Super Tuesday is considered a make or break day for establishment presidential contenders.
The results of 12 states picking their party candidates has set apart the key names to follow right through until the election – usually weeding the field of some lower ranking contenders, and potentially triggering some new entrants to the race.
The media’s focus on rank-outsider-come-favourite Donald Trump continues as the momentum he built up in the early primaries lead him through to snatch the Republican vote across the majority of states. Ted Cruz, who is following second in polls successfully won four states, including his home state of Texas. Had he lost to Trump on his home turf it would have proved a fatal blow for his campaign. With this result he can just about continue the momentum to continue the campaign. Rubio, picking up his only win so far, has indicated no intention to step down and could, potentially, secure a few more states including Florida, but will not be a contender.
Trump continues to push many in the Republican establishment to cast their eye wildly for another option. On the eve of voting Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse became the highest-ranked elected party member to come out and say he would not back him for president. Nebraska hasn’t voted Democrat since 1964, so his rejection of Trump, whose rise has left him “frustrated and saddened”, is a serious blow. Potentially indicative of a wider political establishment search for a third way.
On the Democrat side, Saunders took a slightly more even spread of votes winning four smaller states to Clinton’s seven. Beset by issues of trust, despite what has, in reality, been almost a decade of campaigning Clinton has failed to capture the hearts or minds of the American public. However, it looks like Super Tuesday will be the beginning of the end of Saunder’s ‘political revolution’.
The results of these votes could also set in motion an independent movement, with former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who is still toying with the idea of running as a candidate. While independent candidates have traditionally failed to succeed against the highly-financed and well oiled party machines, the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton and concerns about the practicality of Trump could create a perfect storm. As today’s results mark them as strong favourites to battle head to head, Bloomberg may take this opportunity to make his move and gather support.
Kate Turner, account manager