Super Tuesday III: What’s At Stake in the Mid-Atlantic

us_mid-atlantic_states
Mid-Atlantic (plus Rhode Island), come on down! You’re the next Super Tuesday! By Grayshi, Roke (Own work, also File:BlankMap-USA-states.PNG) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

This coming Tuesday, April 26th, is the third time during this presidential nomination cycle that a bunch of states rich in delegates will vote on the same Tuesday. There will be one more “super” Tuesday on June 7th, when the big prizes of California and New Jersey (don’t snicker) are up for grabs for both parties’ candidates. What happens in two days will influence the shapes of both races going forward, so let’s go ahead and see what’s likely to happen and what it all means.

First, the region that votes on April 26th is the Mid-Atlantic (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, with Connecticut included depending on who you ask, plus Rhode Island). This region has structural, geographic, and demographic features that favor both parties’ front-runners. Structurally, both parties in all five states are holding primaries. So far, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have done very well in primary elections compared to their performances in caucuses. On the Democratic side, the fact that these are closed primaries – meaning only registered party members can vote – leans even more heavily in Clinton’s favor. Clinton has been dominating with people who tend to be registered Democrats, which kind of belies the “no enthusiasm for Clinton” trope, at least among the Party’s base, but that’s a subject for a different post.

Geographically, the region favors Trump because of its ties to New York City and the dread “New York values” so reviled by Texan Ted Cruz. Republican evangelical voters in these states may give Cruz some support, but overall his brand is toxic in the Mid-Atlantic. Cruz’s doubling down on support for North Carolina’s discriminatory LGBT law and past arguments that sellers and users of sex toys are criminals are unlikely to make his brand less toxic there. Increasingly desperate #NeverTrumpers may strategically vote for Cruz or with their conscience for John Kasich, but with Trump poised to win at least a plurality in each state, let’s predict he wins a majority or better of the delegates at stake, with a “big but” explained in the next paragraph.

One more structural note on the Republican side. Amazingly, most delegates Pennsylvanians send to the convention will be directly elected, but without voters knowing which nominee those delegates prefer. This is nuts and favors the much more organized Cruz campaign. Trump is guaranteed 17 delegates if he’s the overall winner, but 54 delegates will not be bound to any nominee. If Trump and his supporters think the process is rigged now, wait until they get a load of Pennsylvania. With such an undemocratic process that is by no means guaranteed to correlate with actual Pennsylvanians’ preferences, Trump may not get as big of a delegate haul as he deserves.

On the Democratic side, Clinton enjoys a big demographic advantage in addition to her structural ones in the region. Bernie Sanders has not done well in states with denser and/or more diverse populations. His most recent victory was in Wisconsin, which is 86% white. This Tuesday’s whitest state, Pennsylvania, is 82% white; meanwhile Maryland, the most diverse of the five states, is 58% white. Maybe the demographics don’t doom Sanders in all five states, but given Clinton’s polling leads and the cultural affinities with New York where she just won big, let’s predict Clinton goes five-for-five.

Now, the math behind the delegate counts is what ultimately gives these analyses and predictions any meaning. Let’s start with the Republican contest (thanks FiveThirtyEight), where a candidate needs to reach 1,237 delegates for a majority. So far, 1,712 of the total 2,472 delegates have been awarded to specific candidates. It’s estimated that almost 200 of the delegates could officially be “unbound” for the first ballot at the convention, which confuses the analysis and is going to be a subject of ongoing intrigue. For our purposes, let’s take FiveThirtyEight‘s numbers at face value and run the numbers:

  • Donald Trump has won 846 delegates, which is 47.1% of the total so far. He needs 391 more delegates for a majority, which is 58% of remaining delegates up for grabs, 172 of which are at stake on Tuesday.
  • Ted Cruz has won 544 delegates, which is 30% of the total so far. He needs 693 more delegates for a majority, which is 102.8% of remaining delegates.
  • John Kasich has won 149 delegates so far, which remarkably is both still behind Marco “Not Even in the Race Anymore” Rubio’s delegate count and means if he won every single delegate remaining (674), he’d still be behind Trump!

The last time we did this analysis, Trump needed a 59% pace to win an outright majority on the first ballot. He’s more or less in the same position he was a month ago, but with less margin for error now with fewer delegates remaining. Cruz joins the Kasich Club in being mathematically eliminated from winning an outright majority on the first ballot at the convention. That’s unless he convinces most of the unbound delegates to commit to him AND he does much better in the remaining races than he’s done to date, neither of which are likely. I’d say Trump is likely to get 58% or better of the delegates on Tuesday, but again, Pennsylvania’s rules really confuse the situation.

Cruz may be more competitive in Indiana with its 57 delegates at stake on May 3rd, but he’s drawing dead. The best he can hope to do is deny Trump a pre-convention majority while convincing unbound delegates to withhold the boost Trump would need to get to 1,237. Trump appears very likely to be within striking distance of 1,237 with the help of unbound delegates should he fall short of a majority.

If we take it as a given that legitimacy is important for whomever becomes the Republican nominee, I don’t see how the Republican Establishment denies Trump the nomination if it happens he’s the clear delegate winner but just shy of a majority. During the modern nomination era, it’s a singular occurrence that two candidates who are ALREADY non-viable in terms of reaching a majority are even still in the race. Usually, once candidates reach this loser milestone (if not before), they drop out and rally behind their preferred remaining candidate, or in the case of only one left standing, they throw their support behind that person for the sake of party unity. The situation really shows the notable degree to which a large proportion of the Republican Party loathes Trump. Tuesday’s contests should only exacerbate this problem.

Relying on FiveThirtyEight again, how do things look on the Democratic side? Like last time, let’s ignore the superdelegates since it’s unlikely they will go against the candidate who wins a majority of elected delegates. Please refer to that previous piece if you want to know my stance on superdelegates; long story short, get rid of them. Without superdelegates, there are 4,051 elected delegates, which means a candidate needs to win 2,026 in order to claim democratic legitimacy.

  • Hillary Clinton has won 1,443 elected delegates, which is 54.4% of delegates awarded so far. She needs to win 583 more for a majority, which is 41.6% of  the remaining 1,400 delegates.
  • Bernie Sanders has won 1,208 elected delegates, which is 45.6% of delegates awarded so far. He needs to win 818 more for a majority, which is 58.4% of the remaining delegates.

Sanders, in spite of his string of victories in the seven contests before he lost big in New York, has gained no ground on Clinton over the past month. That doesn’t mean he should drop out. In fact, he’s much more viable at the moment than any of his Republican counterparts. The problem for Sanders is the math and the likely outcomes in remaining states. Let’s look at the following scenario.

Let’s be generous and suppose that Sanders takes half of the 384 delegates at stake on Tuesday (Clinton is likely to do better than 50%, but for the sake of argument). If he does, that increases his delegate count to 1,400, but reduces remaining delegates from 1,400 to 1,016. Sanders would need 626 of the remaining delegates to reach a majority, which then would be 61.6% of remaining delegates. Even under this rosy scenario where Sanders ties in the Mid-Atlantic, he goes from needing 58.4% of remaining delegates beforehand to needing 61.6% in future contests.

This problem for Sanders is nicely illustrated by the updates in FiveThrityEight‘s delegate targets for each state for each candidate. Based on state profiles, the targets are numbers for each remaining state that the candidates have to hit in order to get on track for a majority of elected delegates, given they hit their targets in all other future contests. They’re reasonable numbers based on the current state of the race; for example, Sanders could have used a landslide in New York where his FiveThirtyEight target was 125, or 50.6%, of the total 247 delegates at stake. With no polling indicating a Sanders landslide in New York, they arrived at the more modest majority target. Sanders ended up only getting 108 delegates in New York, or 43.7%, which now means his targets in upcoming states have to go up. With polls showing consistent Clinton leads in California, do we really think he’s going to hit the target of 239 (50.3%) out of 475 delegates? And that assumes he gets 189 (49.2%) of 384 delegates on Tuesday. I’d say 173, or 45%, is the most he’s going to get in the Mid-Atlantic.

This is why a contest that so far has been 54% Clinton to 46% Sanders is pretty much out of reach for Sanders. That 8% difference doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you factor in how states are likely to vote and the delegates remaining, it’s nearly impossible for Sanders to make it up.  He’s not finished and I hope he keeps going, but if I were in his campaign, I’d get to work on a strategy for influence within a Hillary Clinton general election campaign and presidency, based on delivering votes for the Democratic Party in November.

