Looking at the March 8th “Semi-Super Tuesday” results Donald Trump rebounded from Super Saturday winning Mississippi and Michigan (and picked up Hawaii after this article was first published). Ted Cruz won the Idaho Primary handedly.
I want to go over the results and then make five observations.
Michigan was the highlighted race with the most delegates up for grabs with 59 delegates up for grabs. With 99.7% of precincts reporting:
- Donald Trump – 36.5% (481,657) 25 delegates
- Ted Cruz – 24.9% (328,718) 17 delegates
- John Kasich – 24.3% (320,457) 17 delegates
- Marco Rubio – 9.3% (125,085) 0 delegates
Mississippi had 40 delegates up for grabs, with 99.9% of precincts reporting:
- Donald Trump – 47.3% (191,146) 24 delegates
- Ted Cruz – 36.3% (146,490) 13 delegates
- John Kasich – 8.8% (35,711) 0 delegates
- Marco Rubio – 5.1% (20,687) 0 delegates
Idaho has 32 delegates up for grabs. With 99.9% of precincts reporting:
- Ted Cruz – 45.4% (100,742) 20 delegates
- Donald Trump – 28.1% (62,278) 12 delegates
- Marco Rubio – 15.9% (35,347) 0 delegates
- John Kasich – 7.4% (16,517) 0 delegates
Hawaii offers 19 delegates with 100% of the precincts reporting:
- Donald Trump – 42.4% (5,677) 10 delegates
- Ted Cruz – 32.7% (4,379) 6 delegates
- Marco Rubio – 13.1% (1,759) – 0 delegates
- John Kasich – 10.6% (1,413) – 0 delegates
Current GOP delegate count:
- Donald Trump – 458 (picked up 71 last night)
- Ted Cruz – 359 (picked up 56 last night)
- Marco Rubio – 154 (picked up no delegates)
- John Kasich – 54 (picked up 17 last night)
Some thoughts on tonight.
1. Marco Rubio is collapsing.
Yes, he did have a great and deserved win in the Puerto Rico Primary. He was the only one who really campaigned there. He spent the most money in the March 8th states and came away with no delegates. He was beat by John Kasich in Mississippi! I expected Kasich to beat him in Michigan, but in Michigan he finished last in every county. The big story of the night is that he did not pick up a single delegate. This has got to make his donors nervous.
How does this translate into momentum for the Florida Primary? It doesn’t, and it is Florida or bust for Rubio.
2. The Rust Belt is not going to be dependable for John Kasich.
He won two counties in Michigan after spending the most time in Michigan compared to any other candidate. Cruz edged him out for 2nd place, but at the moment they are tied in delegates. This should be concerning to Kasich as he heads into Ohio on March 15th. Granted he has a home field advantage, but Ohio is Trump’s to lose at the moment.
3. Hail the mighty Dutchmen of Western Michigan
Western Michigan is much like Iowa so it was Cruz country. There are a lot of evangelicals and Reformed voters (there are a lot of Dutch folks). Lots of social conservatives and Cruz won Kent County, home of Grand Rapids which is the 2nd largest city in Michigan, which helped. In the counties he didn’t win he also placed 2nd in a lot of those.
4. Trump lead evangelicals in Mississippi.
Exit polling shows that 85% of those voting in the Republican primary identified themselves as evangelical or born again. Trump edged out Cruz. What I think we are seeing in the Deep South is that being “born again” is more a cultural norm. You have to wonder how many subscribe to a biblical worldview. If nothing else there are more who are voting for a candidate who “tells it like it is” and that favors Trump. Cruz leads among voters who are first looking a candidate who “shares my values.”
5. Trump continues to struggle in closed contests.
The Idaho Primary was closed, and Trump lost. When he can’t depend on independent and Democrat voters crossing over (at least without changing their registration) he does not do as well.