March 1, 2016
Of all the states to best illustrate how much trouble Marco Rubio is having closing the deal on Super Tuesday, Georgia is probably the best representation. The Atlanta suburbs were an ideal spot for him to close the gap with Trump and build some distance from Cruz.
He held a large rally north of Atlanta over the weekend in the heart of Rubio Country. Seven thousand people showed up, a big number for anyone other than Trump or Bernie. His new anti-Trump stand-up routine was on point, if suffering from sound issues.
All well and good, and quality C-SPAN viewing, but apparently not enough to move the polling needle. Rubio is worrying more about Cruz today than hoping to catch Trump.
On to the fun:Democrats
Hillary Clinton 70.1%
Georgia borders South Carolina where Hillary destroyed Bernie, and Alabama where she will. The Atlanta suburbs are relatively affluent. That’s good for her too. Yeah, there are a few liberals and some college towns, but she’s beyond safe.
Bernie Sanders 29.7%
The good news for Bernie is these states can only vote once. After today, he only needs to worry about Mississippi and Louisiana in another few days and North Carolina (not as bad) and Florida (different story, but a problem) on March 15.
He’s got a single digit chance of winning the nomination, will end the day hopelessly buried in the earned delegate column, but the worst is over.
Donald Trump 38.1%
He can win in the South. He can win in the North. He likes the less educated voters. He can hold his own with more educated voters. Conservatives support him. So do moderates. Trump leads among Republicans, he gets support from some Democrats and Independents.
Georgia is an open primary in a southern state with northern transplants. There’s a jumbo metro area and small towns. A big cross-section of this section of the country. Fortunately for Trump, his act plays almost everywhere. Another big win.
Marco Rubio 24.4%
It’s not what he wanted or hoped for, but Rubio probably did enough to hang on for a decent second place finish.
Ted Cruz 20.3%
These projections have both Rubio and Cruz pushing past the delegate barriers in more states than not. If I’m off even slightly, and Cruz falls short here and elsewhere, or Rubio doesn’t fall short in Texas, the day winds up very differently.
My guess is we wind up with an effective draw between the two, where Rubio finishes ahead of Cruz more often than the reverse, but Ted gains a few to several more delegates. That pushes the anti-Trump contest forward to March 5 and March 8 to determine who competes against The Donald on March 15.
John Kasich 8.8%
Some will say his presence is getting in the way of Rubio. That’s true somewhere like Illinois, but not here. Some of these voters are Democrats who think Hillary has moved too far left and don’t want to vote for a socialist.
Others want somebody with executive experience and might otherwise opt for Trump, but prefer Mr. Hugs. As with Carson, we’ll only see where his core support goes when it becomes available for distribution.
Ben Carson 8.0%