In terms of impact on this presidential race for both parties, yesterday certainly qualifies as a “Super Tuesday.”
On the Republican side, after losing badly to Donald Trump in his home state of Florida, Marco Rubio is officially out of the race. In addition to the fact that this narrows the field down to Trump, Cruz and Kasich – that means that we are finally done with wishful reporting about how Rubio is positioned to finally make his move. It is all over for the establishment media darling on the Republican side.
Trump also won the contests in North Carolina and Illinois, while Kasich lives on to fight another day as a result of his win in Ohio. Missouri is still too close to call as it remains in a virtual tie between Trump and Cruz. That matters because this is a winner-take-all state with 52 delegates up for grabs.
It is hard to see how anyone but Trump wins this nomination. But given that there are powerful forces who stand against him being the Republican presidential candidate, I imagine that the fight will continue.
On the Democratic side, it looks to be a clean sweep for Hillary Clinton. While “winning” a state is not the outcome to observe, due to the fact that delegates are awarded proportionally, her overwhelming victory in Florida (65/33) means that she scored big in the most delegate-rich state of the night. Clinton also out-performed the polls in her wins in Ohio and North Carolina, beat Sanders in Illinois by 2 points and raced to a virtual tie in Missouri. As of this writing, all of the delegates haven’t been awarded yet, but Clinton has won that race 326/220 (60%/40%) so far.
At this point, Sanders doesn’t really have a path to victory in this Democratic presidential race. Obviously last night’s results didn’t convince him to end his candidacy and a lot of liberals are suggesting that there are benefits to him staying in this race for another three months. But asking your supporters to provide contributions and votes for a losing cause is going to eventually become a difficult sell. We’ll have to wait and see how that develops over the next few weeks.
To summarize: last night’s results make it increasingly difficult to imagine anything other than a Clinton vs Trump race this fall.