Tuesday, 08 March 2016 14:42

Cruz, Trump zinger makes Louisiana relevant for first time in years

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by Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

Relevant at last

Louisiana took center stage on Super Saturday as presidential candidates anxiously awaited the results from the Bayou State, which, indeed, turned out to be relevant for the front-runners for the Republican and Democratic parties.


What made Louisiana’s election more significant was the fact that it was a statewide closed primary, not just caucuses as was the case in the other four states which held election events on Saturday.
It turned out to be a crucial result for New York billionaire Donald Trump on the Republican side. Early results had given Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wins in Kansas and Maine.
But Louisiana kept the Trump train on track, giving him a 41 to 38% win over Cruz, who could not garner a victory from his neighboring state. Later, Trump also got a much-needed win in Kentucky, defeating Cruz there 36 to 32%.
Political pundits called it a good night for Trump and Cruz, although the Trump campaign has to be feeling a bit nervous about the future as Cruz is gaining ground.
It was not a good Super Saturday for Republicans Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Both are clinging to a thin thread of hope to remain viable. Primaries are ahead in their home states on March 15, where each faces a must-win situation.
On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska. But along came Louisiana to give former secretary of state Hillary Clinton a landslide victory to keep her ship on smooth political waters.
She carried every parish in the state but two (Cameron and LaSalle) in coasting to a 71-23% win, moving her closer to wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination.
In the all-important delegate count, here’s how things stand as of Monday:
Among the Republican candidates, where 1,237 delegates are needed to win, Trump has 384, Cruz 300, Rubio 151, and Kacich 37.
Among the Democratic candidates, where 2,383 are needed to win, Clinton has 1,130 and Sanders 499.
Tuesday Marsh 8 and Tuesday, March 15 should provide more clarity to the races because many delegates are at stake,.
On March 8, elections will be held in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi. On March 15, in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Turnout in Louisiana
The Republican presidential primary, which at times has been contentious, controversial, and crazy, energized GOP voters in the state.
A total of 301,169 or 36.3% of the state’s 838,512 registered Republicans went to the polls on Super Saturday. In 2012, only 24% voted in the GOP presidential primary.
Among registered Democrats, 311,613 or 23.3% cast ballots. In 2012, only 11.9% voted in the presidential primary, probably because President Barack Obama was running for re-election and had no viable opposition.
Of, course left out of the equation for both parties were so-called independents, which in Louisiana go under the heading of Other Party or No Party. There are 750,775 registered voters in that category.
It would be interesting to see how those voters feel about the Republican candidates. To be sure, they will play a key role when the general election rolls around and they can vote for the candidate of their choice.

Cruz, Clinton capture area vote
The statewide results in the Republican primary were: Trump 41%, Cruz 38%, Rubio 11%, Kacich 6%, and Dr. Ben Carson 2%.
On the Democratic side, Clinton had 71% to 23% for Sanders. The party has awarded Clinton 37 delegates and Sanders 17.
But in northwest Louisiana, the “Choose Cruz” signs, which were in public view, apparently paid off. Here are the GOP results from area parishes:
Bossier Parish
Ted Cruz 43%, Donald Trump 38%, Marco Rubio 9%, John Kacich 5%, and Ben Carson 2%.
Voter turnout was 37%.
Caddo Parish
Ted Cruz 44%, Donald Trump 35%, Marco Rubio 7%, and Ben Carson 2%.
Voter turnout was 35.7%.
DeSoto Parish
Ted Cruz 46%, Donald Trump 39%, Marco Rubio 4%, and Ben Carson 2%.
Voter turnout was 39.6%.
Webster Parish
Ted Cruz 46%, Donald Trump 39%, Marco Rubio 7%, John Kacich 4%, and Ben Carson 2%.
Trump did carry Claiborne Parish. He had 42%, Cruz 37%, Rubio 12%, Kacich 4%, and Carson 2%.
Here are the results from area parishes on the Democratic side:
Bossier Parish – Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders 67-27%. Voter turnout was 20.8%.
Caddo Parish – Clinton won over Sanders 80-17%. Voter turnout was 25.9%
Claiborne Parish – Clinton won over Sanders 76-16%. Voter turnout was 22.6%.
DeSoto Parish – Clinton won over Sanders 77- 16%. Voter turnout was 21.4%.
Webster Parish – Clinton won over Sanders 75-17%. Voter turnout was 21.8%.

What’s ahead
The consensus of political analysts seems to be that the presidential race will be a match-up between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
If the polls arre accurate, it will be hard for anyone to stop the Trump train and the Clinton cavalcade.
In states with big delegate counts looming on the horizon, here is how pollsters size up the contests as reported by Clearpolitics.com:
Michigan – Trump leads Cruz 37.3 to 19.8%. Clinton leads Sanders 57 to 37.8%.
Florida – Trump leads Marco Rubio 44.7 to 26%. Clinton leads Sanders 57 to 32.8%.
North Carolina – Trump leads Cruz 29.8 to 19.5%. Clinton leads Sanders 51.6 to 33%.
Illinois – Trump leads Rubio 33 to 17.5%. Clinton leads Sanders 51 to 32%.
Ohio – Trump leads John Kasich 31 to 26%. Clinton leads Sanders 55 to 40%.
Mississippi – Trump leads Cruz 41 to 17%. Clinton leads Sanders 62.5 to 18.5%.
If Trump and Clinton face off in he general election, the latest Rasmussen poll has Clinton with 41% and Trump at 36% with 23% undecided.
But don’t look for Cruz or Sanders to bow out anytime soon. They seen to be enjoying the limelight. Rubio and Kacich, now that’s another story.
If Rubio loses Florida, and if Kacich loses Ohio, they’re done. Trump wants both out of the race so he can go head-to head with Cruz.
Rubio probably made a mistake when he got down and dirty with Trump at this stage of the campaign. The comments about Trump’s small hands, which was a reference to Trump’s male organ, was certainly uncalled for and unbecoming of a presidential candidate.
One local political wag commented, “Don’t be surprised if Trump eventually says that Rubio suffers from electile dysfunction.” Pretty clever. If Trump reads this, he’ll probably use it.


Last modified on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 15:15
Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter.


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