Election 2016: March 2016 Archives

UPDATED: Added a new tab to the spreadsheet to game out an alternative scenario: Cruz 45, Trump 40, Kasich 15 in remaining contests.

Despite the near-sweep last night for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz still has a plausible path to arriving at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland with enough pledged delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.


I've seen many hasty, sloppy delegate-count projections that make faulty assumptions. They often assume that future delegate allocations will be roughly proportional to future popular vote totals. That's easier than analyzing the rules of the states yet to vote.

Twenty-one states and American Samoa have yet to vote. I've looked at each state's rules (thanks to the venerable and detail-obsessed website The Green Papers) and applied one assumption, as a starting point for discussion: That the anti-Trump forces coalesce behind Ted Cruz, who manages a 51% win in every remaining contest. That's 51% of the vote statewide, 51% in each congressional district (if delegates are allocated by CD), 51% in caucuses and conventions.

51% is not a tall order. Trump did not manage to win a majority of the vote in any jurisdiction on March 15, with the exception of the Northern Marianas. Florida -- Trump's second home -- is the only state that he plausibly could have won in a head-to-head match with Cruz.

Many states remaining are plurality-take-all. A few are proportional, except that a 50% winner gets the grand prize of all the delegates.

There are three remaining caucus-and-convention states: Wyoming has to elect its 14 statewide delegates. American Samoa will pledge 6 (its RNC members will remain unpledged). Colorado will elect 34 delegates at its state convention: 14 will be chosen by the convention as a whole, 3 by each congressional district caucusing separately, and the ballots will show the presidential candidate to whom each delegate candidate is pledging his or her support. (Colorado will also send its RNC members unpledged.)

What people who have never been involved in caucuses and conventions fail to understand is that a majority of the delegates to a CD or state convention pick ALL the national convention delegates. Back in 1976, a majority of delegates to the Oklahoma Republican convention were Reagan supporters, which meant that they elected a unanimous slate of 36 Reagan delegates to the Republican National Convention in Kansas City. Based on the Wyoming county convention results, it seems likely that Cruz supporters will control the state convention. I would expect the Colorado and American Samoa conventions will go the same way -- if anti-Trump has majority support, and if Trump opponents coalesce behind Cruz, Cruz would win all of those delegates.

I've uploaded a spreadsheet to Google Docs showing the math. If Cruz has a bare majority of support in the remaining contests, he enters Cleveland with 1289 bound delegates, enough to win the nomination on the first ballot. That doesn't depend on any of the unbound delegates voting for Cruz. Trump would enter Cleveland with 734 bound delegates.

Notice too that I haven't allocated the Pennsylvania congressional district delegates. According to The Green Papers:

Rule 8.4 of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania's Rules states that all delegates elected by Congressional District "...shall run at large within the Districts and shall not be officially committed to any particular candidate on the ballot.".

Conceivably, the Cruz and Trump camps would endorse slates of delegates in each congressional district, which would allow us to apply the winner-take-all rule by CD, adding 54 more delegates to Cruz's total. (This table from the state election board will show you all the candidates who have filed to run for delegate in Pennsylvania.)

Varying the scenario a bit, suppose that Trump wins, say, 20 congressional districts, while still losing every statewide total. (I could imagine Trump winning heavily Democrat CDs in New York City with low GOP turnout, without making a dent in a Cruz win fueled by heavy upstate support.) Switch 20 CDs and the total going into Cleveland is Cruz 1239, Trump 794. Cruz would still have a majority of delegates bound to support him.

Even if Kasich stays in and pulls 15% of the vote, Cruz could win remaining contests with 45 to Trump's 40 and go into Cleveland with 1214 delegates to Trump's 800, just shy of what he needs for a first ballot win, but close enough to get over the top easily and to dispel any Trump claim to victory. That's because in most of the remaining contests, a plurality is enough to win all the delegates. If Cruz marshals his forces to get his delegates elected in the Pennsylvania CD contests, he could still enter Cleveland with a bound 1st ballot majority.

Trump can be stopped on the first ballot in Cleveland, if the majority of Republicans, who want to stop Trump, coalesce now behind Ted Cruz. Cruz can win the nomination outright, fair and square, based on the votes cast in primaries and caucuses, without changing the convention rules, without the appearance or reality of backroom deals, without risking a Trump-voter revolt over perceived unfairness. All that is necessary is for the #NeverTrump forces to coalesce today behind Ted Cruz.