Ted Cruz is Running for Theocrat-in-Chief

american_homes_and_gardens_28190529_281459616143829
Do you want Ted Cruz in your bedroom? Do you want to turn back the clock to 1905, when this picture was taken? TrusTed 2016! By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

In 2007, Ted Cruz’s Texas solicitor general office argued that the use of sex toys was tantamount to “hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy” in an effort to maintain the state’s ban of “marital aids.” Cruz and Texas lost the case but not before exposing conservative Christian views on sex for all the world to see. Read the linked articles for succinct descriptions of the case and relevant laws and legal precedents. Here are some of the “best” parts of Cruz’s argument:

  • “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”
  • “The morality-based interests behind the statute’s prohibition on commerce in obscene devices include discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation …”
  • “But even assuming that Appellants had articulated a right sufficient to satisfy the first prong of the Glucksberg test [establishing a right as fundamental], they could not show that the right to promote dildos, vibrators, and other obscene devices – or, indeed, even to use those devices in private – is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’.”

This is why liberals have no patience for myths that the Republican Party cherishes liberty and personal responsibility.

Both parties believe the federal government has roles to play in the lives of its citizens. For example, Democrats think the government can interfere in people’s lives to make it less likely they will die of curable diseases or go bankrupt fighting them; Republicans think that the government can interfere in people’s lives in order to make them criminals for selling or using dildos.

Well, at least an American theocracy run by Cruz would ban this scene from the seminal (ha, see what I did there?) Wayans brothers film White Chicks (2004). I have no interest in explaining why I’ve seen this film, and it probably goes without saying, but this is not safe for work:

 

 

Wisconsin Primaries Recap

governor_of_wisconsin_scott_walker_at_joey27s_diner_in_amherst_new_hampshire_on_july_16th_2015_by_michael_vadon_22
Remember when this guy was thought to be a formidable candidate for president and then he found himself responding to Trump by wondering if we need to build a wall between the U.S. and Canada? Well, he got his revenge yesterday. By Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The results from yesterday’s primary elections in Wisconsin for both parties are clear, but their ramifications not so much. Ted Cruz won the Republican contest, coming just shy of a majority of the vote. The Wisconsin conservative movement mustered a nearly unified front against Donald Trump on behalf of Cruz, and it worked.

New Yorkers vote in two weeks and Trump looks strong in his home state. He’ll have to clean up there to get back within reaching distance of the pace he needs in order to win an outright majority of delegates.

Conventional wisdom about the race has shifted; savvy election watchers now give the combination of Cruz and the field better odds of emerging victorious at the convention than they give Trump. I agree with Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall that using Cruz to deny Trump the nomination, and then turning around and denying Cruz the nomination, is unlikely to work out well for the Republican establishment. How does the Republican Party snub 70%-plus of its electorate, and if they manage it, how do they mobilize a winning coalition for the general election?

There is a scenario that, while unlikely, worries me a great deal since I prefer the Democratic Party. It goes something like this: the Republican Party nominates Cruz, or even better for the GOP establishment someone like John Kasich, Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney. While this would burn the 45% or more of the electorate that had voted for Trump, the Party goes to the country at large and makes this argument: the Republican Party showed it is now a responsible governing party by vetoing the nomination of a man that alienates an overwhelming majority of Americans and would put World War III on the table through his sheer ignorance of history and foreign affairs. By November, Trump voters reconcile themselves to holding their noses and voting against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The fresh face of CruzKasichRyanRomney leads enough moderate and independent voters to say hey, Republicans aren’t so bad anymore, and we don’t trust Clinton and Sanders is a communist so let’s roll the dice because we have no memory of George W. Bush. Republicans come to power with unified control of the government and proceed to govern in exactly the way modern Republicans govern, which a majority of voters actually disagrees with but has difficulty recognizing this reality. When it comes to policy, Kasich and would-be presidents Ryan and Romney share nearly all of Trump’s agenda, and Cruz is even worse! They are simply moderate fronts for a reactionary conservative agenda.

Now, I think it’s more likely the Republican Party melts down this election year than it is the above scenario comes to fruition, but I wouldn’t bet the rent money on it.

