What If We Let the South Choose the President?

I haven't blogged here at all yet about the 2016 presidential election, but the primaries for both parties are at very important turning points right now, so I thought it was about time.

There are now three candidates left in the race for the Republican nomination—Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich. Trump has a sizable lead, and he most likely will become the Republican candidate. No one really expected that months ago, but his ability to excite voters with his nationalist rhetoric has been pretty powerful.

via Wikipedia

If you look at the map of the Republican primary so far, you can see the South has gone overwhelmingly for Trump, with the exception of Texas, Ted Cruz's home state. The only way Ted Cruz has a shot is if he wins the majority of the West in the upcoming primaries, and perhaps if Kasich is able to pick up a win or two in the Northeast, cutting Trump's advance. Given the results so far in states as diverse as Massachusetts, Illinois, and Nevada, though, that seems unlikely. Trump's appeal has been broad; voters just haven't seen a presidential candidate like him before, and many Americans love it.

In the Democratic primary, most of the states that have voted so far are the same as in the Republican one: All of the southern states have voted, but not much of the rest of the country.

via Wikipedia

Hillary Clinton won every state in the South. Elsewhere, however, Bernie Sanders won nine states out of fifteen, came in close to Hillary in Nevada, and came extremely close in Iowa and Missouri. Clinton's strength among Democratic voters in the South was overwhelming and undeniable. Elsewhere, however—in swing states and more liberal states—Bernie Sanders has been winning.

Many people are saying right now that Hillary Clinton has clearly won the Democratic primary: She holds the majority of pledged delegates so far, and she's won a large majority of the states that have voted so far. However, nearly half the states in the country haven't voted yet, and the South has made up the vast majority of Clinton's support.

If people think Hillary Clinton's already won the Democratic nomination, I think it's fair to ask this question: What if we let the South choose the President? 

Here's who would have been elected President in the last six elections.

  • 1992: George H. W. Bush (Sorry Bill Clinton, you won some of the South but not enough.)
  • 1996: Bob Dole (Sorry again, Bill, you never would have been President.)
  • 2000: George W. Bush in a landslide (though maybe President Dole would have run for reelection)
  • 2004: George W. Bush in an even bigger landslide
  • 2008: John McCain (Obama only won Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.)
  • 2012: Mitt Romney (Obama did even worse, losing North Carolina.)

And finally, what would almost inevitably happen if we let the South choose the President this time as well?

  • 2016: Donald Trump

I hope you'll agree we still need to hear the voices of primary election voters in the rest of the country. I will be voting in the Alaska Democratic primary on March 26th, and if you haven't had a chance to vote yet in either primary, do it!

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