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Feb. 29, 2016

Super Tuesday primary predictions

by Neida Mbuia Joao, Online Op/Ed Editor, Maximillian Foley-Keene, Online Editor-in-Chief, Eleanor Cook, Online Editor-in-Chief and Charles Lott, Online Features Editor
Happy Super Tuesday! More states vote today than at any other point in the primary contest. A huge amount of delegates are awarded and candidates who do well on Super Tuesday tend to win the nomination. Your diligent SCO political team--Neida Mbau Joao, Max Foley-Keene, Charlie Lott and Eleanor Cook-- has been hard at work giving you an idea of what to expect on this wild and fun day!
Super Tuesday is the most important day in the presidential primaries. Courtesy of Daily Beast
Super Tuesday is the most important day in the presidential primaries.

Alabama
Max: Trump and Hillary
Neida: Trump with Rubio in a closer second than anyone anticipated and Clinton
Eleanor: Trump and Clinton
Charlie: Trump and Clinton

Max says: So, I'm really shooting in the dark here because there have been basically three polls in this entire contest--two of which were conducted in 2015. But in a recent poll (by a shady Alabama polling firm) Trump has three times the support of Ted Cruz. This win will signal Trump's supremacy in the south and the destruction of Cruz's path to the nomination. In the Democratic race, we've seen even less polling. Based on Hillary's strength with black voters, I have trouble seeing her losing this one.
Neida says: Iím trying to be optimistic in hoping Rubio will come out from behind and take Alabama from Trump, but sadly thatís probably not going to happen. Trump has a large 17 point margin over Rubio in the polls for Alabama and, even with Rubioís outstanding performance in the February 25th debate, that probably wonít close enough for Rubio to clinch the win.
Eleanor says: Trump is doing well in Alabama polls and even though Rubio is scraping together a few more points with each poll, he has run out of time to adequately challenge The Donald. Clinton is likewise doing pretty well in Alabama. After a big win in South Carolina, her chances in the region are looking beyond up. Like in South Carolina, Clinton's large amounts of black support will play an important role as well.
Charlie says: Thanks to Ted Cruz's loss in South Carolina, his poll numbers are dropping fast. Rubio is starting to close the gap between him and Trump in the SEC states, but at 36 percent at the most recent polls, he is well out of reach in Alabama. As per usual, Clinton is polling well beyond Sanders in Alabama, but he always seems to keep things closer than predicted. Look for Bernie to lose by a hair.

Alaska Republican Caucus
Max: Trump
Neida: Trump
Eleanor: Trump
Charlie: Trump

Max says: Alaska is perfect for Trump because, being so rural and remote, it isn't susceptible to strong field campaigns and traditional political contact. Cruz is good at data driven field politicking. But Trump is a genius at mass media, and that's how most Alaskan voters will know the candidates.
Neida says: Trump does well in rural states where most of the adult population has not obtained a college education. Alaska is no exception. Iím anticipating that he will win by a large margin over Cruz and Rubio, whose moderate ideology just doesnít seem to be resonating with the countryís second-amendment defending patriots.
Eleanor says: With an endorsement from Sarah Palin (who is not too popular in the state overall, but still has an overall favorable rating among republicans), as well as a solidly white population in Alaska, Trump is polling pretty well. He should win by a decent margin, but Cruz may surprise him by trailing more closely behind than Trump expects.
Charlie says: Trump thrives in rural states, and Alaska is one of the most isolated ones out there. He's also got all the momentum at this point in the race after his recent string of victories, and Chris Christie's endorsement will only help. Trump should win Alaska by a pretty significant margin.

Arkansas
Max: Cruz and Clinton
Neida: Cruz and Clinton
Eleanor: Cruz and Clinton
Charlie: Rubio and Clinton

Max says: It's a southern state and a state in which Hillary served as first lady. Those are two insurmountable obstacles for Clinton. Cruz was supposed to do very well in the south. And recent (but limited) polling suggests that he still has a chance in Arkansas. He's also putting a ton of resources into winning the state. Because if he doesn't, it'll be hard for his campaign to continue.
Neida says: The SEC primaries in general are going to be hard for Sanders to win (or even put up a good fight in). Most of his ideology flies directly in the face of the more conservative Christian values that permeate the region. In the case of Arkansas, a state positioned right in the middle of the bible belt, with fairly sizeable black and over-65 populations (both coming in the assumed voice of the American Evangelical Christian population, the slight boost over Trump that he needs.
Eleanor says: Cruz is a more familiar face in the Arkansas (which neighbors Texas) than anyone else. He knows the region and shares the most with its people. He is leading in the polls, but his lead is not too far out of the margin of error, so while he should win the state, he should look out for Trump close behind. As for Arkansas's Democrats, they liked Bill, they like Obama, and they seem pretty set on choosing Hillary.
Charlie says: Sanders is proving why people consider him to be unelectable in a national election. He is far too liberal to run a successful campaign in the south. Clinton should run away with this one just like she did with South Carolina. As for the Republicans, Trump is projected not to do as well in more religious regions like Arkansas, and Cruz is the obvious second choice. But Rubio has been right on Cruz's tail, and Cruz seems to be losing momentum in the South based on how things went in Carolina, so my money's on Rubio with this one.