On the Democratic side, Sanders notched a solid victory but Clinton remains the overwhelming favorite. As FiveThirtyEight‘s analysts explain, Sanders overperformed compared to the polls but still didn’t achieve the margin he needs to get on pace for a majority of elected delegates. While Wyoming Democrats caucus on April 9th and this is likely friendly terrain for Sanders, the real test arrives on April 19th when New York’s 247 delegates are at stake. Since this is Clinton’s adopted home and has demographic features that lean in her favor, Clinton could spring back into prohibitive favorite position by doing well there.

By that time, Clinton may have lost seven out of the eight previous contests, and she’ll need to combat the narrative that her campaign is reeling. On April 26th, a bunch of mid-Atlantic states that also have friendly Clinton electorates vote, and if she ties or better overall in those contests after winning in New York the math becomes all but impossible for Sanders.

However, Sanders does have momentum, and if that means anything and he can capitalize on it maybe he continues to surprise. I definitely don’t count him out at this point. Now, we’ll have to wait and see what polling of the upcoming states shows. Maybe the ground is shifting, and Clinton really is in trouble. It’s doubtful, but most of us doubted Sanders would even be within striking distance at this point.

Election Numbers Crunching: Republican Edition

marco_rubio_-_caricature
The ghost of Marco Rubio could haunt the campaign trail all the way to the Republican Convention in Cleveland this July. By DonkeyHotey (Marco Rubio – Caricature) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The process through which we Americans nominate candidates for president is extraordinarily complicated, as 2016’s election is making excruciatingly clear. Comprehensive, readable results can be found at Real Clear Politics“Election Central: 2016” page. I’ve put their delegate tables into an Excel spreadsheet in order to analyze the current state of both parties’ contests. Following are the results, which include Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses.

On the Republican side, a candidate needs 1,237 delegates to win an outright majority on the first ballot at the convention. There are 2,472 delegates available; 1,633 delegates have been awarded in contests so far, though one of the millions of reasons this is so complicated is that not all of those are bound to a particular candidate. There are 839 delegates remaining for allocation, which is 34% of the total number of delegates. Now, let’s break down each candidate with significant delegate totals:

  • Donald Trump has won 739 delegates and needs 498 more for a majority, which is 59% of the remaining possible delegates. So far, Trump has won 45% of delegates awarded, so he’s actually pretty far off the pace needed to win a majority.
  • Ted Cruz has won 465 delegates and needs 772 more for a majority, which is 92% of the remaining possible delegates. So far, Cruz has won 28% of delegates awarded, so he’s way off the pace.
  • John Kasich has won 143 delegates and needs 1,094 more for a majority, which is 130% of the remaining possible delegates. So far, Kasich has won 9% of delegates awarded, and he literally cannot achieve a majority on the first ballot at the convention.
  • Marco Rubio has won 166 delegates, which is 10% of the total delegates awarded. He dropped out of the race, but many of his delegates can become unbound depending on the rules of each state. This could be very important, and you can read the details here.

If we assume that Rubio supporters in remaining states will mostly go to Cruz or Kasich, members of the Republican Establishment who want to deny Trump the nomination can spin the above numbers as good news. Cruz, Kasich, and Rubio delegates amount to 47% of the total awarded. If this pace continues, that would be enough to deny Trump a majority. And if that happens, you can talk me into anything happening at the convention: unbound Rubio delegates voting for Trump to push him over the top in order to stop a potential Republican civil war, Cruz and Kasich making a deal to win on the second ballot with Cruz at the top of the ticket, Trump’s campaign manager assaulting and sexually harassing delegates on the convention floor – really, anything.

Now, to rain on the Republican Establishment’s parade for a moment, many of the remaining contests are winner-take-all, which means Trump can get on pace for a majority by taking delegate-rich, winner-take-all states like Wisconsin (42 delegates), Pennsylvania (71 delegates), and California (172 delegates). Trump leads in the most recent polls conducted in each state, but those polls include Rubio and some even include Ben Carson. So, they’re outdated, and the whole thing is such a mess I won’t even hazard a guess about which way those electorates are leaning right now.

Just for fun though, let’s add New York to the mix, which awards 95 delegates proportionally. If Cruz and Kasich don’t break the 20% vote threshold there, they will not win any delegates, meaning Trump could grab all 95 and he’s currently way ahead in the New York polls. If we give Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California, and New York to Trump, that’s 380 delegates. That would leave him 118 delegates shy of the majority threshold, which is only 26% of delegates in the other remaining states!

