Business mogul Donald Trump won 7 out 11 states on Super Tuesday. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also won 7 out of 11 states. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won four states (his home state of Vermont, Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won Texas, Alaska and Oklahoma, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio won Minnesota.
Based on the results from Super Tuesday, it is nearly certain Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton will be their respective party’s nominees.
Granted, Tuesday night included proportional primaries, meaning even the candidates who didn’t win will most likely pick up some delegates. So proportionally, Mr. Trump’s delegates won’t increase that much more than everyone else’s. Political insiders say March 15 is the real date to watch, since that’s the day states can award all their delegates to the winning candidate, but it’s difficult to see how anything is going to change at that point.
Mr. Rubio won just one state, so it doesn’t look like he has a chance to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. Oh, maybe he’ll win some winner-take-all states on March 15, the insiders insist. Which ones? Which states will he win? He’s only won one so far, so where is this magical surge that’s going to carry him to the nomination?
Again, the political insiders say that in theory, the later states are more favorable to Mr. Rubio than the early states. I don’t see it, because there have been a number of states that were supposed to be favorable to someone other than Mr. Trump (cough cough South Carolina cough cough) and yet Mr. Trump won. It would take some sort of unforeseen miracle for Mr. Rubio to pull off this nomination. Sure, this has been a pretty unconventional primary, but that would be insanely unconventional.
The polls have so far been nearly spot on for predicting who would win. It’s not a 2012 situation, where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was projected to win but lost pretty badly. These aren’t the same polls in the United Kingdom or Canada, which vastly underestimated the eventual winner’s chances.
The GOP Establishment and Mr. Sanders’ grassroots supporters may like to wish the polls were wrong, but so far, they haven’t been.
It’s time to face facts. Mr. Sanders might have a path forward on March 15. Again, it would take a miracle for Mr. Rubio to end up with the nomination at this point. A better choice, at this point, for those in the Republican party that really don’t want Mr. Trump to be the nominee, would be to vote for Mr. Cruz.
Even that is a long shot, as the remaining primary states are more favorable to Mr. Rubio than Mr. Cruz. And Mr. Trump is polling ahead in so many additional states, it seems unlikely that Mr. Cruz or Mr. Rubio will get enough delegates to secure the nomination.
Perhaps if Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cruz had attacked Mr. Trump earlier in the primary, things would have been different. But they waited until five days before Super Tuesday. Maybe that hurt Mr. Trump a little, but not enough to make a major difference.
It’s looking like the only option for Republicans to nominate someone other than Mr. Trump is a brokered convention. But what will that do to the party? Sore losers on either side may be too dismayed to vote in November.
It doesn’t look like any other GOP candidate could get to 1,237 delegates by the Republican National Convention in July. If the other candidates are hoping for a brokered convention, then every candidate – Mr. Cruz, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Kasich and even former neurosurgeon Ben Carson – would have to stay in in an attempt to keep Mr. Trump from getting the necessary delegates.
But even if they do that, Mr. Trump appears on track to get the magic number. He’s on track to keep winning just about every state except Ohio (which will go to Mr. Kasich) and maybe Florida (although Mr. Trump appears to be winning there).
On the Democratic side, Mr. Sanders has a chance to pick up some states on March 15, since the race is between just him and Ms. Clinton. It seems unlikely at this point, since the Democrats allow 30 percent of the nomination to be made up of super delegates who can align themselves with their choice of candidate – and those super delegates have been choosing Ms. Clinton.
So right now, based on how the primaries are going, it looks like November’s election will be between Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton.