Did we just derail the Donald's whole dog and pony show?
Just over a month ago, it was looking like America would be getting its first-ever orange President.
Donald Trump was sweeping the primaries, winning the votes of state after state while he left the other Republican candidates in the dust. In Arizona, he pulled off a landslide win as Arizonans poured into polling booths to support his extreme stance on immigration. Next, he swept the South, winning the hearts of many a redneck endeared by his special ability to play insult-clown and proliferate xenophobia. With every victory, his both his toupee and ego seemed to grow stronger, and many Americans feared the worst; a regime under an internationally-despised reality TV star with zero political experience and a lot of hateful beliefs.
However, after the results of last weekend's caucus in Colorado, Trump's reign of terror might actually come to a merciful halt. From the looks of things, Colorado's ultra-weird way of electing Republican nominees may have been just the nail in the coffin we needed to kiss Trump's campaign goodbye.
See, in Colorado, we use a caucus system to nominate presidential candidates. This just means that a group of elected officials selects a candidate to nominate, not the people by way of popular vote. It's kind of like a condensed, hyperactive form of democracy that many argue is unfair because it allows for politicians to flex their ideals without necessarily considering popular vote. This can be good and bad.
Unlike other states, where candidates spend millions of dollars on campaign rallies, television commercials and winning support, caucuses like the one in Colorado requires more time-consuming, arduous effort for individual candidates who must personally win the support of each person on the delegation. That means satisfying personal relationships, promising funding, explaining your plan and platform to people with actual experience in politics, and other fun kiss-ass activities aimed to charm delegates, not citizens. We're one of 6 states or territories to do this (American Samoa, Guam, North Dakota, Wyoming and the Virgin Islands are the others), meaning that the race here, and in those other 5 places, can be particularly impactful on the outcome of the race because its theoretically possible to win over more delegates than it is by popular vote.
… Which is exactly what happened in Colorado.
Last weekend, Colorado's Republicans met to finalize a slate of 34 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July. Although Trump is leading the GOP delegate race and continues to lead polls nationwide, Trump's rival Ted Cruz swept the delegation, winning all 34 votes.
Trump also lost badly to Cruz in Wisconsin and North Dakota as his team is struggled to master the complex delegate rules like the ones in Colorado. In fact, they're so inexperienced with the caucus system, that Trump did not even show up to attend the Colorado convention, instead sending supporters in his place. Nothing's really a good look for him, but this absence in particular made him look like shit.
Cruz criticized Trump for skipping the event, suggesting "he was scared" because he "does not take losing well."
Well, that's for damn sure.
After his loss in Colorado, Trump has been going ape-shit on Twitter, accusing both Colorado and Tennessee Republicans of robbing him of his fair share of delegates.
"The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!" Trump posted on Twitter on Sunday evening following the news of his devastating loss.
Moments earlier, he posted a tweet that asked: "How is it possible that the people of the great State of Colorado never got to vote in the Republican Primary? Great anger — totally unfair!"
Trump mad! And he should be. He and his camp made the monumental error of overlooking Colorado, something that many journalists have been expressing surprise over since.
As the FiveThirtyEight reported,
The Colorado conventions this weekend were really important; Trump’s path to the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the Republican nomination is so tenuous that he can’t afford slip-ups anywhere. And he slipped up in Colorado. Now, no matter how well Trump does in New York (who has 92 delegates), he will have fallen further off pace to reach 1,237 delegates, taking into account Colorado and Wisconsin … instead of putting together a top-notch convention team, Trump’s campaign was a mess: In one case, Trump delegates weren’t even on the ballot to be voted on by a district convention; in two others, Trump’s campaign didn’t provide his potential supporters with a list of pro-Trump delegates, so they didn’t know who to vote for.
The end result: Trump won zero delegates from Colorado; Ted Cruz won 34.
… That, or maybe it was the issue of the typo and misspelling-riddled ballots Trump's people handed out at the convention in Colorado on Sunday. Trump supporters had passed out flyers at the convention site with official campaign slate of 13 delegates and 13 alternates accompanied by their three-digit number position on the 600-plus person ballot. Seven of the names, however, directed people to the wrong number and one delegate's name was misspelled. Other candidates did not have errors on their slates. In one case, an erroneous number corresponded with a Cruz supporter. A second flyer handed out by the Trump campaign contained four mismatched names and numbers.
… It would be nice to have a President that could spell, but it would be even nicer to have one that didn't resort to petty and immature tactics to try to deceive people from voting incorrectly.
Anyway, thanks to this delightful flub, here are the current soft pledge total for the leading Republican candidates according to The Greenpapers.
732 available (via primaries) to be bound
77 unpledged available
With Trump’s complete failure to win the delegate race, and with him losing steam in the primaries, it's becoming clear that if Trump can't get to Cleveland with 1,237 bound delegates, then he'll be out and Cruz will be in.
… Not that that's the best news either. Trump and Cruz are equally terrifying candidates if you're anyone but a white, upper-class evangelical. So even though Colorado may have just derailed Trump … we may not be out of the woods just yet. Between Trump's racism and misogyny and Cruz's softer, more religious-flavored racism and misogyny, there isn't really a lesser of two evils … just two evils with equally weird bone structures.
In terms of evils on the Democrat's side, Hillary Clinton is still in the lead with 1,756 delegates, while Old Man Bernie's got 1,068. He's coming up on her quickly though, and there are still 1,941 delegates still up for grabs. Either of them will need a total of 2,383 to win the nomination.
However, assuming Clinton grabs the Democratic nomination and Cruz's scaly hands cinch the Republican one, most polls still predict a Clinton win, with Bill's wife winning out over Cruz by 2.5 percent of the vote.
Weirdly, despite his apparent popularity, Clinton comes out ever further ahead of Trump than she does of Cruz in predictive polls, which put her in the White House by winning an average of 10.6 percent more of the vote than Trump.
According to these predictions, it appears Colorado's derailing of Trump's campaign might not actually matter so much when compared to the juggernaut of Hillary Clinton in the grand scheme of things. But we have to say though … seeing the guy lose in our state does make us feel all warm and fuzzy.