Monday, March 4, 2024

BTRTN: Not-So-Super Tuesday Preview

Tom gives a brief preview of what is usually a drama-filled, circle-the-day-on-the-calendar extravaganza that makes or breaks campaigns.  But not this year. 

Welcome to Super Tuesday! 

Well, maybe not so super after all.  Donald Trump will likely sweep every single race on the GOP side and Joe Biden surely will do the same in the Democratic races.  There is not much suspense.  (Check that – none.)  Neither will be able to win enough delegates to secure the nomination quite yet, but both will do so in the coming weeks.  Trump currently has 244 delegates (per the AP), and even if he takes all 865 at stake tomorrow, he will still be short of the 1,215 needed for the GOP nod.  Same story with Biden, for whom the analogous numbers are 206 (that he has), 1,420 (at stake Tuesday) and 1,968 (needed for the nomination).

But wait, did you hear?  Nikki Haley beat Trump in a primary!  She won the District of Columbia contest a few days ago in a romp, 63/33, and, yes, Trump was indeed on the ballot.  They managed to find 2,035 GOP voters to take part in the exercise, which is barely more than what you’d need for a typical polling sample. Haley netted 19 delegates and some badly needed momentum, right? 


There are 16 primaries on Tuesday on the GOP side, and the chart below summarizes them all.  There has not been much polling anywhere, but, as you can see, it has all been devastatingly one-sided.  The DC outcome will not change that.  While Trump continues to show weakness within the GOP to the tune of the roughly 20% of the party that persistently backs Haley, his nomination is secure.  You can expect Haley to do a bit better in the “bluer” states that allow non-Republicans to vote, such as Massachusetts and Vermont.  Haley has also been outperforming her poll numbers in the primaries, that is, losing by a narrower margin than indicated by the polls.  But if any gap-closing happens again on Tuesday, it will not matter much given the gargantuan polling leads Trump is enjoying everywhere.

We’re not going to waste your time with a similar chart for the Democrats.  Joe Biden will once again take on Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.  Williamson recently, and rather bizarrely, “unsuspended” her campaign, meaning she is back in the, uh, race.  Biden should score over 90% of the vote.

What makes all of this even less super is that, not only are all of these races foregone conclusions, but the two frontrunners are both spectacularly unpopular, even within fairly large segments of their own parties.  American voters are on the verge of creating the very match-up they claim to disdain.

Stay tuned.

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