So, we’ve had four rounds of voting, a couple more debates, and Super Tuesday is almost upon us. Are things any clearer in the race for the White House?
On the Democratic side, it is looking as though Bernie Sanders’ wave of momentum has crashed upon the rocks of southern demographics, and it’s not clear how his campaign will recover. His narrow focus on economic issues may resonate with young white liberals, but the broader Democratic electorate seems more receptive to Hillary Clinton’s more nuanced message. This is a shame, because Bernie has the better platform, but he may have to be content with pulling Hillary a bit to the left. Hillary, even with her faults, is still a progressive and accomplished candidate, and there seems little doubt that the party will unite behind her if and when she secures the nomination.
As for the GOP, where does one start? The party establishment’s policy of pandering to wingnut Tea Partiers has come back to bite them on the ass, and it looks like they are going to be stuck with a candidate woefully unelectable, even by their own recent standards, who may drag the whole slate down to defeat.
The entire primary process has descended into embarrassing farce for the Republicans – while Bernie and Hillary debate their differences like serious, grown up politicians, the nation has watched Trump, Rubio and Cruz trade invective like overgrown toddlers. Little wonder that the GOP hierarchy are rumoured to have already written off the Presidency to focus on the Congressional contests.
Hanging over everything is the newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court, and the knowledge that the next President will have the chance to appoint a Justice who may swing the court for years to come. It will be interesting to see if the Republicans hold to their obstructionist line over the summer, or decide to try to make a deal with the current President rather than taking their chances with President Clinton.