Hillary Clinton set to run up the score on Super Tuesday | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton set to run up the score on Super Tuesday

Posted By on Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:29 PM

Nate Cohn, election and polling guru at the New York Times Upshot blog, had a good look at the state of the race this weekend. As I noted last night, Hillary Clinton's massive win in South Carolina — and her dominance among black voters — likely puts her in the driver's seat for the nomination. Her lead is likely to grow on Super Tuesday, Cohn writes

The result positions Mrs. Clinton for a sweep of the South in a few days on Super Tuesday and puts the burden on Mr. Sanders to post decisive victories elsewhere. If he does not — and the polls, at least so far, are not encouraging — Mrs. Clinton seems likely to amass a significant and possibly irreversible lead.

The delegate math is Clinton's big advantage at this point, even leaving aside her advantage among superdelegates. Because Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally, winning states doesn't matter as much as the margin. Other than his home state of Vermony, Sanders has a few states with at least a shot at narrow victories, but Clinton has a bunch of states where she is likely to win big. That will lead to an insurmountable delegate lead. Here's Cohn: 

The results in South Carolina — as well as in Nevada, where Mrs. Clinton also won black voters by a wide margin — suggest that she can count on big wins in six Super Tuesday states where black voters represent an above-average share of Democratic voters: Alabama, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia. The polls say the same thing.

As a result, the Sanders campaign has effectively conceded the South on Super Tuesday. The campaign is not airing advertisements there, according to NBC News data. It’s instead concentrating resources in five states with far fewer black voters and far fewer delegates: Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts and Vermont. It is a strategy that aims to maximize Mr. Sanders’s chance of winning states, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent Mrs. Clinton from running up huge delegate leads from the South.

If Sanders is to have any hope of the nomination, he needs massive victories in states that are relatively friendly territory, like Massachusetts and Minnesota. The polling does not look promising on this front, notes Cohn: 

He’s in a tight race in Massachusetts. He’s in a tight race in Oklahoma, a state with a below-average black population and a large number of working-class Democrats. There is not much polling in Colorado or Minnesota, but there isn’t much evidence of a blowout there or in neighboring Wisconsin.

Based on polling and other factors, here are the projected results in the Super Tuesday states from fivethirtyeight: 

Arkansas: Clinton 64 - Sanders 32
Georgia: Clinton 70 - Sanders 27
Massachusetts: Clinton 52 - Sanders 45
Oklahoma: Clinton 52- Sanders 44
Tennessee: Clinton 65 - Sanders 32
Texas: Clinton 66 - Sanders 32
Vermont: Sanders 87 - Clinton 11
Virginia: Clinton 63 - Sanders  34

Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota are also voting on Tuesday, but there are not enough public polls of Democratic voters in those states for fivethirtyeight to run its projection model. 

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