Trump still has a viable path to an outright majority. It may be time for the Republican Party to repay its “nonsense debt” – a phrase coined by Josh Marshall in this piece that explains what’s happening to the Republican Party. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Stay tuned tomorrow for crunching the Democratic Party’s nomination contest numbers.

Requiem for a Rubiobot

senator_of_florida_marco_rubio_at_marco_rubio_at_the_derry-salem_elks_lodge_in_salem_nh_by_michael_vadon_02
Turns out Rubio’s candidacy was the joke. Sad! By Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Give Jeb Bush credit for something. He saw the writing on the wall and got the hell out before his home state of Florida could make a fool of him. Another Florida man, Marco Rubio, was not so wise. He and his media enablers blundered on in the vain hope that Rubio’s “accomplishments” and “moderation” might prevail, at least in his home state. Winning in Florida would give Rubio his rationale for staying in the race until the convention where he could try to steal the nomination if Donald Trump hadn’t secured an outright majority of delegates.

Instead, Rubio finished a distant second to Trump. The latter won all of Florida’s delegates with a plurality of the vote since the state’s Republican Party had decided to make it a winner-take-all contest. Now, Rubio has decided to drop out of the race. His campaign will go down as a textbook case of how not to win a major party’s nomination.

Rubio is the second emptiest suit in American politics (Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, has a lock on the emptiest suit title). Some have tried to compare him to Barack Obama, another person who ran for president while a first-term senator, claiming that Democrats can’t have it both ways when they point to Rubio’s lack of experience and accomplishments. Maybe that’s fair, but then it’s fair to point out that Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review and Rubio had a 2.1 GPA in high school. I wasn’t the greatest high school student either, but I’m not a big enough idiot to think I’m qualified to be president of the United States.

Rubio’s demise is good news for Democrats and the people whom were burned by Rubio’s rising star. While barely different from any of the other Republicans running for president in policy terms, and worse on some like a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body and foreign policy, Rubio scared Democrats. He seemed poised to take advantage of the same playbook that Karl Rove used to run George W. Bush into the White House. Americans have a vague, not altogether unreasonable sense that the two major parties ought to alternate running the executive branch. Rubio’s empty suit was ready to be filled with the same compassionate conservative, uniter-not-divider nonsense that sold Americans on Bush, who proved to be a budget-destroying warmonger and generally incompetent president. Handing over the keys to Republicans in 2016 would be the same mistake the country made back in 2000.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s elections couldn’t have gone better for Trump. The Los Angeles Times has a readable compilation of the results. Trump won in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina. Missouri is too close to call at the moment but he’s leading there. Though Trump lost in Ohio, John Kasich’s win there is actually a strategic victory for Trump, as election numbers crunching guru Sam Wang explains at The American Prospect. In fact, as matters stand now, Trump winning three and probably four out of the five contests, Kasich winning the one in Ohio, and Rubio dropping out is the best possible outcome for Trump. The vote-splitting strategy that Mitt Romney and other GOP establishment types have advocated in order to deny Trump an outright majority of delegates suffers greatly from an unviable Rubio candidacy.

It is certainly Trump’s nomination to lose now. Perhaps the only line of attack left to Republicans is to point out that Trump likes his steaks well done.

Weekend Links

mmexport1457170934548
The blog’s author asks a Chinese kid what he thinks about Donald Trump. (Ha ha no, actually it’s an action shot of me during a promotional lesson we held at our school yesterday for prospective students.) 

Congratulations to the staff of Ivy Language Academy here in Dali, Yunnan. This month we celebrate our second anniversary. We opened in March 2014 with 18 total students. We’re going to start this semester with at least 65 and probably more! The marketing team really humped it these past few weeks with clear, excellent results to show for it during our promotional classes this weekend. Thanks for all your hard work!

There were some contests of consequence yesterday for both parties. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz gained some ground. Marco Rubio had another dismal showing and Donald Trump called on him to drop out of the race. That’s an interesting move for Trump. While a two-man race would open up a clearer path to an outright majority of delegates for one of the two candidates, Trump would also run the risk of the Republican establishment rallying around Cruz. But, the Republican establishment hates Cruz. Sad!

