9 Takeaways From Super Tuesday Showdowns

9 Takeaways From Super Tuesday Showdowns
(Left) Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak during a Super Tuesday election night watch party at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 5, 2024. (Right) Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally in Portland, Maine, on March 3, 2024. (Chandan Khanna, Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Immigration, abortion, Gaza, taxes, the economy, President Joe Biden’s age, President Donald Trump’s trials—voters had a lot on their minds as they cast primary election ballots on Super Tuesday, the nation’s biggest day for voting outside the general election.

Voters in 15 states took to the polls on March 5 to select candidates for November’s presidential election. Voters in California, Texas, North Carolina, and Alabama cast nominating ballots for key House and Senate races, and voters in North Carolina selected nominees for a gubernatorial contest.

While the presidential primary drew the most attention, our reporters on the ground in more than 10 states monitored races that could affect the balance of power in Congress and explored the implications of the day’s results for the November election and beyond.

Here’s what you need to know about Super Tuesday’s results.

Nomination Nearly in Reach for Trump

Before Super Tuesday, President Trump had won every caucus and primary except for the one in Washington, D.C.

The former president dominated at least 12 of the 15 Super Tuesday contests against Nikki Haley as of 12:40 a.m. ET. Ms. Haley won Vermont.

Analysts continue to work through the complicated state party rules for the allocation of delegates, but the overall picture is clear. President Trump is fast closing in on the 1,215 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Speaking to supporters at Mar-a-Lago, the former president said the pundits have called the day’s series of landslide victories “conclusive.” He went on to call for unity in the Republican Party without directly calling for Ms. Haley to exit the race.

President Trump could secure the delegates needed for nomination as early as March 12.

More Protest Votes Against Biden

Like Michigan, protest votes were cast in multiple states against President Biden during the Super Tuesday for his handling of the Hamas-Israel war.

According to early results, over 19 percent of Minnesota voters chose “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary.

Protest votes were also recorded in other states: Alabama (6 percent), Colorado (7.6 percent), Iowa (3.9 percent), Massachusetts (9.2 percent), North Carolina (12.7 percent), and Tennessee (7.9 percent).

The behavior of these protest voters in the general election remains uncertain. While some individuals plan to stay home, others have expressed their intention to vote for President Trump.

Despite winning all 15 Super Tuesday states, President Biden was unexpectedly defeated by Jason Palmer, a little-known presidential candidate, in the Democratic caucuses in American Samoa, a territory that cannot participate in the general election.

Nikki Haley’s Future a Question Mark

While President Trump made an expected strong showing, Ms. Haley again failed to garner enough delegates to remain a credible contender absent President Trump’s departure from the race.

Even in Vermont, which she won, Ms. Haley posted only a narrow margin of victory. Results from Alaska and Utah were still pending past midnight. Ms. Haley lost decisively in all other contests, including six by more than 50 percentage points.

The Haley campaign released a statement late on March 5, apparently in response to President Trump’s call for unity.

“Unity is not achieved by simply claiming ‘we’re united.’ Today, in state after state, there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump. That is not the unity our party needs for success,” the statement read.

Ahead of South Carolina’s primary last month, Ms. Haley suggested she would remain a contender through March 5.

Jason Miller, President Trump’s campaign manager, issued a call for Ms. Haley to step aside for the sake of “beating Joe Biden in the fall.”

Ms. Haley recently hedged when asked about the possibility of a third-party run and declined to repeat her pledge to support the Republican nominee.

Republicans Win California Senate Nomination for First Time in Three Cycles

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball all-star, placed first and second, respectively, in California’s jungle primary on Super Tuesday.

In California’s open or “jungle” primary system, the top two finishers in each race—regardless of party—advance to the general election.

In recent election cycles, both general election candidates have been Democrats.

This race will fill the seat formerly held by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), who died in September.

North Carolina Races Could Affect Congress, Presidential Election

With President Trump and President Biden gliding to victory in their respective primaries in the state, the big prize in North Carolina was each party’s nomination for governor.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is term-limited and cannot seek reelection, so neither side will have an incumbent’s advantage in November.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who was a furniture manufacturer until 2018 when his meteoric political rise began, won his party’s nomination by a double-digit margin.

Democratic State Attorney General Josh Stein also easily defeated his challengers.

The two will vie for the governor’s mansion in November in this state, a crucial battleground for the presidential campaign. President Trump won North Carolina in 2020 with his thinnest margin of victory.

The Tar Heel State will also host a series of congressional races that will affect the composition of the 119th Congress.

The state’s congressional map is more favorable to Republicans after redistricting following the 2020 census.

