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Super Tuesday thread #4 – Apocalypse

March 1st, 2016, 11:30pm by Sam Wang

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

Let the meltdown commence. Good night!

Tags: 2016 Election · President

43 Comments so far ↓

  • Peter K.

    Minnesota strong for Clinton?

    • Michael B B

      Clinton only has 2/3 of the votes Sanders does, but including super delegates, the delegate distribution is 43/35 in favor of Sanders, so you could argue that Minnesota is disproportionally strong for Clinton. At least in terms of delegate count.

  • AySz88

    What’s going on with the NYT Upshot delegate estimator (

    It’s currently saying (about) Cruz 167, Rubio 156. It was a much bigger gap before. What happened?

    And why such a small gap? With Rubio (3rd) mostly behind Cruz (2nd) in the Trump states, shouldn’t the same selection rules helping Trump have nudged the gap wider?

    • AySz88

      …and Trump is only getting ~40% of delegates according to that tool: 236/(236+169+152+21+3). Something’s off.

    • Jay Medina

      Also, Rubio looks very likely to get shut out of delegates in Texas giving Cruz maybe a 90 delegate lead in Texas… there’s no way Rubio makes up that many delegates. I think they’re assuming proportionality in all races to assign the delegate count, accidentally.

    • Sean Patrick Santos

      I think that the tool was dealing with some of the 20% thresholds. For example, it looks like Rubio gets nothing from Alabama, but that wasn’t clear earlier in the night. Same for Vermont.

    • Brian

      Trump is, in fact, getting only about 40% of delegates. Rubio and Cruz both made thresholds just barely in a long series of states to cut into Trump’s totals.

      Also, Trump’s even support across the region means he seems to have few or no 3-0 district wins.

    • Matt McIrvin

      So that means there’s actually still a semi-plausible path to denying him an outright majority and inducing a brokered convention. But it’d mean somebody else winning enough of the big winner-take-all states. I suspect it’s unlikely.

  • AySz88

    That should have hurt Rubio though? But the projection for Rubio had been going up as the results became more clear(ly bad). And it doesn’t agree with other sites’ counts and projections – ex CNN is saying right now that Rubio should have something less than 80ish.

    (And that page is still changing – 248, 208, 118, 18, 3 now.)

  • Olav Grinde

    I must confess that Bernie Sanders did far better than expected! Tonight’s score was 6.5–4.5. If only he’d had better GOTV in Massachusetts…

    Wipeout for Hillary: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

    Clear victory for Bernie: Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont

    Split: Massachusetts

    (Plus American Samoa to Hillary)

    ** It’s still unclear to me why Hillary got more delegates in Colorado, despite losing almost 60–40. Also in Massachusetts her harvest was much better, despite close to a split.

    • Michael B B

      Because she gets 100% of the super delegates… They have decided to all support her bid.

    • Michael B B

      If you go to the HuffPost link above and check and uncheck the box below the names, you’ll see the difference the super delegates make… It’s sad…

    • InmanRoshi

      I actually thought Bernie turned in a rather middling performance. His wins came in small delegate allocation states and was unable to stem off huge margins of victory in Virginia, Texas and Georgia that have essentially ended the race.

    • Olav Grinde

      True, you have a point. I think one of Bernie’s tragedies is that he has been unable to build bridges to minority voters. I would go so far as to say this failure is evidence of gross negligence by the Sanders Campaign. It could so easily have been otherwise!

  • Michael B B

    It’s things like Colorado and Minnesota that really bugs me. Rest of the states too, but the ones Sanders wins are the most obvious sign that the Democratic party elected its candidate for POTUS long before the primaries even started… It’s undemocratic when Sanders gets about 20 points more than Clinton, yet she’s getting 1 more delegate than him. That’s not close to reflecting the popular opinion of the Democratic Party.
    The ‘super delegates’ literally doubles Clintons number of delegates, without any popular support for their choice of candidate. Direct proportional delegation is the only fair way of avoiding manipulation of the system to allow the ‘establishment’ (no, not in the spooky way) to artificially alter the election. It basically amounts to the same as Republican gerrymandering of the process, by giving a huge advantage to whatever candidate is in favour with the ‘establishment’… Just like gerrymandering helping Republicans in states where they control the state establishment in charge of re-districting.