AND ANOTHER THING: The first-ballot nomination scenario would have been even stronger for Cruz had Rubio and Kasich dropped out as late as last weekend. (It's evident now that the poll showing Rubio winning early voters in Florida was way, way off. The subsample size was 72, which has an MOE of 11.55%.) Cruz still might not have won Florida -- it's Trump's second homestate -- but he likely would have won the remaining Ides of March states. Claims by Rubio and Kasich supporters that a contested convention was the only way to stop Trump was self-serving and wishful thinking.

ONE MORE THING: By my count, there are 906 delegates that will be bound to one candidate or another by upcoming contests. In which of the remaining states can Kasich win a plurality? He's only done well in his home state and two very small New England states where he spent a lot of time. I could imagine Kasich winning a state like Delaware , Connecticut, or Rhode Island. Maybe Kasich takes a CD or two in New York; he only won six CD delegates in Illinois. So that's 70 delegates or so he might win. The remaining 836 are going to wind up either in Cruz's pile or Trump's, and in large blocks. Each contest will either put Cruz closer to a majority or Trump. Only a very precise and improbably result would produce a situation where Cruz and Trump are both short of a majority and close enough to each other that neither can claim a mandate. Choose ye this day....

WHAT ABOUT KASICH? There aren't enough delegates remaining to win for Kasich to win the nomination on the first ballot. He would have to sweep all remaining delegates and win some of those released by ex-candidates or otherwise unbound delegates to get the majority. He would have to prevent Trump and Cruz from winning a combined 1237 delegates; they already have 1114. A nomination that involves last-minute rules changes or other convention chicanery would be seen as illegitimate by a big chunk of the GOP electorate, dooming not only the GOP's presidential hopes, but likely ending congressional majorities as well. Also, Kasich's decision to skip the Utah debate after Trump punted it tells me that Kasich is playing a game, positioning himself for a job in a Trump administration and not serious about winning.


Ace links and explains one of the media's confusing oversimplifications:

One important thing to keep in mind is that a lot of times the media tells you this or that primary is "proportional."

In fact, they're usually not. Illinois and Missouri were supposedly "proportional." That was shorthand for "Winner take all in the statewide race, then winner take all per Congressional District."

In fact, these "proportional" races turn out to be Winner Take Most, because the statewide winner usually wins almost all -- or just all -- of the Congressional Districts too.

Thus such races can quickly become de facto Winner Take All races, despite the media calling the "proportional."

If someone wins statewide, they might have a massive margin in one CD and lose the rest, but it's more likely that support will be evenly distributed across CDs, barring some special local circumstances. If the race is close, like Oklahoma's 2008 primary, which was then winner-take-all by state and CD, it's more likely that the CD victories will be split. In '08, McCain narrowly won statewide, beating Huckabee by 36.6% to 33.4%, but Huckabee won the two congressional districts nearest Arkansas.

Listening to the Glenn Beck team do their back-of-the-envelope calculation on the March 16, 2016, show, I noticed (with much consternation) that they treated "Winner-Take-Most" (really Winner-Take-All by state and by congressional district) as if they were proportionally allocated.

Ace speculates that Cruz might have better odds of reaching a number shy of 1237, but high enough to be nearly tied. If Cruz and Trump split all 906 remaining delegates, they'd be tied at 1010. (Any Kasich wins of a state or CD would reduce that number accordingly.) 181 are currently bound to ex-candidates for at least the first ballot, unless released. 271 would be uncommitted and up for grabs. Exit question: What will the RNC do to stop Trump from buying delegates?

On Monday, I walked over 17,760 steps, delivering flyers in support of Ted Cruz to my precinct and a neighboring precinct. Tuesday after work, my daughter and I stood with other Cruz supporters at 101st and Memorial, waving signs to remind homeward-bound commuters to vote.

You're welcome, Ted. You're welcome, America.

Cruz won statewide in Oklahoma and won four of five congressional districts. (Rubio won the 5th congressional district.) Because of proportional delegate allocation, Cruz won 16 delegates, Trump won 14, and Rubio won 13, of Oklahoma's 43 delegates. In Texas, Cruz won every congressional district, taking home 104 delegates, to 48 for Trump, and 3 for Rubio. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, we learned that Cruz also won Alaska. Arkansas was close enough -- a 2.3% margin -- that had Carson withdrawn earlier, Cruz probably would have won.

Trump's best results were in Massachusetts, where voters can pick a primary on the day of the election, and were in the heart of the old Confederacy -- Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Trump topped 40% only in Massachusetts (49.3%) and Alabama (43.4%). Interestingly, Trump's best counties in Oklahoma were in the region once known as "Little Dixie."

