US Election Countdown – 26th April

The American election is well under way and with just ten primaries left to go, most of the country is holding its breath to see who will win the Republican and Democratic nomination.

Established facts: Trump really wants to build a wall; Bernie hates the 1%; and Ben Carson should really stick with medicine, not politics.

At the time of writing, Trump has 744 delegates to Cruz’s 559 and Kasich’s 144. With just 838 left, this does mean there is the possibility that Trump will be the candidate with the most delegates but may still not win the nomination, should he fail to achieve the 1,237 required. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Republican party wishes to distance itself from the Trump-mania frenzy.

Should the party choose to back Cruz or Kasich (in the case of a failed outright majority) there is every possibility that Trump will end up walking out of the convention. He has already hinted that he will recant his pledge to support the Republican candidate, should he not be on the November ticket.

But that is not necessarily cause for celebration. Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator for South Carolina, said that choosing between Ted Cruz and Donal Trump is like choosing “death by being shot or poisoning”.

Ted Cruz is more conservative than Trump, and aligns more closely with Republican ideology. He is the clear alternative to the Republican frontrunner. However, recent online rumours name Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer, patently untrue, but a clear indication of his unpopularity amongst the younger electorate. On the 16th April, media outlets began reporting the possibility of Trump naming Cruz as his running mate, although Cruz quickly rebuffed this saying: “That ain’t gonna happen.”

As for the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders has won seven contests in a row and, although it is unlikely, there is still the chance he may beat Hillary to the nomination. She maintains a considerable lead against Sanders, and is a strong 700 delegates ahead, at time of writing. 469 of those are pledged delegates. But, with 1,931 delegates still available there is a slim chance that Sanders may just clinch the nomination.

There is a clear contrast in current relations between Clinton and Sanders, in comparison with their earlier, more amicable debates. The divide in rhetoric between the two candidates has become more defined and there have been increasingly heated arguments between them.

Sanders has also met with Pope Francis. He is the only Jewish candidate against four self-proclaimed Christians. The irony that he was invited to the Vatican has not gone unnoticed by the American media. However, Pope Francis insists the meeting was “not political meddling”.

Over the coming weeks the presidential candidates will be decided and it is arguable that, even at this point, there is no way of predicting how it will turn out. If we have learnt anything from Trump-mania, it is that the American electorate is nothing if not unpredictable.


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