Nine Takeaways from Super Tuesday 3

Donald Trump speaks in Reno, Nev. (photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

March 15th or Super Tuesday 3 (I originally called it Super Tuesday 2, but apparently March 8th was “super” as well) was a good night for Donald Trump. He won every state that he led the polls in. He wracked up lots of delegates and took one step closer to the GOP nomination for president.  It was an incredibly bad night for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who, after losing his home state of Florida, badly, suspended his campaign. Ohio Governor John Kasich came in second tonight in terms of delegates, but still finds himself trailing far behind the other candidates.

Here are the results:

Florida Primary – 99% reporting (99 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 45.8% (1,075,505) – 99 delegates
  2. Marco Rubio – 27.0% (635,219)
  3. Ted Cruz – 17.1% (402,632)
  4. John Kasich – 6.8% (159,039)

Ohio Primary – 99% reporting (66 Delegates)

  1. John Kasich – 46.8% (953,646) – 66 delegates
  2. Donald Trump – 35.7% (726,611)
  3. Ted Cruz – 13.1% (266,905)
  4. Marco Rubio – 2.9% (59,215)

North Carolina – 100% reporting (72 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 40.2% (458,117) – 29 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 36.8% (418,628) – 26 delegates
  3. John Kasich – 12.7% (144,289) – 9 delegates
  4. Marco Rubio – 7.7% (87,852) – 5 delegates

Three delegates still have not been allocated yet.

Illinois Primary – 99% reporting (69 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 38.8% (548,528) – 24 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 30.3% (428,363)
  3. John Kasich – 19.7% (278,224)
  4. Marco Rubio – 8.7% (122,206)

45 delegates still need to be allocated, based on Congressional District vote and direct delegate elections. Continue Reading

Why Illinois and Missouri Matter Today

Photo credit: Tom Arthur via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Florida and Ohio have carried much of the attention over Super Tuesday II because of their 165 winner-take-all delegates. But Illinois and Missouri, with 121 delegates between them, could turn them into swing states.

A RealClearPolitics piece today notes their vital importance to the consolidation in the Republican Primary:

The Republican primaries Tuesday in Ohio and Florida have been the focus of most candidates and the media, but two other contests, in Illinois and Missouri, could be just as pivotal to Donald Trump’s march toward the nomination or its demise.

[…]

Trump leads in both states, but Sen. Ted Cruz has identified them as potentially fertile ground for his campaign, adjusting his recent schedule accordingly.

It seems a foregone conclusion that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are likely to split the majority of North Carolina’s 72 delegates.

Florida’s 99 delegates, though, are likely go to Trump:

Mr. Trump is poised to trounce the first-term senator in Florida, with polls showing the businessman maintaining a lead of about 20 percentage points.

“Florida is do or die for the Rubio campaign, but it looks like victory may have slipped from his grasp,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, whose own pre-election survey Monday showed Mr. Trump up 44 percent to 27 percent over Mr. Rubio.

Ohio, scored by Quinnipiac, is still a toss-up between Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich:

Ohio is a real contest on both sides. Trump and Gov.

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Why I Hope Trump Wins Ohio and Florida Tonight

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Here’s my contrarian thought for the day: our only shot at beating Donald Trump is for Trump to win both Ohio and Florida today.

I know. I know. Everyone has been filling your head with Mitt Romney’s anti-Cruz fantasy: we can direct voters to vote in this state or that state strategically. Because the GOP establishment and/or its losing last choice for the nomination has that much power and authority over voters. Because our hope is to keep a divided race going with particular candidates picking off one state or another, starting with their home state.

Tonight’s vote is going to explode that fantasy. If it can be exploded. Marco Rubio’s and John Kasich’s persistence in this race despite a record of almost unbroken electoral failure has been just remarkable in its faith-based unfalsifiable theories about how they can win. Each vows to continue even if they lose. We will see. Kasich may pull out a victory in Ohio. I hope not, because then he will try to pretend that winning his home state is some kind of tremendous victory, stay in and continue to divide the anti-Trump vote.

The untold story of this election is why the Republican Party has refused to coalesce around the one outsider candidate who has shown he can beat Trump and who does not issue racist-sounding statements on a regular basis, use curse words, or discuss his private parts on national TV, and who has never ever given money to Hillary Clinton. Continue Reading

By the Numbers: Super Tuesday II

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

The 2016 GOP primary has three major “Super Tuesdays.” Super Tuesday I was on March 1st, where 632 delegates were awarded — more than a quarter of all delegates.

Super Tuesday II is tomorrow on March 15th. There are 367 delegates up for grabs in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina.

Super Tuesday III may end up being pivotal. It will take place on June 7, when five states, including California, will determine the first ballot votes of 303 delegates.

Will tomorrow prove to be “Super Tuesday, Episode II: The Establishment Strikes Back”? Probably not. A cursory look at the delegate math makes it look more like “Revenge of the Trump.”

As it currently stands, the delegate race appears close. Remember, a candidate needs 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination.

  • Donald Trump: 460
  • Ted Cruz: 370
  • Marco Rubio: 163
  • John Kasich: 63

But tomorrow might change those numbers drastically.

Florida  99 Delegates, Winner Take All

Florida is pretty straightforward. Whoever wins gets all 99 delegates.

Trump has a commanding lead in Florida over Rubio. The last 5 polls (via RealClearPolitics) show Trump leading over Rubio 46-22, 44-21, 43-22, 44-21, and 43-24, with Cruz and Kasich lagging right behind.

If Trump lost Florida, it would be the biggest upset in polling history. It’s just not going to happen.

