Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Burlington, Iowa. (Photo credit: Dave Davidson - Prezography.com)
Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Burlington, Iowa.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)

March 15th or Super Tuesday 3 (I originally called it Super Tuesday 2, but apparently March 8th was “super” as well) was a good night for Donald Trump. He won every state that he led the polls in. He wracked up lots of delegates and took one step closer to the GOP nomination for President.  It was an incredibly bad night for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) after losing his home state of Florida, badly, suspended his campaign. Ohio Governor John Kasich came in second tonight in terms of delegates, but still finds himself trailing far behind the other candidates.

Here are the results:

Florida Primary – 99% reporting (99 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 45.8% (1,075,505) – 99 delegates
  2. Marco Rubio – 27.0% (635,219)
  3. Ted Cruz – 17.1% (402,632)
  4. John Kasich – 6.8% (159,039)

Ohio Primary – 99% reporting (66 Delegates)

  1. John Kasich – 46.8% (953,646) – 66 delegates
  2. Donald Trump – 35.7% (726,611)
  3. Ted Cruz – 13.1% (266,905)
  4. Marco Rubio – 2.9% (59,215)

North Carolina – 100% reporting (72 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 40.2% (458,117) – 29 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 36.8% (418,628) – 26 delegates
  3. John Kasich – 12.7% (144,289) – 9 delegates
  4. Marco Rubio – 7.7% (87,852) – 5 delegates

Three delegates still have not been allocated yet.

Illinois Primary – 99% reporting (69 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 38.8% (548,528) – 24 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 30.3% (428,363)
  3. John Kasich – 19.7% (278,224)
  4. Marco Rubio – 8.7% (122,206)

45 delegates still need to be allocated, based on Congressional District vote and direct delegate elections.

Missouri Primary – 99% reporting (52 delegates)

This race still has not been called because it is so close. Currently Trump is in the lead, if that holds this is what we’ll look like in terms of delegates with Trump winning the statewide vote and five of the eight congressional districts.

  1. Donald Trump – 40.8% (382,093) – 37 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 40.6% (380,367) – 15 delegates
  3. John Kasich – 10.1% (94,533)
  4. Marco Rubio – 6.1% (57,006)

Northern Marianas Caucus (9 Delegates)

  1. Donald Trump – 72.8% (343) – 9 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 24.0% (113)
  3. John Kasich – 2.1% (10)
  4. Marco Rubio – 1.1% (5)

Current Delegate Count (excluding Missouri and delegates not allocated)

  1. Donald Trump – 621 (50.2% of delegates needed to secure nomination)
  2. Ted Cruz – 396 (32%)
  3. Marco Rubio – 168 (13.6%)
  4. John Kasich – 138 (11.2%)

Some observations:

Why waste a vote?

73,248 people in Florida voted for a candidate who was no longer running. 35,027 in Illinois did the same, as well, as 29,677 in North Carolina. In those three states it doesn’t matter as much because of the margin of victory. In Missouri, however, where there is only 1,726 votes separating Trump and Cruz 18,529 people voted for someone other than Trump, Cruz, Kasich or Rubio. That could have made a huge difference.

What. A. Waste.

Trump is vulnerable in an open primary.

Trump is not unbeatable in an open primary. We are still waiting for the race in Missouri to be called, but it’s pretty much a split decision. Both Trump and Cruz will take delegates away from the Show Me State.

Cruz and Trump tied among independent voters. Trump has dominated among independents in other states. When the field is winnowed open primaries are more competitive.

Trump loses among those who value a candidate who shares their values.

Cruz won among those who said that their top quality in a candidate is that they “share my values” in Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina. Kasich won in Ohio with Cruz in 2nd place, and Rubio won in Florida with Cruz in 2nd place.

Unfortunately that is not necessarily the top priority for self-identified evangelicals. Cruz won among those who identified themselves as evangelicals or “born again” Christians by 16% in Missouri. He only won by 2% in North Carolina and Illinois with Trump in 2nd place. Kasich won that group in Ohio by 6% over Trump, and Trump won that group by 22% in Florida.

Still waiting to hear an evangelical tell me how voting for Trump reflects their worldview.

Voters don’t think Trump is trustworthy.

