Clinton 1034
Sanders 408
 Needed   2383
Trump 316
Rubio 106
Cruz 226
Carson 8
Kasich 25
Needed 1237
New polls:  
Dem pickups:  
GOP pickups:  

News from the Votemaster

New Layout Starting Today

Editorial note: starting today, the top part of the page will be different. In the blue bar, we will report the delegate counts. Right now different media outlets have different counts. It's all still in flux. We have attempted to get the latest count for each state, but that will certainly change later in the day. Going forward we will use the Real Clear Politics count. But note that in the future, media outlets can differ slightly, depending on how caucus results (which only elect delegates to the county caucuses, not the convention) are interpreted. Also tracking the Democratic superdelegates and Republican RNC delegates is not an exact science. The "Needed" columns show how many delegates are needed for the nomination in each party. The Democratic convention has almost twice as many delegates as the Republican one, so almost twice as many delegates are needed.

In addition, on the map, states that have already voted will be shown in gray. In a few cases, the Democratic and Republic nominating contests are on different days. For those states, the coloring corresponds to the Republican one, since that is more in doubt than the Democratic one. (V & Z)

Here Are the Maps of Who Won in Which State

To get an overview of the Super Tuesday results, here is a map of which candidate won in which state.

Super Tuesday map

In short, no big surprises this time. The polls were pretty good and for the most part predicted the winners fairly accurately. (V)

Big Night for Trump

Another 11 states' worth of Republicans went to the polls on Tuesday and The Trump Express picked up more steam, taking seven of the 11: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. Here are the numbers with 100% of the votes in; TX-20 and TN-9 require recounts, so the three delegates to be awarded for each of those districts are still pending:

Republican Results
Texas 26.9% 46 43.7% 100 17.6% 6 4.2% 0 4.1% 0
Georgia 38.8% 43 23.6% 15 24.6% 18 5.6% 0 6.2% 0
Tennessee 38.9% 31 24.7% 10 21.2% 14 5.3% 0 7.6% 0
Alabama 43.4% 36 21.1% 13 18.7% 1 4.4% 0 10.2% 0
Virginia 34.7% 17 16.9% 8 31.9% 16 9.4% 5 5.9% 3
Oklahoma 28.3% 14 34.4% 16 26.0% 13 3.6% 0 6.2% 0
Massachusetts 49.0% 21 9.6% 4 17.9% 8 18.1% 8 2.6% 1
Arkansas 32.7% 16 30.5% 15 25.0% 9 3.7% 0 5.7% 0
Minnesota 21.2% 8 28.9% 13 36.8% 17 5.8% 0 7.2% 0
Alaska 33.5% 10 36.4% 10 15.1% 4 4.1% 0 11.0% 0
Vermont 32.7% 8 9.7% 0 19.3% 0 30.4% 8 4.2% 0
Total   250   204   106   21   4

At first glance, it may seem that Trump had a middling night, since he certainly did not put the race out of reach, and he only outpaced Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) by 46 delegates. But first place is still first place and, more importantly, he was competitive everywhere: Big and small states, conservative and liberal, Southern and Northern. His worst result, and his only third-place finish, was in Minnesota and he still did well enough even there to take some delegates.

Cruz, meanwhile, avoided the embarrassment of losing his home state, and in fact won there quite convincingly, while also taking Oklahoma and Alaska. Once the Texas result was in, he delivered a speech in which he crowed about his win and called on any Republican that had not won a state to drop out. At the time he made that declaration, that would have left it a two-man race between Cruz and Trump. And undoubtedly, Cruz will spin Tuesday's result as vindication of his oft-repeated assertion that he is the only person who can dethrone Trump. Don't believe it; it's an illusion created, quite obviously, by the fact that he played the biggest, juiciest ace in the hole that any candidate has this cycle: A huge home state with lots of delegates. If Florida, or California, or New York was the "big prize" on Tuesday rather than Texas, Cruz would have finished a distant third. And since Canada doesn't get to pick the U.S. president, Cruz won't be getting any further hometown bonuses. Meanwhile, consider the four states he has actually won:

  • Iowa. Small, idiosyncratic caucus state.
  • Texas. Home state.
  • Oklahoma. Ultraconservative, only state never to give a county to Barack Obama.
  • Alaska. Small, ultraconservative. Gave us Sarah Palin.

