Tomorrow is the famed Super Tuesday! Every four years, after the so-called “carve-out” states (IA, NH, NV, SC) have their say, a glut of states pack into the earliest available Tuesday to have their nomination contests, earning that date the nickname “Super Tuesday.”
This year is no different. On the Republican side, there are 14 total contests: Alabama, Alaska (caucus), Arkansas, Colorado (caucus), Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucus), North Dakota (caucus), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming (caucus). In sum, 595 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention are up for grabs tomorrow (several of the above states – including Colorado – are not allocating delegates based on tomorrow’ results), or roughly one quarter of all delegates. “Super” Tuesday, indeed…
Those Republican delegates are allocated in a variety of ways, but it is important to note that there is a 20% threshold requirement in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont, meaning it is possible that the winner will take all statewide delegates in those contests (if none of his rivals earns at least 20% of the statewide vote).
For the Democrats, 12 states/territories are holding their contests: Alabama, American Samoa (caucus), Arkansas, Colorado (caucus), Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucus), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. The Democrats are also allowing the so-called “Democrats Abroad” to vote on Super Tuesday as well. In all, 887 of the 4,763 delegates (18.6%) to the Democratic National Convention will be allocated tomorrow. Setting aside the unpledged “superdelegates,” 21.9% of the pledged delegates are allocated tomorrow for the Democrats. Like all other Democratic contests, there is a 15% threshold in each state, with district-level delegates and statewide delegates up for grabs.
With 5 candidates left standing for the Republicans, there is a possibility of one or more candidates dropping out. For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders may need to upset Hillary Clinton in at least one state to be able to keep making the case that he is a viable candidate for the nomination. The stakes are clearly high, so read on for our predictions!
Kevin Callanan and Stella Pabis
Many have been discussing Donald Trump’s victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Does he have enough momentum and support to deem him the victor of Super Tuesday? The answer is maybe. Texas is a particularly important battleground as there are 155 delegates up for grabs. Texas is Senator Ted Cruz’s home state and if polling is correct, the Senator may receive a nice proportion of delegates. However, further research indicates that Texas rules may make a large delegate victory nearly impossible for Cruz. Virginia is another important battleground where there are 49 delegates up for allocation. It appears that Trump is pulling ahead in Virginia. However, many Virginia voters are still undecided, which could be helpful for Marco Rubio. Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee are all key battle states due to their respective delegate counts: 76, 50, and 58. Trump is the likely winner in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. While it seemed that Ted Cruz had won over the Evangelical vote by his performance in Iowa, Trump’s commandeering of that block of voters shows that it is not a monolith. Many have been asking why Dr. Ben Carson has not yet dropped as he has not placed in the top three in any contests yet. Carson still has a fair amount of cash on hand. He does not appear likely to pull ahead in any race on Super Tuesday, which could cause more pressure to withdraw. Governor John Kasich seems to be focusing on his home state of Ohio, which may or may not pay off as the latest Quinnipiac poll has him in second in the state. However, without a proper showing on Super Tuesday, Kasich may experience more pressure to withdraw.
With Hillary Clinton coming out of her victory in Nevada and expected victory in South Carolina, she should be enjoying a nice burst of momentum that could help her carry the majority of the Super Tuesday states. Considering Clinton already has 505 delegates compared to Sanders 71 due to her advantage with superdelegates, it is extremely important for Senator Sanders’s candidacy that he do well in numerous states, or at least not get blown out of the water by Sec. Clinton this Tuesday. If Senator Sanders underperforms this Tuesday we expect there to be calls for him to exit the race. We expect senator Sanders to win this home state of Vermont by a healthy margin, as well as squeak in victory in neighboring Massachusetts. There will also be tight races in the Colorado and Minnesota Caucuses; Sanders is making a strong effort in these two states since caucuses favor is candidacy. However, these two states still lean towards Clinton considering she is going into the caucuses with momentum and has been leading in recent polling. Oklahoma will also be a close race Tuesday, with Clinton having the slight advantage, being up 2% in recent polling and with both candidates campaigning in the state. Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and Texas all heavily favor Clinton, considering the Clintons’ ties to the South and Black voters. We predict that American Samoa and Democratic voters abroad will also vote for Clinton.
Samantha Coons and Marlena Mareno
Coming out of Nevada, no candidate has been able to pull enough votes to beat Trump, with Cruz being the minor exception in Iowa. The GOP electorate seems to be split between Trump and not-Trump, yet the not-Trump voters are too divided to make any one candidate a winning alternative to Trump. There are still too many players in the game, and Carson and Kasich have both stated they plan to stay in and use Super Tuesday to kick their campaigns into action. Of the March 1st primaries and caucuses Texas has the most delegates at stake, 155. Cruz has recently been endorsed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. This is Cruz’s first senior political leader endorsement, which might contribute to his eight point lead over Trump in his home state of Texas. Georgia has the next most delegates available with 76. For the first time Rubio is polling higher than Cruz in Georgia, holding 23% of the vote compared to 19% for Cruz. With Bush out of the race, his supporters are most likely moving to Rubio because he is the next viable candidate with values closest to Bush. While we predicted that Trump will come out on top overall on March 1st, we also believe Cruz and Rubio will begin to close the gap between first, second, and third. After Super Tuesday we believe Trump will fall from his podium as the party begins to rally behind a single candidate, and more importantly against Trump. We also predict that Carson and Kasich will be unsuccessful yet again, and acquire few votes.
For the Democrats, we believe Super Tuesday could be a close call between Clinton and Sanders, as with many other contests thus far. However, we believe Clinton will come out on top in a majority of the states voting. At a quick glance, it may appear that the race is anyone’s game in terms of delegates, but if one looks closer, it is evident that Sanders significantly trails Clinton 502-70 when superdelegates are considered, an indication that the party has decided. In addition, Clinton’s win in Nevada – along with her increasing number of endorsements – will contribute to her growing chances at the nomination. With a large African American and Hispanic population in the Southern states (7 of the 12 states), Clinton is expected to have a “firewall” built up in her favor. Clinton also takes the lead in a majority of the states, with the exception of Vermont, on issues of “race relations,” “immigration,” and “women’s issues.” Alabama, Georgia, and Texas are known to have a more nonwhite electorate, playing to Clinton’s typical demographic. Clinton is currently polling above Sanders and is likely to win in Georgia, Minnesota, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Sanders will undoubtedly win in his home state of Vermont where he will vote and hold his Super Tuesday election night rally. Massachusetts is a close call between the candidates but will most likely go to Sanders, as it borders his home state.
Cody Ingraham and Emily Radigan
Across America, Hillary leads in Super Tuesday states, with some Bernie-optimists rooting for a democratic-socialist uproar. Meanwhile, the winnowed GOP field is focused on defeating Trump, as indicated by the sentiment of Thursday’s debate.
Recent polls show Alabama is strong Trump territory, with a heavy lead over all other GOP candidates. Rubio will likely get second, with Alabama being in Florida’s backyard. Clinton will also maintain her popularity in the South through Alabama.
With little information collected recently, Alaska has potential to be a toss up if any GOP candidates have dented Trump’s strength. Former Governor Palin’s endorsement could help to secure Trump’s victory.
Arkansas’s GOP Primary will be a close race for the top between Cruz, Trump, and Rubio. Clinton holds the lead and the state’s former first lady has the advantage of strong ties and frequent visits scheduled.
The Colorado Caucuses could be a toss-up, with little polling done in the Centennial State. Trump’s recent victories will likely put him in the forefront. Clinton’s momentum could carry over, while Bernie supporters should also put up a fight.
Clinton and Sanders are fighting a tight battle in Massachusetts, with a slim margin separating the two candidates in the polls. Bernie’s well-attended rally at UMass Amherst shows many are ready to “Feel the Bern.” Trump’s lead makes him the likely winner, with Rubio and Kasich fighting for second.
Minnesota’s caucuses have not received much polling. Clinton and Rubio led in January. However, Sanders seems optimistic he has a chance. Rubio leads with endorsements from the state; winning could improve his momentum.
Oklahoma is unpredictable and very close on the Democratic side. Trump is predicted to win Oklahoma, but only marginally in recent polls. Rubio and Cruz are competing for second place, both campaigning there this week.
