imagination. Things can always get worse, and they usually will. I can’t quite imagine Trump being as self-serving and criminal as Hillary, but I can imagine him getting more bad legislation passed with a compliant Congress than Hillary and I just can’t imagine Hillary nuking China just for the hell of it but I can Trump. That guy’s crazy.

          1. Do you think Trump or Hillary will beat Woodrow Wilson’s record at bringing the US closest to a police state?

            1. Hillary, hands down. That cunt is pure sociopath.

          2. Oh come on, Trump is not crazy. He’s an ego-mad showman, but “nuking China just for the hell of it”? Don’t be silly.

            1. I don’t think Trump would be dumb enough to nuke a country that has nukes?

              1. Would you bet your life on it? If Trump becomes President we’re all betting our lives on it. And I’m not saying he’s going to nuke China, just he’s capable of doing something on that level. There’s Russian troops in the Middle East for example – bombing ISIS could entail bombing Russian troops. What would that lead to? I can imagine most people taking that sort of thing happening into account, I can imagine Trump just charging ahead into it with no thought. “Bomb the hell out of that ISIS city.” “But Mr. President, there are Russian troops right there on the outskirts.” “So? Fuck ’em, they should have gotten out of the way.”

                Like I said, things can always get worse and if you can’t imagine how they can get worse, that’s on you. Look at history – you think the Germans in 1930, the Russians in 1915, the Chinese in 1935 or Richard Nixon in 1970 had any idea how bad it could get? For that matter, look at Iraq or Libya of just a few years ago – how could things be worse than Saddam Hussein or Moammar Khaddafi? (Okay, lots of people imagined those could get worse – just not the ones who mattered.)

                Now, Trump may very well turn out to be a lot better than you or I think – and certainly probably better than Hillary – but I really don’t think you have any basis to believe that he can’t turn out to be one whole hell of a lot worse, either. It’s not a slam dunk that Hillary’s the bottom of the barrel.

                1. It’s hard to imagine a successful businessman doing something that’s bad for business. If anything, he’ll count the costs before making a decision. And, hopefully, he’ll bring some sharp people along to advise him–unlike Obama bringing along Valerie Jarrett. So, I imagine Trump being a lot better than Hillary.

                  Still, I’m hoping against hope for a better choice than either Hillary or Donald.

                  1. It’s hard to imagine a successful businessman doing something that’s bad for business.

                    Whose business?

                    1. Trump’s in real estate. What real estate investor wants war?

                  2. If you’re hoping for someone better than the Donald or the Hillary, & you don’t consider the Ted to be better, how about when the Hillary dies or is otherwise out of contention, & the Democrats put up some middle-of-the-roader? Perhaps the Joe. If it happens in, say, Oct. or later, then the Joe could satisfy his desire to be elected w/o upsetting his family by campaigning.

                2. Trump and Hillary are almost the same age. Hillary has spent much of her life behaving as a monster. Trump, for his failings, has not. That should be a clue.

                3. So what? You bet your life every time you cross the street. We’re all at each other’s mercy practically all the time, which is why it’s silly to fret about terrorism.

                  There’s no way Trump’s going to get in trouble with Russia, because he’s the friendliest politician we now have to Putin. He wouldn’t nuke China, because it’s not his style; it would preclude Trump’s “winning” a “trade war” with them.

          3. If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you do it?

            I’d go back and kill FDR. Hitler was a piker.

            1. And what, you expect the Japs to just intern themselves?

              1. If they were good Americans, they would.

            2. Why not just kill Baby Eve, & abort humanity as we know it? Maybe we’d instead be furry or arboreal or mute or something.

              If you go back & kill your ancestors, do you wind up as part of another family?

            3. I’d kill Churchill before I’d kill Hitler.

      2. secrecy, serial lying, self-enrichment, utter ineptitude as SoS, criminality in selling influence while on that job through the family foundation

        I don’t think Trump would be any different…

      3. Clinton will enjoy plenty of political muscle to enact her watered down socialist policy. Trump will not get authorization from congress to build his super wall and deports millions of people.

        Clinton may win the presidency, but if recent primary turnout is any indication, she doesn’t have the support of the Obama coalition that rocketed Barack to power. If she beats Trump with anything less than his 2012 votes, the GOP will live on. That’s an indication that minorities did not massively vote against Trump.

        Personally, I think Clinton or Trump presidency will be relatively benign. The size of the government will continue to grow but the public isn’t in the mood for foreign adventures and another landmark spending program (ACA). Both candidates will be saddled with scandal once in office and Clinton has not received the rock star treatment that was afforded to Obama. She’ll be saddled with the ACA burden for the entirety of her first term.

  9. The politics of failure have failed…

    1. As long as we’re always twirling towards freedom.

  10. Good-morning. Kasich didn’t suspend? What a clueless snivelling turd.

    1. Good morning? Get out of this thread with your tea and crumpets!

      *builds wall around the UK*

      1. Brilliant pal, thanks for the free Brexit!

  11. And boy did trump win Massachusetts.

    1. I kind of called that. The blue collars love him, it seems.

      1. He loves the poorly educated!

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  13. I think Trump is the best candidate for libertarians. The best case is Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Justin Amash running shit in the Legislature with an executive who doesn’t really have any big plans. That’s Trump. Other than the wall, which, frankly, the only drawback is that coke prices might go up. I suspect that Trump will be fine with assimilating the people who are here if we can slow down the influx. That seems reasonable. Beyond that – giving some short term help to the white people who are being destroyed by globalization and anti-white bias isn’t the end of the world for the USA. The rest of them have all these big ideas and desire to pimp out the executive branch. Cruz seems ok, putting aside the religion crap, but he’s kind of a Hillary with a dick. Rubio is a war mongering zero. Kasich might be ok. But he wants to be liked too badly and can’t get along w/ anyone. Nobody is going to be good on personal freedoms but, again, if the legislature wants to push someone, zero attention span Trump is the right guy.

    I’ve worked with guys like Trump. And I know Icahn and his endorsement is meaningful. A non politician will enable Congress to re-assert itself.

    1. I think Cruz might be the best on personal freedoms. He says he’ll stay faithful to the Constitution. He hasn’t changed his mind on leaving the pot-legal states alone. And sure, he’s wanting a marriage amendment, but if you know how those things get passed, he’d really have no role in that as president… and there’s no way 2/3 of Congress and 3/5 of states are gonna approve/ratify that amendment at this point.

    2. You left out Carson. No love (or hate) for Carson?

  14. I see threads of Obama’s election strategy in Trump. Just like Obama, the electorate projects onto the candidate or “canvas” what they think he stands for. From Hitler to the fly in the establishment ointment. There’s no way of knowing just how the Trump would govern.

    We put to much emphasis on the President. Wish it weren’t so.

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