What to Know as 3 More States Vote

Here's looking at you, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2016 6:19 AM CDT
What to Know as 3 More States Vote
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Provo, Utah.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

The 2016 race moves westward Tuesday. Arizona and Utah will vote for their candidates of choice, while Idaho Democrats will caucus, reports the AP. (Ted Cruz previously took the latter state for Republicans.) It'll be a late one, with Utah Republicans permitted to vote online until 1am EDT—and exact percentages really matter there. Here's what to watch:

  • Donald Trump is expected to lose Utah, but the big question is by how much. If Cruz manages to secure at least 50% of the vote, he gets all 40 delegates. If he doesn't, they'll be handed out proportionally, which the New York Times sees as psychologically damaging to Cruz and yet another boost for Trump on his quest to secure 1,237 delegates.
  • But maybe Cruz can pull it off. Politico cites a survey released Saturday that gives Cruz 53% of the GOP vote.
  • The thorn in Cruz's side: John Kasich, who the AP reports "hopes to play spoiler" and has been running an online ad that suggests Mitt Romney endorsed him. (Not so.) The aforementioned poll has Kasich at 29%, and Trump at 11%.

  • In fact, Politico reports Romney recorded a robocall Monday that puts it plainly to Utahans: "A vote for John Kasich is a vote for Donald Trump."
  • Arizona, with its 58 delegates, is winner-take-all. The Hill notes it's the biggest such state left.
  • Trump is expected to win it, though Politico notes polling has been light in the state. Interestingly, Marco Rubio, who dropped out March 15, could end up with a decent number of votes here: Arizona has a lengthy early-voting period, and it's possible a majority of votes have already been cast.
  • On the Democratic side, the Hill notes that "Sanders has fared better in states with smaller percentages of minority voters—likely to be the case in Utah and Idaho."
  • But all delegates are awarded proportionally, so a big win for Sanders in Arizona (75 delegates) would have more impact than Utah (33) or Idaho (23), notes the Hill. Still, "a string of sizable victories could blunt the pressure on him to withdraw from the race," reports the Times.
(More Election 2016 stories.)

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