March 2, 2016 — Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump delivered strong performances last night in their respective Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, but neither could land the knockout punch for which they hoped.
Clinton continued her dominance in the south, but surprisingly stumbled in Oklahoma. She won seven of the 11 Democratic voting entities last night.
Trump also took seven of the 11 Republican voting states; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) placed first in three, his home state of Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska; while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was victorious in the Minnesota Caucus. Despite placing first in seven voting entities, Trump broke the 40 percent threshold in only two places: Massachusetts and Alabama.
Though Trump has a healthy early lead, he is far from securing the 1,237 delegate votes required to clinch the party nomination. This suggests that the possibility of forcing a contested, or brokered, remains tangible.
The big question is whether Cruz, Rubio, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich will consciously develop a strategy to force a brokered convention. In any event, it appears we will know on March 15 — when the important Winner-Take-All Florida and Ohio primaries are scheduled — as to how that will play out. More on these ideas will be coming later in the week.
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.