Clinton, Trump claim big Super Tuesday victories

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump scored delegate-rich Super Tuesday victories across the South and beyond as they bid for clear sailing in a tempest-tossed campaign for the presidential nominations.

Voters in a dozen states put their imprint on the race, and in the bulk of contests rewarded the national front-runners, stretching their leads in delegates needed to clinch the nomination and making them ever harder to stop.

In short, Super Tuesday unfolded in largely expected ways when what the alternatives to Trump and Clinton really needed was the unexpected — something to jolt the sense that they are at risk of being left inexorably behind.

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Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas each won their home states and prevailed in Oklahoma, with several states still to be decided.

Clinton won Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Texas and Arkansas, the state her husband, Bill, served as governor on his way to the presidency.

Trump took Alabama, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia and Arkansas as attention turned to Western states reporting later.

A look at biggest day in the calendar of presidential primaries and caucuses.


Clinton dominated again with older people and ate into Sanders’ support among the 30-to-44 crowd. Sanders had a clear advantage with only one age group: his devoted under-30 followers.

Trump and his rebel yell against the status quo attracted nearly two-thirds of voters looking to install an outsider in the White House. Those who cared more about political experience split about evenly between first-term Sens. Rubio and Cruz, according to early results of exit polls.


For all the endorsements, money and attention rallied behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as the GOP’s only hope to stop Trump, he’s yet to win a state and short on time to stage a turnaround.

His home state will be a battleground royale on March 15, with part-time Floridian Trump running hard to knock him out of the race and avenge the lacerating taunts coming almost constantly from the senator since the last debate.

Florida is one of a series of March contests where the Republican winner will take all of a state’s delegates, in contrast to Super Tuesday races that all divvied up delegates roughly according to how each candidate did.


In six states (Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas), large majorities of Republican primary voters expressed support for temporarily banning all non-citizen Muslims from entering the U.S., a Trump proposal, according to early results of exit polls.

But Republican voters were more divided on another of his contentious ideas, to deport all people who are in the U.S. illegally. The proposal won majority support only in Alabama, among seven states where that question was asked of GOP voters.


—”Ultimately, if we have to elect someone who is borderline crazy to get people to understand what’s going on, then that’s what we have to do.” — Tyler Murphy, 26, of Boston, explaining his vote for Trump in the Republican contest. His backup choice was Clinton, a Democrat.

—”I’m so appalled at the choices.” —Gillian Gattie, 72, also of Boston. After 2008 and 2012 votes for Barack Obama, she was voting this time in the GOP race, for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

—”I can’t get excited for Bernie Sanders.” — Gillian’s twin sister, Vivien Gattie, who reluctantly voted for Clinton.

—”I stood in line for six hours the other day at a Trump rally because to me he’s just the man. He is the one that is going to make the country great again.” — Jeanie Lindsey, in Helena, Alabama, on why she lined up for 40 minutes Tuesday to back Trump.


Both parties held contests in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. As well, Republicans voted in Alaska and Democrats in Colorado. Democrats also had a contest in American Samoa and for Democrats abroad.


Clinton and Trump have each won at least nine states since the nomination contests began.

It’s at least three each for Sanders and Cruz.

Republicans will allocate 595 delegates from the results of Super Tuesday, nearly half of the 1,237 needed for the nomination.

Democrats will allocate 865, more than one-third of the necessary 2,383.


Immigration policy, the swollen U.S. debt, the uneven spread of wealth and hard questions about how to approach the Islamic State, terrorism and civil liberties are all in play for voters.

So is the fate of fundamental social policy as the Supreme Court stands ideologically divided. A vacancy may not be filled until after the next president takes office in January.


The South enjoyed more influence in this campaign because of several states added to the Super Tuesday roster, giving this subset the nickname “SEC primary,” a nod to the Southeastern Conference of college sports. Clinton once again demonstrated her pull with black voters, as she did in overwhelming fashion in South Carolina over the weekend.

The biggest Super Tuesday state overall was Texas, where Cruz prevailed with his home-state advantage, prime endorsements from the governor down the political chain and a veritable army of some 27,000 volunteers.