By Jim Ellis
March 8, 2016 — A quartet of states votes in Republican primaries and caucuses tonight: Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii, with the candidates fighting for an aggregate of 150 delegate commitments.
Democrats will vote only in Michigan and Mississippi. Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton is expected to carry both states in her party contests, while Republican Donald Trump is favored in Michigan and Mississippi.
Observers are closely watching to see if Gov. John Kasich can finish a strong second in Michigan, which would likely help him build needed momentum in anticipation of next week’s critical Ohio Winner-Take-All challenge. Sen. Ted Cruz has the strong potential of running well in Idaho. Hawaii is small and anyone’s guess, but Sen. Marco Rubio has a chance to come away with the most delegate votes.
Republicans – Tuesday, March 8
Michigan Primary – 59 Delegates
A statewide proportional vote with a 15 percent threshold will determine the 14 at-large delegate apportionment. Each of the 14 congressional districts will assign three delegates based upon the proportional vote within the individual district, also through a minimum 15 percent vote requirement. The three RNC delegates are unbound.
Mississippi Primary – 40 Delegates
Mississippi also employs a 15 percent vote qualification threshold in order for a candidate to receive delegates. The congressional district delegates are apportioned much differently, however. In the four CDs, the top vote-getter in each receives two delegates, and the second-place finisher gets one. If a candidate draws a majority within a district, then that candidate is awarded all three individual delegate votes. The three RNC delegates are unbound.
Idaho Primary – 32 Delegates
The Gem State has 23 at-large delegates with a 20 percent threshold requirement. Should one candidate exceed majority support on the statewide ballot, the state becomes Winner-Take-All, and all 32 delegates are awarded. Six delegates are apportioned in the two congressional districts, three apiece, also with the 20 percent minimum vote requirement. The three RNC delegates are treated as at-large delegates.
Hawaii Caucus – 19 Delegates
The 10 at-large delegates and the six from the two congressional districts are directly apportioned with no earned vote requirement. The three RNC delegates are unbound.