Clinton will win Tennessee due to her lead among minority voters. Sanders has unsuccessfully tried to narrow this gap by opening offices. Trump leads in recent polling, with many Republican voters undecided. Cruz has spent time courting the Evangelical vote, but Rubio has received the governor’s endorsement.
Polls have Cruz leading in his home state, Texas, aided by his recent endorsement from Gov. Greg Abbott, but Trump is not far behind. A Trump upset would injure Cruz. Clinton will do well with the moderate Texas Democrats by a large margin.
Sanders will score an overwhelming win in his home state, Vermont. Clinton has not totally ceded the state and hopes to earn some delegates. Kasich, the most moderate Republican candidate, stands to possibly perform well in liberal Vermont, but Trump leads in available polls. Rubio’s endorsements may also help him.
Clinton will win Virginia by a large margin. Sanders has increasingly narrowed the gap, which is important, given Virginia’s 95 proportional delegates. Trump is likely to claim victory in Virginia, but Rubio is also banking on doing relatively well, airing potentially boosting ads and heavily campaigning.
Kaitlyn Krolik and Amanda Knipple
We predict that – contrary to the prevailing opinion among pundits – Super Tuesday will be the last time Trump will be on top. After this, the party will consolidate behind Kasich or Rubio because enough candidates have finally dropped out. The consolidation, which has been predicted to occur multiple times before now, will signal to Trump and Cruz that their reign of terror is over. However, for these primaries, we predict that Trump will maintain his 30% and Cruz will follow between 15 and 20%. We believe that the next debate will be crucial in determining which moderate candidate the GOP will rally behind. In addition to the debate, we believe fundraising will also be influential in determining which candidate stays in the race. Kasich has much less cash on hand than the other GOP competitors, including Rubio. Therefore, we believe that Rubio will be the GOP moderate that the party rallies behind and endorses. Another reason Rubio may emerge as the frontrunner is because he is predicted to do well in many of the Super Tuesday states. In addition, Rubio did well in South Carolina, winning a close second over Cruz. We predict that Kasich, after not gaining much traction in South Carolina, will have a repeat performance on Super Tuesday and will soon drop out. Ben Carson may be determined to stay in the race, but he won’t be gaining much traction.
Our predictions for the Democrats are much different from that of the GOP. We predict here that Clinton and Sanders will be neck and neck throughout Super Tuesday. We think this will be consistent except for obvious wins, like Sanders in Vermont and Colorado, a state that the Clintons are notorious for losing and Clinton in Arkansas. Predictions for Super Tuesday are all over the place with Clinton and Sanders both having “Super Tuesday Problems.” We predict that this trend of nearly tying will continue throughout the race possibly elevating the importance of the superdelegates, which are currently mostly pledged to Clinton. While these pledged superdelegates are starting to stir up a problem in the media, Sanders still has a viable path (if a difficult one) to the White House. However, if national polls are to be believed, Secretary Clinton still has a slight edge. Turnout will also be an important factor in the race, with Bernie Sanders trying to “expand the electorate” to work in his favor. If turnout is low, his numbers may suffer.
Jack Massaroni and Keshawn Langhorn
Trump has continued to defy expectations and looks to ride his wave of Support straight to November. He is the heavy favorite going into Super Tuesday and it looks as if he will take home most of the states. He has continued to win by drawing support from party outsiders, and has proven that he can win across states with different demographics. The attacks on his record from the GOP elites have been brushed off by his supporters and he seems to always fire back harder. Trump has truly become a phenomenon that has swept the nation and it seems likely he will be the Republican Party’s candidate come November. The only other candidate we expect to win on Super Tuesday is Cruz and that will come from his home state of Texas. Cruz needs to do well in order for him to continue to threaten Trump and it seems that will be a tall order. With other “mainstream” candidates dropping out, Rubio is edging closer to being the singular establishment candidate. He has seemed unprepared in recent weeks and with Trump increasing his support, it may be too late for the Senator. Rubio certainly could rally, however he will need to have no more slips for the rest of the primary season. After Super Tuesday, we expect it to be a two or three man race with Kasich and Carson dropping out.