So, in states that are ideally suited to his philosophy and his skills as a political strategist, Cruz can eke out a victory. States that are even a little bit removed from the far right end of the spectrum (Georgia, Alabama), he loses. States that are centrist or left-leaning (Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont), he loses big time. There are 35 states left to go; how many of them can Cruz conceivably win? In how many of them can he even put up a good fight? A few of the mountain west states (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah) and perhaps Kansas and Mississippi, and that's about it.

Late in the evening, Marco Rubio finally got into the win column, taking Minnesota to the bank. Ted Cruz was presumably as surprised as anyone, given the speech he'd delivered just an hour earlier. He probably shouldn't have been; this is a state that once elected a professional wrestler governor, after all. This means that Rubio technically no longer deserves the "can't win a state" label. However, his finish in the delegate count was a pretty dismal third, and he was roundly trounced by Trump or Cruz (or both) in most states. He desperately needs to win Florida, and if the polls are right, he's not going to do so.

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) proved that he can do well in New England, adding second-place finishes in Massachusetts and Vermont to his second-place finish in New Hampshire. If this were the election of 1796, when New England made up half the country, that might get the job done. But we're no longer in the eighteenth century, no matter what Ted Cruz's dad might say. Sorry, John.

The good news for Ben Carson is that he doubled his delegate total on Tuesday. The bad news is that means he's now up to eight. His own campaign staff says he has no path to the nomination, but Carson says prayer will take care of everything. Maybe God will deliver what GOP strategist Rick Wilson says will be needed: "A meteor has to kill Trump, Cruz and Rubio, and John Kasich has to get mauled by a wolverine." While we wait for that to happen, GOP leadership plans to pressure Carson to drop out and run for Florida's senate seat instead.

The GOP candidates are going to have just 24 hours to digest and spin the results, and then it will be time for another debate and another five states (Wyoming, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine) to cast their Republican votes on Saturday. (Z)

Big Night for Clinton, Too

It was a frontrunners' kind of night, as Hillary Clinton did as much to maintain her momentum as did Donald Trump. She too won seven states (along with one territory): Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and American Samoa. Here are the numbers; the last column shows delegates whose disposition is unclear due to breakdowns that are still pending (TX-16, TX-23, and TX-26, for example) or because of superdelegates that have not yet committed to a candidate:

Democratic Results
Texas 65.2% 139 33.1% 64 49
Georgia 71.2% 84 28.3% 28 5
Massachusetts 50.3% 62 48.5% 46 8
Virginia 65.3% 75 34.8% 33 1
Minnesota 38.3% 44 61.7% 47 2
Colorado 40.1% 37 57.6% 38 4
Tennessee 66.1% 44 32.4% 22 10
Alabama 77.8% 48 19.2% 9 3
Oklahoma 41.5% 18 51.9% 22 2
Arkansas 66.4% 27 29.7% 10 0
Vermont 13.5% 4 86.1% 19 3
Democrats Abroad N/A 2 N/A 0 15
American Samoa 68.3% 7 25.7% 3 0
Total   588   341 101

Clinton's biggest surprise of the evening, and arguably her most important win, was in Massachusetts. It wasn't by a huge margin, but it represents another big hole in Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) "she's only a regional candidate" argument.

Sanders had a nice night, meanwhile, taking his home state in a massive landslide, while also grabbing Minnesota, Colorado, and Oklahoma. That said, a careful look at the numbers also reveals some pretty bad news. He continues to get absolutely crushed in states with large numbers of black voters. Just as important, when he does win a state, he wins by a huge margin. His four victories Tuesday were by 10, 17, 24, and 73 points. But he is running out of liberal states. The rest are pretty mainstream. And remember, Clinton beat Obama in nearly all the big blue states in 2008 and Sanders is probably not as strong a candidate as Obama was. In any event, turnout for him has not rivaled Obama's pace in 2008. The math is already looking dreary enough that the headline on Politico is: "Clinton's new problem: How to let Bernie down easy."

Like the GOP candidates, Clinton and Sanders will only have a short time to catch their breath. Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, and Nebraska Democrats will be voting later this week, and the Flint, MI debate is on Sunday. (Z)

Winners and Losers

Lots of news sites have lists of winner and losers. Here are a few, briefly summarized. First, Niall Stanage writing in The Hill.