Voters overwhelmingly thought Trump was not honest and trustworthy – 55% in Ohio, 49% in North Carolina, 48% in Missouri, and 50% in Illinois. Florida was the only state where more voters thought Trump was honest and trustworthy than not – 49% to 43%.

Consistently he leads among those who want a candidate who “tells it like it is.” Do people see the disconnect here?

Also Trump likes to bash Cruz for “playing dirty,” but more voters thought he ran an unfair campaign than any other candidate. Voters in Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois and Florida thought Trump ran the most unfair campaign (Missouri voters were not asked this question).

Voters open to a 3rd Party if Trump and Hillary Clinton are the nominees.

Lots of Republican Primary voters would consider voting third party if Trump and Clinton are nominated – 44% in Ohio, 39% in North Carolina, 43% in Missouri, 43% in Illinois, and 29% in Florida.

Rubio getting out before Florida could have helped Cruz.

The final polling averages in Florida had Rubio losing to Trump by 18.3% and he lost by 18.8%. Rubio did outperform his polling by just under 3%. Trump by almost the same margin. No Cruz did not play spoiler to Rubio in Florida. Even if you gave Rubio all of Cruz’s votes he still loses. The fact is the guy could not win his home state – something both Cruz and Kasich were able to do in convincing fashion.

It’s disappointing that Rubio didn’t get out earlier because not only would it have helped Cruz in North Carolina and Missouri, but losing his home state will not help his future career. The most surprising thing about the Florida Primary results is that Rubio won only one county – Miami-Dade. I thought he would do better than that in South Florida.

Late voters broke away from Trump

In the week leading up to Super Tuesday 3 voters broke toward Kasich over Trump in Ohio – 57% to 27%, toward Cruz over Trump in North Carolina – 43% to 30%, toward Cruz over Trump in Missouri – 51% to 24%, and toward Cruz over Trump in Illinois – 35% to 30%. The lone exception is Florida with late voters going for Trump over Rubio in Florida 38% to 31%. This may not bode well for Trump as we get into later contests as voters have more time to make up their mind.

Winning the nomination is not possible for John Kasich.

While John Kasich won his home state it is not mathematically possible for him to win the nomination. The only advantage is that Trump has 66 fewer delegates. With the 1,134 delegates still available (as of this writing) Kasich would need to win 96.9% of them to reach the threshold he needs. I don’t see why he stays in at this point.

He hasn’t been able to beat Cruz in states like Illinois or Michigan where he should be able to so all he’ll do at this point is play spoiler and receive very few delegates. It’s iffy that he will even be on the ballot in Pennsylvania so I’m not exactly sure what his strategy beyond hoping for a contested convention where he can make a play for the VP slot. He won’t have enough delegates to be nominated at the top of the ticket.

It is mathematically possible for Cruz and Trump. Right now Trump needs to win 54.3% of the remaining delegates.  Cruz has a tougher road he will have to win 74% of the remaining delegates.

Cruz is the only one who can takedown Trump.

An ideal night for Cruz would have been to win Missouri (which, depending on the remaining vote is still possible as of this writing). He will pick up delegates in Illinois and has been allocated delegates in North Carolina I didn’t expect him to win either state. He did outperform his polling average in North Carolina by 7.8%. He also outperformed polling in Missouri by over 11%.

Cruz is the only candidate left in the race who has shot at beating Donald Trump in the primaries. Going forward there is a clear choice – Trump or Cruz. A vote for Kasich is a vote for Trump.

2 comments
  1. I love the way you say Cruz is the only one who can “take down” Trump. Like Trump is some evil villain who needs to be destroyed. What needs to be destroyed is the God hating Democrat Party, and, the big government loving Republicans who are destroying this country!

  2. I am skeptical of Trumps sudden new found love for conservatism. Although many of his current talking points are right on target with the conservative base of the Republican Party, many of us are Leary of this Johnny come lately. Countless videos have circulated social media showing Trump tout top liberal politicians and praising their policies. He is shown supporting tax payer funded universal health care, calling for a 5.7 Trillion dollar tax on the American people and is recorded saying, “In many cases I probably identify as a democrat.”
    It is probably safe to say that Trump doesn’t represent the political convictions of the conservative base of the Republican Party. That said, if he is elected by the people through the current nominating process in place I believe it would be an injustice to democracy for the RNC to choose someone else as the Republican Nominee in a brokered convention.

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