Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Super Tuesday open thread #2 – Hillary’s night

March 1st, 2016, 7:00pm by Sam Wang

Super Tuesday - state poll medians, weighted by number of delegates. March 1 at midnight before voting

(See open thread #1 – I am traveling. These are prewritten posts. Follow returns at HuffPollster.)

7:00pm: Journalists already have entrance/exit poll data, but this early in the evening, they usually  do not quote it directly. They may start hinting how it’s Hillary Clinton’s night. Wins and losses will be used as a shorthand to follow the results. But keep in mind that it is not the votes that matter, but the delegate counts – especially on the Republican side.

A number of states should come in very strong for Hillary Clinton: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In each of these states, she leads by margins of 24 to 48 percentage points. So early news coverage might be dominated by good news for Clinton. A key state to watch is Massachusetts [HuffPollster returns here], where Clinton led by a median of 9.5 percentage points in pre-election polls. To be competitive for the nomination, Sanders probably needs to pull out a win there and must narrow the gap elsewhere.

On the Republican side, delegates are assigned pseudo-proportionally. If Trump’s wins involve vote shares in the 30-45% range, as indicated by polls, that’s enough to get him about 48% of tonight’s delegates. Combined with the early-state delegates, it would get him 53% of all delegates to date. Here, the news media’s tendency to focus on wins and losses is quite appropriate, since getting a plurality of votes translates to a majority of delegates.

Tags: 2016 Election · President

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