Plenty of Intrigue Ahead in Delegate Chase

Yes, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got impressive wins in Utah’s 2016 presidential caucusesTuesdaynight.

But Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump grasped bigger delegate prizes in Arizonaon Tuesday– and despite Utah’s huge caucus turnouts the presidential nomination leaders of both parties ran further ahead in the critical delegate counts.

By getting more than 50 percent of the GOP caucus vote, Cruz wins all of Utah’s 40 Republican delegates.

Sanders crushed Clinton in Utah, beating her two-to-one.

So, according to the political web siteRealClearPolitics, it appears Sanders will get 24 Democratic delegates in Utah, Clinton only 5.

As the New York Times reports, because of their Arizona victories, both Clinton and Trump extended their delegate counts.

Clinton gets 44 Arizona delegates; Trump gets 58 more GOP delegates from that state, says RCP.

Here’s a delegate/state mapshowingthe results.

Idaho Democrats also votedTuesday. (The GOP vote was several weeks ago.)

Sanders beat Clinton in Idaho, so he gets 17 more delegates there, Clinton just 5, according to RCP.

Add up all the Democratic delegates pickedTuesday, and Clinton has 54 more to Sanders 71 more, says the Times and RCP.

However, the national Democrats also award “super delegates” in each state, usually the state party officers and other leading Democrats.

And Clinton has 467 “super delegates” across the nation compared to Sander’s scant 26, reports the Associated Press, with a number not yet saying who they will vote for in the national convention.

On the Republican side, the Stop-Trump movement was clear among Utah Republicans.

Cruz gets some bragging rights in the Beehive State. And certainly if Trump had gotten all of Utah’s GOP delegates it may have actually sealed the deal for the mouthy billionaire.

But Trump is still racking up delegates faster than Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

It takes 1,237 GOP delegates to win the nomination, assuming all of the delegates Trump has won actually vote for him in the first round of the July party convention in Cleveland.

One political sage believes Trump will end up with between 1,100 and 1,300 delegates – the latter of course giving him the nomination.

Trump says there will be “riots” if he gets close to the delegate threshold, and GOP bosses/delegates ultimately deny him the Republican nomination.

Utah may have done its part in the Stop-Trump movement. But he still is odds-on favorite to have the delegates needed for a first voting round victory.

Ten times before have national Republicans gone into a contested presidential convention. And 70 percent of the time, the man with the most delegates at the start didn’t win the nomination – it went to some other compromise candidate.

In the 1860 national GOP convention, that compromise candidate was Abraham Lincoln.

On the first ballot Lincoln was a distantsecondto New York Gov. William Seward.

But Lincoln’s convention leaders, as the new PBS series on presidential elections notes, made more promises to state GOP delegation bosses than did Seward’s – including promises of cabinet posts.

Lincoln won on the third ballot, and several state delegation bosses did indeed get cabinet posts – even though Lincoln in a telegram told his convention men that he wouldn’t honor any “deals” they made.

Trump says he is the great deal-maker.

If there is a contested convention this year – will Trump be able to bring over the likely small number of delegates he’ll need to win the nomination?

Or will there be “riots” in the streets of Cleveland – like there were in Chicago (home of the 1860 GOP convention) at the 1968 National Democratic Convention?

If Trump is denied the GOP nomination, I can see him breaking away and running as a write-in or independent for president.

That would seal the GOP defeat – and give the presidency to Clinton, who will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee.

Either way, hold on for a bumpy ride.

AndTuesday’sUtah caucus votes show it’s unlikely we won’t in this state, as a majority, be happy with the final results.