Rubio got his first win of the campaign, with 36.5% of the vote in the Minnesota caucuses. (Cruz finished 2nd, Trump finished 3rd.)

The current delegate totals after Super Tuesday:

Trump 338
Cruz 236
Rubio 112
Kasich 27
Carson 8
Bush 4
Paul 1
Huckabee 1
Fiorina 1

(I rely on The Green Papers for accurate counts. The website has been paying scrupulous attention to delegate allocation rules since its inception in 1999, and I trust The Green Papers to stick to the facts.)

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in Oklahoma and Vermont and won caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota, came close in Massachusetts, but Hillary won everywhere else.

Vic Regalado won the GOP nomination for the unexpired term for sheriff. He will face Democrat Rex Berry on April 5. I am hearing that second place finisher Luke Sherman intends to file for the full four-year term regardless of the outcome of the special election.

MORE: On his Facebook page, Luke Sherman announced his intention to file and run for the full four-year term:

I am grateful for the overwhelming support so many of you have shown me last night and into this morning. Despite spending three times the amount of money that we did, our competitor still couldn't convince voters and win the majority.

Today is the first day of the next leg of my campaign. We are moving forward to the June 28th primary to fill the next full 4 year term. I still believe that with the right bold leadership, the TCSO can be one the best law enforcement agencies in the country. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Katie and I are committed to bringing Tulsa County together. ‪#‎ShermanForSheriff‬

Bumped to the top through Tuesday. Originally posted on February 27, 2016.


Oklahoma's presidential preference primary is this coming Tuesday, March 1, 2016, and I urge my fellow Oklahoma Republicans to join me in voting for Sen. Ted Cruz for President.

I've voted in every Oklahoma presidential primary -- the first one was held in 1988 -- and usually most of the good candidates are gone by the time it's our turn to vote. Only rarely have I been able to vote for the candidate I felt was the best choice. This is one of those rare, good years.

I want a president who understands what made our country a peaceful, prosperous, and powerful nation, what factors have undermined that peace and prosperity, and what the President can do to get us back on the right track. (It's also important to have a president who understands what is beyond his authority to affect.) I want a president with a clear understanding of the goal, a sense of urgency to take action, the strategic sense to plan the steps needed to reach the goal, the ability to persuade with clarity and conviction, and the mental agility to respond to attacks and adjust to changing circumstances, without compromising his principles.

Ted Cruz has demonstrated all of those qualities during the course of a distinguished public career. As the Director of Public Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, Ted Cruz built bipartisan support for measures that removed regulatory barriers to e-commerce, expanding consumer choice and opening new global markets to American small businesses. (You like ordering contact lens refills and wine over the Internet? Thank Ted Cruz.)

As Solicitor General of Texas, Ted Cruz represented the rights of Texans and all Americans, arguing nine cases at the U. S. Supreme Court (8 as SG, 1 as a private attorney) and submitting amicus briefs in many others. In the Medellin v. Texas case, Cruz successfully defended Texas's right to put a brutal murderer to death, despite an attempt by the World Court, with the Bush administration's approval, to stay the execution because the murderer was a foreign national. Cruz's amicus brief in the D. C. v. Heller gun-rights case, filed on behalf of 31 states (including Oklahoma), helped to put the Supreme Court on record that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the individual's right to keep and bear arms.

As a U. S. Senator, Ted Cruz kept his promise to oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. Working with allies in the Senate and the House, Cruz used the amendment process to expose the the Gang of 8's assurances as hollow. When he offered to write their assurances into the bill as amendments, the open-borders bunch in the Senate showed their true colors and voted them down, which gave opponents the ammunition they needed to stop the bill in the House.

Cruz's push to defund Obamacare, using Congress's power of the purse as an effective check on the President's power, helped propel Republicans to a majority in the Senate at the 2014 election, even though it panicked Senate GOP leadership, who waved the white flag before the battle had even been engaged.

Cruz has shown political courage and an ability to persuade voters to look at issues from another point of view. While campaigning in Iowa, he held firm in his opposition to subsidies for corn ethanol, while also calling for removing bureaucratic limits on ethanol blends, and yet he still finished first in that corn-fixated state.

Among Texans who know him well, Cruz has been endorsed by his former boss (Texas Gov. Greg Abbott), his adversary in the 2012 Senate race (David Dewhurst), and his former competitor for the presidency (former Gov. Rick Perry).

