Which Super Tuesday State Is The Most Important? There's One Key Player
Big states get more delegates, and the biggest state holding a primary on Super Tuesday, Texas, is the most important one to watch that day, especially on the GOP side. In both the Democratic and Republican primary races, Texas is the big kahuna, delegate-wise. The GOP gives out 155, while the Dems will split 222 pledged delegates. Of course, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will be happy to get a good chunk, and the results will be interesting and proportionally make up a big portion of their delegate totals. But it's in the GOP race that the Texas results could be one of the best indicators as to what comes next.
That's because either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz will probably drop out soon (as will, of course, Ben Carson and John Kasich). Whoever's left will be going up against Trump. And when the race finally tightens, we should get a better idea of who will be going up against the Democrats. The reason Texas is so important in this is that it's Cruz's home state. Rubio has been coming in second now, which would put him ahead, right? Usually, but in these races, it's all about the delegates. And on Super Tuesday, he might have a hard time winning them.
That's because of the thresholds and ways to award delegates that are in place. Even if Rubio gets more votes on Super Tuesday, Cruz could get more delegates. If Rubio came second in 10 of the 11 states, Trump would get a majority of the delegates. A majority of the states that vote on Super Tuesday require candidates to have between 10 and 20 percent of the vote before they're awarded any delegates. That will mostly hurt John Kasich and Ben Carson, but the states with 20-percent thresholds could be problematic for Rubio, too.
The biggest issue for Rubio is that in other states, even if he came in a close second, many of the delegates would be channeled to Trump at a much higher margin than the the vote would proportionally call for. Take South Carolina, for example. It has a form of winner-take-all allocation. Trump ended up with all 50 of the delegates, despite earning just under 33 percent of the vote. Eight states have something similar in the Republican race on Tuesday. Rubio's second-place finishes therefore might not add up to much.
Meanwhile, Cruz should definitely take home a big number of delegates in Texas. If he comes in first, as polls suggest he will, he could win enough to put him in a clear lead ahead of Rubio, and consolidating himself as the main candidate to go against Trump. That's why Texas is one the state to watch on the GOP side.
As for the Democrats, some other states that could be interesting to follow on Super Tuesday are Colorado, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. According to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, they seem to be the primary swing states, and will give a good idea as to how the country's feeling in terms of Sanders vs. Clinton.
But when it comes to delegates, neither party should mess with Texas on Super Tuesday. Stay tuned for the results.
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