The ideal scenario for a political party is leaving Super Tuesday with a clear favorite so they can dedicate the rest of the primary to unify the party and motivate the base to vote in the general election. In this respect, the situation in the Democratic and Republican Parties could not be any more different.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton obtained a series of victories that allow her to continue accumulating delegates. Most importantly, she demonstrated that she is capable of getting solid support from African-American voters and that her chances of winning are becoming more tangible.
Senator Bernie Sanders will continue in the race as the Democratic conscience forcing Clinton not to forget the progressive base, but it will be hard for him to compete with her for the Party’s presidential nomination. Surely, Clinton would like Sanders to drop out and give way to a coronation, but she needs to be extremely careful not to offend Sanders’ sympathizers, whose votes she needs to win the election.
In the Republican turf, the best that can be said is that such clarity does not exist, unless one chooses to admit that the road is wide open for millionaire Donald Trump to stroll into the Republican National Convention with all the necessary delegates in hand and officially become the presidential candidate.
This is a nightmarish scenario for many Republicans, who are counting on Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to stop Trump. Super Tuesday results granted victories to all three candidates, allowing them all to claim that they must continue running: Cruz as a true conservative, and Rubio, who is hoping for a complicated victory in Florida, as the Party’s unifier. On the other hand, the Party’s establishment is exerting great pressure to convince Ohio Governor John Kasich to help Rubio on his way out of the race.
Nothing is clearly defined at any of the two parties, but an abyss spreads between the two. As Democrats advance according to planned ‒ with Clinton leading the way, ‒ a fierce internal fight rages on between the Republicans who want to stop Trump at any cost and the ones who are slowly warming up to the idea that the millionaire may become the Party’s central figure.
The next primaries will define the landscape of an election season that can already be counted among the most unusual in history.