Back in 2013 the main weather event that captivated the US press was Hurricane Sandy, a storm that smashed into the East Coast of the United States severely impacting people in Florida all the way up to New York. Indeed New York was one of the worst states hit as the storm surge hit Staten Island and resulted in hundreds of thousands of people in the North East without power and many were forced to flee. The narrative of this storm is that the United States pulled together in this time of crisis, as personified by Governor Chris Christie hugging President Obama after the storm hit New Jersey, but this is not the case. Some Republican senators instead opted for political point scoring and now their hypocrisy needs to be called out.
Over the weekend a series of primary elections were held and on both sides the prospective winners performed worse than expected. On the Democratic side Bernie Sanders picked up three of the four states up for grabs- Kansas, Nebraska, Maine- whereas Clinton only won Louisiana. On the Republican side Trump won Louisiana and Kentucky, Ted Cruz won Maine and Kansas, and Marco Rubio picked up Puerto Rico. However what is distinctly missing from the national conversation is that Sanders has momentum and that Marco Rubio is not going to win the Republican nomination unless there is a brokered convention.
Yesterday the people of 13 US states went to the polls to determine who will be the presidential candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Super Tuesday is always hyped as the one of the most important days in the election calendar, and, in terms of surprises and results, it did not disappoint. The results should be seen as encouraging for those on the Left but also as terrifying as the night’s events also threw up a number of things that may make me throw up in November.
The people of Nevada and South Carolina have spoken and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have won the Democratic and Republican caucuses respectively. Rather than analyse the specifics of the night’s events, I’ll use this piece to go through what I believe will be the long term result of these contests. Normally I use these articles to argue in favour of my own political positions, however I shall not be doing that this time. Instead I’ll say what I think will happen, rather than what I want; this is not going to be fun for me.
Now that a few days have passed since the New Hampshire primary we can take stock of what the event means in the context of the wider election. If you hadn’t already heard the winners were Bernie Sanders for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans, both of which won by substantial margins. For many reasons the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary aren’t representative of the result of the wider election, however it’s also worth pointing out that these early states do set the tone of the rest of the campaign.
With the focus of the Primary races now moving to New Hampshire many will forget how tight the Iowa Caucus was on the Democratic side. At this point its worth establishing what happened in Iowa but, more importantly, also what will be reported as having taken place. On the GOP side it is easy. Cruz beat Trump by a margin that the polls didn’t predict because they under sampled Evangelicals. However in the Democratic race it is much harder to determine who won because the media now have a few conflicting ideas about how to report the result.
Ted Cruz, the Junior Senator from Texas, has seen his poll numbers rapidly increase in recent weeks and, despite having terrifyingly bad positions on almost every issue, has emerged as the main challenger to Donald Trump. The prelude this latest debate, therefore, was hyped as a contest between Cruz and Trump, and unfortunately Cruz was not shown to be as crazy as is true. His answers were exactly what much of the Republican base wanted to hear which is worrying for all sane people around the world.