Despite not being dubbed “Super Tuesday” by the media, the five electoral contests yesterday in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio clarified the presidential race more than those contests two weeks ago that carried that moniker. This was “Important Tuesday.” On the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton appears to have won all five, although Missouri isn’t done counting votes. Among the Republicans, Mr. Trump won all but Ohio, and his victory in Florida caused Marco Rubio to suspend his campaign. Meanwhile, John Kasich scored a win in his home state of Ohio. These results mean it will be a Clinton-Trump fight in November, and Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz will have their hands full trying to stop the Trump juggernaut despite the Ohio outcome.
Mrs. Clinton expanded her delegate lead among elected delegates to a margin of 320; she leads 1,094 to 774 according to the count at the Washington Post. Although that doesn’t appear to include all of Missouri, TheGreenPapers.com has her picking up one delegate more than Mr. Sanders: 36 to 35. When superdelegates who have endorsed her are added in her total is 1,561 according to the Post. To win, she needs 2,383. Given the delegates are awarded by proportional representation, Mr. Sanders needs to win in landslides from here on out to catch her. He won’t.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump won Florida and its 99 delegates, North Carolina and 29 of its 72 delegates (straight proportional representation there), Illinois and 52 of its 69 delegates. While Missouri’s count isn’t in yet and because it’s too close to call the state, Mr. Trump still will win 37 delegates as a minimum because he won a few Congressional Districts. Finally, he got all 9 of the delegates from the Northern Marianas territory. This journal expected him to take Florida as well as 100-125 additional convention seats. In fact, he has topped that range with at least 127. This means he is still on track to wrap up the nomination after California votes on June 7.
Mr. Cruz picked up some delegates finishing second to Mr. Trump, and there is an outside chance that he will carry Missouri. However, because that state awards delegates by Congressional Districts won, Mr. Trump will get 37 of the 52 delegates available even if the state count goes against him. He lags Mr. Trump’s delegate count by at least 250 this morning. While there are winner-take-all states where he could mathematically catch up, his voter base is in the southeast. All those states have voted already.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s double-digit margin of victory over Marco Rubio in Florida marked the end of the campaign for the young senator. Since he went all in and chose not to run for re-election to the senate, Mr. Rubio will be out of a job in January. While he is certain to have some fine offers, it is unlikely that he can make a comeback in Florida’s electoral politics. The beating was just too severe and his campaign too inept.
That leaves the establishment’s Great Faded Hope, John Kasich. By carrying his home state by a few percentage points, he has convinced many that he is the man to stop Mr. Trump. However, it will have to be at a brokered convention. Mathematically, he would have to win about 112% of the remaining delegates to be the nominee on the first ballot. The question is whether the party apparatchiks coalesce (or perhaps the word should be congeal) around him or around Mr. Cruz.
From here, the race moves west. Arizona’s winner-take-all race next Tuesday should put another 58 delegates in the Trump camp thanks to the immigration issue. The Utah caucuses the same day offer 40 delegates, and the Mormon vote there will probably help Ted Cruz. Still, Mr. Trump should pick up a dozen seats. And in American Samoa, the 9 delegates are unbound, but will probably go to Mr. Trump as his numbers mount, and the bandwagon kicks into high gear.
The predictions stand. Mr. Trump will need about 500 delegates on April 1 to win. By the morning of June 8, he will have them. And he will lose in the general election to Hillary Clinton.