|| by Will Galloway ||
Columbia – Super Tuesday would appear to have two possible outcomes. First, it puts Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on a glide path to their respective nomination. Second, it breathes new life into the resurgent campaigns of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders.
Here, I have broken down Super Tuesday by each state and party.
Alabama (50 GOP Delegates, 53 Dem Delegates): Alabama is Trump country. He just received the endorsement of incredibly popular immigration hardliner, Sen. Jeff Sessions. The question here is not whether Trump wins; its by how much. If he can crack the 50 percent mark, and that’s within the realm of possibility, he would come away with all 50 of the states delegates. That would be a crippling blow to both Rubio and Cruz, but especially Cruz who has banked his entire strategy on outperforming in the South.
On the Democratic side, expect the results here to closely resemble those in South Carolina. Clinton will easily sweep the state, just as she will the rest of the Southern Primaries.
Alaska (28 GOP Delegates): I don’t even pretend to know what will happen in the Alaska Primary; there has been no polling this year and none of the candidates have been actively campaigning in the state, and the caucus system creates yet another wildcard. My instinct is that Trump will probably win, but it is totally conceivable that either Cruz or Rubio pull off an upset here. Alaska Democrats will not be caucusing or voting tonight.
Arkansas (40 GOP Delegates, 32 Dem Delegates): This is one of the best opportunities for a Republican not named Trump to pull off a win. Recent polling has Cruz with a narrow lead (within the margin of error) and Rubio and Trump in a dead heat for second.
For the democrats, it will be a Clinton victory, and a big one. Don’t be surprised if she tops 85 percent of the popular vote.
Georgia (76 GOP Delegates, 102 Dem Delegates): Trump is the candidate to bet on, but Rubio has been surging in the past few days. He has the potential to do very well, and to come away with nearly the same number of delegates as Trump.
On the Democratic side, this will almost certainly be a Clinton win, but Sanders has the potential to win more delegates here than in any other Southern state.
Colorado (66 Dem Delegates): Only Democrats will caucus in Colorado today. If Sanders does not notch a victory here, his campaign will be over. Colorado Democrats are some of the most liberal in the country, as well as statistically younger. Both set up well for the Vermont senator.
Massachusetts (42 GOP Delegates, 91 Dem Delegates): Trump looks poised for a runaway victory in the state, and the real race is for second place. Both Rubio and Kasich would love a strong second place finish and the delegates that go along with that.
The Democrats race is too close to call, but Sanders needs a win here to regain his momentum.
Minnesota (38 GOP Delegates, 77 Dem Delegates): This is Rubio’s best opportunity to pick up a state; he has all the endorsements and a very strong organization, and the only recent polling has him ahead of both Trump and Cruz.
The state has a history of supporting progressives and Sanders has invested heavily here. Expect for him to have a good night in this state.
Oklahoma (43 GOP Delegates, 38 Dem Delegates): Oklahoma is unique in that it is the first truly closed GOP primary, meaning that only registered republicans can vote in it. This gives an edge to Cruz and Rubio, both of whom are within striking distance of state poll-leader Trump. I’d give Trump a 60 percent chance of winning, but a 20 percent chance for each Rubio and Cruz.
Clinton has a narrow lead here, but it is perhaps Sanders’ best chance for an upset. It’s a smaller, more rural, heavily white electorate, all of which benefits the Vermont senator. If Sanders can win here, it will mean a very good night for him.
Tennessee (58 GOP Delegates, 67 Dem Delegates): Trump will likely be the victor in the Volunteer State, but Rubio is surging. He’s received the endorsement of the State’s most prominent Republicans, including Governor Bill Haslam and Senator Lamar Alexander. Whether these endorsements are going to be enough to push him over the top is yet to be seen. If you want to hedge a hundred dollar bet, I’d put $75 on Trump, $25 on Rubio.
Clinton will win Tennessee. Sanders has spend no money there and has not even visited.
Texas (155 GOP Delegates, 252 Dem Delegates): Anything short of a victory will be a death knell in Ted Cruz’s campaign. Trump remains too close for comfort, but I do expect a Cruz win. The real question is whether Rubio can reach 20 percent of the popular vote, the amount needed to take any statewide delegates.
Vermont (16 GOP Delegates, 16 Dem. Delegates): This is the smallest delegate pool, and has two likely outcomes. The first, and most likely, is a resounding Trump victory. The second is that Rubio pulls out a narrow win in this moderate state. This is also the only conceivable state where Kasich could win today.
Bernie will win this state, and maybe even enough to keep Clinton from receiving any of its delegates.
Virginia (49 GOP Delegates, 95 Dem Delegates): I expect a Trump win here, but with the potential for a very strong showing for Marco Rubio. Virginia does not have a delegate threshold, meaning that every candidate will receive a delegate from this state.
Clinton will win Virginia, though Sanders may rack up a good number of delegates in the very liberal and very young northern region of the state.