    • Ted

      Please see my post regarding super delegates above. They will switch (see 2008) if Bernie starts winning more actual delegates than Hillary. That hasn’t happened yet and appears increasingly unlikely.

    • InmanRoshi

      I assure you, Super Delegates will not determine the Democratic Candidate

  • Matt McIrvin

    I’ve been trying to figure out if the primary can tell us anything about general election turnout. The scenes in the early states gave this impression of a startling Trump groundswell sweeping the nation, so I was wondering if that would hold on Super Tuesday.

    I suppose it’s ambiguous. More Republicans turned out than Democrats, but there were more and bigger deep-red states involved (including Texas) than deep-blue ones. Republican turnout was considerably higher than Democratic in the swing state of Virginia, but the Virginia R primary was also excitingly close, while the Democratic one was a blowout.

    But I think the results do imply that there’s not a strong pro-Trump turnout effect. If there were one, we’d expect Trump to be way overperforming his primary polling, but instead he’s very slightly underperforming it. He may be as effective at turning out his opposing voters as his supporters.

    • amit

      Primaries are low participation affairs (and caucuses are just ridiculous, designed to keep people with jobs/young kids away). A few thousand extra voters showing up counts as an incredible turnout.

      I was chatting to one of the political groups on campus and they do almost no GOTV efforts until the general. If indeed it is Clinton vs. Trump I suspect the GOTV for the general will be highly intense.

    • Scott

      Key question: How much of the GOP turnout is people showing up to vote for Cruz, Rubio, Carson and Kasich in hopes of stopping Trump? News this morning reports exit polling in states Trump WON say a majority of the GOP electorate would NOT be satisfied with Trump as nominee.

    • whatever next

      Fully agree with your concluding sentence. Trump is polarizing.

    • Michael B B

      @whatever next: No, no, no. He’s a unifier! Brings people together! (Source:Donald Trump)

    • Matt McIrvin

      There were reports from Massachusetts of thousands of Democrats switching their registration to Republican or unenrolled so they could vote in the Republican primary.

      The question is whether they were switching so they could vote for Trump, or against Trump. Speaking purely anecdotally, I know of several people who did the latter. But I don’t think they coordinated who they were voting for, so the whole effort was probably wasted.

    • InmanRoshi

      I generally think turnout is generally always higher in open elections as opposed to incumbant elections, and the Democrats are essentially running an incumbant candidate in Hillary. I suspect Democratic turnout would be much higher if another high profile Democrat would have threw his hat intothe ring (Biden) and actually created a contested race.

  • Olav Grinde

    According to The Green Papers, Hillary has roughly 510 delegates to Bernie’s 359. This is sure to be updated in the course of today, as Super Tuesday results are finalised.

    In addition, Hillary has roughly 452 super-delegates to Bernie’s mere 19. Sam has previously written that, to compensate for that handicap, Bernie needs to beat Hillary in the primaries by an average of 6 % (if I remember correctly).

    This is a really nice overview!

    As of Super Tuesday, 29.45 % of the delegates have been assigned. Here is a timeline:

  • SoddingJunkMail

    According to these guys:

    Trump is leading the field, 285-281 (161+87+25+8) and this is with Cruz’s stronghold behind him.

  • amit

    Given that the only surprise of the day was Minnesota, this is getting boring. I do not think polling has gotten more accurate, more likely they are making several self-cancelling mistakes. But still, kudos to the pollsters for nailing a tough season with lots of never-befores participating.

    Also, song choice: With Trump winning evangelicals (!) perhaps a better REM song would be Losing my Religion.

