If Super Tuesday didn’t clarify both the Democratic and Republican presidential field, the encore on March 8 certainly went a long way in sealing the deal on both sides.
Despite an unexpected strong showing from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Michigan, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton inched closer to securing the Democratic nomination for president.
Clinton entered the night with 1,160 delegates, a total that includes super delegates, to Sanders’ 503. There are 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination on the Democratic side.
Clinton easily beat Sanders in Mississippi where African-American voters were largely credited with supporting the former secretary.
Meanwhile, GOP controversial front-runner Donald Trump won both the Mississippi and Michigan primaries, easily outdistancing opponents Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Trump entered Tuesday with 428 delegates while Cruz had 315, Rubio 151 and Kasich 52. The New York businessman, who’s been labeled a clown by the New York Daily News and other media outlets, gained several more delegates and currently has a seemingly smooth path to the needed 1,237 to become the Republican nominee for the White House.
Still, buoyed by her easy victory in Mississippi, Clinton focused her attention on making sure her party remains unified and dignified – unlike Republicans who have taken out attack ads and positions like those not previously seen.
“Running for president shouldn’t be about delivering insults, it should be about delivering results,” Clinton told supporters at a rally late Tuesday in Cleveland, stomping for votes there ahead of the upcoming Ohio primary.
“This has been so far a campaign focused on the issue and I’m proud of the campaign that Sen. Sanders and I are running,” she said.
Although Sanders’ performance in Michigan kept his campaign alive, Clinton’s victory in Mississippi continued her dominance of Southern primary states with high numbers of African-American voters, a constituency with which Bernie Sanders, who has performed better in less diverse states, struggles.
Trump’s victory, meanwhile, is a sign that despite a blitz of attacks on the front-runner by rival candidates and the Republican establishment, his capacity to win states seems undiminished, according to the local Fox news station.
More than 100 delegates were available for Republican presidential candidates while approximately 166 were at stake for Democrats during “Super Tuesday 2.”
Clinton, whose delegate count ballooned after the first “Super Tuesday,” went into the Michigan contest with a 13-point advantage over Sanders.
A Monmouth University poll of 302 likely Democratic primary voters between March 3 and March 6 had the former secretary of state beating Sanders by 55 percent to 42 percent.
“Clinton had Michigan all to herself eight years ago after her opponents pulled out when the state violated party rules in scheduling its primary too early. This time she appears to be holding on in the face of a tough challenge from Sanders,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, told the Latin Post.
But that poll proved a bit optimistic.
In the Republican field, the same Monmouth poll had Trump in the lead. With a 13-percentage point advantage, Trump received 36 percent, ahead of Cruz’s 23 percent, Kasich’s 21 percent and Rubio’s 13 percent.
Ultimately, that poll wasn’t far off from the results that trickled in late Tuesday with Trump scoring 37 percent, Kasich 26 percent and Cruz 24 percent.
Cruz, Kasich and Trump should share Michigan’s 59 delegates since each passed the 15 percent threshold.
The primary put into focus Latino voters, whose population is the 20th largest in the country with 231,000 eligible Latino voters. Almost half of the state’s Latino population, at 49 percent, were eligible to vote.
Meanwhile, Mississippi had 40 GOP and 41 Democratic proportional delegates at stake, the Post reported.
With almost 1,000 Republican likely voters polled, a survey by Magellan Strategies and Y’all Politics found Trump with a large lead just before the primary.
The poll, conducted on Feb. 29, saw Trump with 41 percent, while Cruz and Rubio jousted for second place. Cruz, by 1 percentage point, placed second with 17 percent to Rubio’s 16 percent. Kasich received 8 percent.
In the end, Trump garnered about 50 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 35 percent and Kasich’s 8 percent.
In the Democratic field, Clinton won convincingly in Mississippi, another heavily populated African-American voter base, defeating Sanders 83 percent to 16 percent.
While the Democrats only had two primaries on March 8, Republicans contests were held in Idaho and in Hawaii.
Neither states were expected to provide results at press time.
Idaho is home to 32 delegates and more than double the Latino population of Mississippi. Latinos, who comprise 12 percent of Idaho’s population, represented 80,000 eligible voters.
Polling data in Idaho had been scarce, but Trump once again held a lead in a survey by Idaho Politics and Dan Jones and Associates with 30 percent.
Cruz and Rubio received 19 percent and 16 percent, respectively, while Kasich attracted 5 percent. The poll’s margin of error, however, was 6.5 percent, meaning second place could go for either Cruz and Rubio.
Hawaii, with 19 delegates, did not have polling data available or averages from Real Clear Politics. Statistics are available on the island’s Latino population, which stood as the 39th largest in the U.S.
Nearly 142,000 Latinos reside in Hawaii, including 85,000 Latino eligible voters.