Typically, a front-runner can sew up the nomination on Super Tuesday. But what did we learn in last week’s contests? Who did well? Who underperformed?
Trump won ten states, and rather handily. He leads Ted Cruz by nearly 100 delegates. Republican turnout has been consistently high, and Trump has proven attractive to new voters. His rallies amass crowds of thousands, even in blue states. It will be very difficult for Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz to surpass Trump’s momentum with the delegate count.
Clinton’s southern firewall is in-tact. Her eight-to-one victory with minority voters confirms her front-runner status, handing Sanders stinging defeats in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee. Her narrow Massachusetts victory was the cherry on top. She won all of the delegate-rich states by wide margins and now leads Sanders in delegates by nearly two-to-one. Her once-inevitable nomination is now inevitable again.
Cruz needed to win Texas to keep his campaign afloat, and he did by no small margin. He also won Oklahoma and Alaska. He has proved that he is the only non-Trump candidate who can beat the Donald.
The media loves Trump. The better he does, the more snazzy headlines they get.
The GOP now has two options—accept Trump as its nominee or manufacture a brokered convention, which last occurred in 1968 when the Democrats nominated Hubert Humphrey despite Gene McCarthy winning the popular vote. This caused a public uproar. If the Republicans broker their own convention, they may well witness the same revolt. And Trump clearly brings in new voters, so they may risk losing support in a national election.
Rubio can now claim victory in one state, Minnesota. But he is far behind in delegates, and has suffered greatly from Trump’s harsh criticism. Rubio has tried attacking Trump, but he has yet to see a rise in the polls.
No one is quite sure if Dr. Carson has actually dropped out yet. But we do know that he should drop out. According to Carson, he “[does] not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s [Tuesday’s] Super Tuesday primary results.” That is an understatement. Carson had a surge in November, which has all but collapsed since.
Senator Sanders carried his home state of Vermont by a landslide. He also won victories in Oklahoma and two caucus states, Colorado and Minnesota. But what Sanders failed to do is make any impact whatsoever on Clinton’s so-called “southern firewall,” her prohibitive lead among minority voters which has led her to victory across the region, dwarfing the delegate count thus far. Voter turnout has consistently been down on the Democratic side.