By Steve Rusakiewicz, News Writer
Tuesday, March 15th was a significant day for presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who each managed to edge wins in their parties’ nomination race. Trump, who has been making regular media headlines with his now characteristic unfiltered, in-your-face statements from behind his campaign podium, won 25 of Missouri’s 52 delegates to the Republican National Convention while Ted Cruz secured 15 delegates for his efforts. On the blue side of the polls, Hillary Clinton split 34 Democratic delegates with Bernie Sanders, with three delegates and one superdelegate not yet allocated by the Associated Press projection models. The delegate tallies alone tell a story of competitive election campaigns, but the popular vote totals suggest this is a nomination race that will be difficult to predict.
Clinton won 49.6 percent of Missouri’s popular vote while Sanders clocked in with 49.4 percent. The difference between the two Democratic hopefuls was only 1,531 votes. Trump managed to win 40.9 percent of the popular vote, squeaking ahead of Ted Cruz by a 0.2 percent margin of the popular vote. The remainder of Missouri’s Republican votes went to Kasich (9.9 percent) and Rubio (6.1 percent). The two Republican frontrunners were separated by a mere 1,726 votes. At margins like these, it becomes difficult to reliably model how an election might turn out, as the Michigan primary demonstrated earlier this month when Bernie Sanders won the primary election despite Hillary Clinton leading him by 21 percent in polls conducted within the state. Trump’s continuing rise to the Republican nomination is an equally anomalous outcome which appears to defy any precedent in modern U.S. politics. Historically, the last high public official who spoke as brazenly as Trump was Joseph McCarthy, and he was censured by Congress 1954 for his remarks and policies implemented during the Red Scare that permeated the era.
To secure their nominations, the candidates must win simple majorities within their respective parties’ convention delegation. The Democratic Convention has a delegate threshold of 2,383, and the Republican Convention 1,237. So far, Donald Trump is leading Ted Cruz by 256 committed delegates with 1,044 left remaining unallocated before a majority is reached. Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 760 delegates with 2,265 remaining. The final Democratic primary will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 14th, and the Republicans will conclude theirs on June 7th in South Dakota, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, and California. Running delegate totals, election FAQs and other updates may be found at: www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/graphics/2016-delegate-tracker/