Why Pennsylvania Matters

At the start of this election cycle, this primary looked nothing short of boring. We saw two familiar names: Bush and Clinton; and everyone thought this would be a very predictable election. Then, came in two revolutionaries: Trump and Sanders. From this point, everything changed. Seventeen Republicans entered the mix, and the result were three very unlikely winners. John Kasich, a not very well known governor from Ohio. Ted Cruz, a brand new senator from Texas. And finally, Donald Trump, a notorious business billionaire who no one thought has a flying chance.

But as the election cycle progressed, Trump started to win. The Republican Party started to panic. There is no way, in their mind, that this guy could go up against Hillary Clinton in the general election, and he has to be stopped. Because of this notion, we are seeing a lot about the primary that was relatively unknown to the general public. In particular, the power of delegates in the political process, and the fact that a popular vote win does not secure a nomination.

So today, when five states are going to the polls, we all of a sudden look at the results in a totally new way. Pennsylvania, which has always been an important purple state, is a perfect example of the complex primary system that so many have raised red flags about. Even if Donald Trump wins the state, the delegates that he wins can vote for a different candidate if there is a contested convention. For this reason, Cruz and Kasich have teamed up to take away as many delegates as possible from Trump. There is nothing illegal in what they are trying to accomplish, but it is leaving a very bad taste in many voters’ mouths.

Trump continues to focus on receiving the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination. Even if he wins these, however, a contested convention could result in a different nominee. Because of this, Kasich and Cruz are focused on diverting all delegate votes away from Trump, and focused on securing the nomination through a contested convention. Kasich is trying to push the idea already of a contested convention on all of his media platforms, pointing out that it was through this type of nomination that Abraham Lincoln became president. There is no argument that this was a good result for the country, and he wants everyone to remember that as the shock waves settle in that your vote does not always count in a primary.

The Republican Party members for years have been at odds against one another. There has been more internal strife than external strife, and the Republican Primary many times is harder to win that the general election. And because of this, the Democrats already have a lead when the real fight is supposed to happen. This election, so far, has educated many Americans about the primary process, and the intricacies required to secure a nomination. For many, this is the icing on the cake for the distaste they have had towards Party leaders for years, and may be the push to make the final exit from the GOP. Cruz and Kasich, however, are confident that this is the best move for the party, and that those who vote for Trump simply have wool over their eyes.

The result from today’s five elections will shed a lot of light of what is to come. We will now pay more attention to the popular vote versus the delegates won. While this was normally a fact known only to real political junkies, many Americans are now realizing the backdoor deals and the promises made that are part of the nomination process, especially when the party leaders do not like who is in first place. And as they are becoming more educated, they are becoming more certain that Washington is corrupt, and some serious political change is needed.

Pennsylvania will further highlight this trend, and the result will prove what we can expect the attitude to be towards a contested convention in July.