Important nominating races among Republicans in key congressional districts have led to at least two runoffs.

In the state’s 1st Congressional District, Laurie Buckhout defeated Sandy Smith for the Republican nomination and will face incumbent Democrat Don Davis in the general election. The district map now favors Republicans, who are seeing to flip the seat.

The 6th, 8th, 10th, and 13th Districts are relatively safe for Republicans, meaning the victors in the Super Tuesday nominating contests are likely to become members of Congress.

Candidates for both parties are vying to replace Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.), who declined to seek reelection in the 14th District in order to run for attorney general. Mr. Jackson claimed he had become unelectable in the district due to gerrymandering.

Alabama’s New Districts

Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.) will likely secure another two years in Washington after beating Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Ala.) in a competitive primary contest in southern Alabama.

On March 5, Mr. Moore won the incumbent-on-incumbent primary contested between himself and Mr. Carl to represent a newly redrawn 1st Congressional District. That district, which was modified by the state in order to grant black Alabamans a better opportunity to send representatives to Washington, now stretches across the southernmost counties of Alabama from the Mississippi to Georgia borders.

The redrawn plan put Mr. Moore, who currently represents the 2nd District, inside the 1st District, setting up the Super Tuesday face-off.

With his primary win, Mr. Moore will square off against Democratic Party candidate Tom Holmes in November. The Republican typically wins in the southern Alabama elections.

The new 2nd District, which lies directly north of the 1st and includes Montgomery County, Alabama, also had a Republican primary contest on March 5. The crowded race resulted in a runoff between Caroleene Dobson and Dick Brewbaker. The contest is scheduled for April 16.

Texas Democrats Hope to Oust Sen. Ted Cruz

Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas) will face incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in November after winning the state’s Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Mr. Allred’s primary opponent, State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, was vastly outspent and claimed just 17 percent of the vote to Mr. Allred’s 69 percent.

“Thank you, Texas! I am honored to be your Democratic nominee,” Mr. Allred posted on X on March 5. “Together, we are going to beat Ted Cruz and give all Texans the leadership we need in the U.S. Senate.”

Polling from the University of Houston indicates that Mr. Cruz would best Mr. Allred by 9  percentage points in a head-to-head matchup.

Mr. Cruz did not address the primary result directly but reposted a comment on social media by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines (R-Mt.), which derided Mr. Allred as “an extremist” and expressed confidence in Mr. Cruz.

Although no Democrat has won a statewide office in Texas in 30 years, Democrats have cast Mr. Cruz’s seat as vulnerable based on his tighter-than-expected 2018 race against Beto O’Rourke.

Texas GOP Rep. Gonzales Forced Into Run-off

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) has failed to clinch his party’s nomination—at least for now. Because neither he nor YouTube personality Brandon Herrera got more than 50 percent of the vote, they’re expected to face off again in a runoff election.

Mr. Gonzales has served one term in the House so far and previously received President Trump’s endorsement. Although he encountered censure from his own party in 2023, he managed to roughly double the support Mr. Herrera received on Super Tuesday. With 92 percent of the votes counted, the Associated Press reported he received 45.6 percent compared to Mr. Herrera’s 23.4 percent.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) managed to hold onto her party’s nomination on Super Tuesday amid a rare challenge within her party. With 62 percent of the votes counted, AP projected she would beat Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards.

Meanwhile, former Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) won the District 34 primary. Brandon Gill, the son-in-law of conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, won District 26’s primary.

Biden, Trump Prepare for Rematch

The decisive victories by Presidents Biden and Trump on Super Tuesday made a rematch of the 2020 election all but assured. Both candidates now appear to be looking ahead to the November election.

“This victory speech is the Trump general election pitch: Things were better when we were in charge, and they’re worse now,” commentator Guy Benson wrote of President Trump’s remarks at Mar-a-Lago on March 5.

Meanwhile, President Biden has responded to the Super Tuesday results with a statement claiming his opponent “is determined to destroy our democracy.”

The road to reelection is fraught for both candidates, apart from their political rivalry.

Surveys in late February showed President Trump ahead of President Biden, though a recent Morning Consult poll has the incumbent with a 1-point lead. The current president’s favorability rating remains at an all-time low, and dissatisfaction with his support for Israel within the Democrats’ liberal wing could hinder him in battleground states such as Michigan, which has a large Arab and Palestinian population.

President Trump remains caught up in multiple legal cases that are being conducted simultaneously, threatening his ability to campaign. He also faces a  $354 million judgment from a New York court, which he has appealed.

From The Epoch Times

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