Tuesday, March 15 is shaping up as a pivotal day in the Republican nomination fight. Five states, including four of the top ten delegate prizes, will be voting. Additionally, the date marks the first date when states have the option for winner take all allocation of delegates. In all, these states will put 358 delegates into play.
As of now, Donald Trump leads the Republican field with 458 delegates, about 100 ahead of Ted Cruz. Trump has about 37% of the 1,237 needed to nominate.
A recap of where things currently stand for each contest follows, including a discussion of the delegate allocation procedure, as we understand it. The poll closing times are believed accurate, but you should not rely on them to vote. Click/tap a state for more details.
Florida The big prize on March 15 with 99 winner take all delegates. There has been a lot of polling this week, and Trump leads it all, but there's an interesting stratification here. About half the polls show a competitive battle, with Rubio about 7 points back. The other half show an easy Trump win of 15-20 points, with Marco Rubio only a few points ahead of Cruz. There's not a lot in-between. Florida is a must-win state for Rubio. Polls in most of the state close at 7PM ET. (Projection: Likely Trump; either Trump or Rubio will win and gain 99 delegates).
North Carolina The state proportionately allocates its 72 delegates based on the statewide result. Trump has led every poll this year, currently averaging about 10 points over Cruz. Polls close at 7:30PM ET. (Projection: Likely Trump. If we assume the poll averages are the outcome, and that only these four candidates get delegates, allocation would be roughly 30 Trump, 20 Cruz, 13 Rubio, 9 Kasich).
Illinois The state has 69 delegates. 15 of these will go to the statewide popular vote winner. The remaining 54 delegates are directly elected, 3 per Congressional District. There has been limited polling here; a Chicago Tribune survey earlier in the week gave Trump 32%, with Rubio, Cruz and Kasich all near 20%. Trump has led every poll this year, currently averaging about 10 points over Cruz. Polls close at 8:00PM ET. (Projection: Likely Trump for the 15 statewide delegates. No idea what to expect for the remainder).
Ohio This race, with 66 winner take all delegates, has tightened in recent weeks. Trump is currently leading by an average of 2.5 points over the state's governor, John Kasich. For the overall race for the nomination, this may be the most important battle of the night, particularly if Trump wins Florida. Polls close at 7:30PM ET. (Projection: Toss-up; either Trump or Kasich will win and gain 66 delegates).
Missouri While outside the top 10, the state still has a significant 52 delegates. If a candidate exceeds 50%, he receives all 52 of the delegates. Otherwise, the candidate with the most statewide votes gets 12 delegates, with the remaining 40 allocated, in groups of five, to the winner of each of the state's eight Congressional Districts. There has been no recent polling here; a late 2015 survey gave Trump a 10 point lead over Cruz. Polls close at 8:00PM ET. (Projection: Nobody gets 50% statewide; Trump or Cruz probably the best bet for the 12 statewide delegates).
Donald Trump has earned 458 delegates in the contests held thus far, about 37% of the 1,237 required to get the nomination. The map below shows the delegates he's earned in each contest thus far, with the states colored to reflect his position in the popular vote.
This is a prototype. If we can work a few things out, we'll have similar maps for the other Republicans and the two Democratic candidates.
Defying polls that had him down 20 points, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by 2 points in Michigan, a huge boost to his campaign. The estimated 65 delegates Sanders amassed was his 2nd largest single event total thus far. Hillary Clinton easily won Mississippi, continuing her dominance in Southern primaries.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump won events in Hawaii, Michigan and Mississippi, with Ted Cruz winning Idaho. Marco Rubio finished no better than 3rd, earning no delegates for the evening.
One week out from the delegate-rich Florida primary, a new Florida Decides poll (taken by SurveyUSA) shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with rather large leads. The poll also showed a very close general election between Hillary Clinton and any of three surveyed opponents.
Republican: Trump received 42% support in the poll, about double that of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz was third with 17%. Rubio's 22% in this must-win state was his weakest poll showing since late January. Florida is a winner take all state; in fact it is the largest winner take all Republican primary with 99 delegates.
Democrat: Clinton received 61% to Bernie Sanders 30% in the poll; her lead has been expanding in polls over the past month. There are 246 delegates in Florida which, aside from superdelegates, will be allocated proportionately; some based on the statewide result, some based on the result in each Congressional District.
