It was never my intention to not publish a single word on this site last week. I didn’t go anywhere, but the mental week away was good for me. Like so many people, I too have had enough of the Republican presidential race. I’m glad that the two-week hiatus between contests is over. Tomorrow’s Wisconsin primary is incredibly important for all the candidates involved. Below are some brief thoughts.
- It’s not good enough for Texas Senator Ted Cruz to win Wisconsin. He needs to walk away with the bulk of the 42 delegates up for grabs. The Cruz campaign knows this, which is why they spent considerable time campaigning across the state. To keep delegates away from Donald Trump, they need to win the state AND win congressional districts. Trump has had an awful week and is not favored to win, but Cruz has yet to beat Trump in a primary contest outside of his home state of Texas and neighboring states.
- What does a win look like for Cruz? Anything that keeps the Trump under 50 percent of the available delegates. Still, a Cruz victory might be more symbolic as it will put the GOP in a defensive posture for the first time since the Iowa caucuses. The calendar favors Trump for the rest of the month, but as is always the case, a big win pumps new life into a campaign.
- The Democrat race is getting interesting, as Bernie Sanders has won five contests in a row and narrowed Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead. Sanders is leading Clinton in the Wisconsin polls by a narrow margin. Another Sanders win would not only keep his streak alive, but also underscore how his candidacy is a real threat to Clinton. Sanders is not just hanging on, he’s scoring real points.
On the home front:
My dire attitude towards presidential politics is matched by my opinion of local politics. Thank goodness local politicians don’t act like presidential candidates, but they do little to inspire me. That may seem harsh, and while I appreciate the work they do, much of which goes unnoticed, I’m looking for bold ideas. I understand they might not pass, but it seems like the greatest debate this legislative session was over firearm suppressors. I support the legislation, but rolled my eyes when it was reported that Iowa is the 42nd state to do legalize the sale of them. Can we lead or be innovative on something? Please?
My outlook improved when I read a heartfelt op-ed in the Des Moines written by Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell on human trafficking. It was a powerful piece. I encourage you all to read it. Also deserving recognition on this issue is Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Mark Cady, and State Representative Zach Nunn. Nunn’s legislation died in the legislative funnel. Go figure.
Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic is one of the more intelligent reporters I’ve come across in my time doing this. I love it when he calls because I either learn something from our conversation or he makes me think about something in a way I have not done before. Last week, he wrote about how Trump’s general election path would rely heavily on the rust belt. It’s great stuff. Check it out.