  • Donald Trump. He won nationally and Rubio flubbed. Trump will be hard to stop now
  • Hillary Clinton. It's all over but the shoutin'. She will now focus on Trump, not Sanders
  • Ted Cruz. He's back from the dead and probably the Party's only hope to stop Trump
  • Chris Christie. By being the first major figure to back Trump, he could get a nice job if Trump wins
  • Marco Rubio. By winning only one state out of 15 so far he is now facing gale-force winds
  • Bernie Sanders. Winning four states was nice but he lost Massachusetts. He won't give up but he won't win
  • John Kasich. He will face even more pressure to drop out now, but he won't until Ohio votes
  • The Republican establishment. This is the worst of all possible worlds, with Trump and Cruz #1 and #2
  • Mitt Romney. He said that Trump's tax returns could contain a bombshell. Nobody cares what he says
  • Ben Carson. There is simply no rationale for him to remain in the race

Now the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza.

  • Hillary Clinton. It's (close to) all over. Now it is all about how she negotiates the peace treaty with Sanders
  • Donald Trump. He will certainly have the most delegates in the end but will he have more than half?
  • Ted Cruz. All of a sudden, he could become the Great White Hope, even though his party hates his guts
  • Liberals. A majority of Democrats in all states that voted yesterday call themselves "liberals"
  • Political junkies. The great white whale—a brokered convention—might have been dimly seen on the horizon
  • Marco Rubio. If you want to be the nominee, you need to do better than 1 in 15
  • Bernie Sanders. The narrative hasn't changed. Clinton is still marching to the nomination
  • The Republican establishment. They fear Trump and loathe Cruz. They're between a rock and a hard place
  • Chris Christie. He looked awkward behind Trump. He's not used to playing second fiddle
  • Fairfax County. For a rich and educated county, it took forever to count the votes. Shame

Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics, a right-wing news site, also chimed in. Here is his take.

  • Donald Trump. It was expected but still impressive. He is the odds-on favorite now and has all the momentum
  • Hillary Clinton. She is a shoo-in now, barring some catastrophic event
  • Ted Cruz. He is in second place now in wins and delegates and could be Trump's only competiton
  • African-Americans. Their collective muscle drove Hillary Clinton to huge wins in the South. She won't forget them.
  • Marco Rubio. The win in Minnesota salvaged an otherwise terrible night. He better win Florida or it's all over
  • The GOP establishment. They are now past denial and into full-blown panic. That gaping sound is the big schism
  • Ben Carson. To be a loser, you have to actually play. Ben? Ben? Are you there? Ben?

In short, Hillary and Donald came out on top and the Republicans now have an elephant-sized problem. The two frontrunners are both totally unacceptable to the party leadership. They pray for a brokered convention. There is no Plan B. We might add that the pollsters were also winners. There were no surprises. The polls were largely on target. (V)

Paul Ryan Issues Pro Forma Denunciation of Trump

House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Donald Trump yesterday for not being sure if he wanted KKK Grand Wizard David Duke's support. He said:

If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people's prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln.

Noble words, but Ryan knows it will have no effect at all. He had to go through the motions because if he didn't, the Democrats would attack him for not doing so. Ryan's predicament is that neither he nor any other Republican leader has any idea what to do about Trump. Nor can they predict what he might say next so they can't even make plans.

In fact, the leadership can't even unite on a single opponent to take Trump down. Many Republicans are gingerly gravitating towards Rubio, but they all know that if he loses the Florida primary to Trump, he will be toast. If Kasich wins Ohio, maybe they can switch horses and back him, but he is currently polling around 5-6% nationally, so that is also a risky bet. Ryan basically doesn't know what to do other than be against bigotry. It's not much, but it is all he's got right now. (V)

New York Court Declines to Throw Out Trump University Fraud Case

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has alleged that Trump University defrauded students using a bait and switch scam. Trump lawyers argued that the case had expired under the statute of limitations. Yesterday a state judge ruled that the case could go forward. A similar case is underway in California and is expected to go to trial in August. No date has been set for the trial in the New York case. Being on trial for fraud in two states is not something Trump wants in the middle of a presidential campaign, but like Hillary Clinton's email server, this issue could linger for a very long time. (V)

Kasich Rules Out Running for Vice President

Once again, John Kasich ruled out running for Vice President. As he put it: "Zero chance, just stop there. Zero chance." Many observers have speculated about a Trump/Kasich ticket or a Rubio/Kasich ticket. Such a Shermanesque statement seems to rule that out, however. The attraction of a Rubio/Kasich ticket is that Rubio is from Florida and Kasich is from Ohio, the two biggest swing states. But it sounds like Kasich really means it. A Trump/Christie ticket covers New York and New Jersey, two states the Democrats will win by huge margins. (V)

New Hampshire Union Leader Apologizes for Endorsing Christie

When New Hampshire's biggest newspaper, the Union Leader, endorsed Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), a lot of people saw that as an omen that Christie could win New Hampshire. He didn't. He came in sixth and got no delegates. Yesterday the paper published an editorial apologizing for the endorsement. The publisher, Joseph W. McQuaid, was incensed that Christie endorsed Donald Trump, the man McQuaid wanted Christie to beat. McQuaid said that by making the endorsement Christie had betrayed the very principles of his campaign that had attracted the paper's support. (V)

Could Trump Run as an Independent?