General Election: Looking ahead to November, the poll looked at prospective match-ups between Clinton and each of Trump, Rubio and Cruz. In all three cases, the race appears deadlocked. Florida and its 29 electoral votes looks to again be an important swing state.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided not to run as an independent in 2016, he announced this afternoon on Bloomberg View. As in the past when he's looked at running, he decided he couldn't win a 3-way race. Part of his statement follows:
While Bloomberg has decided to pass on 2016, this doesn't completely end the possibility of a credible independent or 3rd party challenge. The two most likely scenarios involve Donald Trump. If he looks to win the nomination, a well-known conservative may choose to join up with a 3rd party that has ballot access, such as the Constitution Party. Alternately, if Trump doesn't get the nomination, he may choose to go the independent route.
For those interested in such possibilities, try our 3rd party interactive electoral map.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hold fairly large leads in Michigan, the largest delegate prize on a relatively quiet Tuesday (although CNN would have you believe otherwise). Below the image, we summarize the day's events with updated polling info.
On the Republican side, Trump is averaging about 38% in recent polls, with Ted Cruz and John Kasich fighting it out for 2nd at about 20% each. Marco Rubio is well back at 13%. It is worth noting that the polling for this race has been a bit volatile. For example, in the five polls we are currently averaging, John Kasich has placed in every position, from first to last. There are 59 delegates allocated proportionately (unless someone gets >50%) based on the statewide vote, with a 15% minimum to accrue delegates.
Hillary Clinton seems to have a comfortable lead, averaging about 20 points over Bernie Sanders. As with all Democratic primaries, most of the 147 delegates will be allocated proportionately, some statewide and some by individual Congressional District.
Other Republican contests:
Hawaii (Caucus, 19 delegates): Proportional caucus statewide/Congressional District. No polling available
Idaho (Primary, 32): A poll out yesterday, but conducted in late February, gives Trump 30%, with Cruz and Rubio just below 20%. The 20% figure is important, as Idaho allocates its delegates proportionately with a 20% minimum threshold; >50% winner take all. (The poll not yet in our database as we're trying to get some additional information on it).
Mississippi (Primary, 40): The only recent poll, from last week, givesTrump 41%, well ahead of Cruz & Rubio. This is a proportional primary, statewide/Congressional District with a 15% minimum threshold for the state vote. Congressional Districts become winner take all if a candidate exceeds 50%
Other Democratic contests:
Mississippi (Primary, 41): Two recent polls indicate an easy win for Hillary Clinton here; this would be pretty consistent with recent primaries in other Southeastern states.
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump split four states during yesterday's so-called 'Super Saturday' with Cruz winning more overall delegates largely on the strength of a very strong performance in the Kansas caucus.
Cruz has emerged as the main conservative challenger to the long-standing Republican frontrunner, although Trump still leads the polls in most upcoming states, including the all-or-none states of Florida and Ohio on March 15. Polls can shift based on the results in preceding states, so it will be interesting to see if upcoming surveys show a different picture.
It wasn't a great night for Marco Rubio or John Kasich, although Kasich may be heartened by a poll out Saturday that showed him with a small lead in Michigan, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders continues to perform well in caucus states, winning both Nebraska and Kansas. Clinton won Louisiana, the day's largest delegate prize.
Next up is today's Puerto Rico Republican primary and the Maine Democratic caucuses. No polling is available, although Sanders would seem to have the edge in Maine, a caucus state with a demographic profile similar to other places he's done well. Sanders and Clinton will debate tonight on CNN at 8PM ET.
Puerto Rico polls are open 7AM to 1PM ET, while the Maine caucuses will run from 1PM to 8PM ET; ending prior to the Democratic debate.
Four Republican and three Democratic contests are being held on this 'Super Saturday'. We'll update this page with results. Click a state name for full details
Kansas (Caucus, 40 delegates): Cruz Wins Ted Cruz was victorious here, getting roughly half the vote. Donald Trump looks to be 2nd, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich. The delegate allocation is proportional here (by state and District), with a 10% threshold. At this point, Kasich is just above 10%, so it looks like all 4 candidates will earn delegates here. By winning Kansas, Cruz continues to build northward in the south central US --- he previously won Texas and Oklahoma.
From the New York Times, this looks like the final delegate allocation:
Kentucky (Caucus, 46): Trump wins. Delegate allocation is proportional statewide
Louisiana (Primary, 46): Trump wins Voting closes at 9PM ET; Trump is well ahead in polling. Delegate allocation is proportional, with some statewide and some by Congressional District
Maine (Caucus, 23): Cruz wins Cruz received 12 delegates, Trump 9, Kasich 2
Note that Democratic delegate allocation is proportional in each state; with a 15% minimum to get any delegates.