It looks as if Bernie Sanders will continue to stay close to Hillary Clinton in the polls as we lead up to Super Tuesday, but that may not be enough. Clinton still leads, and we expect strong results across the board. The “SEC Primary” will be where Clinton breaks away from Sanders. She won the African American vote 4-1 in Nevada and it seems that is what will carry her to a strong performance in the Southern States. We expect states such as Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Virginia will be decisive wins for Clinton. Her close ties to Arkansas Democrats will guide her to victory in that state as well. Texas has the most delegates, and Clinton will be looking to win in the Lone Star state. We expect Clinton to take a majority of the larger states and ride this big day into the Florida and Ohio contests. Even though Clinton is favored to win most of the states, there are still states where Bernie can do well. He has his home state of Vermont that will offer strong numbers for him. The race is also tight in Colorado, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. Sanders can come away with some hope on Super Tuesday, however he needs wins, not close losses on the 1st, and they don’t seem to be in the forecast. Oklahoma and Tennessee appear to be the states that will win or lose the day for Sanders. We expect a big win for Clinton, which will help her widen her lead in the delegate count moving forward.
Brianna Russo and Aubrey Kirsch
According to recent polls, Trump is leading in every state but Virginia, going to Rubio, and Texas, going to Cruz. With his polls riding at a steady 40%, other candidates need to catch up; “[I[f they don’t, the story on Tuesday night is going to be: Donald Trump wins big. Maybe even sweeps.” Cruz should take his home state of Texas, just as Bernie Sanders will take Vermont. He also has more money than Rubio, entering Super Tuesday with a significant lead. This allows Cruz to create more ads for his campaign and possibly be the runner up in Trump-dominated states. Rubio is depending on his Super PAC to dole out money for ads, taking over Virginia media with Hillary Clinton. Rubio also now has the support of previous Bush supporters. Republican leaders and those on the fence are now looking to Rubio to win. Assistance from Jeb(!) voters could help Rubio win Virginia and come in close to Cruz in other states. Not surprisingly, Trump is giving a repeat performance, after not spending a single penny on ads in Super Tuesday states he finally spent $1.6 million on air time, with the lion’s share going to Cruz’s home state of Texas. His supporters love the fact that he depends on free air time, as is evident in online comment sections.
Going into Super Tuesday, Clinton has the upper hand over Senator Sanders. Many have said that Super Tuesday is critical for Sanders, as the results could either make or break his candidacy. Critics say that if Clinton does well on in the Super Tuesday states, this could mean the end of Sanders’s campaign, causing him to lose momentum and fizzle out. Nonetheless, Sanders is campaigning in Super Tuesday states like Massachusetts, vowing that he is in the race for the long haul. We that Sanders will win his home state of Vermont, with polls showing him with a 99% chance of winning. The same can be said about Hillary Clinton and her grip on Arkansas, a state which holds her and her husband, the former Governor of Arkansas, close to their hearts. Overall, essentially every poll has Clinton winning in every Super Tuesday state, except for Vermont, which is to be expected.
Nicholas Pozzi and JaiCe Stinton
Trump won the last three races, creating solid momentum for the upcoming primaries and caucuses. Being an “outside” candidate has put Donald Trump at an advantage because he is seen as the one who can “shake up” Washington. Super Tuesday will only further Donald Trump’s success due to his overwhelming wins in prior states as well as the majority of voters in Southern states waiting to vote for him. These factors, along with the prevalence of evangelicals and Trump’s support among them will help him win in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Massacusetts, and Vermont.
Ted Cruz, seen as a very conservative candidate, plans on using his ground game to mobilize voters. Cruz won Iowa, but has fallen in the last three races. We believe Cruz will maybe win one state outside of Texas, possibly Arkansas, otherwise he will be splitting states, especially Southern states, with Rubio. If Cruz does not do well on Super Tuesday, specifically Texas, where he should win, many endorsements will likely default to Rubio and end the viability of Cruz’s candidacy.
Rubio has been surging in certain states because he seems to be the likely “establishment” candidate for supporters whose candidates have dropped out. Strong finishes, especially in Arkansas, Colorado, and Minnesota – the latter of which Rubio might win – could bring endorsements, making him the main alternative to Trump. Kasich and Carson continue to trail in polls, barely reaching the teens, leading late deciders potentially to choose a likely winner, such as Rubio. This will likely lead to Carson dropping out and Kasich likely to follow after March 5th.
