Donald Trump is leading polls leading into the third version of Super Tuesday, and now the GOP frontrunner may be closer than ever to securing his party’s nomination.
After holding off his competitors through a series of important wins, the Trump campaign may now have March 15 circled as the day when he is able to put away the race. There are a series of key races on this day, including Florida and Ohio, where Marco Rubio and John Kasich respectively are expected to give Trump a serious run, but also the opportunity for Trump to gather a series of wins that could give him an unstoppable lead.
— Aaron Zitner (@aaronzitner) March 13, 2016
FiveThirtyEight speculates that it’s two other states that could seal the deal for Donald Trump — Illinois and Missouri. As the report noted, the winner-take-all nature of the GOP’s races on Tuesday means that Trump can still afford to lose to Kasich and still secure the nomination.
If Trump loses Ohio but still wins Florida and sweeps Illinois and Missouri, he would need to win 50 percent of all other remaining delegates, a slightly higher bar but still very doable — and he would probably still be ‘on pace’ for the nomination according to our delegate targets. But if Trump were to lose both Ohio and Florida, along with, let’s say, half of Illinois’s and Missouri’s districts, he could find himself needing to win 63 percent of remaining delegates to clinch the nomination, a much less plausible goal, considerably raising the odds of a contested convention in Cleveland.”
The polls show that Donald Trump is in great shape leading into the March 15 races. Three new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls found him cruising toward wins, with a 2-to-1 advantage over Rubio in Florida, leading 43 percent to 22 percent. In Illinois, he leads the field with 34 percent of likely GOP voters, and Ted Cruz with 25 percent.
His only deficit is in Ohio, where Kasich holds a slim 39 percent to 33 percent lead.
And this all comes amid yet another controversy for Donald Trump, who so far has proven to be nearly bulletproof among GOP voters. Trump’s rally in Chicago was disrupted Friday by violent protesters, his violent rhetoric throughout a series of rallies has come under fire.
Some have blamed Trump for riling up supporters, leading one man to sucker punch a black protester last week who was being removed from the rally.
As CNN reported, Trump in turn blamed Bernie Sanders and his supporters.
“Some represented Bernie, our communist friend,” Trump said in Dayton, Ohio, his first campaign appearance since the Chicago event was postponed.
Later in the day, Trump said protesters at his Cleveland event are “Bernie’s crowd.”
“You know Bernie was saying Mr. Trump should speak to his crowd,” Trump said. “You know where they come from? Bernie’s crowd. They’re Bernie’s crowd.”
And when a protester momentarily disrupted Trump’s rally, the GOP front-runner again said the demonstrator was a “Bernie person.”
“Get your people in line, Bernie,” Trump said.
The flap came as the Trump campaign came under increasing fire from both side. Both Democratic candidates have taken aim at Trump’s often violent rhetoric, and Republican insiders have also been trying to stop Trump from winning the nomination.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 13, 2016
But despite the heat his campaign is taking, polls show Donald Trump may have withstood the attacks and by Tuesday could have a stranglehold on the Republican nomination.
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]