It’s ELECTION DAY-Republicans and Democrats are heading to the polls today. The 2016 GOP field will be duking it out over the 595 delegates up for grabs, while Democrats will be haggling over 1,004 delegates across most of the southern states and parts of New England. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are expected to dominate the primary contests tonight. Sen. Marco Rubio is banking on the highly educated voters that dot the suburbs across the Super Tuesday states, according to National Journal. This strategy is aimed to show that he’s a candidate who is the most electable, along with the fact that he needs a bastion of voter support to remain competitive, as Trump has dominated almost every voter demographic in the past two contests. All eyes are on Virginia for this strategy. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is doing everything he can to shore up support in his home state of Texas. If Cruz can’t win his home state, then it could spell the death of his presidential ambitions. Dr. Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich aren’t expected to win much of anything regarding delegates since they’re polling in single digits. That’s well below the thresholds for delegate allocation for a lot of primary contests tonight.
Texas, The Big Enchilada–A Trump victory in Texas would be a major body blow, not just to Cruz, but also for the anti-Trump coalition that is scrambling to stop the billionaire magnate. The New York Times aptly noted the symbolic nature of the Texas primary. If the Donald scores a win, it could be the unveiling of a new GOP:
…[T]he Texas prize for Mr. Trump is found as much in its symbolism as in its delegate distribution. Not only is the deep-red state a citadel of the national Republican Party, but it is also home to George W. Bush, Rick Perry and Mr. Cruz.
They may be the three most influential Texas Republicans of recent vintage — and Mr. Trump has viciously attacked each of them. If he can do that and still win there, there will be little doubt about whose Republican Party this is now, in Texas and beyond.
Clinton’s Firewall– Clinton’s win in South Carolina was decisive and expected, but also showed that Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) really hasn’t made much headway in expanding his voter coalition that is dominated by young, white liberals. That doesn’t reap a lot of benefits in a state, like South Carolina, where black Democrats constitute the majority of the electorate. Clinton dominated with this key voter block, which abandoner her in 2008, by a stunning 86/14 margin. As such, she’s expected to do well in states with a more diverse electorate. So far, the questions surrounding whether Clinton can hold black voters has been refuted by her wins in Nevada and South Carolina. We should expect these voters to remain as firm as the Walls of Rome concerning heir allegiance to Clinton.
Pistols At Dawn For Rubio and Cruz Over Second Place–Tonight is going to be Trump. The year may even shape up to be Trump, but the fight for second could be vicious between Cruz and Rubio, both of whom are fighting to stay in this primary fight–as both men are quickly running out of time to consolidate anti-Trump Republicans. Cruz’s strategy of uniting conservative and evangelical voters was nuked by Trump, which could pose problems for the “consistent conservative” in states where such voter demographics are less dominant. The Donald is leading Rubio by double-digits in his home state of Florida, which could also be the death knell for the Rubio campaign. The Florida senator desperately needs a win, especially by the time of the March 15 (aka Super Tuesday part II) rolls around. Yet, tonight, the Times reported that Minnesota could be a contest he could win. He who wins the most in second place “wins” the title of the person who could confidently say they’re the best to take on the seemingly unstoppable Trump.
Sanders Is Going To Get Punished–The disheveled Democratic socialist is going to be punished severely by Clinton tonight. He’s projected to lose every contest below the Mason-Dixon line, but could win Massachusetts Minnesota, and maybe Oklahoma, where black Democratic voters are less dominant. Good for Sanders, but it still adds to the notion that he can’t reach beyond a white liberal base of support. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noted that Sanders could win every caucus held post-Nevada once the primary heads westward and northward post March 15. Yet, Clinton’s delegate count may be too great to overcome by that point. Nevertheless, the Vermont senator says he’s committed to this race until the bitter end. According to National Journal, Sanders has raised $42 million this month, which is “the most raised by any 2016 candidate in a single month.”
Travel Log- Via NJ, Clinton is holding an election night party in Miami, Florida; Sanders is chilling in Vermont; Rubio is in Minnesota before having an evening rally in Florida; Trump is flying high, holding rallies in Ohio and Kentucky; Cruz is staying in Texas; and Dr. Ben Carson is holding an election party in Baltimore, Maryland.
Trump, sensing victory, is planning on holding a press conference at the Mar-A-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida at 9 p.m.
Last Thing about South Carolina-The three counties to watch during the Democratic primary were Richland, Horry, and Allendale, according to National Journal. Richland being the second most populous; Allendale being the most Democratic; and Horry being a possible area for Sanders to be competitive with Clinton due to the older and whiter demographics. Clinton dominated all three.