It's just about at end (apologies to states with primaries in Mid-May to June). This presidential campaign - which seemingly began immediately after President Obama was reelected in 2012 - has been steaming towards what seems to be the inevitable final showdown: Donald Trump -vs- Hillary Clinton.
Trump as the Republican candidate was not what anyone predicted, and not what anyone wanted. He's a joke, a showman, a used-car salesman, an intellectual fraud (which is saying a lot). Republic primary voters saw their clown car full of single-issue extremists and dullards, and decided to go all-in with the anti-politician candidate. Who better to be president than someone who doesn't know the first thing about how government actually works?
On the Democratic side, it started out interesting. Clinton was the assumed candidate, but the question was: who would run against her? Senator Bernie Sanders and Governor Martin O'Malley decided to give it a shot. O'Malley was definitely on the edges - he really had no national profile. Sanders was an odd choice as well - not a member of the Democratic party, he decided to run as one anyway. Most Dems welcomed him despite that as a foil to the perceived coronation of Clinton. It was certainly questionable how well he would be able to do as an "outsider" to the party (although very much an insider with regards to politics and the government). He has done exceedingly well.
The problem of course with this excessively long primary season is that nerves get frazzled, and things get ugly. Four years ago, it was the campaigns themselves that started getting dirty. This year, the campaigns have stayed mostly above the fray, but it's been the supporters (particularly on social media) who have been rolling in the mud like like pigs fighting over a cob of corn.
Last campaign, it was Clinton who got ugly. She seems to have mostly learned the lessons of that failed campaign. This time, it's Sanders' supporters who have not yet met a paranoid conspiracy theory they didn't embrace, and threaten to withhold their vote in the General if their candidate is not selected - popular vote be damned. Any time he loses a state, they blame "cheating" and "dirty tricks" on the Clinton campaign, and collusion between the campaign and elected officials in the various states.
The latest one involved several of Sanders support groups on Facebook "disappearing" the night before yesterday's primaries. Naturally - the Clinton campaign was blamed for paying trolls to spam the groups with porn, forcing a shutdown. The truth is a lot less interesting
(apologies for linking to The Daily Beast). Does the truth matter? Will everyone posting false stories about the apocryphal porn spamming remove their posts and issue an apology? I won't hold my breath.After yesterday's primaries
, it seems that a mathematical path to the nomination has been eliminated for all but Trump, for better or worse, and Clinton maintains her solid lead. This likely won't be put to bed until June 7, when California and New Jersey vote. Most Sanders supporters are rational people who know what a horror show our country would be with a Trump presidency, and will hold their noses and vote for Clinton in the General, should that the be outcome. Some of them have suggested a 3rd party run for Sanders (or a write in campaign, something Sanders will likely ask his supporters NOT to do). You know who else supports Sanders running as a 3rd party candidate?Trump
That should tell you all you need to know.