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Clinton Likely To Solidify Delegate Lead In Super Tuesday Part Two Contests

Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton 3616 Debate

As with the Republicans, the Democratic candidates for President also have a big night on Tuesday night, with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continuing to battle it out in a race that has seemingly fluctuated back and forth from week to week ever since the Iowa Caucuses. The difference between the two parties, though, is that, in the end, there seems to be little doubt about how the race will ultimately end, the only question is when that end will come, and Tuesday could go a long way toward deciding that. If the latest round of polls is any indication, though, Bernie Sanders stands to do just well enough to give him a reason to continue fighting, thus creating continued headaches for Hillary Clinton.

First up, is polling from CBS News and YouGov with numbers from three of the biggest Tuesday contests:

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in Florida, 62 percent to 34 percent, and a smaller lead in Ohio, 52 to 43. But Bernie Sanders leads narrowly in Illinois, 48 to 46, coming off his surprise win in Michigan last week.

In Illinois he is leading among white voters and is supported by almost one quarter of African Americans. In Illinois Sanders leads Clinton on the metric of being honest and trustworthy, and is helped by a majority of voters wishing to switch to more progressive policies than those of the Obama administration.

The numbers are similar in the new series of polls from NBC News:

In the Democratic race, Clinton is ahead of Sanders among likely primary voters by 27 points in Florida, 61 percent to 34 percent; by 20 points in Ohio, 58 percent to 38 percent; but by just six points in Illinois, 51 percent to 45 percent.

The size of Clinton’s lead in all three states directly correlates to her advantage with African-American Democratic voters – 57 points in Florida (77 percent to 20 percent), 48 points in Ohio (72 percent to 24 percent) and 39 points in Illinois (67 percent to 28 percent).

Among Latinos, Clinton holds just a five-point edge over Sanders in Florida, 51 percent to 46 percent, while Sanders leads Clinton among Latinos in Illinois, 64 percent to 30 percent.

Finally, new polling from Quinnipiac for Florida and Ohio shows Clinton leading in both states, albeit her Ohio margin is only in single digits:

With less than a week to go before Florida Democrats head to the polls, front-runner Hillary Clinton is beating Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 62 percent to 32 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

“Secretary Hillary Clinton has doubled-up on Sen. Bernie Sanders in Florida,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll said, adding that “it is difficult to see a path to victory” for Sanders in the Sunshine State.  ”He has just too much ground to make up and not enough time in which to do it.”

The poll has Clinton pulling ahead in Ohio, 52 percent to 43 percent – but Brown believes there is still a “long shot” chance of Sanders gaining ground in Ohio’s winner-take-all primary.

“Secretary Clinton’s advantage is impressive, but nowhere as large as the 30 percent point lead she has in Florida,” Brown said.

In both Florida and Ohio, the number of undecided voters is smaller than Clinton’s lead, meaning that in order to secure a win, Sanders would have to take all of the undecided voters and then chip away at Clinton’s core backers.

“The fact that there is no meaningful difference between the two candidates’ supporters when it comes to professed loyalty to their candidate contributes to Sen. Sanders’ problems,” Brown said.

Turning to the poll averages, RealClearPolitics shows Hillary Clinton with seemingly insurmountable double digit leads in both Florida and North Carolina thanks, no doubt, to her overwhelming advantages among African-American voters in both states. Barring some kind of devastating surprise, both of these states should go Clinton’s way rather easily and rather early tomorrow night. The real battle will be on the rest of the map. In Ohio, for example, Clinton’s lead is a slimmer 6.4 points in the poll average at 49.7% to 43.3%. Theoretically, if the turnout is just right Bernie Sanders could pull off a surprise win here just as he did last week in Michigan, but it seems less likely than surprises by Sanders elsewhere on the map. Illinois, for example, only gives Clinton a slim average lead of 2.3 points and has a smaller African-American population than some of the other states on the map, so this could be a place where Sanders surprises. Similarly, as with the GOP there hasn’t been much polling out of Missouri for Democrats outside of one recent poll that shows Sanders ahead by one point. This could be another state where Sanders ends up surprising Clinton with a win.

Even with those wins by Sanders, though, tomorrow night is likely to make the ultimate outcome of the race even more certain even as it seems as though Sanders is continuing to make the race competitive. Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, for example, will award 464 delegates tomorrow. In at least two of those states, Clinton is likely to win by double digits and thus grab the vast majority of the delegates being awarded on a proportional basis. This means that Clinton could do well enough just in those three states to nearly double her lead in pledged delegates over Sanders in one night. She’s also likely to do well enough in Missouri and Illinois, even if she loses, to put the race very nearly in the bag for her. Indeed, at this point, it’s hard to see how Clinton is not the Democratic nominee regardless of what Bernie Sanders does. When someone is going to tell him that is another question.

Update: Post revised to correct the error that Ohio and Florida are Winner Take All states. They are not.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark says:

    None of the Democratic primaries are winner take all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. charon says:

    Here is a good link to delegate allocation (for Dem), state by state:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/02/08/1481899/-All-Links-Collection-Delegate-Mathematics-Series-2016-Democratic-Primary

    The following statement is not true:

    Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, for example, will award 464 delegates tomorrow, with Ohio and Florida both being Winner Take All states. This means that Clinton could do well enough just in those three states to nearly double her lead in pledged delegates over Sanders in one night

    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. James Pearce says:

    “Super Tuesday Part Two?” I propose calling it “Ludicrous Tuesday” in honor of Spaceballs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Ben Wolf says:

    Doug, you big silly; you never learn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. I’ve corrected the error about delegate allocation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Tyrell says:

    I am not sure that Hillary will pick up Sanders’ people if he does not get the nomination. Many will be back in school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  7. Davebo says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It happens. Who could expect a political blogger to know how elections work after all?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  8. grumpy realist says:

    Voted for Bernie this morning here in Illinois. Go Bernie!

    I’m just as happy to vote for Clinton in the general, by the way. I think she’ll do better than Bernie against the Republican Party simply because she’s more of a battle-ship than he is. I’m voting for Bernie because I want the DNC to realize that he’s a popular candidate and they better start looking at WHY he’s so popular.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Tillman says:

    @grumpy realist: God help me, I almost voted for Rocky Roque De La Fuente.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0