Photo credit: Joseph Sohm / Steve Lagreca /Shutterstock.com
We have been talking about tomorrow’s GOP voting since Super Tuesday and for two of the four candidates, this day had been weighing heavily on their minds even before. But what exactly is going on tomorrow and what kind of an effect will March 15th have on the race for the republican presidential nominee?
Tuesday is important because six states and territories are casting their vote: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, North Mariana Islands and Ohio. More importantly, this is the day where 358 delegates at stake, 358 delegates that can dramatically affect the race overall. Moreover, for two candidates, this will be the day when their home states are voting, both of which are winner-take-all states, meaning that the winner takes home all of the candidates.
We will start our state-by-state analysis with these two states. The first of these is Florida where Sen. Marco Rubio has been hoping to make his mark on the race. Ever since it became clear that he was in the distant third place in the minds of Republican voters (after Donald Trump and Ted Cruz), he has been putting it all on the Florida victory which has been all but guaranteed in his mind. Thanks to the fact it is a winner-takes-all state and it provides 99 delegates, it would be an important win.
The only problem with this is that Rubio does not have a lead in the polls. Since January, Trump has led in Florida in every single poll, with Rubio not even being close. Some polls are saying he is getting closer while others even put him in third, after Cruz. One thing is for sure, Rubio’s victory in Florida is not guaranteed and if he does not win, it is game over for him.
The second winner-takes-all state with an extra interesting flavor is Ohio with 66 delegates. This is Senator John Kasich’s state and much like Rubio, he has been counting on Ohio to boost his delegate total and bring some mayhem to the race. The polls are, once again, inconclusive. Some of them are saying that Kasich should win ahead of Trump while others are putting them neck to neck. There are also those which are indicating that Trump might steal this one too. Other candidates are not even in the play.
North Carolina is the next most interesting state and it is all because of the number of delegates. Namely, North Carolina comes with 72 delegates and winning the majority there can have a serious impact on the race. This is something Donald Trump is very happy about because he’s been polling like crazy in The Tar Heel State. Most polls give him near to 50 percent, with Cruz in second with not more than 30 and with Rubio and Kasich playing background roles.
Of course, Illinois is also very important, with its 69 delegates and a traditionally strong GOP establishment electorate. Illinois is also very interesting as of lately, with the cancelled Trump rally in Chicago and a whole slew of anti-Trump messages. Kasich is the one supposed to benefit from this, with a number of high-ranked GOP establishment figures endorsing him. While Trump should still come out on top according to the polls, Kasich might take quite a few delegates as well.
Photo credit: danielfela / Steve Lagreca /Shutterstock.com
Ted Cruz supporters are not expecting much today, but one state where their favorite might actually win or at least take more than a few delegates is in Missouri which decides on the fate of 52 delegates. That being said, this is mostly conjecture considering there hasn’t been much polling in The Show-Me State. The reason why Cruz is expected to fare well there is the high number of evangelical votes.
As far as Trump is concerned, he is counting on the fact that Missouri has open primaries, meaning that Democrats and Independents can vote in the GOP primary as well there. Up until now, such states were quite good towards Trump. Finally, we got the Northern Mariana Islands that give the winner 9 delegates in another winner-takes-all election. Trump got the endorsement from Governor Ralph Torres and it is all but done deal in Northern Marianas.
All in all, Trump is expected to increase his lead in respect to Ted Cruz who is not hoping for too many delegates today. If Trump manages to steal Florida or Ohio, and especially if he wins both, this race is going to become even more one-sided. If he loses both these states, it might complicate things a bit since he might not have enough votes come GOP Convention-time to secure the candidacy.
We are hoping that Republican voters in Florida and Ohio are smarter than this and that they understand how important it is to vote Trump today. Also, if they don’t win their home states, Rubio and Kasich are all but certain to drop out of the race which might still have unforeseen effects on it. It is going to be an exciting day and an exciting week!