The Republican leadership is not happy with yesterday's results and desperately wants to stop Donald Trump in his tracks. Their next opportunity will be March 15, Mini-Tuesday, when Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri vote. If the Trump bandwagon continues to roll, the only way to stop him may be to aim for a brokered convention. One small weapon the party has are the 168 members of the Republican National Committee, all of whom are voting delegates at the convention (analogous to the Democrats' superdelegates, but less numerous). They could all be instructed to vote for a non-Trump candidate of their choosing to help force a second ballot. If Trump were to lose on the second or subsequent ballot, he might be furious at being denied the nomination by parliamentary trickery, especially if he has a large plurality of the delegates. He might decide to tear up his promise to the Republican Party not to do so and run as an independent anyway. The promise has no legal force. It is merely a contract between private parties. In principle, the RNC could sue Trump for breach of contract but that case could drag on for 3 or 4 years.

Suppose Trump decided to run as an independent. Could he do it? You might be thinking: "Sure, he has enough money." That's true, but a bigger issue is each state's filing deadline. If you don't file on time, you can't run. Here are the deadlines according to Ballotpedia.

State Deadline Signatures EVs Possible EVs
Texas May 9 79,939 38 538
North Carolina June 9 89,366 15 500
Illinois June 27 25,000 20 485
Indiana June 30 26,700 11 465
New Mexico June 30 15,388 5 454
Nevada July 8 5,431 6 449
Georgia July 12 49,336 16 443
Delaware July 15 6,500 3 427
Florida July 15 119,316 29 424
Oklahoma July 15 40,047 7 395
South Carolina July 15 10,000 9 388
Michigan July 21 30,000 16 379
Washington July 23 1,000 12 363
Missouri July 25 10,000 10 351
Arkansas Aug. 1 1,000 6 341
Kansas Aug. 1 5,000 6 335
Maine Aug. 1 4,000 4 329
Maryland Aug. 1 38,000 10 325
Nebraska Aug. 1 2,500 5 315
New Jersey Aug. 1 800 14 310
Pennsylvania Aug. 1 25,000 20 296
Vermont Aug. 1 1,000 3 276
West Virginia Aug. 1 6,705 5 273
Massachusetts Aug. 2 10,000 11 268
South Dakota Aug. 2 2,775 3 257
Wisconsin Aug. 2 2,000 10 254
Alaska Aug. 10 3,005 3 244
Colorado Aug. 10 5,000 9 241
Connecticut Aug. 10 7,500 7 232
Hawaii Aug. 10 4,347 4 225
New Hampshire Aug. 10 3,000 4 221
Ohio Aug. 10 5,000 18 217
Washington D.C. Aug. 10 4,600 3 199
California Aug. 12 178,039 55 196
Utah Aug. 15 1,000 6 141
Montana Aug. 17 5,000 3 135
Alabama Aug. 18 5,000 9 132
Tennessee Aug. 18 275 11 123
Iowa Aug. 19 1,500 6 112
Louisiana Aug. 19 5,000 8 106
Minnesota Aug. 23 2,000 10 98
New York Aug. 23 15,000 29 88
Idaho Aug. 24 1,000 4 59
Virginia Aug. 26 5,000 13 55
Oregon Aug. 30 17,893 7 42
Wyoming Aug. 30 3,302 3 35
North Dakota Sept. 5 4,000 3 32
Arizona Sept. 9 36,000 11 29
Kentucky Sept. 9 5,000 8 18
Mississippi Sept. 9 1,000 6 10
Rhode Island Sept. 9 1,000 4 4

[Note: On dates with multiple states having deadlines, the last column shows what is possible if Trump goes after the states in alphabetical order and makes some and misses the others, but this is a minor point.]

Suppose by mid-April it is already clear to Trump that he won't win on the first ballot and the party pooh-bahs are implacably opposed to his winning on any ballot. At that point he could hire people to collect the 79,939 signatures necessary to get on the Texas ballot. If that succeeded and also in every other state, he could get all 538 electoral votes, in principle.

