Well, for the biggest of primary nights TAC is going to be running a live blog. Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia go to the polls for both parties and Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming caucuses for the Republicans, while the Democrats will caucus in American Samoa. It looks like a good night for the two front runners Trump and Clinton, with Trump being ahead in all states according to the polls except for Texas, and the South Carolina primary indicating that Bernie Sanders has zip drawing power among blacks who dominate the Democrat party in the South.
Things to watch for:
- Cruz will likely win Texas. If he gets 50% he will outperform the polls and get all the Texas delegates. If he wins one other state he becomes the chief challenger to Trump.
- Rubio needs to win somewhere or the money spigot from his donors turns off. Most likely opportunity? Probably in Minnesota. If he wins two states and Cruz does not, he cements his status as the main challenger to Trump.
- If Sanders suffers the type of 50 point blow out that he suffered in South Carolina throughout the South, his leftist children’s crusade is probably about over.
Going forward after Super Tuesday
The odd thing about this contest is that both frontrunners have campaigns that could implode overnight. Donald Trump demonstrated this by his initial unwillingness to disclaim the support of David Duke. Trump performs poorly whenever he is asked a question that surprises him. He has a small information base on public policy and politics in his skull, and when faced with the unexpected he falls back on lies, insults and bluster. I assume Trump has no political advisors, but rather sycophants, and thus there is no one in his team who is able to tell him when he is being an idiot, and to stop. Thus far this hasn’t hurt him, but popular candidates who are also idiots can have the public go south on them in a hurry.
Clinton faces possible indictment over the e-mails. Now normally the idea that the Obama “Justice” Department would indict a leading Democrat would be laughable, but there is no love lost between Obama and the Clintons. On the other hand Obama has no reason to do any favors for Sanders. I could see an indictment being issued just before the Democrat convention, with Obama behind the scenes anointing his chosen successor.
Cruz will stay in come what may. The Republican Establishment hates him, thus he has no reason to drop out in favor of Rubio. He is a young man, and if Trump goes down in flames in the fall, he is in a great position for 2020, and, as noted above, Cruz could step in if Trump implodes. Rubio is a different matter. If his establishment backers decide after tonight further resistance to Trump is futile, it is hard to see how Rubio goes on. If he loses his home state of Florida by a wide margin on March 15, I would not be surprised to see Rubio drop out, especially if he performs poorly today.
See you tonight!
Update: 5:13 PM CST-Back home early from the law mines. Fox is indicating that in their exit polls late deciders are breaking for Rubio. Take that for what you will; I have little faith in exit polls.
Update: 6:00 PM CST-Fox calls Georgia for Trump and Clinton. Vermont is called for Bernie Sanders. Virginia seems to be coming down to a battle between Trump and Rubio, while Vermont involves a fight between Trump and Kasich.
Update: 7:00 PM CST-Fox calls Tennessee and Alabama for Trump and Clinton. Trump also wins Massachusetts where some 20,000 Democrats reregistered as Republicans to vote in the primary.
Update: 7:25 PM CST-Interesting dogfight between Trump and Rubio in Virginia where Rubio seems to be drawing a good deal of his strength from Northern Virginia.
Update: 7:30 PM CST-Fox calls Arkansas for Clinton. As expected, Sanders is losing badly everywhere in the South and that probably spells the end of his campaign.
Update: 7:33 PM CST-Fox calls Virginia for Trump with Rubio a close second. This strikes me as a premature call considering the history of Virginia of nailbiter races as the vote totals come in slowly, especially, and suspiciously, from NOVA throughout the evening with races often being determined late in the evening.
Update: 7:57 PM CST-Hillary giving her victory speech and is pivoting to the general election. She is for more Love and Kindness in America! “Gag!” She is going to be running as sweet reasonableness as opposed to the “hater” Trump. “We are all in this together.” If this is a Clinton v. Trump contest, irony and mendacity will reach new heights. Now she is talking about how she is going to hold the people who hurt the people accountable. The Middle Class needs a raise! She is for good jobs. That is why we need to “invest” in manufacturing, clean energy. Mercifully Fox News is cutting away from this glop.
Update: 8:00 PM CST: Fox calls the Lone Star State for Ted Cruz with an estimated eleven point lead over second place Donald Trump.
Update: 8:05 PM CST-Rubio speaking. Calls Trump a con artist. He obviously believes his attacks are working. Party of Lincoln and Reagan will never be led by a con artist. Celebrates America as the land of opportunity for immigrants, especially in his home state of Florida, where he is speaking. The American Dream is not dead but it is in trouble after eight years of Obama. Rubio will rescue the American dream. Invites people to join him in his effort to rescue not only America but also the conservative movement. We are the children of the Reagan Revolution. We stand for freedom in Cuba, in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Criticizes Donald Trump for being weak on Israel. Rubio will cancel Obama’s deal with Iran. He will cancel every executive order of Obama on his first day in office. Rubio believes in free enterprise. Compares himself, the son of a bartender, to Trump who inherited 200 million. Repeal and replace Obamacare. Fox cuts away.
