Did Super Tuesday III Leave Behind a Trail of Broken Dreams?
If anyone had told us last year that the political primary would become more treacherous and dramatic than an episode of Real Housewives, we would’ve never believed it. Yet here we are, midway through March, with Republican and Democratic primary battles so temperamental that we’re half expecting J.K. Simmons to pop in and yell at us about our jazz drumming technique. The whiplash only intensified last night as voters went to the polls in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio to choose their nominee. The night brought some of the biggest delegate prizes in the campaign thus far and, by the end, victory paths toward the nomination were erected and obituaries for the hopes and dreams of at least one political hopeful were written. After descending from a mountain of polling data and state delegate breakdowns, we’re here to tell you who won, who’s done, and what it all means.
With a sweeping win of every state contest last night, Hillary Clinton proved that her Michigan upset last week was just a glitch in the system. What was supposed to be an easy path to the nomination for the former secretary of state has turned into a slow slog from state to state against Bernie Sanders. He’s consistently been trailing behind Clinton’s 200-delegate lead, while simultaneously outspending her and creating a fresh level of renewed excitement and trust that may even rival Obama’s 2008 run. Momentum and excitement only go so far, though, and by the end of last night, Hillary’s double-digit wins in Florida, South Carolina, and Ohio cancelled out her one percent wins in Illinois and Missouri, giving her a 300-delegate lead that may be mathematically impossible for Sanders to overcome.
John Kasich proved his worth and became the wall the GOP needed to blunt Donald Trump’s near sweep of the state primaries. Kasich turned his momentum and support into a win with his Ohio victory. He may have only won a single state as of yet, but last night he looked like he had just won free trips to Disneyland for life—and that’s the kind of optimism we need when we’re forced every day to look upon the orange-tinted evil that is Trump.
Robo Rubio’s embarrassing loss in his home state of Florida was the final nail his campaign coffin. Watching him suspend his campaign and go into self-destruction mode was like watching the iron giant die, if the iron giant was supremely unlikeable and not played by Vin Diesel. Now that Rubio’s out, Kasich looks poised to ride the wave of fourth place momentum all the way to third place while Ted Cruz (otherwise known as “crazy pants”) and Donald Trump fight for the right to ruin the country as the Republican nominee.
For all the young white people who’ve been fighting for Sanders’ political revolution over the past few months, last night’s Hillary sweep was an Antarctica-sized block of ice placed directly on the Bern. His chances of winning the nomination are slipping fast and the delegate math isn’t on his side. His only hope lies in the next month of primaries, which are moving out of Clinton’s Southern firewall and into whiter territories. Whether or not Sanders wins, his popularity is pushing Clinton’s policies to the left.
The real question in the aftermath of Rubio’s exit is where the 168 delegates he had will go and whether Kasich’s insistence on staying in the race will end up helping or hurting the Trump’s rise. As for the Democratic race, Hillary may be setting her sights on a one-on-one battle with Trump in the fall, but Sanders has vowed to stay in the race and fight it out until the convention—which, for us, means a lot more erratic hand-waving and at least four more great SNL skits. It was a huge night for Hillary and Trump, but their fight for the nomination isn’t over yet.
Images via Getty, CNBC, and AP.
Stay tuned to Milk for more political coverage.