The Slatest

Slate’s Super Tuesday 2 Live-Blog: Rubio Out, Kasich Still Alive, Bernie Not Looking Great

Marco Rubio at the Maple Street Biscuit Company in Jacksonville on March 14.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s respective performances on Super Tuesday earlier this month made them prohibitive favorites to win their respective parties’ nominations. Tuesday’s sequel—2 Super 2 Tuesday? Super 2sday: Toledo Drift? ST2: The Trumpening?—could turn them into presumptive nominees. (Then again, Tuesday night’s results could also upend everything we know about both races. We’ll have to wait and see!)

Slate will be live-blogging the action and related campaign news below, as well as tracking victories and losses as the Associated Press and others project winners throughout the night.


Florida: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
North Carolina:
 Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
 John Kasich, Hillary Clinton

Red-hot analysis in Slate:


Wednesday 6:50 a.m Still Too Close in Missouri

While Illinois was callled for Hillary Clinton last night, both parties’ races are still too close to determine a winner in Missouri. Given what we know now, here are the current delegate counts (including superdelegates), per the AP:

  • Clinton 1,561 (2,383 are needed to win the Democratic nomination)
  • Sanders 800


  • Trump 621 (1,237 are needed to win)
  • Cruz 396
  • Rubio 168 (here’s what will happen to them)
  • Kasich 138

11:45 p.m. We’re Going to Sleep

Of the votes that have been counted, Trump and Sanders hold thin leads in Missouri, but no one’s calling the races for them quite yet. Likewise, Clinton leads but has not yet officially won in Illinois. See you in the morning!

9:55 p.m. Trump Takes Illinois, North Carolina

Another two go down for the Donald. Jury’s still out on Missouri (and the Democratic outcome in Illinois). Meanwhile, the emerging consensus is that Sanders’ failure in Ohio is likely to end any realistic expectation that he could win the Democratic nomination. Writes Clare Malone of FiveThirtyEight: “I think while people have been saying for a while, over and over, that the math really isn’t likely to work for Sanders, the lost thread of the story tonight — i.e., Michigan doesn’t sew up Ohio — is likely to deflate those who were convinced that there was still a shot.”

8:50 p.m. Kasich Also Wins Ohio

Way to go, Johnny! (Let’s dispel with the notion that most people in the national media, who generally don’t want to see the United States end in the fiery apocalypse of a Trump presidency, are not all rooting for Kasich, or at least rooting for him to win the Republican nomination.)

8:40 p.m. Hillary Wins Ohio

Hillary won Ohio.

8:25 p.m. No Mo’ Rubio

Marco Rubio is suspending his campaign, he just now announced in a concession speech to supporters in Florida. The upside: He had a pretty good ad-libbed line when his speech was briefly interrupted by a protester. Said Rubio: “Don’t worry, he won’t get beat up at our event.”

Also, it looks like Hillary won North Carolina.

8:05 p.m. Trump and Clinton Roll

The Florida polls have closed and the consensus is that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have won the state. It’s a winner-take-all primary on the Republican side while delegates are partially assigned statewide and partly by district for Democrats.

7:35 p.m. Still Too Early to Call Ohio, but Kasich Is Looking Good

With polls now closed in Ohio, the networks are saying that it’s too early to call the race but that the numbers are looking good for (Ohio Gov.) John Kasich. “Things” are also “looking good,” it seems, for Hillary Clinton in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina.

7:25 p.m. Rubi-D’oh Part II

Many, many analysts are saying on Twitter and elsewhere that the vote totals coming in from the Florida polls that have already closed (the ones in the Eastern time zone) suggest that Trump is going to win the state by a large margin. (The polls that are still open are in the state’s Panhandle, where there’s no demographic reason to believe Rubio would do especially well.)

7:05 p.m. Rubi-D’oh

Per exit polls, Donald Trump has generally not been the first choice this year of primary/caucus voters who have made up their minds shortly before voting. Trump tends to lock in his voters early, while Marco Rubio has often been the choice of late deciders. According to NBC vote guru Chuck Todd, that’s not true today.

One name that’s notably missing from that list: Marco Rubio. Not good news for Mr. Rubes. But then again, most of it isn’t these days.

