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U.S. Election 2016


Super Tuesday is over. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton won big in several delegate-rich states; GOP rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lived to fight another day; and the Democrat Bernie Sanders isn't out yet either. Now, candidates get ready for a packed calendar of contests across the United States. With Republican and Democratic candidates vying to be their party's presidential nominee, who is poised for a March breakthrough?

By the numbers


Democrats: Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders

The delegate totals include superdelegates – party officials who can change their minds about which candidate they are supporting. So far, the majority of these 712 Democratic superdelegates back Hillary Clinton.

Republicans: Donald Trump versus The Rest

Check the Associated Press delegate tracker to see state-by-state breakdowns of where the candidates won their seats on Super Tuesday.

(U.S. election coverage: Back to main index)



John Evans points across the room while waiting for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz to take the stage during an election night watch party in Stafford, Texas, on Tuesday.

John Evans points across the room while waiting for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz to take the stage during an election night watch party in Stafford, Texas, on Tuesday.


After Super Tuesday, America is a country where a woman looks more likely than ever to shatter the highest glass ceiling and where a bellicose billionaire has succeeded in turning the contest for the world's most important office into his personal reality television show.

While the race for the Democratic nomination is playing out like a relatively normal political contest – establishment favourite Hillary Clinton is steadily building up her lead over insurgent Bernie Sanders – Donald Trump's front-running campaign for the Republican nomination is tearing the party apart.

Both hard-right Texas Senator Ted Cruz and establishment favourite Florida Senator Marco Rubio pleaded with the GOP Tuesday to stop him.

Cruz urges others candidates to drop out


"If we nominate Donald Trump, it will be the end of the modern Republican Party," Mr. Rubio declared on CNN. Under ordinary circumstances, you could dismiss this as a hyperbolic line from a desperate candidate. But these are not ordinary circumstances.

Mr. Trump has come from outside the party's usual centre-right dynamic to build an angry, populist uprising that is all over the ideological map, unified solely by a thread of nationalist xenophobia. Building a wall along the Mexican border? Check. Banning Muslims from entering the country? Check. Tearing up trade deals with everyone from China to Canada? Check.

Over the four days I've spent in Texas, I've heard almost as much anger from Republican voters over Mr. Trump as over the Democrats. The division is so intense that one Trump supporter, the owner of a barbecue restaurant, told me he'd had people dump garbage in his parking lot after discovering his political inclinations.

But many others are angry – over the perception that illegal immigrants are a burden on the country's social safety net, that good manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, that the political system in Washington seems intractably gridlocked. And they believe Mr. Trump's promise to fix all of these with a few simple and outlandish solutions.

The Democratic race looks genteel by comparison. While Mr. Sanders is stoking some populist anger of his own over big money in politics and the inadequacy of the social safety net, Ms. Clinton's supporters mostly tell me they like the guy but just don't think he's got the pragmatism needed to do the job. Even Ms. Clinton has started incorporating the key themes of Mr. Sanders's campaign into her speeches – talking about income inequality, for instance.

Hillary Clinton supporters Sue Berkel, Erica Bergman and Michelle Garcia cheer while watching election results at a Clinton watch party on Super Tuesday in Austin, Texas.

Hillary Clinton supporters Sue Berkel, Erica Bergman and Michelle Garcia cheer while watching election results at a Clinton watch party on Super Tuesday in Austin, Texas.


On both sides, the math tells the tale. The two-horse Democratic race means Ms. Clinton only has to stay a few points and a few states ahead of Mr. Sanders to win. So far, she's doing it, winning seven states on Super Tuesday to Mr. Sanders's four.

But the fractured Republican field – and the fact Mr. Trump is winning by pluralities rather than absolute majorities – means he will have a tougher time reaching the magic number of 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination. Still, the division of the anyone-but-Trump camp between a fellow outsider in Mr. Cruz and a mainliner in Mr. Rubio means he has yet to see a single real challenger emerge.

It's a dog fight. And the modern Republican Party may never look the same when it's done.

(U.S. election coverage: Back to main index)

Unstoppable Trump? Not when you look at the Republican race this way

Here is a visualization that shows how the Republican leadership contest could look very different if his rivals were united

Read the article

The victors


Clinton claims big Super Tuesday victories


Trump: ‘Amazing evening’ after Super Tuesday wins


(U.S. election coverage: Back to main index)



March brings more contests and more delegates to scoop up – in the hope of reaching that magic number of delegates needed to win the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

A lot of this comes down to math – and how many delegates each state contest awards.