However, if he didn't decide to run as an independent until mid-May, he would miss the Texas deadline. If he made all the others, he could still be on the ballot for states worth 500 electoral votes (last column in the North Carolina line above). If he missed the May and June deadlines, but made the Nevada deadline on July 8, he could still rack up 449 electoral votes, far more than the 270 needed to win.

Most likely, he won't make a decision to run until the Republican National Convention, July 18-21. If he didn't get the Republican nod and quick like a bunny managed to collect 30,000 valid signatures in Michigan and get them filed by July 21 (plus the following states) he could still get 379 electoral votes. The longer the process is delayed, the more deadlines he misses. If he misses the Aug. 1 deadline in eight states, best case is 268 electoral votes, two shy of the 270 needed to win.

Of course, he could play it differently. If his goal was simply to punish the Republicans rather than win, he might focus only on the swing states. Getting on the ballot in Texas hardly matters. He could never win it anyway. But North Carolina matters a lot. If he pulled 15% of the vote from the Republican candidate, the Democrat would certainly win the state's 14 electoral votes. This might be called the "revenge strategy."

Alternatively, he could play dirty pool and start collecting the signatures in April and not tell anyone. It might leak out, but he could say the signature collectors were not authorized by him. Or he could say they were, as an implied threat to the Republican leadership should they try to deny him the nomination. (V)

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---The Votemaster
Mar01 Super Tuesday Is Upon Us
Mar01 Trump Leads in Alabama and Oklahoma
Mar01 Trump Blames His KKK Remarks on a Bad Earpiece
Mar01 How Trump Would Damage the Republican Party
Mar01 Trump's Mortgage Business Failed Badly
Mar01 Clinton Is Working Hard on a Strategy to Defeat Trump in the General Election
Mar01 Democrats Plan to Poach GOP Moderates
Mar01 Clinton Email Saga is Winding Down
Mar01 Stuart Stevens Says a Vote for Trump Is a Vote for Bigotry
Mar01 Jon Favreau Thinks Clinton in 2016 Is More Important than Obama in 2012
Feb29 Trump Vacillates Over KKK Endorsement
Feb29 Trump Leads in Georgia, Tennessee, and Massachusetts
Feb29 Mission Impossible: Stop Trump
Feb29 Christie's Finance Chair Denounces Christie and Trump
Feb29 Nikki Haley Is Baffled by Christie's Endorsement of Trump
Feb29 Kasich Picks Up a Big Newspaper Endorsement
Feb29 Five Takeaways from the South Carolina Democratic Primary
Feb29 Five Takeaways from the South Carolina Democratic Primaryt
Feb29 Clinton Has More Votes than Trump So Far
Feb29 DNC Vice Chair Resigns to Work for Sanders
Feb29 The Case for Justice Warren
Feb29 Why Does Bernie Sandahs Tawk That Way?
Feb28 Clinton Trounces Sanders in South Carolina
Feb28 The Big Donors Finally Panic and Start Going after Trump
Feb28 Trump Leading Rubio by Double Digits in Florida
Feb28 What Should The Great Wall of Trump Be Made Of?
Feb28 Trump Could Be on Trial for Fraud in August
Feb28 Rubio Tried to Partner with Conservative Media on Immigration Reform
Feb28 Christie Beats Haley--for the Second Slot
Feb28 What Are the Chances of Another Supreme Court Justice Dying by 2021?
Feb27 South Carolina Democrats Go to the Polls
Feb27 Republican Debate Postmortem
Feb27 Christie Endorses Trump
Feb27 Maine Governor LePage Also Endorses Trump
Feb27 Could Trump Win the Presidency without the Latino Vote?
Feb27 How Low Can You Go?
Feb27 Rubio Predicts GOP Will Split If Trump is Nominated
Feb27 Why Blacks Are Firmly Committed to Clinton
Feb26 Rubio the Lone Star in Texas Debate
Feb26 Trump Still Won't Release Tax Returns
Feb26 Trump Has Huge Lead in the Bible Belt
Feb26 Speculation about Trump's Running Mate Is Already Here
Feb26 List of Upcoming Democratic Contests
Feb26 Sanders and Clinton Voted the Same Way 93% of the Time
Feb26 Latinos Like Clinton, Hate Trump
Feb26 Democrats Planning to Use Supreme Court Vacancy as a Weapon
Feb25 Republicans Will Debate in Houston Tonight
Feb25 Is the Conventional Wisdom about Trump Wrong?
Feb25 What Would Trump's Platform Look Like?
Feb25 Conservative Group May Drop Cruz for Rubio