Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Super Tuesday Results - Good for Trump, Better for Hillary

Yesterday's Super Tuesday results are in and they are good news for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz and John Kasich did ok but Bernie Sanders (despite four state wins) and Marco Rubio (despite his first) did badly.

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Trump won seven states including Virginia where he managed to hold off Marco Rubio in what was being described as a key test for the Florida senator.

Ted Cruz won in Texas (his home state, but by far the biggest on the night) and Oklahoma.

Marco Rubio won in Minnesota. That was his first state win of the primary season and blunts Ted Cruz's attack on him.

John Kasich was never really in the game today except in Vermont where he came second. He's all in for his home state of Ohio in two weeks time.

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The key for the republican race (as with the Democrats) is that the early states all award their delegates proportionately. So winning by one point might get you one more delegate but it is a TV victory rather than one which will be particularly telling come the convention. Later on in the primary season the contests start getting winner-takes-all.

But - and it is a biggie - in most states last night, if a candidate fails to get over 20% then they get no delegates at all. So Rubio fell short in Texas, Alabama, Vermont and Massachusetts and will get no delegates from any of those. Where Rubio did better - Georgia, Arkansas and Oklahoma - the threshold is actually 15%. Overall, Rubio picked up fewer than half the delegate numbers that Cruz won last night (and only around a third of Trump's gain).

Ben Carson is still in the race. I don't know why either.

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Over on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders won (as largely expected) in Vermont, Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma. He failed by just a percentage point to win in Massachusetts. Again, being a proportional allocation, this loss is more about TV coverage than delegate numbers.

But where Sanders lost, he lost big. Clinton's predicted lead among black voters became a rout and she swept the board in the southern states and never broke sweat in Arkansas where some polls had predicted a close result. So in terms of delegate numbers Clinton won massively last night.

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Paddy Power have issued a press release saying they have paid out on Donald Trump being the Republican nominee. He is by far the favourite but I don't think this race is quite done yet. The Republican establishment are so anti-Trump that they will have at least one more go at defeating him. Whether that means aiming for a balanced convention, who knows. Maybe it will be 'Draft Bloomberg'.


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