These nominating contests go all the way in to June. But let's start by looking at the upcoming contests in the Republican and Democratic races.

KansasprimaryMarch 540primaryMarch 537
KentuckycaucusMarch 546nonenone
LouisianaprimaryMarch 546primaryMarch 559
MainecaucusMarch 523caucusMarch 630
NebraskanonenonecaucusMarch 630
Puerto RicoprimaryMarch 623nonenone
HawaiicaucusMarch 819caucusMarch 2634
IdahoprimaryMarch 832caucusMarch 2227
MichiganprimaryMarch 859primaryMarch 8147
MississippiprimaryMarch 840primaryMarch 841
District of ColumbiaconventionMarch 1219nonenone
Northern Mariana IslandscaucusMarch 159conventionMarch 1211
FloridaprimaryMarch 1599primaryMarch 15246
IllinoisprimaryMarch 1569primaryMarch 15182
MissouriprimaryMarch 1552primaryMarch 1584
North CarolinaprimaryMarch 1572primaryMarch 15121
OhioprimaryMarch 1566primaryMarch 15159
Virgin IslandscaucusMarch 199nonenone
ArizonaprimaryMarch 2258primaryMarch 2285
UtahprimaryMarch 2240primaryMarch 2237
AlaskanonenonecaucusMarch 2620
WashingtonnonenonecaucusMarch 26118

New York Times

Delegates from winner-take-all contests in bold. Also, some jurisdictions do not hold Republican and Democratic contests on the same day. If the table indicates no contest and date, it is because the contest is scheduled for May or June. Or in the case of Alaska, the Republican caucus took place on Super Tuesday March 1st

Super Tuesday, or March 1, was a unique event – 12 state contests and 1,460 delegates up for grabs on a single day. Nothing like that happens again in the Republican and Democratic state nominating contests. But March could prove to be a key month for presidential candidates. Here are some key things to watch.


Several Republican state contests turn into winner-take-all as of March 15. So far, the delegates have been awarded to candidates based largely on a proportional system. That's about to change.

Delegate-rich and winner-take-all states could really elevate a campaign. Super Tuesday runners-up Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are hoping for big wins in places like Florida and Ohio on March 15. But so is Donald Trump.

If the billionaire real-estate tycoon can win some of those winner-take-all states that puts enormous pressure on the Cruz and Rubio campaigns. By mid-March, 58 per cent of the Republican delegates will be awarded, according to analysis by the New York Times.

Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the Super Tuesday primaries at a Super Tuesday campaign rally in Miami.

Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the Super Tuesday primaries at a Super Tuesday campaign rally in Miami.


The long slog

On the Democratic side, delegates are awarded based on the proportional system. Hillary Clinton is ahead in the delegates' tally. That lead would be narrower if there were no superdelegates – the party officials and elites who number about 712 and are free to back whichever candidate they want all the way up to the July 25-28 party convention in Philadelphia.

With the majority of these superdelegates backing Ms. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner will likely reach the magic number she needs to clinch the nomination and make history as the first female presumptive presidential nominee.

That's because her opponent Bernie Sanders's path to the nomination is getting narrower with each contest – based largely on Ms. Clinton's strong showings in primaries and caucuses and the lack of a winner-take-all system.


Historically, Super Tuesday has had the effect of cementing a candidate's front-runner status – and forcing rivals to think long and hard about continuing. There are very practical considerations: a lack of funds to fuel the TV advertising and voter mobilization efforts. But mostly, it is a lack of hope.

Just ask neurosurgeon Ben Carson. He no longer sees a "political path forward" after a lackluster Super Tuesday performance. His presidential dreams are over.

When it comes to other Republican candidates, the Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio campaigns talk like they still have hope of overtaking Donald Trump. But the only real chance of that happening is if Mr. Rubio or Mr. Cruz drops out.

A divided opposition helps Mr. Trump. But a single anti-Trump candidate could challenge the front-runner.

And then there's Ohio Governor John Kasich – who is looking at a steep, and virtually impossible, climb to the top of the delegates' table.

Mr. Kasich is holding out hope that his home state of Ohio – a winner-take-all contest – will deliver a boost to his campaign with 66 delegates in a single swoop. But the overall math is against him – and also, Donald Trump can't be counted out in the Buckeye State.

