Newswise — The results of the Wisconsin presidential primaries show that campaigns by the two big “anti-establishment” candidates in both parties will face a more difficult political road in the coming weeks and months, a political scientist versed in presidential powers said.
Daniel P. Franklin is an associate professor of political science at Georgia State University in Atlanta and is an expert on executive power, political culture, presidential legacies, and the relationships between the presidency and Congress.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s victory on the GOP side over Donald Trump shows that the billionaire’s campaign train might be starting to wobble off of the tracks, Franklin said, giving anti-Trump forces in the Republican leadership a possible way, at a contested Republican National Convention this summer, to avoid Trump’s nomination.
“The Trump campaign is beginning to fray at the edges,” he said. “I think a Cruz-[Ohio Gov. John] Kasich ticket is a plausible alternative for the Republicans and a way out of their Trump morass.”
On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders enjoyed a victory, but the math used by Democrats to select their candidate still makes it difficult to grasp the party’s nomination as its presidential candidate, Franklin said.
“Bernie won, but not by enough,” he said. “His problem is that the Democratic primaries are mostly proportional and given that Hillary still has a big lead, he has to win by a lot in the remaining primaries to have a chance to catch up.”
Sanders also has to contend with the Democrats’ use of “superdelegates,” members of the party leadership, and current and former office holders, who are not pledged to any particular candidate at all – and the majority of them are siding with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“He also has to convert a large number of superdelegates, and given his relationship with the Democratic Party, that’s not going to happen,” Franklin said.
Franklin is the author of “Pitiful Giants: Presidents in their Final Term” (Palgrave MacMillian, 2014) and “Politics and Film: Political Culture and Film in the United States” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), among other publications exploring political culture, executive powers and the relationships between the presidency and Congress.
For more information about Franklin, visit http://politicalscience.gsu.edu/profile/daniel-p-franklin/.