Colorado Democrats
Max: Clinton
Neida: Sanders
Eleanor: Sanders
Charlie: Clinton

Max says: This one will be interesting. It'll test Sanders' claim after Nevada that he won among Hispanic voters. If that's true, Sanders will do well in Colorado. But I have real doubts that Sanders won the Nevada Hispanic vote. There was a tiny sample size in Nevada exit polls, and Hillary won heavily Hispanic counties. It'll be close.
Neida says: Iíve a feeling that the race will be tight in Colorado, but I believe that Sanders will come out on top. His message has been well-received by a number of active millennial voters who can use the debate style platform of the caucus to sway people over to their side.
Eleanor says: This is probably going to be one of the closest primaries on Tuesday. Although Clinton led by 28 points in a November poll, Sanders has narrowed that gap and even come out on top in some most recent polling. He has the momentum to carry him to a narrow victory.
Charlie says: The state where marijuana is legal might be one of the few states liberal enough for Sanders to win, but he's fighting such an uphill battle at this point that I think Clinton will win even in Colorado.

Georgia
Max: Trump and Clinton
Neida: Trump and Clinton
Eleanor: Trump and Clinton
Charlie: Trump and Clinton

Max says: This will be another massive win for Hillary Clinton. She did better among blacks in South Carolina than Obama in 2008. What's worse, it seemed like Bernie gave up on South Carolina at the end. This one will go to Trump, as he has a double digit lead in the polls. His win will further weaken Cruz's path to the nomination because Cruz's ideal voters are in southern states.
Neida says: In Georgia, Trump and Clinton are both really popular among the stateís large population of black voters. In Georgia, Clinton is also dominating amongst non-black people of color and groups that traditionally fall into Sandersí purview, including the super liberal and the young. Trumpís lead over Cruz and Rubio is unlikely to close significantly before the Tuesday vote, with poll numbers showing him nearly thirty points ahead of both of them.
Eleanor says: In Georgia, the real competition will be between Cruz and Rubio for second place. Trump has a consistent lead in all of the recent polls in Georgia. For Hillary, Georgia is another SEC state that is much more ideologically similar to her than to Sanders. Furthermore, Georgia's significant black population should give Clinton the edge she needs like South Carolina's did in Saturday's primary.
Charlie says: I don't like to go with the same pick as all of my competitors, but this one is pretty tough to disagree on. Trump has an astonishingly large lead on Cruz and Rubio in Georgia, especially after what happened in neighboring South Carolina. I don't see Bernie beating Clinton in any of the remaining states aside from maybe Vermont. He just doesn't have any of the moderate votes.

Massachusetts
Max: Trump and Clinton
Neida: Clinton, by a slim margin, and Trump
Eleanor: Trump and Sanders (but barely)
Charlie: Trump and Clinton

Max says: My people are voting! Trump takes this one easily, holding a massive lead in the polls. The Democratic race is more interesting. Bernie should win this contest because of his strength among white liberals and Massachusetts proximity to Vermont. But Hillary leads in all of the most recent polls. I have to trust the polling and give the edge to Hillary. If he loses, it will be devastating to Bernie.
Neida says: Trump has a surprisingly strong base in New England, surprising mostly because New England is generally conceptualized as a land where (rather than regressive) ideas flourish. That being said, Trumpís margin over his competitors is huge (dare I say, insurmountable?) and the best Rubio or Cruz can hope for is a distant second place.
Eleanor says: Trump wins, hands down. On the Democratic side, however, Massachusetts is going to be another very close race. Polling in the past month has shown no consistent winner, but the state's history of electing solidly liberal individuals like Elizabeth Warren might work in Sanders's favor. What's more, the fact the Warren has chosen not to endorse any candidate suggests, some speculate, means that she is open to change.
Charlie says: Trump is whooping the rest of the Republican candidates in the northeastern part of the country, making him a shoo in for Massachusetts. A lot of the polls have Sanders right on Clinton's tail throughout New England, but this is the beginning of the end for him. If he loses Massachusetts, which I believe he will, Clinton will have taken a commanding lead.

