Super Tuesday Results Are In

Yesterday the people of 13 US states went to the polls to determine who will be the presidential candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Super Tuesday is always hyped as the one of the most important days in the election calendar, and, in terms of surprises and results, it did not disappoint. The results should be seen as encouraging for those on the Left but also as terrifying as the night’s events also threw up a number of things that may make me throw up in November.

mashable vote button
As an outside observer I’m in the unique position of watching this farcical circus without fear of President Trump putting me in a concentration camp. (Mashable)
GOP primaries took place in 11 states and all media attention was on whether Trump would secure the Republican nomination or not. The results were strongly in favour of Trump but not decisive enough to essentially lock up the nomination. The Republican results were as follows, but for the sake of brevity I’ll only give the results of the top three candidates:
  • Georgia: Trump (38.8%), Rubio (24.5%), Cruz (23.6%)
  • Vermont: Trump (32.7%), Kasich (30.4%), Rubio (19.3%)
  • Virginia: Trump (34.7%), Rubio (31.9%), Cruz (16.9%)
  • Alabama: Trump (43.4%), Cruz (21.1%), Rubio (18.7%)
  • Massachusetts: Trump (49.0%), Kasich (18.1%), Rubio (17.9%)
  • Oklahoma: Cruz (34.4%), Trump (28.3%), Rubio (26.0%)
  • Tennessee: Trump (38.9%), Cruz (24.7%), Rubio (21.2%)
  • Alaska: Cruz (36.4%), Trump (33.5%), Rubio (15.1%)
  • Texas: Cruz (43.7%), Trump (26.8%), Rubio (17.7%)
  • Arkansas: Trump (32.7%), Cruz (30.5%), Rubio (25.0%)
  • Minnesota: Rubio (36.8%), Cruz (28.9%), Trump (21.2%)
It is worth pointing out that some of the results are still coming in but the overwhelming majority of districts in these states have reported and the overall results will not change. The overall delegate count is based on the above results, which could change, but the estimated number of delegates for each candidate are approximately: Trump 285; Cruz 161; Rubio 87; Kasich 25; and Carson 8.
If we look at these results through the lens of an independent voter, there are a few things that should be considered. Firstly, there is no reason for Ben Carson to still be in the race, but thankfully he won’t be for much longer as there will soon be no mathematical reason for him to remain. Obviously this may not stop him as his motivation for running is to drum up sales for his book but I don’t think that Carson would be stupid enough to essentially admit this was the case by remaining in the race when he had no chance of winning. And secondly I would be utterly terrified that the Republican nominee could be either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, both of whom would abuse the powers of the Presidency and most probably violate the Constitution.
If we take this scenario from a slightly different angle, we can see another interesting set of hypotheticals developing. In his speech yesterday, Ted Cruz called on other candidates to drop out of the race and unite behind him in order to prevent a Trump candidacy. The reason I find this interesting is that in general elections positive messages tend to do very well, and by far the most positive message is coming from John Kasich. Admittedly the 2016 election is not like any other in that the negative message of Trump has been remarkably successful in the Republican primary, however its worth pointing out that the Republican primary is always filled with vitriol and lies about Democrats but the eventual nominee always pivots to a more positive message.
The other thing that I think is worth mentioning is that the GOP establishment now believes that it can control Trump’s message, especially given that Chris Christie has clearly been promised a position as his running mate. Not only can the GOP not control Trump, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was chaos at the Republican convention where the libertarians and neo-cons formed a strange alliance to prevent this psychopath becoming their nominee. This is a highly unlikely situation as most of the GOP base has now gone so far to the Right that they’ve fallen off a cliff, but nothing will surprise me about the GOP field any more.
trump super tuesday
Chris Christie looks like he’s already regretted his decision to endorse this clown. (CNN)
The Democratic race was much more straightforward due to the number of candidates in the race, and the fact that there are no potentially genocidal maniacs in the race. The mutterings in the mainstream media were all about how if Bernie Sanders performed badly he should drop out, which is really just evidence of what they wanted to happen rather than advice based on data of analysis. The Democratic Party’s primary results from the 11 states that took part in their primaries were as follows:
  • Vermont: Sanders (86.2%), Clinton (13.6%)
  • Georgia: Clinton (71.2%), Sanders (28.3%)
  • Virginia: Clinton (64.3%), Sanders (35.2%)
  • Alabama: Clinton (77.8%), Sanders (19.2%)
  • Oklahoma: Sanders (51.9%), Clinton (41.5%)
  • Massachusetts: Clinton (50.3%), Sanders (48.5%)
  • Tennessee: Clinton (66.1%), Sanders (32.4%)
  • Texas: Clinton (65.2%), Sanders (33.2%)
  • Arkansas: Clinton (66.3%), Sanders (29.7%)
  • Minnesota: Sanders (61.7%), Clinton (38.3%)
  • Colorado: Sanders (58.9%), Clinton (40.4%)
As with the Republican results above, the specific numbers could change but the overall results will remain the same. With all these Super Tuesday states taken into account the delegate at this point, when super-delegates are excluded, is: Clinton 544; and Sanders 349. It’s worth pointing out that with super-delegates included the race looks much more one-sided as Clinton has 1,001 delegates and Sanders has only 371.
What is the take away from these results? Despite all the headlines that Clinton dominated, this is a good result for Bernie Sanders. Polling had indicated that Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas would be won by Clinton, and that Vermont was going to be won by Sanders. Before the night began, anybody who was vaguely aware of what the polls were saying essentially knew that was the baseline set of results that would come through. The biggest question marks were over Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma. Of these four, Sanders won three of them, all by comfortable margins, and the result in Massachusetts was close enough to mean result in roughly the same number of delegates being allocated to each candidate.
What this result showed is that away from the South, which by the way will not be voting for the Democrats in a general election anyway, Sanders message can really resonate. This is especially important as many general election states that will be key for Democrats in November, such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Florida, will be voting in the coming few days.These states have few African-America voters, which was the main demographic group that overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton in the Southern states. Sanders focus on economic issues particularly around strong labour unions and the need to restore manufacturing jobs by renegotiating free trade deals should resonate in many of these states.
On a more local level, more and more African-Americans in Chicago, Illinois are starting to support Bernie Sanders because of Clinton’s support for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who is alleged to have suppressed a report about the killing of Lacquan McDonald. The motivation behind his actions was thought to be that the killing took place in an election year and therefore needed the support of the African-American community in order to remain mayor. Clinton’s unwavering support for Emanuel has prompted many grassroots organizations, including members of the Black Lives Matter movement, to campaign against Clinton in Illinois.
hillary clinton super tuesday
Hillary Clinton looks like she’s terrified by number of super-predators she’s put behind her (Wall Street Journal).
The general take away is that Clinton’s performance wasn’t as strong as it ‘should’ have been and that is because Bernie Sanders’ message of economic, political, and social change is beginning to resonate much more than Clinton’s package of ‘I’m Obama-light’. On the Republican side it has really narrowed to a three-horse race between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio but Marco Rubio is hanging on by the skin of his teeth. If the next round of primaries are as decisive, not only will Rubio not be able to stop Trump, nobody will.
Left-wing Democrats should keep the faith that Sanders is still in with a shout of being the Democratic candidate, but establishment Republicans should panic as the option has now become a choice between a smarmy Senator that they hate, or a race-baiting misogynist that will tear the GOP apart. Things are getting very interesting indeed.
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