Super Tuesday Preview: Democrats

Happy Super Tuesday Eve! Rather than have a gargantuan preview for both parties tomorrow, I’ll split them up over two days and hope that today’s information isn’t outdated in 24 hours. I’ll start with the Democrats because, let’s face it, their primary isn’t nearly as dramatic. South Carolina confirmed the voting patterns we had long been expecting. Tomorrow I’ll turn to the GOP.

My goal for this Super Tuesday preview is to predict a rough estimate of the day’s delegate split. To do that, I’ll want to consider the most relevant polling data for each of the contests in addition to various factors like momentum and recent candidate visits to the state. For each contest, I’ll list:

  • Delegate allocation rules (which, gratefully, are pretty uniform for the Democrats)
  • Most recent polls
  • Voting percentage prediction
  • Estimated delegate split

At the end, I’ll tabulate the states and delegate splits and spew out a rough prediction for the day. If you don’t think I’m increasingly giddy about embarking on this voyage, you don’t know me at all.

Let’s get to it. I’ll be ranking by delegation size. Of the 4,051 available pledged delegates across the entire primary, today holds 865, or a bit more than one-fifth. (We also can’t forget about the 712 superdelegates, which makes it 4,763 possible delegates, but they have nothing to do with today. About 150 superdelegates call one of today’s contests home, so some outlets will irresponsibly add their totals to today’s delegates, but they’re not at all beholden to the voting results.)


#1. Texas Primary — 222 pledged delegates (does not count 30 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules: 15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 145 awarded across 31 senatorial districts, 77 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsNine polls over the last twelve days average to Clinton 59.9, Sanders 34.4

Prediction for the state: All of the polls are saying she’s headed for a big victory. The last four have her up 29, 34, 21, and 24, and those were before South Carolina. Late deciders will break to her. Let’s say 65-35 Clinton. (Here’s a good time to mention that tomorrow’s voting numbers will never add up to 100 percent, but since the delegate allocation will, I’ll still predict it that way. Let’s keep things simple.)

Estimated delegate split: 144 Clinton, 78 Sanders (Clinton +66)

#2. Georgia Primary — 102 pledged delegates (15 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 67 awarded across 14 Congressional districts, 35 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsSix polls over the last twelve days average to Clinton 63.0, Sanders 28.2.

Prediction for the state: In addition to an average lead of 34.8 points, but she’s won two of the last six polls by exactly 34. Her narrowest lead is 28, her widest is 46. So 34 sounds great. Clinton 67, Sanders 33.

Estimated delegate split: Clinton 68, Sanders 34 (Clinton +34… a number coming up a creepy amount of times)

#3. Virginia Primary — 95 pledged delegates (14 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 62 awarded across 11 Congressional districts, 33 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent polls: Five polls over the last two weeks average out to Clinton 55.4, Sanders 35.8.

Prediction for the state: It’s worth noting that the earliest of those five polls was considerably early (ending on the 14th) and had Clinton by her smallest margin (52-40), since some of it was done after New Hampshire but totally before Nevada. I’d toss it, which raises her average and lowers Sanders’s. Two of the polls were done after Nevada, and they had her at 59 and 60 points. South Carolina will help even more. I’ll give her 62 to Sanders’s 38.

Estimated delegate split: Clinton 59, Sanders 36 (Clinton +23)

#4. Massachusetts Primary — 91 pledged delegates (25 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 59 awarded across 9 Congressional districts, 32 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsThree polls done over twelve days average to Sanders 46.3, Clinton 45.7. A toss-up.

Prediction for the state: Just like Virginia, however, one of the polls was conducted before Nevada, and that had Sanders at a 49-42 lead. Throw it out. Average the other two polls and it’s Clinton on top at 47.5 to 45, and that’s without a post-South Carolina poll. That being said, Sanders has spent considerable resources making a late push for the state; it has a lot of Warren Democrats; and, like New Hampshire, it’s a neighboring state for the Vermont Senator. Sanders 51, Clinton 49.

Estimated delegate split: Sanders 46, Clinton 45 (Sanders +1!!)

#5. Minnesota caucuses — 77 pledged delegates (16 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 50 awarded across 8 Congressional districts, 27 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent polls: Only one poll done since August, and it was a January 18th to 20th poll that had Clinton up 59-25 before the last Sanders surge. Toss it.

Prediction for the state: I’ll give this one to Sanders. It was his first stop after South Carolina, it’s a caucus state, and it has plenty of liberal activists. Sanders 60, Clinton 40

Estimated delegate split: Sanders 46, Clinton 29 (Sanders +17)

#6. Tennessee Primary — 67 pledged delegates (9 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 44 awarded across 9 Congressional districts, 23 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsTwo polls done over the last twelve days average to Clinton 59, Sanders 33. Both polls had her up 26 (58-32 and 60-34). Half of the second one was surveyed after Nevada.