Minnesota
Max: Sanders and Rubio
Neida: Sanders and Rubio
Eleanor: Trump and Clinton
Charlie: Rubio and Clinton

Max says: Sanders nearly won Iowa, which borders Minnesota. Minnesota is also very white, which gives the Bern some potential. This is one of the states on Bernie's wish list: they demographically agree with his appeal. However, it isn't a winner-take-all state so it won't do much for his delegate totals. This is one of the states where Rubio could actually win, due to Trump's weakness in the midwest and in caucus states. But again, it's not winner-take-all, so it won't be a huge win for Rubio is he does win.
Neida says: I canít quite work out whatíll happen in Minnesota, so Iím gonna go wild card on this one. I think with Rubioís stand-out performance in the most recent Republican debate and his strong endorsements from Minnesota lawmakers, Rubio has a strong chance of scoring most of Minnesotaís 38 delegates. My pick of Sanders to win Minnesota is more conjecture and wishful thinking than it is based in any serious fact. Sanders needs Minnesota. Like a lot. Heís projected to lose most of the major super Tuesday states to Clinton, and so getting most of Minnesotaís delegates would be a major plus for him.
Eleanor says: There's really not that much data on Minnesota. The last big poll seems to have been taken in January, before the Iowa Caucuses. In that poll, however, Clinton had a big, 34 point lead over Sanders, which is a lot to make up in just over a month. The other leader was Rubio, but his lead was within the margin of error. After Trump's strong showing in South Carolina and his seemingly unwavering momentum, I think he'll be the North Star State's Republican pick.
Charlie says: Rubio has all of the major endorsements in Minnesota, and has been campaigning vigorously in this part of the country. It's clear that he wants to win this state, and based on his numbers in the polls, he has a good chance. As for the Democrats, I'll say the same thing I've been saying all along. Clinton has all the momentum, she has already started campaigning against Trump, and there isn't really much Sanders can do to come back.

Oklahoma
Max: Trump and Sanders
Neida: Sanders and Trump
Eleanor: Trump and Sanders
Charlie: Cruz and Clinton

Max says: This is Bernie's best chance in the south because African Americans make up a small total of Democratic voters. However, the voters in Oklahoma aren't very liberal (like they are in Massachusetts). I'll give this one to Bernie. This is another state that Cruz would really like to win because it borders his own state of Texas. I just don't think it will happen. Trump's lead in the polls is too big. Think of Oklahoma as another nail in the Cruz campaign coffin.
Neida says: Oklahoma is right up Trumpís alley. It is another rural state with a small population of college educated adults. Trump has been polling well there and I think that he will continue to. I think the Sanders campaign can pull it together enough to entice independents in the state and get them to ďfeel the Bern.Ē
Eleanor says: Trump should do well, but Rubio especially is not to far behind. Both Rubio and Cruz should be able to pick up a few delegates, but Trump will definitely get the most. The Democratic race will be much closer. Oklahoma has a sizeable enough young population that Bernie should be able to grab, but with a sizeable undecided group of voters, it is hard to tell who has the advantage. Because I'm tired of picking Hillary and Donald all of the time and I feel like Sanders has a larger base than I've given him credit for, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Bernie.
Charlie says: I honestly don't care how liberal the democratic voters of Oklahoma claim to be, Sanders cannot appeal to people living in the deep south. Cruz should have a good chance in this one because of Oklahoma's proximity to Texas, and he's right on Trump's heels in the polls.

Tennessee
Max: Clinton and Rubio
Neida: Clinton and Trump
Eleanor: Trump and Clinton
Charlie: Trump and Clinton

Max says: One third of Tennessee's Democratic voters are black. They also lean conservative. Translation: good news for Clinton. There's been so little polling in this state that it seems like a good place to make a wild pick for Rubio. The governor of Tennessee has endorsed Rubio--although establishment support might count against little Rubio. Do I actually believe Rubio is going to win? Not really. But I have to shake things up a little bit.
Neida says: No chance Sanders wins Tennessee. His ideology and strategy is entirely too out of touch in a state with more conservative-slant and an older population. Trumpís poll numbers, like his numbers in pretty much every other Southern state, soar above those of his competitors.
Eleanor says: NBC polls show good news for Trump and Clinton. They both have huge, or should I say "jud í" (that's the phonetic spelling of deluge without the del-), leads in the state. Provided nothing crazy happens, this should be an easy win for both candidates.
Charlie says: In the states I know little about, I have a pretty easy pair of candidates to fall back on: Trump and Clinton. These two are ahead of the rest of the pack by a lot, and should gain even more distance in Tennessee.

