(Buffalo, N.Y.) – With a number of state primaries and caucuses having come and gone, it has not become any easier to tell which candidates will become their respective party’s nominee for president in 2016.
To date, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been the big winners at the polls, with Trump having won 15 of 25 races and Clinton having won 14 of 23 contests. Some political experts believe that Trump and Clinton will ultimately win the Republican and Democratic nominations for president, respectively.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Dr. Bruce Bryski, a communications professor at SUNY Buffalo State and a political commentator for WBEN radio. “For an outsider like Donald Trump to just come in with no political experience, this is an interesting phenomenon. He did very well and he’s way ahead in terms of delegates right now.”
Bryski said that with a number of primaries and caucuses still to come, Trump is not necessarily a foregone conclusion for the Republican nomination. Yet, he said that unless another Republican candidate can challenge Trump, he may have an easy road ahead of him.
Dr. Peter Yacobucci , a political science professor at Buffalo State and contributor to WBEN, said he was surprised that evangelical Christians have supported Trump more than any other candidate.
“Evangelicals, by a large majority in most states swung toward Donald Trump,” said Yacobucci. “They have a clear candidate, Ted Cruz, that represents their interests and pretty solidly has positioned himself as the evangelical candidate. (However), he’s lost those individuals that last two weeks.”
Yacobucci said the Republican race is an interesting one. “Donald Trump is a non-ideological, almost non-partisan candidate,” he said. “He’s getting support from across the ideological spectrum. Trump’s campaign is not based on ideology.”
Yacobucci said Trump is getting support from Republicans, independents and even Democrats. He says Trump’s campaign is really aimed at people who feel they’ve been wronged by someone or something. However, he points out that Trump has not really offered any solutions in his campaign.
“Trump is a very smart media individual,” said Yacobucci. “He knows that right now that’s not what those voters are looking for. The voters are looking, especially in the Republican Party, for someone to tell them that they are justified in being angry and that it’s okay to be angry.”
Bryski added that Trump is using the media to strengthen his campaign. “He’s the ideal anti-establishment candidate,” said Bryski. “The media is eating this up.”
Bryski said there are also a few surprises in the Democratic race between Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
“Bernie Sanders won (nine) states and I did not think he was going to really do that well,” said Bryski. “He knew he would win his own state, Vermont, but he did better than I had anticipated.”
However, Bryski said Sanders’ surprising success might not be enough to win the nomination. “I just don’t think that’s going to be enough,” he said. “Hillary is eventually going to pull ahead and probably even increase her lead.”
Yacobucci said he also believes it is Clinton’s race to lose. “I think that some of these upcoming states are really going to work to Hillary’s advantage,” said Yacobucci. “If you look at the vote, she got the majority of the African-American vote. I think it’s going to be tough to unseat and prevent Hillary from being the nominee for the Democrats.”
* Producers Dan Almasi, Brett Ballachino, Maris Lambie and Madison Marquardt contributed to this report.