Now that Trump has won 10 of the first 15 Republican primaries and caucuses, media members are increasingly painting him as a lock for the Republican nomination. Not so fast, my friends, says Wilson.
“I don’t really understand this rush to crown someone from the media standpoint,” Wilson says. “Trump is clearly in the lead, but he’s gotten a third of the total votes cast so far. His lead is a plurality, not a majority. It’s still possible Trump can be denied by a united opposition.”
A count of pledged delegates paints a much closer picture: 319 for Trump, 226 for Cruz, 110 for Rubio, 25 for Kasich and eight for Carson.
“There’s almost a willful obtuseness by commentators who want to look at the simplest level where Trump has won X states and Cruz or Rubio have won Y states. That appears to put Trump in a commanding position, but that’s not how it works,” Wilson says. “You have to look at demographics: What groups are supporting whom and where?”
Most commentators are now pointing to March 15, when Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio cast their ballots, as the next big prize, but Wilson cautioned the eight states that vote before then should not be ignored.
“What happens between now and March 15 will set the narrative going into the big states: Who looks viable and who looks desperate?” Wilson says. “But March 15 is the make or break day.”
Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science who can discuss:
- religion and politics
- political psychology
- voting behavior of religious voters
- public opinion and politics