by Troy M. Olson
On the eve of Super Tuesday, I thought I’d just lay it on the line and briefly mention how I think things will go. Unlike the first four states for both parties, I don’t expect my track record to continue but here goes nothing.
Late last year I said Hillary would win Iowa (and eventually, the nomination, and become the 45th President of the United States), Bernie would win NH, Cruz would win Iowa on the Republican side, and Trump would rebound with a win in NH.
In discussions with “Agreeing Loudly” contributor Pat Meacham, I was pressed to say if Bernie would win Nevada or not. I struggled with this state a lot, but eventually went with Hillary.
For Bernie supporters out there that may be upset with how pessimistic I am on his chances, I’m sorry. Just being honest here. He needed to win Iowa and Nevada to have a chance on Super Tuesday. He needed true momentum that stretched beyond the most friendly demographic states for him. Three straight wins off the bat would have kept the margins down in South Carolina. If those things happened then we’d have a contest.
Bernie has the correct diagnosis for what ails the body politic, but he is not the right vessel for this message. And certainly not the right vessel to implement it. He is like Barry Goldwater for the Republican Party in 1964, influential and ahead of his time. Sixteen years later the conservative wing of the GOP got their winning candidate, Ronald Reagan. Hopefully it does not take the more egalitarian factions of the Democratic Party sixteen years to find their winning candidate, but I fear it will.
On the Republican side, despite what delusional (once and future President) Marco Rubio might tell you, we do not have a contest anymore. Even members of the GOP establishment and conservative wing of the party are beginning to come around to Trump’s candidacy, making clear their endorsement of some version of white supremacy to anyone who wasn’t convinced of it before.
The GOP establishment hesitation had nothing to do with him saying racist, sexist, and other crazy thing. Rather, their reluctance to embrace him early on had more to do with Trump being too “moderate” on the continued existence of social insurance programs in their present form and other issues such as his criticism of free trade deals. To the extent Trump can be pinned down to a political philosophy or ideology at all, he resembles George Wallace a lot more than George W. Bush.
For Rubio to have any chance he needs to win his home state of Florida and gather momentum heading into the “Winner-Take-All” GOP primaries. This is unlikely to happen. Cruz is likely to win his home state of Texas but for him to have any chance he needs to start winning SEC primary states. He needed to win South Carolina to be viable. On Tuesday, he needs to win Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. I would be surprised if he won more than one of those states.
It’s over. To what extent it is over, and when we can begin to shift the conversation to Clinton vs. Trump and the potential electoral map is a story for the voters in the Super Tuesday states to tell.
Tuesday predictions are broken down into three tiers, a landslide, winning easily, and winning narrowly.
Landslide (20 or more percent)
Easily (between 5 and 20 percent)
Narrowly (between 0 and 5 percent)
Alabama – Clinton by a landslide
American Samoa – Clinton by a landslide
Arkansas – Clinton by a landslide
Colorado – Sanders narrowly
Georgia – Clinton by a landslide
Massachusetts – Clinton narrowly
Minnesota – Clinton narrowly
Oklahoma – Clinton narrowly
Tennessee – Clinton by a landslide
Texas – Clinton easily
Vermont – Sanders by a landslide
Virginia – Clinton easily
Alabama – Trump easily
Alaska – Trump easily
Arkansas – Trump easily
Colorado – Trump narrowly
Massachusetts – Trump by a landslide
Minnesota – Rubio narrowly
Oklahoma – Trump narrowly
Tennessee – Trump easily
Texas – Cruz easily
Vermont – Trump easily
Virginia – Trump easily
Wyoming – Trump easily