by Palmer Gibbs
Businessman Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pulled in significant wins on Super Tuesday, giving each a strong overall lead of delegates and clearing a path for their respective party’s nomination. Although the race is far from over, the results on Tuesday do create a daunting scenario for the remaining candidates.
These maps show the results of all the primaries and caucuses so far this cycle, illustrating the varied support both Trump and Clinton have enjoyed. According to the Associated Press’ delegate tracker, Trump leads his fellow Republicans with 319 delegates, putting him 918 delegates shy of the total 1,237 needed to secure the nomination. On the Democratic side, Clinton leads with 1,052 total delegates, which gets her to about 44 percent of the total 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination.
InsideGov examines the numbers behind Super Tuesday to figure out what to look for in the coming days and weeks of the contest.
The Trump-led roller coaster ride for the Republican Party continued on Tuesday, when the reality TV star won seven of the 11 states up for grabs: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. His ability to collect victories in the Northeast and South — plus his win in the more moderate state of Virginia — continues to point to the depth and breadth of his appeal among many pockets of voters.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio did come in a close second in Virginia, getting 31.9 percent compared to Trump’s 34.7 percent. Rubio put a lot of time and energy into Virginia leading up to Super Tuesday, making several campaign stops in the state on Sunday, Feb. 28.
Rubio’s strong second-place finish in Virginia does indicate there’s still interest in and support for his campaign, but he hasn’t been able to convert that into many big wins. Rubio has won just one state so far this year, coming in first in the Minnesota caucuses on Tuesday. He has a total of 110 delegates, according to the Associated Press tracker, putting him at third place within the GOP.
For his part, Sen. Ted Cruz nabbed key wins on Tuesday in Oklahoma and Alaska, as well as in his home state of Texas. Those victories boosted him to 226 total delegates.
Although that puts him in second place overall, the Cruz team was counting on a stronger showing on Super Tuesday. Last year, Cruz went on a bus tour in the South, stopping in Alabama and Tennessee and talking with influential state-level politicians in Georgia. According to a Politico article, one of the tour’s planners described Cruz as “the candidate for this area,” saying: “We thought at the time, you want to be the conservative, evangelical, tea party candidate — a big part of that is the South.”
But on Super Tuesday, Georgia — like many other states in the South — broke for Trump. Cruz came in third there, earning 23.6 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 38.8 percent. The difference was even more stark in Alabama, where Trump bested Cruz by 22.3 points.
Trump has always spoken confidently about his campaign, for months calling it a “movement,” but he seemed even more sure-footed about his chances on Tuesday. During a press conference that night, in a clear pivot to the general election, he called himself a “unifier,” saying: “I think we're going to be more inclusive, I think we're going to be more unified, and I think we're going to win in November.”
Clinton cleaned up on Super Tuesday, winning the majority of states. Polling data before the votes indicated Clinton would do well in Texas and the South, places where she could build on her previous successes with minority voters.
Clinton secured 65.2 percent of the vote in Texas, compared to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 33.2 percent. But in neighboring Oklahoma, Sanders secured a 10-point victory, despite polling data that showed Clinton had a slight edge there. On Sunday, Sanders held a large rally in Oklahoma, a state one of his top advisers said had a “tremendous amount of outsider, anti-establishment sentiment in the electorate.”
Sanders also had a strong night in Colorado, posting a double-digit win over Clinton. According to local news reports, caucus turnout this year was almost 122,000, which beat 2008’s record turnout of 120,000.
While these wins are important to the Sanders campaign, his overall performance on Super Tuesday wasn’t enough to stop the momentum Clinton built after her previous wins in Nevada and South Carolina. As the Washington Post put it, Clinton has a “death grip” on the party’s nomination.
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