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Tim Bryce: What to expect from the GOP on Super Tuesday

The GOP candidates are now sprinting to Super Tuesday. Donald Trump has the momentum from victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

However, this is a big contest and no primary should be taken for granted.  Trump also has the advantage of holding good polling numbers going into Tuesday’s elections.

The Super Tuesday voting includes: Alabama, Alaskan caucuses, Arkansas, Colorado caucuses, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota caucuses, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming caucuses.

In looking over the latest polls, as maintained by Real Clear Politics, here is where the candidates stand:

ALABAMA – 50 delegates

+21 – Trump

Note: Alabama has not conducted a reliable poll since August.

Presumed winner: Trump

ALASKA – 28 delegates

28% – Trump

24% – Cruz

09% – Carson

Presumed winner: Trump

ARKANSAS – 40 delegates

27% – Cruz

23% – Trump

23% – Rubio

Presumed winner: Cruz

COLORADO – 37 delegates

+6 – Carson

Note: Colorado has not conducted a reliable poll since November.

Presumed winner: Unknown

GEORGIA – 76 delegates

34.7% – Trump

23.7% – Cruz

14.7% – Rubio

Presumed winner: Trump

MASSACHUSETTS – 42 delegates

41.0% – Trump

17.0% – Rubio

10.0% – Cruz

Presumed winner: Trump

MINNESOTA – 38 delegates

20.7% – Trump

14.7% – Rubio

13.7% – Carson

Presumed winner: Trump

OKLAHOMA – 43 delegates

32.5% – Trump

25.0% – Cruz

15.5% – Rubio

Presumed winner: Trump

TENNESSEE – 58 delegates

+4 – Trump

Note: Tennessee has not conducted a reliable poll since November.

Presumed winner: Unknown

TEXAS (Sen. Cruz’s home state) – 172 delegates

37.3% – Cruz

28.0% – Trump

11.7% – Rubio

Presumed winner: Cruz

VERMONT – 16 delegates

32.0% – Trump

17.0% – Rubio

11.0% – Cruz

Presumed winner: Trump

VIRGINIA – 49 delegates

28% – Trump

22% – Rubio

19% – Cruz

Presumed winner: Trump

WYOMING – 29 delegates

Note: Wyoming has not conducted a reliable poll since July.

Presumed winner: Unknown

So far, all of the primaries have attracted record voters, thanks in large part to Trump’s popularity. If this continues through Super Tuesday, he may become unstoppable.

The real prize on Super Tuesday is Texas with 172 delegates. This is Sen. Ted Cruz’s home state, but he may not have a lock on it.

With his weak showing in Nevada and the recent firing of his communications director for fraudulent statements about the other candidates, the Cruz campaign appears to be running out of steam while Marco Rubio is on the rise.

All of this might cost Cruz his home state which may very well go to Trump. It is entirely possible Cruz may come up empty on Super Tuesday while Rubio hangs on and Trump corners the market.

In looking over the delegate count, it is possible Trump may win as many as 300-plus delegates following Super Tuesday. Cruz may win up to 200-plus, assuming he wins Arkansas and Texas.

After Super Tuesday, the next two important dates are:

MARCH 8

MICHIGAN – 59 delegates

33.7% – Trump

13.0% – Kasich

12.7% – Cruz

Presumed winner: Trump

MARCH 15

FLORIDA – 99 delegates

40.0% – Trump

19.0% – Cruz

13.7% – Rubio

Presumed winner: Trump

OHIO (Kasich’s home state) – 66 delegates

31% – Trump

26% – Kasich

21% – Cruz

Presumed winner: Trump

It will be embarrassing if Kasich loses Ohio. Likewise for Rubio if Florida goes to Trump, which will likely happen. By losing their home states, they will have to seriously consider abandoning the race.

This can earn Trump another 200-plus delegates, bringing his total to more than 600, almost half of all of the delegates needed to secure the nomination (1,237).

This tsunami of support will make it nearly impossible for any other candidate to catch up with Trump. By March 16, he won’t have all of the delegates needed to win, but the GOP establishment should realize it’s all over but the shouting.

***

Tim Bryce is a freelance writer in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.  @timbryce Column courtesy of Context Florida.

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