How about if we call this halftime of the primary season? True, more than 30 states have held primaries and caucuses, but the schedulers have mercifully built in a two-week break between Wisconsin and New York. The only exception is Wyoming's Democratic caucus on Saturday, with a handful of delegates up for grabs in our least-populated state.
So, what have we learned in the first half? Above all else, Donald Trump is the biggest political story of the year. He has routinely been denounced as a know-nothing, a bully, and of course a racist. The media, with some notable exceptions, despise Mr. Trump, his bluster, and his emphasis on stopping illegal immigration. But his legions of loyal followers, while a minority among Republicans, are standing by their man.
Trump's ascendance has entertainers and leftists, pardon the redundancy, queued up on Expedia to find the best way out of the country if he becomes president. That's the good news. Meanwhile, some Republican bigwigs are just as frightened, worried that he may actually shake up Washington in a way that politicians have promised for decades.
Nipping at his heels is Ted Cruz, perhaps the most disliked American politician since John Adams. Cruz is not a guy who wins friends, but his brand of pure, not-from-concentrate conservatism brings joy to the hearts of right-wingers. Of course, progressives consider that oxymoronic, since right-wingers are obviously heartless.
The Texas Senator is on a winning streak, but that could come to an abrupt halt in New York, kind of like when someone pulls the emergency brake on the subway. Speaking of subways, the always-dignified New York Daily News offers this advice to Cruz: 'Take the F U Train, Ted!' This is the same wretched and failing paper that called Trump a 'Dead Clown Walking' and the 'Anti Christ.' If anyone ponies up the $1 asking price for the Daily News, he or she is getting ripped off big time.
On the Democratic side, a woman facing indictment is barely defeating a hard-core socialist who has no solutions to anything at all. We ran it down on The Factor this week: Bernie Sanders offers nothing on ISIS, nothing on Iran, nothing on Putin. He wants more immigrants allowed into the country, more prisoners allowed out of jail.
Our $20-trillion debt is no big deal to Senator Sanders, but he is pretty keen on breaking up big banks. When pressed on just how he would do that, Bernie didn't have a flippin' clue. Really, no clue at all. Bernie Sanders is sincere, but you know what they say: Sincerity and $2.45 will get you a nice-sized cup of Starbucks coffee in New York City.
Then there is Hillary Clinton, who is campaigning hard in New York State while also glancing south to Washington. Our own Judge Andrew Napolitano has declared that she will be formally indicted by the Justice Department, which would effectively end her candidacy. Even if no indictment is forthcoming, a protest resignation by FBI officials could look even worse.
So the first half is in the books and here's a recap: Donald Trump is hanging on but he has to stop with the insults. Calling Ted Cruz names after Wisconsin was just not the stuff of greatness. Cruz is fighting hard, garnering as many delegates as possible, anticipating an open convention where he is the only alternative to Trump. And John Kasich? He's like little Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament, hanging around and hoping for a miracle.
As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton was supposed to have this all in the bag by now. But a wild-eyed socialist, like the pesky ant at the picnic, has ruined her coronation. Unless the FBI and DOJ get in the way, she will be the nominee. But even if she isn't, don't think for a minute that Bernie Sanders will emerge from The City of Brotherly Love as the Democratic standard-bearer. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the other party bosses just won't let it happen. They fear a Sanders candidacy more than Republican honchos fear a Trump victory.
So sit back, grab a healthy snack, and get ready. We hope the coming weeks and months include visits to The Factor by all the candidates, although Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and now even Donald Trump are avoiding us. C'mon in, folks, the water's just fine and you can certainly handle the tough-but-fair questions. You have an open invitation to inform America why you will be the best person to confront this nation's vexing problems.
We should all hope that the remainder of the primary season features the same level of skill and tough, high-level competition that we saw in this week's North Carolina-Villanova championship game. For political junkies, an open convention is every bit as exciting as a game-winning buzzer-beater. Maybe better, and certainly far less common. So enjoy the second half. And remember that the stakes are enormous.