Today, more delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the presidential race. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are at stake, plus about a third for Democrats. In roughly a dozen state races, Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic leader Hillary Clinton seem poised to win in landslides that could render them nearly inevitable.
Delegates, though, will be awarded proportionally, so challengers could use the day to position themselves for an extended fight, particularly on the Republican side, where states only begin winner-take-all delegate allocation later in March. Below, six predictions that suggest Clinton and Trump might be coming up on a very good day.
– PredictWise: Trump and Clinton
The research project led by David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research in New York City who successfully predicted the winner in 21 of the first 26 primary contests in 2012, aggregates betting market data and polling. As of Sunday, PredictWise had Trump up in 10 of 11 states-all except Texas, where home-state Sen. Ted Cruz is at 85 percent. Otherwise Trump is dominant, with his odds of winning ranging from 67 percent in Minnesota to 96 percent in Tennessee. As for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, he’s second most likely to win in every state except Alaska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
On the Democratic side, Clinton is expected to win 10 of 11 states, according to the PredictWise model, up from eight before her win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday. She has a greater than 95 percent chance of winning delegate-rich Texas, Georgia, and Virginia. The odds lean toward Senator Bernie Sanders in his home state of Vermont and have shifted away from him in Colorado and Massachusetts.
“If Clinton carries the close states, then that could end the race on Tuesday,” Rothschild said in an email. “She is now 95 percent to win the nomination.”
– RealClearPolitics: Trump and Clinton
On the Republican side as of Sunday, the poll averaging and aggregating site had Trump ahead in five of the six states that have been polled regularly in February. Cruz leads in Texas-the biggest prize of the day in terms of delegates at stake-with about 36 percent of the electorate, nearly 9 points above Trump.
Among Democrats as of Sunday, Clinton led in seven of the eight states that have been polled in February, including Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. Sanders led in Vermont by a wide margin-75 points-but his lead in neighboring Massachusetts was less than a single point.
– Bing: Trump and Clinton
After correctly calling seven of eight February contests, Bing Predicts expects blowouts for both Trump and Clinton in Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses. Trump is forecast to win every state except Texas, according to the “machine-learned predictive model” that the Microsoft search engine created. It parses data from polls, prediction markets, search engine queries, and social media posts.
Clinton, meanwhile, is expected to win more than 60 percent of the vote in all seven Super Tuesday southern states, and to carry Colorado, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, where Bing Predicts had showed narrow Sanders wins until Clinton took South Carolina resoundingly. As of Sunday, Sanders’s only victory was expected to be in his home state of Vermont.
According to the most recent data available from Bing’s main competitor, Google, Trump and Sanders accounted for an average of 69 percent and 56 percent of search interest, respectively, in the past 24 hours across the states holding delegate-allocating primaries or caucuses on March 1.
– FiveThirtyEight: Trump and Clinton
On Sunday, FiveThirtyEight, which is run by former New York Times stats guru Nate Silver, gave Trump odds of winning five of the six Republican contests it has modeled, including Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama. Rubio is forecasted to come in second in the same races. Cruz has an 85 percent chance of winning Texas, with Trump coming in second.
For the Democrats, Clinton is projected to win seven of eight states modeled, including Arkansas (where she spent more than a decade as first lady) at chances above 95 percent, as well as Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. As usual, Sanders is almost certain to win Vermont.
(For each state, FiveThirtyEight uses two models, one that averages polls and one that attempts to combine the effect of endorsements with the polls. Odds sometimes vary between the projections, but for all states, the candidate who has the highest chances of winning in one model has the highest chances in the other.)
– Political Insiders: Rubio and Clinton
Trump’s endorsement by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, himself a candidate until recently, shocked many political observers who had witnessed Christie’s criticisms of the mogul. Yet Trump is still weak when measured by the number of endorsements from institutional political figures in Super Tuesday states, even after Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions threw his support to him.
By Bloomberg Politics’ latest count, Cruz has pretty much locked up Texas with at least 62 state lawmakers, eight members of Congress, and Gov. Greg Abbott. Rubio just barely edges him out in overall numbers, not to mention two governors to Cruz’s one-from Arkansas and Tennessee-plus the senior senator from Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe. On Sunday, Rubio also received the endorsement of Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander.
The Democratic endorsement ledgers are far more lopsided. According to a tally updated by FiveThirtyEight, Clinton is supported by 33 House lawmakers, seven senators, and four governors from Super Tuesday states. This includes almost the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation and the governor and senior U.S. senator from Vermont. Sanders, meanwhile, has just two Super Tuesday endorsements.
– Ballotcraft: Trump and Clinton
This fantasy politics game co-founded by two Stanford grads has thousands of players who, using fake money, buy “shares” in candidates. As of Sunday, Trump was expected to win 10 of 11 states, with Cruz’s home state of Texas the unsurprising outlier. Cruz is otherwise most competitive in Arkansas and Oklahoma, where the site’s users give him at least a 1-in-4 chance of winning. For Rubio, he’s second most-likely to win (with at least 25 percent odds) in Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Virginia.
“What we hear from our users is that Donald Trump’s polling leads are just too large in many of these states,” said Ballotcraft CEO Dennis Jiang. “He demonstrated in Nevada and South Carolina that he is able to turn out his supporters, so there’s no longer confidence that the superior organizations of Cruz or Rubio will be able to overcome such polling deficits.”
On the Democratic side, Clinton is likely to win the Southern states, where she’s expected to perform strongly with African-American voters like she did in South Carolina. Sanders is projected to do better in states such as Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont that are home to a lot of white liberals.
(C) 2016, Bloomberg · Andre Tartar, Ben Brody