No major surprises emerged from Super Tuesday vote tallies. It’s clear, however, that regional identity is no longer all that much of a factor in presidential politics, and southern voters, left and right, don’t much care where you come from, as long as you reflect a semblance of their values. That may have some implications when it comes time to pick running mates.
As The Atlantic’s David A. Graham explains, Clinton “scored wins across the South, including in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas. She is projected to take roughly double Sanders’s delegate total.” Trump’s NY persona romped in AL, VA, GA, TN, and AR, and of course they both owned SC going in to Super Tuesday.
But it wasn’t just about the south. Clinton won MA and Trump took VT and MA. Rubio managed a win in MN, but has no bragging rights elsewhere. Sanders, however, won in VT, OK, CO and MN, enough to keep rolling.
Of Marco Rubio’s dismal performance, Jonathan Chait says “He is closer to becoming a joke than the front-runner.” Cruz, however, got a little encouragement from winning his home state and Oklahoma.
In MA, Clinton won a close contest. As The Times wrap-up explained,
Massachusetts was perceived as a must-win for Mr. Sanders: If he could not win a progressive Northeast state that had half a million college students and bordered his home state of Vermont, his viability elsewhere would be seriously questioned. And so he poured in resources here, visited twice in the last week and matched the Clinton ground game.
But Mrs. Clinton had a lot going for her in Massachusetts, which has 116 delegates. She won the state in 2008 against Barack Obama by 16 percentage points. She had widespread institutional backing from Democratic officials, including the mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh. She raised more than $4 million from residents, almost three times as much as Mr. Sanders. And she significantly increased her television spending in the last week, though he still outspent her by more than two to one.
Mr. Sanders did win over voters under 30 by nearly two to one, according to exit polls by Edison Research. But Mrs. Clinton did better among older voters, and led by double digits among those 30 to 44. Among voters with family incomes below $100,000, Mr. Sanders topped Mrs. Clinton by about 10 percentage points; among those with family incomes above that threshold, Mrs. Clinton won by about 20 points.
Meanwhile, Ed Kilgore highlights an interesting development at in his New York magazine post, “When Everybody Was Distracted, Marco Rubio May Have Just Blown Up the Republican Party.”
In TX, notes the Times, “About three in 10 voters were Hispanic, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and about two-thirds of them supported Mrs. Clinton. Hispanics accounted for about one in three registered Democrats in Texas in 2012, and they participated in the 2014 midterm elections at a higher rate than blacks, according to exit polls….Eight in 10 black voters supported her, according to the exit polls taken Tuesday.”
Looking forward, Ed Kilgore notes, “Sanders has some promising turf not far ahead, from caucuses in heavily white states like Kansas, Nebraska, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, to Rust Belt states where he hopes to make hay over Clinton and Obama administration trade policies. But the reality is that his coalition of white liberals and young voters just isn’t looking like a real threat to Clinton’s nomination anymore.”
NYT’s Gregor Aisch and Josh Katz observe that “If Donald J. Trump keeps winning by the same margins and everyone stays in the race, he could lock up the nomination in May.”
As for the best headlines summing up the morning after, I would give it to the Washington Post for “A nightmarish Super Tuesday for GOP establishment” and “Republicans learn to grieve as Trump nears completion of hostile takeover.” Ouch.