Essay Writing Samples

MLA-Style Summary of the March 22nd Primaries

The Election Five are still going strong, it’s likely all are in it for the long run, as covered in this sample political essay.

Trump walked away with 59 delegates and superdelegates, Cruz with 41, Kasich, zero. Clinton gained 63 delegates and superdelegates, while Sanders yielded 77 (Hooper, Fung, Shifflett, Forster & Scheller). The Republicans held caucuses in American Samoa, with 9 delegates still up for grabs, and Utah; while a primary was held in Arizona. Cruz and Trump each gained one delegate from American Samoa, according to some news sources (“The Latest”).

Trump won Arizona with 58 delegates. Cruz took Utah with all 40 delegates. The Democrats held caucuses in Utah and Idaho, and Arizona held its primary. The Democrats have 9 delegates still ready for the taking. Clinton won Arizona with 49 delegates compared to Sanders with 32. Sanders led Idaho 19 to Clinton’s 6. In Utah, Sanders gained 26 new delegates versus Clinton’s 8 (“The Latest”).

Summary of the March 22nd Primaries -The Republicans


Trump emerged from the Arizona race victorious. The winner-take-all state gave him a neat number of delegates to pocket (Silver). He was the beneficiary of his synergistic relationship with ardent supporter Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a lawman known for employing controversial practices in his jurisdiction (AP). Among Arpaio’s dubious methodologies was requiring inmates to put on pink underwear, a case he lost on appeal (Billeaud), in addition to forcing them to live in tents outside the jailhouse building when it is over one hundred degrees outside (AP).

He has been accused of instituting dragnets to marshal Hispanic individuals based on profiling, ruled illegal by a judge. He was subsequently hauled back into court for contempt of court, where he denied violating the judge’s order, though he did ultimately acknowledge that there may have been an inadvertent violation of Judge Snow’s ruling (Duara). When the federal judge held against him, Arapaio reportedly conducted an investigation that targeted that same judge (Cassidy). Arapaio hosted a rally for Trump and was also responsible for providing security for the Republican front-runner.


Cruz had a clean sweep in Utah, his largest set of votes since the start of the election process. Mormons wanted to make it very clear, they were not going to vote for Donald Trump. Trump’s son, stumping for his father, stated that Trump’s values were the same as theirs – he does not drink, smoke, and he an unapologetic, card carrying workaholic who has a great love of family. Apparently, those characteristics were not the ones that troubled Mormons most.

In fact, it went beyond troubled, to acute “aversion.” Cruz won 70% of the votes, but only needed 50% to take the prize. Kasich received a paltry 17% of the vote, while Trump received 14%. Even Jeb Bush, prior Republican contender, cast his support to Cruz after the landslide victory, calling Cruz

“‘a principled conservative’ and the party’s best chance at countering the ‘divisiveness and vulgarity’ of Mr. Trump’s campaign”.

In lock-step, Mitt Romney stated he would be voting for Cruz in the caucus,

“but only because he was the only candidate who could stop Mr Trump. He stopped short of an endorsement of Mr Cruz, telling his followers on Facebook that the candidate he really likes is Mr Kasich, but that at this stage a vote for the Ohio governor was a vote for Mr Trump”.

Trump stuck his foot in his mouth and further cemented his fate by calling Romney out on his religious faith, stating,

“Are you sure he is a Mormon? Are we sure?”

Rather than rocking the boat, Trump caused the boat to capsize by denigrating Romney, his former running mate, and an extremely popular politician and businessman in Utah.

Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox spoke to rally attendees about what he felt were shocking statements made by Trump about Romney’s faith (McAdam & Green). He described them as un-Presidential and un-Republican. In addition to effectively insulting a fellow Mormon, believers remember a history rife with religious persecution, which drove Mormons to Utah from Nauvoo, Illinois, in the first place (“Mormons Begin”). Not smart.

American Samoa

American Samoa shows inconsistent delegate results depending on the news agency used as the source, ABC News reports there are 9 uncommitted delegates, and AP News, an Associated Press outlet, reports Trump and Cruz gained one delegate each out of nine. American Samoa is not a state, consequently the U. S. territory will not be a part of the 2016 November election, though party members are permitted to partake in the primaries (“American Samoa”).

