Super Tuesday: Trump, Clinton Set To Sweep The South; Trump To Emerge As Undisputed GOP Frontrunner

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 2:45 PM
Super Tuesday: Trump, Clinton Set To Sweep The South; Trump To Emerge As Undisputed GOP Frontrunner

We’re less than 24 hours from Super Tuesday, where voters will decide who to allocate the 595 Republican and 1,004 Democratic delegates up for grabs across the South, Midwest, and Northeast. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton look like they’re going to sweep the southern states, where both have broad appeal to voters. Clinton is especially strong with black Democrats below the Mason-Dixon line, which spells doom for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who was easily routed by Clinton during the Democratic South Carolina primary Saturday night.

Sanders' Southern Invasion Ended In Disaster–The result was as expected, but the strength Clinton had with Black Democratic voters was surprising, given that these voters abandoned her in 2008. It was a punch to the gut to the campaign back then. Now, with Hillary nabbing 80+ percent of the black voters, who constitute the majority of the Democratic electorate in the state, showed that her firewall with nonwhite voters isn’t collapsing. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that Sanders didn’t have an avenue with this key-voting bloc. As David Graham wrote in the Atlantic, many black Democrats like what Sanders has to say; the problem is that the just met him. Also, Clinton and Sanders reached black voters through different means–Sanders may strongly articulate issues dealing with social and racial justice, but it’s to predominately white crowds. Clinton’s outreach with these voters is on a much more personal level–and in areas that are majority black. Like knocking on doors, that personal interaction between campaign and voter could mean the difference in elections (which is odd because Hillary is a horrible campaigner); that aspect, coupled with name recognition, allowed Clinton to trounce Sanders handily. There have been some reports that Sanders gave up on South Carolina, though the disheveled Democratic socialist did deploy a rather impressive network of 200 paid staffers to try and foster an upset.

Nevertheless, the strength of Clinton’s firewall is a huge red flag for the Sanders campaign, as the former first lady is probably going to win by double-digit margins throughout the South, and have a delegate count that Team Bernie might not be able to overcome. The only areas that Sanders can be completive tomorrow, based on polling, are Minnesota and Oklahoma–where he trails Clinton by single digits. After March 15, the primary heads westward, where Sanders could stage a comeback with the caucus circuit out there. This is dependent on whether he can maintain his level of support with young liberals, whose enthusiasm might fade after a series of Clinton victories.

For Clinton, South Carolina is a turning point, where she triumphantly said that her campaign would go national. A double entendre given that she plans to run a general election campaign, while also acknowledging that Super Tuesday offers us a brief glimpse that race, given the geographic locations of the primary contests. Clinton can now run as the candidate with the clear path to the nomination, whereas Sanders looks like he won’t have the strength to beat the Clinton machine. The wounds of Iowa and New Hampshire have been cauterized.

Trumpmentum Set To Roll Through The SEC States– Super Tuesday will be the night of Trump. He’s poised to do well in virtually every contest tomorrow night, will most likely end the night with a “yuge” delegate lead over his competitors, and could knock Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TC) out of the race if he wins the conservative firebrand’s home state of Texas. Cruz is making his last minute push in the Lone Star State to shore up support. If Cruz loses, that could be the ballgame for him. Ohio Gov. John Kasich sees his Ohio primary on March 15 as a do-or-die moment for his presidential bid.

Travel Log- Via National Journal, Cruz is in Texas; Clinton will be in Massachusetts and Virginia; Sanders is in Minnesota and Massachusetts, Rubio doing a sweep through Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma; Trump will spend time in Virginia and Georgia; Kasich hopping through New England in Vermont and Massachusetts; and Dr. Ben Carson will travel through Kentucky, Virginia, and Alabama.

Endorsements–Trump clinched Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) endorsement over the weekend.