  • Prediction: Trump +99 delegates.

Ohio  66 Delegates, Winner Take All

Like Florida, Ohio is a winner take all state.

Continue Reading

Erick Erickson: The Deal Is Done

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Erick Erickson just came out with a great piece. Clearly a deal is in place.

Via The Resurgent:

Jeb Bush has a private meeting with Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio.

Cruz’s campaign, after a lot of bluster about going all in in Florida admits it was all a head fake. They had one event scheduled for today with Sean Hannity in Orlando that was previously scheduled and will be nationally focused, not Florida focused. Then Cruz is bailing on Florida. For the Rubio folks complaining, I’m told the campaign did try to make adjustments, but couldn’t for reasons not in the campaign’s control.

Cruz’s campaign takes down its Florida ads. The Cruz Super PACs follow suit allegedly — at least some of them have signaled they too are getting out.

Marco Rubio revs up his Florida presence and is nowhere to be found in Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina.

The Cruz campaign redirects all its resources to those three states, with Cruz rallies, ad buys, GOTV etc.

Now Rubio’s spokesman goes on national television and says Rubio supporters should vote for John Kasich in Ohio.

Kasich is going all in in Ohio and ceding Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina to Cruz. In fact, Kasich suddenly has no events in Illinois, and only one event in Pennsylvania after the Ohio primary.

In other words, Kasich is now only campaigning in Ohio; Rubio is only campaigning in Florida; and Cruz is avoiding events in Florida and Ohio.

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Marco: Will He Drop or Won’t He?

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

This is not the narrative Marco Rubio anticipated he’d hear in the run-up to what was hoped would be one of the most significant moments in his young political career: having Florida GOP voters endorse their junior Senator as the next President of the United States. Instead, the political noise for him to sacrifice his campaign and allow a strategic conservative consolidation against front-runner Donald Trump has grown increasingly shrill.

It could be expected that opponents and pundits would call for him to drop or to throw in with another candidate. But word is that Rubio backers, donors, and even campaign insiders are also concerned about his survivability:

Many Rubio backers say they still believe Trump would be a political disaster but are worried that the freshman senator is not doing enough to make an effective case against the billionaire. Even with a strong win Sunday in Puerto Rico, Rubio has lost 18 of 20 nominating contest so far, and he faces grim odds in many of the states to come.

And CNN is reporting today an internal debate within the campaign over his remaining in the race ahead of Florida’s March 15 winner-take-all primary. The campaign spokesperson has denied any internal rift, but CNN re-confirmed the report with their source:

A battle is being waged within Florida Sen. Marco Rubio‘s campaign about whether he should even remain in the Republican presidential race ahead of his home state primary on March 15, sources say.

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Trump Attacks Rubio as Corrupt (VIDEO)

Florida voters are watching this ad from Donald Trump, who has used negative attack ads sparingly:

“Corrupt Marco Rubio” the ad says “has spent years defrauding the people of Florida. As a legislator, he flipped on a key vote after making a quick $200,000 from selling his house to the mother of the bill’s lobbyist. He used the Republican Party’s credit card to pave his driveway, and to live it up in Las Vegas. . . . Marco Rubio: another corrupt, all-talk, no-action politician.”

It’s an effective ad, framing Rubio as bought and sold, but we will see whether the people of Florida care about what is, after all, to them old news.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

New Florida Poll Suggests Rubio in Deep Trouble

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Quinnipiac released a new poll today out of Florida, and it’s not looking good for Marco Rubio.

Via Quinnipiac:

The Donald Trump juggernaut rolls into Florida where the GOP front-runner leads native son Sen. Marco Rubio 44 – 28 percent among likely Republican primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has 12 percent with Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 7 percent and Dr. Ben Carson at 4 percent.

Trump gets a low negative score in the Sunshine State as 21 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they “would definitely not support” Trump for the nomination, with 26 percent saying no to Cruz and 17 percent saying no to Rubio.

Rubio needs to win Florida. Honestly, there is no path to victory for him without its 99 delegates. Florida is a winner-take-all state, so there are no “second place victories” there. It is a true must-win.

And here’s Rubio’s problem: Trump’s Florida numbers are absolutely exceptional. Even if every other candidate got out of the race to support Rubio, it is difficult to imagine Trump not exceeding 50 percent when his negatives are so low.

#Marcomentum is about to hit a brick wall.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for the American Principles Project.

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Who Will Beat the Trump at Tonight’s Debate?

Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

A new raft of polling shows Donald Trump consolidating and growing his lead, which is the kind of thing that happens when you win elections. The press is full of stories of how Texas is a must-win for Ted Cruz as the latest polls show him either in a dead heat with Trump at 32 percent apiece with Marco Rubio a distant third in the TEGNA/Survey USA poll, or up 12 points over Trump with Rubio a still more distant third in the Austin American-Statesman poll.

Meanwhile the latest Florida Quinnipiac poll shows Trump crushing Rubio, 44 percent to 28 percent.

If Cruz loses Texas, he has to get out. But how does that help stop Trump when the next week Trump rolls over Rubio?

Watch tonight’s debate. If any man but Trump is going to be the GOP nominee, a leader has to emerge tonight who shows he can take Trump down head-to-head.

If Rubio and/or Cruz beat up on each other for small tactical advantages in gaining second place, they are demonstrating they are not the leaders who are up to the task at hand.

Show you are a giant-killer. Go big or go home. It’s literally now or never.

Rich Danker has a great piece at The Daily Caller over why Trump outsmarted Cruz: Trump is the only one who has a campaign message that is about how America will be better off if you elect him. Continue Reading