Texas
Max: Cruz and Clinton
Neida: Cruz and Clinton
Eleanor: Cruz and Clinton
Charlie: Cruz and Clinton

Max says: Texas has the greatest share of black Democratic voters as any state other than South Carolina. Clinton will win this one, but it might be closer than we think if Sander's support among Hispanics actually has improved. As much as I want to pick Trump and declare the Cruz campaign completely dead, the polling just doesn't support it. The question becomes, does Cruz do well enough on Super Tuesday to stay in the race? If he keeps running, it becomes ever more likely that Trump will run away with the nomination.
Neida says: Ted Cruz needs Texas like a fish needs a well oxygenated fish tank (which is to say, a lot). Iím certain heíll get his ďhome stateĒ (letís not forget he was born in Canada!) but I also think the margin by which Cruz will win is going to be slim enough to seriously scare him. Clintonís been performing fairly well in the deep South since the beginning, so I think that thereís no question that Texas is hers.
Eleanor says: While Cruz should win his home state, Donald Trump is not to far behind in many polls and will be too close for Cruzís comfort in the election results. Rubio will come in solid third and grab a few delegates that may come in handy for him later. On the Democratic side, Clinton is doing very well in polls and should win by a decent margin.
Charlie says: If Ted Cruz doesn't win Texas, then his campaign is all but over. He's up 10% in the February polls. Keep in mind, however, that Trump overcame a large deficit in South Carolina to win handily. He and Cruz should be neck and neck in this one. Throughout the deep south, where voter turnout for the younger demographic is pretty low, Sanders really doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell against Clinton.

Vermont
Max: Sanders and Trump
Neida: Sanders and Trump
Eleanor: Sanders and Trump
Charlie: Sanders and Trump

Max says: Sanders has to win Vermont. It's his own state! There hasn't been much polling on the GOP side in Vermont. I'm just using Massachusetts as a benchmark for Trump support and assuming he will do similarly well in Vermont.
Neida says: Again, Trumpís New England base is solid and his lead in Vermont is just like his leads in other New England states: large. As far as Bernie is concerned, itís his home state, they could at least give him this one.
Eleanor says: Vermont is where Bernie should do best. Itís his home state and the people of Vermont have already elected him to the Senate twice. As for the Republican race, Trump has a solid lead in recent polling, and should win by a decent margin.
Charlie says: Vermont is literally the only state that I'm betting on Bernie to win, but I'm still skeptical. Look for this one to be close. On the other side of the ball, the other Republicans don't have much of a chance against Trump in this part of the country, so get ready for another one of his victory speeches.

Virginia
Max: Clinton and Trump
Neida: Clinton and Trump
Eleanor: Trump and Clinton
Charlie: Rubio and Clinton

Max says: It'll be closer than most other southern contests but the demographics are still all in Clinton's favor. It'll be interesting to see how the northern wealthy suburbs vote. Do they feel the Bern? Or are have they jumped on the Clintonwagon? Rubio has a small chance of winning in Virginia. If he wins here, he will have likely experienced an undetected last minute surge and many of our predictions are totally wrong. But that seems unlikely. The question again is how those wealthy suburbs in northern Virginia vote.
Neida says: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated nearly all the polls in Virginia. this state is huge for Trump because the Republican party there has lots of influence and because Virginia is a major swing state in the general election. I see Rubio coming in a very (or at least kind of) close second. Clinton will also probably take Virginia, seeing as its Democratic voting base has become more immigrant heavy.
Eleanor says: Virginia is another state where Trump and Clinton are heavily favored. It seems that Virginia Democrats are going to opt for who they think is most qualified and would do a good job standing up to Republicans (Clinton) as opposed to who they believe is most understanding of the middle class (Sanders). In the Republican primary, Trump is leading pretty solidly, but I would expect Rubio to make a strong showing as well.
Charlie says: Sanders might as well not run in the south. On to the Republicans. Rubio is polling surprisingly close to Trump in this state, and in the last few primaries Rubio has done better than predicted. If he doesn't win in Virginia, he will at least keep it very close.



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  • nah on February 29, 2016 at 9:29 PM
    these predictions suck
  • lol on March 1, 2016 at 11:19 PM
    Charlie must really hate my mans Bernie Sanders. "Close in Vermont," what a joke. Of course he won by a landslide. And he took Minnesota, Colorado, and Oklahoma, too. Also, tied in Massachusetts. Go back to football, Lott.
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