The Conservative Review indicates that during the American Samoa caucus, 6 delegates were elected, and that a press release reveals their 9 delegates will be present at the Republican convention unbound (CR Wire). The International Business Review announced, on the other hand, that Cruz gained one delegate, as well as Trump, in American Samoa’s caucus (Kaplan).

The issue of citizenship looms large in American Samoa. Like voters in Puerto Rico, they cannot vote in the November election (Berman). But unlike Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens and, should they move to the mainland, are afforded the protections of the 14th Amendment, American Samoans are U. S. nationals, which requires that they go through the naturalization process prior to voting in the national election, despite moving to the mainland.

The touchy subject will come under sharp focus in the recently decided case, Tuaua v. United States, where the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. held on June 5, 2015, “that birthright citizenship does not extend to people in American Samoa, despite it being a part of the United States”. Plaintiffs have petitioned the Supreme Court, and if the Court grants certiorari, their decision could ultimately have a significant impact on the status of American Samoans. In addition, if, as expected, Cruz wins all 9 delegates, the question of Cruz’s own birthright citizenship, as it relates to ability to run may require judicial intervention (Berman).

Summary of the March 22nd Primaries – The Democrats


Hillary Clinton won Arizona, the largest delegate prize of the day, quite handily on Tuesday. Yet, there were strident calls for resignation, by the voters in Arizona, regarding a decision made by Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell. Purcell reduced the number of polling places from two hundred in the 2012 primaries, and approximately 400 in 2008, to only sixty.

The decrease caused long lines forcing some voters to have to wait as long as five hours to place their ballots to other problems related to registration. In a special hearing held by the Arizona House Elections Committee, an extremely apologetic Purcell was grilled on her rationale for reducing the number of poll locations. Testimony was taken by approximately 200 residents regarding the problems they faced trying to vote. In addition to hours spent waiting, some registered voters were somehow switched from their original party affiliation to independent status, which meant that they lost their ability to vote.

Explaining the snafu, Purcell stated that voter turnout projections and ballots by mail expectations were miscalculated. Instead of the expected 71,000 person turnout, over 83,000 voters showed up. Purcell acknowledged that the final projection number was a

“giant mistake . . . We made some horrendous mistakes.” .

Secretary of State Michele Reagan held a press conference prior to the hearing where she, too, accepted responsibility for the error. She stated that despite the fact that she does not have control over country actions, she should have had to foresight to recognize that the county polling location decrease was far too big a cut,

“I wish I had questioned that 60 were not enough. For that, I take responsibility . . . I wish that we had flagged this and said something, and for that we are taking responsibility. I am taking responsibility for that”

Though Purcell took responsibility, she cited that reduced funding from the state was primarily responsible for the blunder. The county reimbursement rate had previously been cut by the State Legislature and Governor Ducey. What was last set at one hundred percent reimbursement for election costs, had been lowered to the older rate of $1.25 per voter resulting in a $6 million shortfall. Consequently counties only received approximately $4 million to conduct the primary.

Another contributing issue was that in 2013, the U. S. Supreme Court changes an important provision of the Voting Rights Act, which required certain states, Arizona included, to obtain pre-approval of changes from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Democratic Representative Ken Clark, asked if DOJ would have permitted the county’s 60 polling place plan, suggesting that the unfortunate holding in that decision, removing Arizona from DOJ pre-approval jurisdiction, may have been at the center of the problem.

On the registration slipup, Danny Robinson testified that his daughter waited in line in Tucson for endless hours, only to be told that she had been listed as an independent. Robinson stated, “she’s always been registered as a Democrat, she’s always voted as a Democrat . . . suddenly she’s been changed” (Duda). He stated that this resulted in her disenfranchisement, and he wanted a revote so that his daughter would receive justice.


In Utah politics, Bernie Sanders had a better showing than Ted Cruz in the caucuses, securing 79% of the votes, while Clinton gained only 20% (“Why Ted Cruz”). The win gives Sanders a nice delegate lift and encouragement that other Western states will follow suit (Strauss). Clinton had garnered endorsements from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, but their support did not translate into delegate count. Sanders had huge crowds turn out for his campaigning and rally efforts (Strauss). Sanders garnered 26 delegates, while Clinton gained 8, which were dispensed proportionately (“2016 Presidential”).


