Here is a breakdown of how I feel the March 15th primaries will go. I come up with these solutions through study of the most recent polls + some unscientific gut checks and trend watching. As we saw with Michigan last week, the polls can be grossly wrong. Remember, Clinton was predicted to beat Sanders by 25 points and Sanders won that contest. With that said let’s break it down.
Florida- Trump has this state wrapped up. He should crush Rubio by 15-20 points and take home all the delegates in this winner take all state. On the Democrat side this one is wrapped up as well. Clinton will win by about 10 points. Real Clear Politics has Clinton winning by 25 points. This simply won’t happen. Regardless, it won’t help Sanders as Clinton will take home a healthy chunk of delegates. Florida is proportional for Democrats, so Sanders will still pick up some delegates.
Illinois- Polls vary wildly on the Republican side with most predicting a Trump victory over Cruz by about 5 points. This seems reasonable. Trump will win Illinois. The democrat race is a dead heat with some polls showing Sanders with a 2% advantage. I believe Sanders will win this state by 3% based on his success in Michigan and his new found exposure battling Trump.
Missouri- Trump will win this state pretty easily. I would say by about 5 to 7 percent over Cruz. On the Democrat side Sanders will win this state by about 3-5%. I am predicting Sanders will beat the poll numbers. He is surging right now and I am betting on him out performing.
North Carolina- This state is over already. Trump by about 8% and Clinton by about 11%
Ohio- This is the most interesting state. It also typically represents America’s demographics pretty well, so the winners here help to predict the pulse of the country. For the Republicans this is another winner take all event. The polls have Kasich (his home state) in a dead heat with Trump. A few polls have Kasich with up to a 5 point lead. I am cautiously predicting that Kasich takes this one and gives him life support to continue. For the Democrats this is a proportional delegate allocation. Two weeks ago Clinton had a 10 point lead in Ohio. It is gone. She is up by about 3 points with a margin of error of 4%. It is a dead heat. I am going to make a bold prediction and say Sanders wins Ohio by 1% or less, but nevertheless he will win this state.
Summary- Despite Kasich winning in Ohio (maybe) Trump will crush the competition and essentially force Rubio to leave the race. However, Trump will really need to pick it up in the next primaries to get the nomination on delegates alone. This is heading toward a brokered convention. Sanders looks to win 3 out of 5 states, but he will still take home less delegates than Clinton due to Clinton’s larger margins of victory in Florida and North Carolina. However, all the momentum is with Sanders and he has many big states coming up that are in his favor. One thing is for certain. None of this will be over until the last primary.
By Dave Van Zandt
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