Super Tuesday 2016

Voters from over a dozen states came to caucus and vote on Super Tuesday, leaving two candidates with a clear lead in the delegate count. Super Tuesday is the biggest voting day in the presidential nomination process as thirteen states, the U.S. territory of American Samoa, and Americans abroad vote. It is often nicknamed the ‘SEC Primary’ because so many of the voting states are located in the south, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas.

As the results poured in throughout the night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attained even larger leads in their parties’ nomination processes. While Bernie Sanders was able to come away with wins in states such as Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont, Clinton boasted a win in nearly every other primary. In Massachusetts, which was considered a much needed win for Bernie Sanders, Clinton was able to pull out another win. Bernie Sanders is not out of the race yet, but with Clinton’s dominant lead after Super Tuesday, his chances of passing her up in delegate count are diminishing quickly.

Texas, the largest state voting during Super Tuesday, was won by Ted Cruz, who is a senator from the state. Trump quickly made up for this loss with staggering and surprising wins in most other states. Trump was also able to take the key states of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and Virginia, all the southern states.

In Virginia, Hillary Clinton was overwhelmingly able to defeat Bernie Sanders, receiving nearly double the votes as Sanders. Clinton was able to win all the major population centers in Virginia, as well as many rural areas. Sanders, however, was only able to win a few Virginia counties, including Wise County.

Donald Trump’s victory in Virginia was a devastating blow to the Rubio campaign, which won only Minnesota Tuesday night. Cruz trailed behind Rubio, with John Kasich finishing in fourth and Ben Carson rounding out the bottom. Shortly after the results started coming in, Ben Carson dropped out of the race.

“[Donald Trump] has no chance in a general election,” Rubio said after his Virginia loss. “A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Both Clinton and Sanders have been vocal in their assurance that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, they will be able to defeat him in the general election. Recent national polls have also shown Sanders and Clinton with a substantial lead in hypothetic matchups between them and Trump.

While voter turnout in primaries and caucuses are generally low overall, Virginia saw voters participate in much higher numbers than anticipated. In the rural counties and almost all of Southwest Virginia, more voters turned out to vote in the Republican primary than the Democratic primary. In Fairfax County, more Democratic voters turned out, with other areas and counties seeing a fairly even number of Republican and Democratic voters.

Wise County –
Democrats:     Bernie Sanders: 51.1%
                          Hillary Clinton: 48%

Republicans:   Donald Trump: 56.6%
                          Marco Rubio: 17.3%
                          Ted Cruz: 14.1%

Fairfax County –
Democrats:     Hillary Clinton: 63.2%
                          Bernie Sanders: 36.3%

Republicans:   Marco Rubio: 40.1%
                          Donald Trump: 25.1%
                          John Kasich: 17.3%

Richmond City –
Democrats:     Hillary Clinton: 60.6%
                          Bernie Sanders: 39.1%

Republicans:   Marco Rubio: 46.9%
                          Donald Trump: 20.2%
                          John Kasich: 15.9%

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