Prof. Thomas Sowell, one of the intellectual giants of the conservative movement, has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, particularly in light of the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia:

Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in this column before, and will undoubtedly be criticized here again. But we can only make our choices among those actually available, and Senator Cruz is the one who comes to mind when depth and steadfastness come to mind.

As someone who once clerked for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he will know how important choosing Justice Scalia's replacement will be. And he has the intellect to understand much more.

Cruz has received a couple of high-profile backhanded endorsements as well. The Left isn't afraid of Trump. The Left and the GOP establishment both know that Donald Trump can be shaped and moulded to serve their purposes. Former President Jimmy Carter said at a speech at Britain's House of Lords that he prefers Donald Trump to Ted Cruz, because Trump is "malleable" and Cruz is not.

"If I had a choice of Republican nominees -- let's just say, for instance, between Cruz and Trump -- I think I would choose Trump, which may surprise some of you. But the reason is that Trump has proven already that he's completely malleable. I don't think he has any fixed opinions that he would really go to the White House and fight for. On the other hand, Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far-right-wing policies, in my opinion, that would be pursued aggressively if and when he might become president."

Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, is another left-winger frightened by the thought of Cruz as President. Lefty Reich's knocks against Cruz only make me like Ted Cruz even more. (Emphasis added below.) The first item is practically a recitation of the GOP platform.

4 Reasons Ted Cruz is Even More Dangerous than Donald Trump.

1. Cruz is more fanatical. Sure, Trump is a bully and bigot, but he doesn't hew to any sharp ideological line. Cruz is a fierce ideologue: He denies the existence of man-made climate change, rejects same-sex marriage, wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, believes the 2nd amendment guarantees everyone a right to guns. He doesn't believe in a constitutional divide between church and state, favors the death penalty, rejects immigration reform, demands the repeal of Obamacare, and takes a strict "originalist" view of the meaning of the Constitution.

2. Cruz is a true believer. Trump has no firm principles except making money, getting attention, and gaining power. But Cruz has spent much of his life embracing radical right economic and political views.

3. Cruz is more disciplined and strategic. Trump is all over the place, often winging it, saying whatever pops into his mind. Cruz hews to a clear script and a carefully crafted strategy. He plays the long game (as he's shown in Iowa).

4. Cruz is a loner who's willing to destroy government institutions to get his way. Trump has spent his career using the federal government and making friends with big shots. Not Cruz. He has repeatedly led Republicans toward fiscal cliffs. In the Fall of 2013, his opposition to Obamacare led in a significant way to the shutdown of the federal government.

That all sounds pretty good to me. I especially like the fact that Cruz "plays the long game." Cruz has been the most successful fundraiser among the candidates, and he's done it with a massive number of relatively small donations. In the final quarter of 2015, Cruz received contributions from 300,000 donors, averaging $67 each.

Combine fundraising success with careful spending, and you have a campaign that can be there and be competitive all the way to the convention. One of my frustrations with Rick Santorum in 2012 was that he threw everything into winning Iowa, but didn't have the resources to continue momentum in other states. Ted Cruz is prepared to go the distance.

Here in Oklahoma, Ted Cruz has won the endorsement of the most consistently conservative of our elected officials, including Congressman Jim Bridenstine. I'm proud to add my name to that distinguished list, and I hope you'll join me at the polls on Tuesday to vote for Ted Cruz for President.


John Stossel's report on the Cruz campaign's big-data-driven campaign, led by Oklahoma's own Chris Wilson.

UPDATE for the primary for the full-four year term: Luke Sherman has been endorsed by four of the other candidates in the special election primary, and he continues to have my support.

The race to fill the unexpired term of former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz has been a strange one for me. It's one of the few local races where I knew none of the candidates before the election, and I've only met two of them during the course of the campaign.

It's a strange election for everyone. The election is only for the term ending at the end of this year. Within a couple of weeks after the general election results are in, it will be time to file to run for a complete four-year term.

Today, Tulsa County Republicans will pick one of nine candidates to face the lone Democratic candidate, Rex Berry, in the April 5, 2016 special election. After listening to Pat Campbell's interviews with the candidates on KFAQ, reading the Tulsa 9/12 Project's candidate questionnaire, and listening to most of KRMG's debate, I've decided to vote for Luke Sherman to be our next Tulsa County Sheriff.

I've thought for quite a while that we needed an experienced lawman from outside the TCSO and the culture that had been so damaged by Glanz's failed leadership. That eliminated a few of the candidates.

Because this primary is first-past-the-post with no runoff, campaign strength had to be a tie-breaker among similarly qualified candidates.

