The Aftermath of Super Tuesday
Super Tuesday has come and gone, and while presidential primaries will continue on well into June, no one day will be more predictive of the eventual party nominees. So just what do the numbers from Super Tuesday mean, and what do voters in states with primaries still to come need to know?
The Super Tuesday Results
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia all held their primaries on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Additionally, Colorado held its Democratic caucuses, Alaska held its Republican caucuses, and American Samoa held their contest for nomination.
On the Democrat’s side, things were fairly predictable. Sanders came out with a bit more support than projected, but Clinton took a commanding lead due largely to the Superdelegates on her side. The pledged delegate numbers were much closer between the two candidates, but ultimately Clinton managed to inch her way closer to the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, things were a bit more complicated. Donald Trump swept at the poles, but not by the margins he thought he would, with Cruz trailing far behind and bolstered largely by support from his home state of Texas. The numbers pulled in by the Texan Senator were a far cry from what his team was predicting prior to the final results. Cruz, a vocal evangelical, was certain his message would be well-received in the Southern states where many evangelical Christians proliferate the voting population. Trump was quick to take states like Alabama and Georgia, though, leaving Cruz a lackluster second.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio had a modest performance, at best. What his camp really needed was to prove that they could take a victory - any victory. They got in the form of Minnesota. This kept Rubio on as a viable candidate for now, though much more support is needed to get Republican voters at large behind him.
What Is To Come
Again, in terms of the Democratic nomination, things are looking pretty simple at this point. Hillary is on her way to the official support from her party, but Sanders, a liberal-leaning Independent, may still find himself on the ballot if he’s brought in as a running mate. Vice Presidential candidates are a long way off, though, and it’s speculative at best whether Clinton would make the move to run with Sanders, and whether Sanders would accept. While the move would be appealing for Sanders supporters, some of the Vermont Senator’s more radically socialist proclivities could be a turnoff for the Democratic moderates currently in support of Clinton.
On the Republican side, things remain murky. As primaries continue, Trump is still in the lead. Strong internal opposition to the bombastic “businessman” has party politicians quickly rallying around the two trailing candidates. As Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and Florida all start their primary voting, a more complete image of the future Republican nominee will emerge. Ohio’s Kasich is continuing his campaign, but at this point has not garnered enough support to be considered a serious threat to other candidates.