by Jim Ellis
March 2, 2016 — Last night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took major steps toward winning their respective Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, but neither delivered a clinching blow. At least for Republicans, one mathematically viable scenario remains to fall into a contested convention (see “The Brokered Scenario” below). It appears we will know on March 15.
The delegate results:
Clinton took seven of the 11 voting entities last night (American Samoa still must report) and, adding publicly committed Super Delegates, managed to top the 1,000 delegate-support mark.
Clinton is riding to victory on her overwhelming strength in the African-American community. Except for Massachusetts, where Sen. Bernie Sanders barely lost (50.2 – 48.6 percent), the former Secretary of State’s lone challenger is still performing well in states with a low African-American population. Winning the Vermont and Oklahoma primaries, and Colorado and Minnesota caucuses underscores this point.
|CANDIDATE||REGULAR DELEGATES||SUPER DELEGATES||TOTAL|
|Delegate Count Source:||Unofficial – New York Times|
Last night, Donald Trump placed first in seven states, Sen. Ted Cruz three, and Sen. Marco Rubio one.
|CANDIDATE||ESTIMATED DELEGATE COUNT|
|Sen. Ted Cruz||225|
|Sen. Marco Rubio||113|
|Gov. John Kasich||23|
|Dr. Ben Carson||8|
Delegate Count Source: Unofficial – Internal, vis-à-vis Republican delegate formula in each state
The Brokered Scenario
Though Trump has a clear lead in delegates, in no state has he obtained majority support, and in only three did his victories top 40 percent. Therefore, in all but Massachusetts and Alabama, more than 60 percent of voting Republicans have chosen another candidate.
Conversely, of the committed delegates through the various state apportionment systems, Trump has secured 46.4 percent of the available delegates.
It appears the March 15 primary day will likely tell the tale. Should Trump win the key Winner-Take-All states of Florida (99 delegates) and Ohio (66 delegates), he will likely be unstoppable.
On the other hand, if his three major opponents strategically form an alliance and allow Rubio to challenge Trump virtually one-on-one in Florida, Kasich to have an unencumbered chance in Ohio, and Cruz the same in North Carolina (also on March 15), and they successfully top the leader in all of those places, the brokered convention becomes a clear reality.
Developments over the next few days will prove interesting.
Republicans are dominating the turnout statistics. On Super Tuesday, in the 10 voting entities that hosted both party contests, more people joined the Republican apparatus in seven of the 10. Only in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Minnesota did more people vote in the Democratic primary or caucus.
Additionally, the ratios were overwhelming. In Tennessee, 130 percent more people voted in the Republican primary; in Alabama, 116 percent more did so, and in Texas, 106 percent more Republican than Democrat. In Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont, 123 percent more people voted in the Democratic primary.
On the Republican side, in 10 of the 11 states where the GOP held a nominating event, turnout set an all-time record. In Virginia, turnout was almost five times higher than for the last presidential Republican primary (2012). In Texas, it doubled, and almost did so in Massachusetts. In only Vermont did 2016 Republican turnout fail to top what we saw in 2012.
When comparing the Democrats to their last open presidential nomination campaign (2008), in no state did turnout exceed the levels seen when Hillary Clinton battled then-Senator Barack Obama.