Update: 8:12 PM CST-Time for the grand deal: Cruz President and Rubio Veep. If I were Cruz I would be calling Rubio late tonight and appealing to his patriotism to stop Trump. He might say no initially but the discussion needs to start. Rubio clearly detests Trump and the sentiment is returned with interest. I think Rubio truly believes that Trump must be stopped and if he becomes convinced that only Cruz can do it he might be willing to swallow his pride and take the number two spot.
Update: 8:15 PM CST-Fox calls Oklahoma for Cruz and Sanders. A big night for Cruz.
Update: 8:37 PM CST-Trump holding a news conference. Congratulates Cruz for winning Texas. Launches an attack on Clinton. Marco Rubio had a tough night. Rubio is a light weight. Rubio a tool of the establishment and the lobbyists. Virginia win a great win. A great night for his campaign. American being killed on trade by China. Trade deficits are too much. Emphasizes business leaders on his team. Businesses moving south into Mexico. Has to be stopped. Going to lower taxes. Middle Class has been forgotten. Have to lower taxes on businesses. We have lost our manufacturing jobs. We can’t let this continue. Attacks the incompetent way in which the country has been led. Going to beef up the military so no one messes with us. Taking questions from press. Notes the enthusiasm gap between the Republicans and the Democrats. (Trump has been very soft on his remarks in regard to Cruz tonight. Could he be considering offering Cruz the Veep spot?) Good grief, Trump is now saying that Planned Parenthood has done a lot of good, although their funding should be cut so long as they do abortions. Blasts Rubio and once again congratulates “Ted” on winning Texas. Now talking about how he disavows the support of David Duke. Loves Hispanics. Mexican leaders are too smart for our leaders. Chastises former Mexican President Vincente Fox for using the f bomb when saying that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall. Once again says that Mexico will pay for the wall without explaining how this will be accomplished. It will be a high and beautiful wall. The wall will stop drugs from coming into beautiful Vermont. Radical Islamic Jihadism is a big, big problem. He is not going to allow Muslim immigrants to come in. Going to have a safe area in Syria and he will have the Gulf States pay for it. Predicts he will do great with the Hispanics and will get 25% of the black vote. He will do great with all groups because he is bringing back jobs. Said he liked “Marco” before he decided to become Don Rickles and resorted to insults. Will get along with Congress and if he doesn’t Paul Ryan will have to pay a big price. Our infrastructure stinks compared to other nations. We have to rebuild our country. Attacks Clinton for complaining about Middle Class people making less money. Where has she been the last eight years. Not sure she will be his opponent because of the e-mail crimes. Trump is a unifier. (Here endeth the Trump stream of consciousness.)
Update: 9:10 PM CST-Ted Cruz speech: Thank you Texas! God bless the Lone Star State! God bless the great state of Oklahoma! So long as the field remains divided, Donald Trump’s path to the nomination remains open. His nomination would be a disaster for the nation and the Republican Party. Only the Cruz campaign can beat Donald Trump. Asks other candidates to prayerfully consider uniting. Only way to beat Trump. Must come together. America should not have a President whose words would cause you to be embarrassed if your children repeated them. Rips into Trump. Trump has pledged to expand Obamacare into socialized medicine. Cruz will repeal every word of Obamacare. Cruz will end corporate welfare. Adopt a flat tax and abolish the IRS. Trump funded the gang of Eight. Trump supports Planned Parenthood. Cruz would order the Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood. Donald Trump has said that he is neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. Cruz will stand proudly with Israel. Trump has been part of the Washington corruption for forty decades. Talks about a tape where Trump told the New York Time editorial board that he is flexible on immigration. Tells Trump to allow the release of the tape. Cruz has kept his promise to fight Obamacare. Salutes his Texas supporters. Repeal Obamacare. Abolish IRS. Stop Amnesty. Will rebuild the economy. Says that Reagan’s faith in the American people was not misplaced. Let the light of America not go out. Return to the free market principles and constitutional principles that made America great.
Update: 9:30 PM CST-Fox calls Arkansas for Trump.
And with that our live blog of Super Tuesday comes to an end. Clinton is now the de facto Democrat nominee. Trump is close to being the de facto Republican nominee. Cruz had a good night and Rubio had a bad one, but the simple truth is that unless they put together a unity ticket, Trump will be the Republican nominee.
Update: 2:35 AM CST-Rubio wins Minnesota caucuses, with Cruz second and Trump third.
Update: 5:57 AM CST-Alaska caucuses go to Cruz with Trump second and Rubio a distant third.