We had “Super Tuesday.” They are calling today “Mega Tuesday.” Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, and Missouri will be voting for the Republican and Democratic candidates. This is a big haul. And Florida and Ohio are winner-take-all states. If Marco Rubio cannot win his own state with its 99 delegates–and the polls say he won’t–he is finished. If John Kasich cannot win his own state–and polls show him running neck and neck with Donald Trump–he is finished. And if Trump wins them both, the Republican race is pretty much finished, as his lead in delegates will be almost insurmountable.
But Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri together have more delegates than Florida and Ohio, though they will be awarded proportionally. (See the details after the jump.) That means that Cruz could also have a big haul.
After today, it will probably be a two-man race between Trump and Ted Cruz. Maybe Cruz can capture the anti-Trump vote, though the Republican establishment doesn’t like him much either. Even then, Trump may be impossible to catch.
And for Democrats, Bernie Sanders could emerge as the clear people’s choice, even though Hillary Clinton has the Democratic machine on her side. Or maybe she can pick up enough votes that she won’t have to depend on the super-delegates to give her the nomination.
I’ll post the results as soon as I know them, and we can discuss the outcome.
How many delegates are at stake? 1,058 pledged delegates for Republicans and Democrats combined. If the 102 unpledged delegates, or superdelegates, are added in, the total rises to 1,160. [See the breakdown below.]
How many states? Five, plus one territory: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and the Northern Mariana Islands (on the Republican side; the islands vote Saturday for Democrats).
Why is March 15 a big deal? It could be decisive for both parties. Also, not only are there a lot of delegates at stake, but it’s also the day when the contest rules change for the Republicans. States can start to pick how they want to award their delegates. For both Florida and Ohio, that means winner-take-all. . . .
What is the current delegate count?
Clinton 1,223 total (762 pledged + 461 superdelegates)
Sanders 574 total (549 pledged + 25 superdelegates)
- Florida primary – 246 Democratic delegates, 99 Republican
- Illinois primary – 182 Democratic delegates, 69 Republican
- Missouri primary – 84 Democratic delegates, 52 Republican
- North Carolina primary – 121 Democratic delegates, 72 Republican
- Northern Mariana Islands Republican caucus primary – 9 delegates
- Ohio primary – 159 Democratic delegates, 66 Republican