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders had nice showings yet netted fewer delegates than Hillary Clinton. The math still shows Clinton to be the overwhelming favorite. However, Sanders has raised a ton of money, continues to win contests, and for now has no particularly compelling reason to drop out.

Links for the weekend:

  • If you want to understand the support for Trump, you could do much worse than this series of posts by political scientists over at The Washington Post: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
  • Here’s the question for the Republican establishment coming out of Saturday’s contests.
  • In the category of blog titles I wish I had written: “Let Us Dispel With the Idea that the Rubiobot Knows What He’s Doing. He Has No Idea What He’s Doing.”
  • Alex Pareene had Rubio and his campaign’s ineptitude pegged in late December.
  • Authors over at Lawyers, Guns & Money deal with the stench of Clinton’s speaking fees. The fact that she remains incalculably more preferable to any Republican candidate shows just how lousy American politics and the elite that take advantage of it can be.
  • To drive the point home about why voting for the Democratic Party’s candidate is the right move: anyone remember George W. Bush? Don’t just take it from me and some other liberal, go read a conservative! The current Republican Party is a mess while the Democratic Party generally has its act together. Bush was what happened the last time we threw out a generally competent party in power just for the hell of it. And this time, the Republican Party is even more bereft of people who know what they’re doing than it was in 2000.
  • Speaking of W, Matt Taibbi draws a straight line from Bush to Trump. But don’t be fooled that any other Republican candidate is better than Trump.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Super Tuesday and the Republicans’ Dilemma

800px-republican_super_tuesday_2016-svg
Trump country. Republican Super Tuesday 2016 By Nizolan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Today’s voting could essentially render the ultimate results of both parties’ nomination contests foregone conclusions. Polls suggest Donald Trump will win strong pluralities nearly everywhere, Ted Cruz will win Texas and move into a clear second place in delegates, and Marco Rubio probably still won’t have a first place finish anywhere, yet mainstream pundits and Republican establishment types will still find a way to tell us Rubio is really in good shape if you just squint hard enough. Trump will still have competition, and the Republican establishment will be trying to find ways to sabotage him, but for now it’s Trump’s race to lose.

Hillary Clinton looks poised to win majorities nearly everywhere except Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont, where he’s killing it. I like Sanders in spite of the magic math behind his proposals, but it appears to be over for him. He’s had a good influence on the race. Clinton would do well to co-opt some of his aspirations and rhetoric, and try to bring his enthusiastic supporters into her fold. It will be interesting to see how Sanders and his camp deal with his dropping out, whenever that happens. Democrats are going to need him to be a good soldier, and I would think that the man himself will graciously support Clinton. As a Democrat, I’m a little worried about the intentions of Sanders’ supporters; several prominent Sanders partisans have claimed they won’t vote for Clinton. We’ll have to revisit the issues of sitting out elections and protest voting as the general election approaches.

There will be more to write about all this once we have results. But before we go, let’s just dwell for a minute on the spectacle of the Republican Party’s leading candidate for its presidential nomination having a hard time disavowing the support of one-time Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and his white supremacist followers. This has once and for all exposed the Republican Party as the natural home of American white supremacy and racism. Respectable Republicans are just shocked, shocked and outraged are they, at this development. Like the “Southern Strategy” hasn’t been a thing since Richard Nixon.

Who knew that humble tax cutters, welfare state slashers, opponents of universal healthcare and poisoners of African Americans’ water were sharing a political party with tens of millions of outright racists this whole time? Who could’ve known?

Well, now we know. Moderate Republicans, you want low taxes? Well, you need the votes of tens of millions of racists to help you elect your candidates. You want limited regulations on the activities of American corporations? Well, you need the votes of tens of millions of racists to elect your candidates. You want to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Well, you need the votes of tens of millions of racists to elect your candidates.

Evangelicals, you want to criminalize abortion? Well, you need the votes of tens of millions of racists to elect your candidates.

Gun enthusiasts, you want people to be able to own and carry in public pretty much any gun they want? Well, you need the votes of tens of millions of racists to elect your candidates.

Climate change deniers, you want to reverse President Obama’s climate regulations? Well, you need the votes of tens of millions of racists to elect your candidates.

Holding these policy preferences doesn’t necessarily make you a racist. But you’d better be ready to answer for the company you keep.