GOP Primary: There will be Blood–It took ten debates, but anti-Trump Republicans finally have something to cheer about, as Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tore into the billionaire less than 30 minutes into CNN’s debate last night. This was the last chance both candidates had at attacking Trump, who is expected to do well on Super Tuesday. Cruz needed a solid performance after two disappointing back-to-back finished in South Carolina and Nevada. He also needs to win Texas, and have a somewhat strong support throughout the rest of the southern States. If he doesn’t, there could be prominent defections to the Rubio camp come Tuesday. As for Rubio, he’s got some wind to his back now that Bush has dropped out, but he also needs to win Florida, along with other primaries when voters head to the polls by March 15. He has a slightly longer timeline, but not by much. The contest becomes winner-take-all, in which he could close the delegate lead held by Trump. Both Cruz and Rubio are still expected to pick up delegates Tuesday, as both men are probably going to hit the 20 percent threshold for allocation in most states. Please read Guy’s analysis of the debate, wherein he declared Rubio the winner of last night’s debate.
Sanders Is About To Get Torched–This has been an expected outcome for tomorrow’s Democratic primary in South Carolina. The Sanders camp knows the disheveled 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist needs to do better at minority inclusion, but Clinton so far has a lock on black Democrats, which means that Clinton is not only going to do well in South Carolina, but throughout the rest of the southern states as well, putting her way ahead of Mr. Sanders with the pledged delegates.
A new Clemson University Palmetto poll has Clinton winning 64/14 over Bernie taken from a sample of 650 likely voters, with a plus or minus three margin of error. The RCP average of all the polls taken thus far has Clinton leading Sanders 57/33. Polling sites open at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.
It’s an open primary, so anyone who registered by January 27, and who did not vote in the GOP primary, can cast his or her ballot. Fifty-three delegates are up for grabs, which will be allocated proportionately. According to the National Journal, the threshold for winning delegates is 15 percent, with six superdelegates who can support any person they wish. They’ll probably break for Clinton. The three counties to watch are Richland, Horry, and Allendale
Turnout–It won’t set any records. It’s projected to be more than 2004, but not nearly as close as 2008. The State expects 350,000-400,000 ballots to be cast.
Travel Log–Via NJ, Sen. Cruz, Gov. Kasich, and Dr. Ben Carson are in Tennessee; Rubio and Trump are in Texas and Oklahoma; and Clinton and Sanders are in South Carolina preparing their voters for battle tomorrow.