Super Tuesday wasn't quite the Trump sweep some analysts had predicted, but he still won at least seven states, adding to what the Washington Post describes as a string of victories unprecedented in modern GOP primaries. Because of the divide between Republicans in the Northeast and the South, no GOP candidate has been able to rack up victories in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia, and South Carolina—until now. Even Ronald Reagan failed to win Massachusetts in 1980, while more recent candidates who went on to become the nominees struggled in the South. In other Super Tuesday developments:
- Victories in Texas and Oklahoma will keep Ted Cruz's campaign alive and strengthen his case for being the only viable Trump alternative, the New York Times notes. Speaking to supporters in Texas, he said a divided field would hand the nomination to the "profane and vulgar" Trump, which would be a "disaster for Republicans, for conservatives, and for the nation."
- Cruz needed to do a lot better to emerge from Super Tuesday with a real shot at the nomination, according to Aaron Blake at the Washington Post. He took his home state and neighboring Oklahoma, but he was unable to win among evangelicals in other Southern states, exposing him as a candidate whose "appeal is very regional, rather than religious."
- With Minnesota, Marco Rubio won his first state, but the timing was terrible, Nate Silver notes at FiveThirty Eight. The state was called late in the evening, long after the media narrative portrayed Super Tuesday as a disaster for him.
- Rubio is now focusing on Florida, his home state, where failure to win on March 15 would probably doom his campaign, Politico reports. "Florida, I know you're ready," he told supporters in Miami-Dade County Tuesday evening, before the Minnesota win was announced. "The pundits say we're underdogs, I'll accept that. We've all been underdogs. This is a community of underdogs. This is a state of underdogs. This is a country of underdogs, but we will win."
- Despite the glimmers of hope for Cruz and Rubio, Trump remains well on his way to gaining an insurmountable delegate lead and the opposition remains divided, writes Andrew Prokop at Vox. With major votes on March 15 approaching, the GOP elites now have just 14 days to stop Trump, he writes—and they haven't made much progress so far.
(Read more Super Tuesday