Hillary Clinton's Super Tuesday Chances Are Looking Pretty Good, But Don't Count Bernie Sanders Out Just Yet

One of the biggest days of the 2016 primary is coming up: March 1, also known as Super Tuesday. On that day, 12 states will hold elections, and more party delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the campaign. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is looking to solidify her lead over Bernie Sanders with wins in several key states. In general, Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday chances are looking pretty good. Unlike, say, the Iowa caucuses, Super Tuesday usually isn’t that easy to grade as a success or a failure for any given candidate. That’s because different candidates have different “must-win” states, and every state allocates its delegates differently. It may be a while until we know which Democratic candidate “won” Super Tuesday, but the signs are looking good for Hillary.

It’s no secret that Clinton has long viewed Super Tuesday as a “firewall” that will protect her against any potential challenges, and she has good reason to be optimistic. According to FiveThirtyEight, there are five Super Tuesday states in which Clinton has a greater-than-90-percent chance of winning: Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and Arkansas (where she’s originally from). Clinton also has substantial leads in Alabama, Colorado, and Minnesota.

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Hillary will be in a very good position to win the Democratic nomination if she wins all, or even most, of the above states. Texas in particular would be a big one, because it’s worth a monster 252 delegates. However, it’s unlikely that Super Tuesday will completely push Sanders out of the race altogether, and there are two reasons for that: Vermont and Massachusetts.

Sanders has a small but significant lead over Clinton in Massachusetts, and that could give him a much-needed victory amidst what will likely be a big night for Hillary. Bernie is also just about guaranteed to win his home state of Vermont, where he’s leading Clinton by 75(!) points. A win in either or both of those states will give him a bit of momentum — maybe not enough to actually cinch the nomination, but enough to make the case that he shouldn't quit the race just yet.

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One big question mark is Oklahoma. While Clinton has steadily been polling ahead of Sanders there, it’s been a wildly inconsistent lead, ranging from two to 35 points, depending on the poll. What’s more, it's steadily been shrinking, so this could be a chance for Sanders to add another win to his column. All in all, though, Super Tuesday is probably going to be a very good night for Clinton. It won’t singlehandedly sew up the nomination for her, but it will make Sanders’ path a whole lot more difficult.

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