Reflecting on Super Tuesday and looking forward in the presidential primaries

THE DUST SETTLES AFTER SUPER TUESDAY

Super Tuesday is done and over with, with a number of surprising events. It wasn’t a complete sweep for Donald Trump after all, and not only did Senator Marco Rubio win a state, but Senator Ted Cruz also took three. What does this mean for the race?

Trump still holds a comfortable lead in the race, but Senators Cruz and Rubio have secured their own narratives for now. Senator Rubio won his first state, finally, and still parades around like a champion. But let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

Senator Cruz defied expectations and keeps himself in the game for now. Can he hang on and force the establishment to drop Senator Rubio, the current chosen anti-Trump? The next week will be a big moment for the two Senate colleagues.

As for the Democrats, it’s clearly Hillary Clinton’s game, but Senator Bernie Sanders didn’t do awful. Will the remaining states “feel the bern”?

THE CONTENDERS

For Democrats, the only two candidates remaining are still very much in the race. The outlook looks grim for Senator Bernie Sanders however, as the polling consistently favors Hillary Clinton. If Senator Sanders continues to challenge Clinton, his strong fundraising and energetic grassroots could at least position themselves to swing influence in the Democratic Party in the long run.

For Republicans, the only real candidates who have established themselves as capable of winning a state are Donald Trump, and Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Trump has beyond proven himself viable securing more states than the rest, but Senator Cruz also surprised many by taking more than just Texas on Super Tuesday.

Senator Rubio being a contender is questionable, but with a state under his belt, he has an argument for remaining in the race for the short term.

The next week will be a test not only for Trump in needing to hold on to his firm lead, but Senator Cruz in proving he can rise against the controversial businessman and Senator Rubio as well, who needs to prove he’s still relevant.

THE AFTERTHOUGHTS

Governor John Kasich is hanging on until Ohio and that’s fine. Nobody can fault a man for wanting to see it through to his home state. But let’s be clear about even in the best case scenario, he’s done. Winning Ohio isn’t going to be a spring board into a victory lap.

Ben Carson is a complete mystery at this point, as his near last finishes should have had him out of the race weeks ago. It’s gotten to a point where his own advisors and campaign are admitting there is no path to the nomination and nobody is quite sure how Carson could win the nomination. So why stay in the race?

GOING FORWARD

The next set of contests are on Saturday. Democrats have Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska. Republicans have Kansas, Kentucky and Maine. Polling data is not available for Kansas, Louisiana, Maine and Nebraska. So predicting the outcome of the caucuses and primaries can be a little difficult

Western Kentucky University polls a 13 point lead for Donald Trump over Senator Marco Rubio in Kentucky, however.

The narratives stated previously still stand however. The next couple of weeks will be critical in not only defining and defeating these narratives, but also beginning to establish the end of the primary cycle.

Chris Dixon

About Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon is a libertarian-leaning writer. In addition to writing "Undercover Porcupine", he is also the Managing Editor for The Liberty Conservative and writes for Cleat Geeks and Medium.