Super Tuesday Predictions
After months of states racing to move their primary up to February 5th, the first day allowed for states not named “Iowa” or “New Hampshire,” Super Tuesday — or Super Duper Tuesday or Super-Duper-Mega-Jumbo Tuesday or whatever nickname one wants to call it — is finally upon us.
While this has indeed been “long primary season,” given that campaigning started in the fall of 2006 if not earlier, we’re technically only a month into the actual voting. Hard as it is to believe, the Iowa Caucuses were on January 3rd.
Today’s voting in two dozen states will go a long way towards deciding the eventual nominees. At least mathematically, though, it won’t be over tonight.
Barring some major surprises, John McCain will end the night as the prohibitive favorite for the nomination. Mitt Romney has closed the gap in California to make the biggest prize of the day a toss-up. It’s unlikely to be enough, however.
Unlike the early states, we don’t have an abundance of polls in every Super Tuesday state. Indeed, I haven’t found any polls at all for a couple. Here, though, is my SWAG at the outcomes:
Alabama Primary (48 delegates): McCain
Alaska Caucus (29 delegates): McCain
Arizona Primary (53 delegates): McCain
Arkansas Primary (34 delegates): Huckabee
California Primary (173 delegates): McCain
Colorado Caucus (46 delegates): Romney
Connecticut Primary (30 delegates): McCain
Delaware Primary (18 delegates): McCain
Georgia Primary (72 delegates): McCain
Illinois Primary (70 delegates): McCain
Massachusetts Primary (43 delegates): Romney
Minnesota Caucus (41 delegates): McCain
Missouri Primary (58 delegates): McCain
Montana Caucus (25 delegates): McCain
New Jersey Primary (52 delegates): McCain
New York Primary (101 delegates): McCain
North Dakota Caucus (26 delegates): McCain
Oklahoma Primary (41 delegates): McCain
Tennessee Primary (55 delegates): McCain
Utah Primary (36 delegates): Romney
West Virginia Caucus (30 delegates): McCain
Mitt Romney could very well take California; he’s ahead in some of the polls and trailing by less than the margin of error in the aggregate. Still, I think the Giuliani and Schwarzenegger endorsements will help carry the day for McCain. Further, it barely matters: California awards its delegates proportionally.
Indeed, as Scott Elliot notes in his extensive breakdown,
It just so happens that in many states where McCain is ahead, the method is winner-take-all. As a result, he stands to gain large delegate blocks in such states as New York, Arizona, Missouri, and New Jersey. One the other hand, with the exception of Utah, states Mitt Romney might be expected to win break down the allocation of delegates to more than one candidate. For example, Romney’s home state of Massachusetts employs a proportional model.
The bottom line is that McCain’s delegates will come easier than Romney’s, increasing the effect of his strong polling numbers nationwide. I’m predicting McCain will win 60% to 65% of the delegates at stake today.
Mike Huckabee will almost certainly take his home state of Arkansas and it wouldn’t shock me if he picked up another state somewhere in the Deep South or West Virginia; I just don’t have the polling data to be confident in every case. Of this I’m sure: He’ll end the night with no hope of getting the nomination. I expect he’ll quit the race sooner rather than later once that’s clear.
The Media Conspiracy to Keep Ron Paul Down will have proven itself once again, too, as the man finishes the night all but mathematically eliminated.
A week ago, it looked like Hillary Clinton was set to run the table. She had a huge lead in California and New York, the two biggest prizes. Barack Obama has had an amazing surge, though, including some big time endorsements. I’m much less confident than I was just a few days ago that she’ll win the nomination. That said, she should have a very good day.
Alabama Primary (60 delegates): Clinton
Alaska Caucus (18 delegates): Clinton
American Samoa Caucus (9 delegates): Clinton
Arizona Primary (67 delegates): Clinton
Arkansas Primary (47 delegates): Clinton
California Primary (441 delegates): Obama in a squeaker
Colorado Caucus (71 delegates): Clinton
Connecticut Primary (60 delegates): Clinton
Delaware Primary (23 delegates): Clinton
Georgia Primary (103 delegates): Obama
Idaho Caucus (23 delegates): Clinton
Illinois Primary (185 delegates): Obama
Kansas Caucus (41 delegates): Clinton
Massachusetts Primary (121 delegates): Clinton
Minnesota Caucus (88 delegates): Clinton
Missouri Primary (88 delegates): Clinton
New Jersey Primary (127 delegates): Clinton
New Mexico Caucus (38 delegates): Clinton
New York Primary (281 delegates): Clinton
North Dakota Caucus (21 delegates): Clinton
Oklahoma Primary (47 delegates): Clinton
Tennessee Primary (85 delegates): Clinton
Utah Primary (29 delegates): Clinton
Democrats Abroad Primary (11 delegates): Clinton
I’m taking wild guesses on a handful of these, as I’m not seeing any publicly available polling. The statewide “winners” don’t really matter all that much, anyway, because the Democrats award their delegates proportionally. This seeming Clinton rout will actually be a fairly minor victory. Obama will get perhaps 45 percent of the delegates to her 55 percent, ensuring the race continues for quite some time.
- Our own Dave Schuler
- Election Projection‘s Scott Elliot