Prediction for the state: Her total is trending up and South Carolina will help. She should win by more than 26. Clinton 65, Sanders 35.

Estimated delegate split: Clinton 44, Sanders 23 (Clinton +21)

#7. Colorado caucuses — 66 pledged delegates (13 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rulesLike most caucuses, it’s a mess. Read up at your own risk.

Most recent pollJust a measly early November poll. Thanks for nothing, Centennial State. Maybe if you weren’t a “mile high” all the time, someone would do some polling work for us. Put the bong down, Colorado. Just put it down.

Prediction for the state: The hell if I know. But let’s say caucus state + college towns + marijuana hits = Bernie domination. Sanders 70, Clinton 30.

Estimated delegate split: Sanders 46, Clinton 20 (Sanders +26)

#8. Alabama Primary — 53 pledged delegates (7 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 35 awarded across 7 Congressional districts, 18 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollJust one, like Colorado, but at least this one was done in mid-February. It has Clinton 59, Sanders 31.

Prediction for the state: The poll was done entirely after New Hampshire but entirely before Nevada, so Sanders was in his best position possible. She will have risen considerably. Clinton 67, Sanders 33.

Estimated delegate split: Clinton 36, Sanders 17 (Clinton +19)

#9. Oklahoma Primary — 38 pledged delegates (4 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 23 awarded across 5 Congressional districts, 13 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsTwo polls across the last three weeks average to Clinton 45, Sanders 36. It’s worth noting, however, that the first poll, done after Iowa, had Clinton by 16, whereas the second, done after New Hampshire, had Clinton by only 2. Sanders was trending way up after the second state.

Prediction for the state: But then there were the third and fourth states. I think she held Sanders off. That being said, he’s made Oklahoma more of a target for Tuesday. I’ll say Clinton 51, Sanders 49.

Estimated delegate split: 19 a piece

#10. Arkansas — 32 pledged delegates (5 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 21 awarded across 4 Congressional districts, 11 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsTwo polls done since February 4 average to Clinton 57, Sanders 28.5. The first was done after Iowa and had her up 57-25, the second was done after New Hampshire and had her up 57-32.

Prediction for the state: Two 57s in her (her husband’s?) home state before her last two wins. That’ll climb big time. Clinton 68, Sanders 32.

Estimated delegate split: Clinton 22, Sanders 10 (Clinton +12)

#11. Vermont — 16 pledged delegates (10 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules: 15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; 11 awarded across the only Congressional district (*snicker*), 5 for statewide results (both proportional)

Most recent pollsTwo polls over the last two weeks average to Sanders 84.5, Clinton 9.5.

Prediction for the state: No amount of Clinton success in Nevada and South Carolina is going to make this state competitive. I think we have a real chance of Clinton coming up with under 15 percent of the vote and not meeting the threshold for delegates.

Estimated delegate split: Sanders 16, Clinton 0 (Sanders +16… I did that in my head)

#12. American Samoa caucuses — 6 pledged delegates (4 superdelegates)

Delegate allocation rules15 percent threshold to earn district or statewide delegates; All 6 pledged delegates awarded proportionally based on Samoan-wide vote.

Most recent polls: You’re not going to believe this, but no major poll has been done of American Samoan Democrats.

Prediction for the state: I can’t even. Did you know that eight years ago only 284 people voted in the American Samoa Democratic caucuses? And am I the only picturing all of them as really fat and trying to carefully squeeze into the voting booth? Clinton won 57 percent of them in 2008, so let’s just go with that again.

Estimated delegate split: Clinton 4, Sanders 2 (Clinton +2)


Totals

Contests:

  • Clinton 7 (Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, American Samoa)
  • Sanders 3 (Minnesota, Colorado, Vermont)
  • Close to a tie 2: Massachusetts (Sanders with the edge, if forced to choose), Oklahoma (Clinton with the edge, if forced to choose)

Pledged delegate split (rounding issues from converting vote-percentages to delegate splits have me two under the 865 available pledged delegates from the day; I’ve added one to each candidate below): 

  • Clinton: 491
  • Sanders: 374

Note: These states have another 150ish superdelegates that might be factored in when hearing results from the misleading mainstream media.


Implications

If these numbers are anywhere near accurate, Sanders will find it nearly impossible to make a comeback. If you factor in superdelegates, which have (kind of) given her a lead of about 400 delegates (give or take a hundred), she’s about to extend it even more, and considerably so. Moreover, there will be a lot fewer states and delegates remaining for Sanders to make up the deficit.

Let’s remember that eight years ago, Senator Obama’s lead over Senator Clinton wasn’t as large, but she had difficulty making up the gap because it’s so hard to win states by enough to make up the difference. With Sanders already being down in most states, he’ll find it difficult to win more than a few remaining states by even a slim margin. Unless I’m very, very wrong about Super Tuesday, this race is over. These is no viable Sanders path barring a Clinton indictment. And even then.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the Republican side.

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