I eliminated Vic Regalado almost immediately. The large number of high-dollar contributions from high rollers and the mysterious cluster of max or near-max contributions from executives and employees from one company is worrisome. Why so much interest in this candidate? What are they expecting from him? At the KRMG debate, when asked about his executive/administrative experience, important for a position that oversees dozens of deputies, jail officers, and other employees, Regalado talked vaguely around the issue. He could cite no concrete qualifications in this area.

John Fitzpatrick has an impressive resume outside of law enforcement, but his service in law enforcement has been limited to the TPD reserve officers' program. I'm also concerned about a developer and a developer's attorney among his prominent donors and endorsers: Joe Westervelt and Lou Reynolds. Do you suppose that foreclosures and the sheriff's power to appoint appraisers have anything to do with this?

A number of my friends are supporting Tom Helm. What crossed him off my list was an answer he gave Pat Campbell (about 10 minutes in) about why it took Eric Harris's death to bring problems in the TCSO to light. Helm said that people in the organization raised concerns. He said he was told that he would "have to deal with it." Evidently that's what he did. He left the sheriff's office, but opted to say nothing publicly that might have exposed the rot. He seemed to be rationalizing the decision to protect his paycheck by keeping his mouth shut. Hardly a profile in courage.

I've been most impressed by Luke Sherman. From his website, here's a summary of his experience as a Tulsa Police officer:

He has served in many roles during his 23-year decorated career with the Tulsa Police Department. He joined the department in September of 1992 and has been an officer, field training officer, supervisor, field training supervisor, academy instructor and firearms instructor.

Luke_Sherman-Sheriff-2016.pngIn 1995, Luke was selected to join the department's SWAT team, where he served as a tactical operator, assistant team leader and finally as the assistant team commander. During over a decade on the team, he took part in many successful high-risk missions.

As a corporal (1998) among other assignments, he led a successful city-wide task force targeting the rise in methamphetamine production, usage and sales. As a sergeant (1999), he has supervised field units and specialty squads throughout the city.

Since 2008, he has led the department's very active Fugitive Warrant's Unit and also is one of the leaders of the U.S. Marshal's Violent Crimes Task Force. Both of these units are responsible for the arrest of thousands of violent criminals related to on-going high profile investigations, as well as fugitives from the Tulsa area and from other parts of the U.S. He led a multi-divisional police operational group during the Good Friday shootings (2012), the Best Buy shooting (2012) and a "Stranger Abduction" of a 8-year-old girl in east Tulsa (2014). Luke's unit was successful in identifying, locating and arresting the suspects in these three high profile cases.

Luke is a nationally recognized figure to law enforcement communities across the United States and in several other countries. As a director for the National Tactical Officer's Association (NTOA), Luke has played a pivotal role in assisting and providing subject matter expertise to members of both the U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress in topics such as the Ferguson riot incidents and the topic of the militarization of police forces. As an instructor for the NTOA, he has provided nearly 5000 hours of instruction in topics such as active shooter, hostage rescue, high-risk warrants, civil disturbance, barricaded gunman, legal considerations in policing and SWAT, civil disturbance, team leader and command-level decision making.

Sherman's answers to questionnaires and his interview responses indicate intelligence and thoughtfulness. His responses to the Tulsa 9/12 Project showed an awareness of the non-law-enforcement aspects of the job. I was pleased to see this in one of his replies: "I am also looking into partnerships with other local agencies and redirecting some excess earmarked ad valorem funds that are not being used by Tulsa Technology Center and Tulsa Community College." While this will require considerable political capital, there is no doubt that the earmarked millage levies enjoyed by TTC and TCC provide them with more than enough money; elected county officials should give voters the opportunity to reduce the TTC and TCC levies and find a way to shift that revenue stream to more productive uses.

An honorable mention goes to Jason Jackson, who has an impressive record of service of nearly 20 years with the Jenks Police Department, degrees in criminology and religious studies from Liberty University, and experience as a pastor. Jackson also has given solid answers in interviews and questionnaires.

I've endorsed Sherman over Jackson because I think Sherman is better placed to beat well-financed but less-desirable candidates in this first-past-the-post primary, and because I think service in leadership roles in the police department of the state's second largest city is better training for sheriff of the second largest county than leadership in a small city's police force.

I encourage you to join me in voting later today for Luke Sherman for the Republican nomination for Tulsa County Sheriff.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Election 2016 category from March 2016.

Election 2016: February 2016 is the previous archive.

Election 2016: April 2016 is the next archive.

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