A lot that happens in American politics is like Earnings Week on Wall Street: It's not how you do, it's how you do in relation to what you were expected to do.
Example: If you have a company that reports earnings per share of $1.15 and the Street predicted you would do $1.13 you're a big winner. But, if the Street's prediction was $1.17 per share, that same $1.15 is seen as a failure.
Last night Clinton and Trump did very well. They each won seven of the 11 states. By any measure that is a huge night.
Except it wasn't because - at least on the GOP side - Donald Trump was expected to win 10 of the 11 races. Ted Cruz was expected to win his home state of Texas, and he did.
But, if you had gone to Las Vegas and bet that the results would be: Trump 7, Cruz 3, Rubio 1 you would be reading this from your new beachfront home in the Bahamas.
There is no question that Clinton and Trump extended their delegate leads while shrinking the window through which their opponents have to climb to stop them from becoming their parties' nominees.
Marco Rubio who made great TV by teasing and chiding Trump all week finally won a contest when he won Minnesota. The results were:
That means: (A) Cruz can no longer say he is the only candidate to have beaten Trump and, (B) Trump can no longer say "Even when I've lost, I've come in second."
Cruz exceeded his Earnings per Share expectation by winning in Oklahoma and Alaska as well as Texas.
But, still, Trump won seven states from the Northeast (Vermont and Massachusetts) to the Deep South (Alabama and Georgia) and it was a big, big night for the Trump campaign.
On the Democrat side, Clinton has as good a night as Trump, but Bernie Sanders had a good night, too winning his home state of Vermont but also winning in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado.
With Clinton's huge lead among "super delegates" - Members of Congress, party officials, past party and public officials - who aren't elected but pledge themselves to a candidate gives her a huge lead of 1,001 delegates (including 471 Super Delegates) to Sanders' 371 (22 Super Delegates) according to Bloomberg.
Some quick subtraction tells us that without the Super Delegates the score would be Clinton 530 - Sanders 349. Still a substantial lead but not overwhelming.
But, according to USA Today, Sanders raised over $40 million in February - FORTY MILLION - and is in for the long haul. There is no reason for him not to fight Clinton all the way to the convention floor in Philadelphia.
Back to the GOP, Donald Trump did a combo victory speech/press conference at his resort in Florida. That was strange enough, but he was introduced by his new best buddy, Chris Christie who was reduced to the "adoring spouse" role for the whole of the event.
Christie's "adoring" look is exactly what you would expect from a former federal prosecutor - not exactly sending out warmth and affection vibes.
According to the National Journal, here's what on the upcoming calendar for the next two weeks:
March 5 - Kansas Republican and Democratic caucuses, Kentucky Republican caucuses, Louisiana Republican and Democratic primaries, Maine Republican primary, Nebraska Democratic caucuses
March 6 - Puerto Rico Republican primary, Maine Democratic caucuses
March 8 - Hawaii Republican caucuses, Idaho Republican primary, Michigan Republican and Democratic primaries, Mississippi Republican and Democratic primaries
March 12 - District of Columbia Republican convention, Northern Mariana Islands Democratic caucuses
March 15 - Florida Republican and Democratic primaries, Illinois Republican and Democratic primaries, Missouri Republican and Democratic primaries, North Carolina Republican and Democratic primaries, Ohio Republican and Democratic primaries, Northern Mariana Islands Republican caucuses
All eyes will be pointing to Ohio (John Kasich's home turf) and Florida (Marco Rubio's). If either or both lose their home states, the prevailing theory is, they will have to drop out.
But, that's just the Street talking earnings per share. As always, we'll see what happens when people actually vote.
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