By Sahil Nandwani
11 caucuses and primaries for the Republicans, 12 for the Democrats, and all on one day. “Super Tuesday,” which took place on March 1st, is one of the single most important dates in the election calendar, dwarfed only by the National Conventions and the general election. Going into it, every candidate pleaded for their bases’ support: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sought out the radicals and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lusted after the South, but Donald Trump just wanted to “win, win, win.”
So what did these contests’ results mean for the candidates?
For Trump, who carried a whopping seven of the 11 states, it means a “yuuge” victory and a nearly-sealed path to the Republican nomination. Cruz’s home-field advantage paid off in Texas and Oklahoma, and his clinching of the Alaska caucus makes him a formidable foe going into the rest of the month. The moderate vote, however, is split: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) are fighting for the support of the anti-Trump/Cruz train, a fight that threatens both of their chances on March 15th, which hosts both the Florida and Ohio primaries.
The Republican brawl is starting to die down with Trump being widely accepted as the nominee-to-be, so all eyes are shifting toward the heated conflict between the establishment and the insurgency. Sec. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) eased her path to the nomination on Tuesday, claiming seven state trophies and the caucus in American Samoa. Sanders, however, had a rough night: while he trounced Clinton in Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Vermont, his populist spark didn’t ignite a wildfire in Massachusetts, a state with all of his target demographics. His path has lengthened, but his war chest is massive enough to carry him past March 22nd, when the primary schedule starts to favor his brand of liberalism.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) clearly lost the most ground. He’s been seen as the most electable GOP candidate and has experienced nothing-but-fawning media coverage. And after a surprise third-place finish in Iowa, he was expected to effectively end the establishment mini-race and force Bush, Governor John Kasich (R-OH), and Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) to drop out by coming in second in New Hampshire. But after a toxic debate performance two days before the primary and constant savaging by Bush and Christie, he finished behind his mentor in fifth-place. His “3-2-1” strategy - third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, and first in South Carolina - isn’t working out for him, and his wound in the first-in-the-nation primary may be fatal.
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