  • Ted

    Lots of comments here about superdelegates. A quick overview: The Democrats added these in the 80s and the official line is that they were added to avoid regular people having to compete with members of congress and other officials for delegate spots. Of course it also tilts the convention in favor of the establishment…BUT if you look at 2008, Hillary had a big superdelegate lead early and then superdelegates started switching and consolidating behind Obama when he got and held the lead on elected delegates. Sanders has not yet held the lead in elected delegates (except maybe after New Hampshire briefly). Nobody should be complaining about superdelegates for Hillary until Bernie actually starts winning more elected delegates.

    • RDT

      Yes, at this point, on the Dem side, I think it only makes sense to look at pledged delegates. Super delegates will — in the end — follow the popular vote as the did in 2008.

      But I think Sanders supporters have to begin to face the reality that it is unlikely that the superdelegates are going to see a strong reason to switch sides.

  • whatever next

    Looks like Trump has 316 / 681 elected delegates so far, including the February voting states, with I estimate about 46 or so still to allocate from yesterday. So, that gives him 46+% of delegates so far. Cruz has 226 or 33%+ of delegates.

    Raw votes shares across all voting states yesterday (done accurately by adding up the figures, NOT by taking average %s of greatly varying sized states):

    Trump 34.4%
    Cruz 29.2%
    Rubio 22.0%
    Kasich 6.4%
    Carson 5.8%
    Other 2.3%

    You’d hardly think Cruz (especially) and Rubio had made up ground on Trump in vote shares (probably even more so if you extracted early votes, which Trump no doubt did better with before the gap narrowed) by the way the media reports it. After all, it’s not as though he’s in the commanding position that Clinton is in on the other side, even in terms of delegates.

    Cruz overperformed significantly versus polls (a big chunk of this is Texas), nearly 6%, and Rubio slightly (0.8%). Trump, Carson and Kasich all underperformed by a couple of points to nearest %.

    If the tightening continues, it’s not (quite) beyond the wildest imagination that Trump might yet not be among the last two GOP candidates standing come June. I fully accept accusations of wishful thinking on this point!

    • Mark F.

      I think the cake will be 99% baked for Trump on March 15. We’ll see. The non-Trumps all obviously need to win some “winner take all” states.

    • 538 Refugee

      I actually, in spite of what current polling says, think Clinton has a much easier time defeating Cruz than she does Trump. I believe Trump will actually pull from Democratic support among the blue collar. Someone linked to a post showing Trump dominated time on CCN coverage and probably the same across all news outlets. I don’t think the Democratic rank-n-file have really paid all that much attention to the rest of the Republican field at this point. When they really start to wake up to the positions of Cruz (and to a lesser extent Rubio/Kasich/Carson) we will see some changing poll numbers in the head to head races.

    • Olav Grinde

      It’s rather stunning that Governor John Kasich is seen as a moderate candidate. That really says everything about the rest of the field. Granted, Kasich is relatively soft-spoken, but the fact of the matter is that Kasich is an extremely misogynistic forced-birther, as evidenced by a number of his decisions as governor. (It’s far more than his slip-of-the-tongue that women came out of the kitchen to help him get elected.)

      However, given the antics of Trump, there is no harsh light being shined on that record.

  • Art

    Douthat has now echoed your “30% solution” strategy for Trump (without attribution unfortunately). Congrats.

    • Sam Wang

      It’s okay. These ideas have been percolating around a lot by now – though it is true that as far as I am aware, nobody’s put an explicit number on how many votes are needed.

  • Olav Grinde

    I am unable to find any Clinton–Sanders polls for Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska or Maine. What’s up with that? Or am I just blind? (I searched both RealClearPolitics and HuffPost Pollster.)

    The first three state make their decision this Saturday, while Maine decides on Sunday.

  • 538 Refugee

    The GOP is rocked the Ben Carson’s announcement that he is no longer seeking the presidency.

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