Clinton’s overwhelming support among black voters has helped create decisive leads over Sanders in Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Virginia. Clinton will win these states given the large portion of the electorate that black voters make up in these states and the level of support that black voters have shown for Clinton thus far in 2016. Sanders will blow out Clinton in his home state of Vermont, due to his support in the state.
The remaining races in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, and Oklahoma will be tight, based on current polls. In the end, Sanders will win Massachusetts because of his appeal to liberal voters and the similar demographics between Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire, where Sanders had won previously. In Colorado, Oklahoma, and Minnesota, Sanders can benefit from the electoral makeup of the states: 75% white, sizable Hispanic populations, and small black populations of 4% and 8% in Colorado and Oklahoma respectively, while Minnesota has a 85.7% white, 6% black, and 5% Hispanic population. Sanders has done well in states with large white populations and may have won the Hispanic vote in Nevada. These factors will help Sanders win Colorado and possibly win Oklahoma, where Clinton leads him by 2%. However, Clinton could just as likely win in Oklahoma. We believe that Clinton’s lead in Minnesota is too big for Sanders to overcome. Sanders will be in a must-win situation after Super Tuesday in order to prevent Clinton from pulling too far ahead.
Eric Brower and McKenzie Franck
After a campaign rebound following South Carolina, a good night in Nevada, another wave of endorsements, and an electrifying debate performance, expect to see a strong showing from Marco Rubio with some close battles between him and Donald Trump. With rivals Jeb Bush and Chris Christie no longer around to divide the Republican vote, especially among moderate Republicans, Rubio will get within striking distance of Trump in some states, maybe even notching a victory or two. Trump, however, will win the most states on March 1. In the SEC states, expect to see Trump perform well and take the winner’s share of the vote, capitalizing on his outspoken personality, racial and religious attitudes that bode well among some Southerners, and his frontrunner position. Texas will almost undoubtedly go to Ted Cruz, the favorite son. Rubio may post his first victories in Virginia and/or Minnesota by capitalizing on moderate voters and his recent endorsements, especially one from former Governor Tim Pawlenty.
The real thing to watch will be the races for second between Cruz and Rubio, with a possible occasional showing from John Kasich. Cruz will trade second-place finishes with Rubio in the SEC states after Trump steals key evangelicals and conservatives from Cruz’s camp and Rubio sweeps up many of the moderate Republicans in each SEC state. Rubio and Kasich will run close in Vermont and Massachusetts after Kasich proved he may sit well with New Englanders and Cruz proved possibly the opposite in the New Hampshire primary. Rubio will have strong second place showings in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Colorado, while Cruz will likely take second in Oklahoma, Alaska, Georgia, and Arkansas, based on current polls.
While Clinton and Sanders have traded victories thus far, Super Tuesday is Clinton’s day to shine. Clinton has the upper hand in southern states, largely because of their higher populations of African Americans and Hispanics. In recent polls, Clinton is most likely to win Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Clinton is going to fare better in these states because of her lead in endorsements, her big win in Nevada, and from her last minute fundraising to keep up with her opponent. Sanders, on the other hand, is most likely to win Vermont, Colorado, and Massachusetts, largely due to these states’ predominantly white electorates. Also, due to Sanders’s home state being Vermont, he should handily win Vermont and its neighboring state Massachusetts. The states that are most likely going to be a fight between the two candidates are Georgia and Minnesota. While Clinton does have higher poll numbers in Georgia, Sanders was recently endorsed by Killer Mike and has had rallies within Atlanta featuring the rapper and huge crowds. Minnesota might also be a close call because there is a considerable number of white voters in Minnesota, which will help Sanders. However, Clinton has the backing of some of the state’s main Democratic leaders.
Students largely predict a big day for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, with a few notable exceptions. Demographics seem to favor Clinton in a number of states, while Trump continues to benefit from a split Republican field and momentum coming out of South Carolina and Nevada. While only some groups predict the suspension of John Kasich’s and/or Ben Carson’s campaigns, nearly all groups predict that they will be non-factors in most states tomorrow.