So according to Politico‘s James Hohmann, the Republican-driven “SEC Primary” for 2016 is increasingly looking like a done deal, at least in some configuration:

Officials in five Southern states — Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas — are coordinating to hold their primary on March 1, 2016. Texas and Florida are considering also holding a primary the same day but may wait until later in the month. Either way, March 1 would be a Southern Super Tuesday, voting en masse on the heels of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Apparently Texas and Florida want their clout undiluted, and the other states don’t want to be ignored in the pursuit of delegates awarded on a proportional basis in those vote-rich jurisdictions. So two separate southern delegate “clusters” are likely. Coming relatively soon after Iowa and South Carolina, a big southern push in early March could produce quite the gauntlet for a Chris Christie or a John Kasich. Jeb Bush might have some strength in Florida and even Texas, but not so much the other states. Meanwhile, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Ted Cruz won in IA and didn’t get destroyed in NH and NV. The table was sure be set for the young demagogue to go roaring into Dixie like Barry Goldwater with a really bad attitude.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.