The Light at the End

Rich Galen
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 9:37 AM
The Light at the End

Super Tuesday may spell the end of the line for everyone not named Trump on the Republican side of the ledger or Clinton on the Democrat side.

That is not to say that Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Carson, and Sanders will take a bow, acknowledge the audience's applause and exit stage right (or left as the case might be).

It is quite likely that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will win the lion's share of the races tomorrow. But, as the delegates to the Republican and Democrat national conventions will be awarded on a proportional basis, some of those non-Trump, non-Clinton candidates may collect delegates.

If they do, then we will be treated to another run of candidates coming in second, third, or fourth proclaiming we have witnessed, in their having lost, the second parting of the Red Sea.

Super Tuesday, according to CBS, includes 13 states and one territory:

Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa.

I'm pretty sure that American Samoa is the territory. Not Texas.

People who, like me, depend upon polls to try and pretend we know who is likely to win a given state are sort of out of luck because there is not nearly the constancy of polling in the Super Tuesday states that we were treated to in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

According to Real Clear Politics the most recent Republican poll in Colorado, for example, was last November when Ben Carson was leading with 25 percent of the vote.

On the Dem side, in Minnesota a January poll showed Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders 59-25. That, by the way, is closer than Clinton's nail-biter of a win in South Carolina on Saturday which was 73.5-26.

Bernie Sanders is carrying a big lead in his home state of Vermont and appears to be about tied with Clinton in Massachusetts. Clinton has huge leads everywhere else. Nevertheless if Sanders has money he will stay in until at least the middle of March.

Speaking of home state wins, Ted Cruz (R-TX) needs to beat Donald Trump in the Lone Star state or the thread by which his campaign is hanging will snap and his crusade will have to end.

The latest poll in Texas shows Cruz leading Trump 42-31 so, he appears to be in the driver's seat.

All of this is, of course, only fodder for people who have to write and speak about what may, and what did happen.

It is increasingly likely that the Fall campaign will pit Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump and the post-Super Tuesday results will only serve to delay that inevitable contest.

The Florida and Ohio contests are on March 15. John Kasich (Ohio) and Marco Rubio (Florida) join Ted Cruz in needing to win their home states. Indeed, Kasich stood tall last week when he said that if he lost Ohio to Trump he would "go home."

Super Tuesday is not likely to change the arc of the campaign, but it will probably give us a good two weeks of political gossip to chew on until we get to March 15.

After that, I will be surprised if we don't have nominees-presumptive on both sides.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A useful FAQ courtesy on CBS.com on all things Super Tuesday. Also links to both the Democrat and Republican polling for the Super Tuesday states.

The Mullfoto is of a sign on a door of the famous Torpedo Factory which is an in-town artists' colony in Old Town Alexandria, VA.