Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich stand before the Feb. 25 presidential debate in Houston, Texas.
In an exclusive interview for POLITICO’s ‘Off Message’ podcast, Barack Obama’s master strategist says Trump will be the nominee – and a dangerous one…
The best-case scenario for Trump would put him far ahead of his rivals in the race for delegates, and polls have him competitive almost everywhere that Republicans are voting. But even if he stumbles, Trump will leave Super Tuesday with enough delegates to remain at the front of the race.
Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson all lack that luxury. Rubio revived establishment hopes with an aggressive debate performance on Thursday, but a weak finish this week would leave him hobbled heading into his must-win home state of Florida on March 15. Cruz is hoping his brand of conservatism will resonate in the seven Southern states that will dole out the largest share of delegates, but polls show Trump uncomfortably close even in Texas, where Cruz allies admit a loss would be disastrous. Kasich is holding out for Ohio later in March, but if he doesn’t outperform his polls, he’ll struggle to make the case that he’s a national candidate. And even Carson’s allies are suggesting that, barring a miracle, Super Tuesday is likely the
About 600 delegates are up for grabs, more than a quarter of all delegates that will be handed out throughout the primary. Though every state is required by party rules to divide those delegates proportionally, rules setting minimum thresholds could end up shutting out Cruz or Rubio if they fall even narrowly short.