Mr. Trump is competitive and has strong support among white working-class voters in Rust Belt states where manufacturing jobs have evaporated – and been replaced by low-paying service-sector jobs. Michigan is another example. The primary there is on March 8.

Mr. Trump's rhetoric – often anti-Mexico and anti-China and including crude terms to describe companies that relocate overseas for more favourable tax rates – resonates deeply with this important segment of white voters.

Money, money, money

Bernie Sanders used early state successes in Iowa (where he finished a close second) and New Hampshire (which he won) to raise millions of dollars to finance his campaign. Mr. Sanders will be looking to do the same off of Super Tuesday.

His challenge will be to convince donors that he can still realistically catch up to Ms. Clinton. Mr. Sanders does well in largely white states where minority groups (blacks, Asians and Hispanics or Latinos) make up a smaller proportion of the Democratic electorate. There are states like that coming in up in March: Maine, Nebraska and Idaho.

But there are also a slew of states that play to Ms. Clinton's strengths among diverse electorates: Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. If Ms. Clinton continues to win diverse states, it is hard to see how Mr. Sanders can make up ground. She trounced Mr. Sanders in South Carolina – winning 87 per cent of the black vote.

On the Republican side, look for big donors to decide whether they are going to back a single anti-Trump candidate.

That moment could have been after the South Carolina primary when Jeb Bush – who won considerable financial support from these donors – dropped out, explained Professor Sunshine Hillygus, a political scientist at Duke University. "I was a little bit surprised that you didn't see this major run to Rubio the minute Jeb was out. You saw a little, but not as much I would have expected," she said.

Watch for these big donors to make a move in the wake of Super Tuesday – if they still think Mr. Trump can be defeated, she added.

(U.S. election coverage: Back to main index)

Meanwhile, in CaPE BRETON


Rob Calabrese, right, of the Giant 101.9 radio station and creator of the website, walks with CNN reporter Paula Newton in Sydney, N.S., on March 1, 2016.

Rob Calabrese, right, of the Giant 101.9 radio station and creator of the website, walks with CNN reporter Paula Newton in Sydney, N.S., on March 1, 2016.


Donald Trump's Super Tuesday victories had Americans on social media musing about moving to Canada. Search traffic for "moving to Canada" began rising Tuesday night as results came in, according to Google Trends …


… but there were still fewer "moving to Canada" searches than in November, 2004, when George W. Bush was running for re-election and won a second term.


Two weeks ago, a saucy Canadian website poked fun at Mr. Trump by inviting disaffected American voters to move to Cape Breton. On Tuesday, cable news giant CNN dispatched a reporter and crew to Nova Scotia to find out what the Nova Scotia island has to offer. "They are just so intrigued by the interest of Americans in looking at Cape Breton," says Mary Tulle, CEO of the tourism agency Destination Cape Breton. "They wanted to get a sense of what is this little place, Cape Breton Island, is all about."

Ms. Tulle says CNN's reports will be broadcast Wednesday on CNN International's flagship global affairs program, hosted by Christiane Amanpour.

The network is following up on a series of reports that confirmed the website Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins has gone viral, attracting 787,000 unique visitors since Feb. 15 – most of them from the United States. The site takes aim at Trump and his histrionic approach to Republican politics, but it also has plenty to say and show about the island's beauty, Celtic culture and laid-back lifestyle.

Rob Calabrese, a Cape Breton radio announcer and creator of the website, says he's received hundreds of emails from Americans making serious inquiries about moving to Nova Scotia. "The idea of living in a place like this – election aside – is attractive," he says. "Everybody is stressed, everybody is worried about something and, all of a sudden, you have this beautiful island in front of your face and it makes the imagination roam."

Ms. Tulle said the CNN team talked to real-estate agent Valarie Sampson, an immigration lawyer and residents at a local restaurant in Sydney before heading to rural Marion Bridge to look at a house that's up for sale.

Ms. Sampson, a sales agent with Remax Park Place Inc., says she has been overwhelmed with inquiries about properties, immigration and employment opportunities. Sales stemming from the Trump website are "inevitable," though they may be months away, she said.

"We've had people say, 'This has nothing to do with whether Trump wins. We found the website and we're looking at your island. Can we really come up and buy a property for this price?"

With a report from Evan Annett

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