Bernie Sanders, with 79% of the vote, won 19 delegates, while Hillary Clinton, with 21% of the vote, gained 6 delegates (“2016 Presidential”). In a confidence boosting win, Sanders is on target to trounce Clinton in select Western states in the race for the nomination (Collinson). Speaking through hoarseness to his supporters in San Diego, Tuesday, Sanders said,

“When we began this campaign we were considered a fringe candidacy . . . Well, 10 months later we have now won 10 primaries and caucuses. Unless I am very much mistaken, we are going to win a couple more tonight” (Collinson).

Debbie Hansen, a Jackson Hole, Wyoming resident, got up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning to make the hour and one half drive to Idaho Falls to hear Sanders speak at the rally. She viewed Sanders presence as an important opportunity for her son to witness politics in action. Hansen described Sanders as being

“pretty much the opposite of the Donald . . . He seems honest. Some of the other candidates struggle with that. He’s kind, compassionate. He fights for the underdogs and the working class” (Graham).

Spoils at the end of Tuesday night left Clinton with 1,711 delegates divided between 1,229 delegates and 482 superdelegates, while Sanders had 939, spread between 912 delegates and 27 superdelegates (Collinson). In order for either delegate to seal the nomination, a total of 2,383 delegates are required.

Works Cited

“2016 Presidential Primaries Results” Politico. Politico, LLC. 28 March 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

“American Samoa Results Election 2016.” ABC News. ABC News Internet Ventures. Yahoo! – ABC News Network. 29 February 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

AP. “Arizona offers model for how Trump might win the White House.” The Boston Herald. Boston Herald and Herald Media. 19 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

Berman, Russell. “Three Western States Split Their Support.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. 23 March 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

Billeaud, Jacques. “Arpaio loses appeal on pink-underwear case.” Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. 4 March 2013. Web. 28 March 2016. .

Cassidy, Megan. “Arpaio again denies targeting federal judge in investigation.” 9 October 2015. Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Web. 28 March 2016. .

Collinson, Stephen. “Primary results: Front-runners score key Western victories.” CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. 23 March 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

CR Wire. “Election Results from Arizona, Utah, and American Samoa.” The Conservative Review. CRTV LLC. 23 March 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

Duara, Nigel. “Joe Arpaio denies willfully violating judge’s ban on racial profiling.” Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. 1 October 2015. Web. 28 March 2016. .

Duda, Jeremy. “Raucous crowd calls for Purcell’s resignation in wake of presidential primary fiasco.” Arizona Capital Times. 28 March 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

Graham, Ben. “Sanders fans head to Idaho rally.” Jackson Hole News & Guide. Teton Media Works Publication. 23 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

Hooper, Adam, Fung, Hilary, Shifflett, Shane, Forster, Nicky and Scheller, Alissa. “March 22: It’s All About the Delegates.” The Huffington Post., Inc. 22 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

Kaplan, Michael. “Tuesday Caucus And Primary Live Updates 2016: Results From Arizona, Utah, Idaho And American Samoa.” International Business Times. 22 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

McAdam, Jeff and Green, Mark. “Trump’s comments on Romney’s faith prompt criticism from other Republicans.” FOX13 Salt Lake City. KSTU A Tribune Broadcasting Station. 20 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

“Mormons begin exodus to Utah.” A&E Television Networks, LLC. n. d. Web. 29 March 2016. .

Silver, Nate. “How The March 22 Primary Elections Went Down.” 22 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016.


Strauss, Daniel. “Sanders wins Utah.” Politico. Politico, LLC. 23 March 2016. Web. 29 March 2016. .

Tuaua v. United States, 951 F. Supp. 2d. (2015).

“The Latest: Ted Cruz takes all of Utah’s 40 GOP delegates .” AP News. Associated Press. 23 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

“Why Ted Cruz triumphed in Utah.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 23 March 2016. Web. 28 March 2016. .

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