Kansas (Caucus, 37 delegates): Sanders wins No delegate info available yet. Sanders also won nearby Oklahoma on Super Tuesday as well as two mainland caucus states (Colorado, Minnesota) that day
Nebraska (Caucus, 30 delegates): Sanders wins No delegate info available yet.
Louisiana (Primary, 59): Clinton wins No delegate info yet; one poll out recently kept Sanders below the 15% threshold to receive any delegates
Update March 7: For the latest info on the March 8 events, we've created this separate article.
Update March 4: There have been a few more polls since we wrote this yesterday (Thursday). Two changes worth noting:
In Michigan, new polls have pushed Trump's average up into the mid 30s, with Cruz also moving up slightly. A poll today gave Kasich 18%, his strongest showing to date. As Michigan is the largest delegate prize for both parties in the days ahead, expect to see several more polls before Tuesday. (Likely Trump)
Additionally, we have our first Kansas Republican poll with a decent sample size. It gives Trump a 6 point lead over Cruz, with Rubio well back in 3rd. (Leaning Trump).
After Super Tuesday, Donald Trump has approximately 25% of the 1,237 delegates needed for the Republican nomination, while Hillary Clinton is approaching 45% of the 2,382 needed for the Democratic nomination; Clinton's count has benefited from the heavy support of Democratic superdelegates.
The next two debates will occur in Michigan. Republicans (except for Ben Carson) debate tonight in Detroit (Fox News, 9PM ET); Democrats do the same in Flint on Sunday (CNN, 8PM ET).
A summary of upcoming events and polling. Click/tap a state for more details.
Kansas (Caucus, 40 delegates): No polling available*; Cruz won nearby Oklahoma primary on Super Tuesday
Kentucky (Caucus, 46): A late February poll had Trump leading Rubio, with Cruz third (Likely Trump)
Louisiana (Primary, 46): A new poll has Trump well ahead of Cruz, with Rubio third (Likely Trump)
Maine (Caucus, 23): No polling available; Trump easily won Massachusetts on Super Tuesday but had a narrow win in Vermont; Kasich finished 2nd in both states
Puerto Rico (Primary, 23): No polling available
Michigan (Primary, 59): Recent polls have Trump averaging in the low 30's, about equal to combined support for Rubio & Cruz. Expect these two, along with Kasich, to battle for 2nd (Likely Trump)
Mississippi (Primary, 40): A poll out today gives Trump 41%, well ahead of Cruz & Rubio (Likely Trump)
Kansas (Caucus, 37 delegates); Nebraska (Caucus, 30 delegates): No polling available*; Sanders won 'nearby' Oklahoma primary on Super Tuesday as well as the two mainland caucus states (Colorado, Minnesota) that day
Louisiana (Primary, 59): Clinton far ahead in two recent polls; one this week had Sanders at 14%, which is below the 15% threshold to receive any delegates (Solid Clinton)
Maine (Caucus, 30): No polling available; Sanders easily won his home state of Vermont on Super Tuesday, while Massachusetts was extremely competitive
Michigan (Primary, 147): Easily the biggest Democratic delegate prize during this period. Recent polls have shown an increasing lead for Clinton; now averaging 20 points over Sanders (Likely Clinton)
Mississippi (Primary, 41): A poll out today gives Clinton 65% to Sanders 11%. As in Louisiana, Sanders could be at risk of being shut out of delegates (Solid Clinton)
* A very small sample Kansas poll was conducted by the Docking Institute at Fort Hays State University in late February. It showed Trump at about 25%, Rubio & Cruz in the mid-teens. Clinton had a lead over Sanders. Lots of undecided. Due to the small sample size, and in the absence of any other polling, caution should be exercised in relying too heavily on this data.
Dr. Ben Carson "doesn't see a political path forward", CNN is reporting. Carson will not participate in Thursday's Republican debate in Detroit and will discuss his future during a CPAC speech on Friday.
A statement to this effect appears on the Carson campaign website.
Carson won just 3 delegates on Super Tuesday and those were associated with a 5th place finish in Virginia. Once near the top of the polls, Carson saw most of his support evaporate (often to the benefit of Ted Cruz) late in 2015.
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