4:58 p.m. Why Missouri Is Such a Wildcard Tonight

Slate’s Jim Newell reports:

The Missouri Republican primary is an underappreciated contest tonight. It awards 52 delegates by “winner-take-most” fashion, with 12 going to the statewide winner and the rest divvied up by congressional district winner. If Missouri’s districts lean modestly but consistently Donald Trump’s way, he could take home all of the state’s delegates, a huge boost in his chance to reach a 1,237-delegate majority by the convention. Or Ted Cruz could do the same and bolster his case to the rest of the field that he’s earned a one-on-one with Trump.

No one really knows what’s going to happen, though, because the extent of recent Missouri polling is one. As in, there has been one poll of Missouri Republicans this year, conducted by Fort Hays St. University earlier this month, which showed Trump with a slim 7-point advantage over Cruz.

Why hasn’t there been more polling of this close, important contest while there have been some 700 billion polls of Florida that all show Trump leading by some ridiculous amount?

“I think the number-one reason is no in-state media outlets commissioning any polling,” says Tom Jensen, the director of Public Policy Polling. (It should be said that the one Fort Hays St. University poll was cosponsored by a number of newspapers.) “Once you get past the states that vote first and the biggest states, you’re just not going to have a lot of national media outlets commissioning too much state-level polling.” Jensen adds that “Florida and Ohio being today was definitely a major factor” in distracting attention away from Missouri, and “with the limited resources organizations could devote to [polling] they focused on the two biggest states.”

Poor Missouri. Missouri matters! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

4:20 p.m. Can Bernie Pull Off Another Shocker in Ohio?

Sanders shocked the world (of polling and punditry) last week when he won Michigan, despite trailing Clinton by an average of more than 20 points in state polls leading up to the primary. (FiveThirtyEight gave Sanders less than a 1-percent chance of winning the state.) Nate Silver dives into the demographics to do some stat searching and see if Bernie can repeat the feat in Ohio tonight. His conclusion? Maybe!

After accounting for the uncertainty in the forecasts, the demographic model gives Sanders a 42 percent chance of winning Ohio, much better than the 3 percent chance that our “polls-only” forecast gives to him.

Full story here.

4:08 p.m. We’ll Believe It When We See It

Politico reports that three “influential leaders in the conservative movement” are organizing a closed-door meeting this Thursday in Washington to discuss how to stop Donald Trump—and, barring that, how to run a “true conservative” as a third-party candidate this fall:

The organizers of the meeting include Bill Wichterman, who was President George W. Bush’s liaison to the conservative movement, Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and longtime conservative convener, and Erick Erickson, the outspoken Trump opponent and conservative activist who founded

One person involved in the gathering described it as in the “embryonic” stages. “It’s not like there’s a royal grand plan that’s going to be unfurled,” this person said. “People aren’t giving up on the Republican Party yet.”

Full story here.

3:59 p.m.: Are We There Yet?

Nope. The last polls don’t close in North Carolina and Ohio until 7:30 p.m. ET, while the last ones in Florida, Illinois, and Missouri close at 8 p.m. ET. Depending on how close the races turn out to be, though, we could see winners declared relatively early in the night. Hang in there.

3:51 p.m.: Trump’s First Win of the Day

We won’t know who won the night’s big prizes until this evening, but the Donald got on the board early with a victory in the Northern Mariana Islands (where it’s already Wednesday and which is, in fact, a real place).

The GOP caucus was a winner-take-all affair, meaning that Trump will pick up all nine of the delegates. As an added bonus, the win makes Trump the first GOP candidate to meet the much-discussed RNC rule that requires a candidate to have the support of a majority of delegates—not voters—in eight states or territories to be eligible for the nomination. Ultimately, though, Republicans will almost certainly rewrite that rule if they think they can force a contested convention. Wondering just how crazy a contested convention would be? Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered and then some.

3:43 p.m.: Setting the Scene

The five states voting today: Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina. Where did things stand heading into today? The short versions: On the Republican side, John Kasich is a slight favorite to win his home state of Ohio, while Donald Trump is the man to beat in Florida (sorry, Marco) and everywhere else. On the Democratic side, Clinton is a heavy favorite in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois, and a slight favorite in Missouri. (Of course, as Bernie Sanders’ historic upset in Michigan proved just last week, polls aren’t perfect.) For a much longer version of all that, check out this Slate primer we put together for today, which is chock-full of poll numbers and predictions.

Elsewhere in Slate:

Read more Slate coverage of the GOP primary.