Beware the Ides of March! No, its not the Feast of Lupercal, its yet another Super Tuesday! Super Tuesday 2, or 3, or Titanic Tuesday. This busy primary election schedule reminds me of the old Monty Python skit of a planet of Supermen. But what happens when a Superman has an accident with his or her bicycle? They call on Bicycle Repair Man! Look as he straightens out a bent rim with his bare hands! Look at how he is adjusting the brake tension with a spanner! All in a days work for Bicycle Repair Man! Is Donald J Trump our Bicycle Repair Man? A mild-mannered billionaire from a great metropolitan city, fighting a never ending battle for truth, justice and to make America great again!
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are holding primaries today, March 15, in five states. Florida and Ohio are the big prizes for the GOP as they are winner-take-all states. Florida is worth 99 convention delegates while Ohio offers 66. Illinois has 69, North Carolina has 72 and Missouri has 52 for grabs. There is also a GOP contest in the US territory of the Northern Marianas Islands worth 9 delegates. For Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Florida is also a big prize with 246 delegates. Illinois is next with 182, followed by Ohio with 160, North Carolina with 121 and Missouri with 84.
Based on the latest polling data, Hillary has a huge lead over Bernie in Florida and North Carolina. They are statistically tied in the rest. However, thanks to the crazy DNC rules, even if Bernie manages to win one or more of the other states, Hillary could still wind up with more delegates from each. For Republicans, it is slightly simpler, though some states have minimal thresholds or allocate delegates based on counties or congressional districts. Donald Trump has a HUGE lead in Florida and has a good shot at winning North Carolina, Illinois and possibly Missouri, too! The polls for Ohio show either John Kasich with a slight lead or nearly tied with Trump.
If Trump wins all five states today, then its pretty much game over. All delegates from Florida and Ohio go to whoever has the most votes. The other states are proportional. If Trump wins well, meaning dominating in most counties and congressional districts, he could have enough delegates requiring him to win less than 50% of all remaining races. The best scenario is around 44% with the worst 5-state win scenario being around 52%. If Trump loses Ohio, then he would need to win about 59% or so in most scenarios.
Little Marco Rubio could wind up with winning no delegates at all today. His campaign has bet everything on Florida which is looking like a Trump blow-out right now. When he loses tonight, it is doubtful if his campaign will last much more than 24 hours. The lyin′ Ted Cruz is pretty much just in it tonight for peeling off as many delegates as possible. Missouri may be the only state he has a marginal chance at winning today. Cruz did campaign in all five states, hoping to spoil Rubio and Kasich and eliminate them. Kasich campaigned outside of Ohio as well, but he spent most of his time the past week in his home state. Ohio is a must win for him.
Today′s Super Tuesday 2 or 3 primary election day vote will answer two, important questions. First, will all of the bad press Trump has gotten this past weekend over the protesters have any effect on his campaign? Second, will any of the $35 Million dollars of anti-Trump advertising spent by Establishment Super-PACs have any effect? My guess is that the answer will be ′No′ to both. If anything, the protesters have made Trump even more popular with the Silent Majority. Yep, 1968 all over again! Based on the polling data for Florida, where most of the anti-Trump TV ads were aired, it doesn′t look like the Establishment has had any impact on Trump.
Beyond today, the pace of the presidential campaign slows down a bit. There are still plenty of large blocks of delegates to win, but its spread out along the calendar. Ted Cruz thinks he′ll have more success against Donald Trump once the campaign is reduced to a two-man race. But given how this year has been going, I wouldn′t count on that. He′ll probably win a few states, but the map favors Trump in the long run. For the Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton has a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders. Throw in the super-delegates and the only thing that can stop her is the FBI. That obstacle may not be encountered until May, or even June. Bernie has the fan base to keep him funded until the convention, unless they all get jailed for disrupting a Trump rally.