Voters and political junkies can watch the latest Democratic Town Hall stream live from Ohio on Sunday, as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face moderator Jake Tapper of CNN as well as Roland Martin of TV One — and an audience of Ohio voters — as they scramble to pick up votes ahead of the March 15 “Super Tuesday” balloting, a day which could go a long way toward determining the direction of the Democratic presidential primary campaign moving forward, and possibly even the outcome.
Five states go to the polls on Tuesday, four of them with more than 100 delegates each at stake — including the big prize of the night, Florida, with a whopping 246 delegates available to divide between Clinton and Sanders depending not only on who wins the state, but on the percentage of the vote each is able to obtain on March 15.
Florida’s total makes it the third most delegate-rich state in the entire campaign, behind only New York with 291 and California with 546. But also up for grabs on Tuesday are Illinois with 182, Ohio with 159, North Carolina with 121, and Missouri with 84 — a total of 792 crucial delegates at stake.
With 2,026 delegates needed to secure the nomination — one more than half of the 4,050 delegates who will vote at the Democratic National Convention starting July 25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Clinton has already built a solid lead that may be extremely difficult for Bernie Sanders to erase.
Clinton now has 776 delegates — not counting so-called “superdelegates” — committed to her, while Sanders has won 551. But due to the Democratic primary system of allocating delegates on a proportional basis, Sanders will not only need to win nearly every one of the delegate-rich states left on the primary, he will need to win them by large margins.
To warm up for the CNN Democratic Town Hall, watch the last Democratic Town Hall, held February 23 in South Carolina.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the March 13 CNN Democratic Town Hall, co-sponsored by TV One, a national cable network aimed at adult African-American viewers, see the links in the final paragraph of this article. The Town Hall live stream is scheduled to get underway from Mershon Auditorium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 5 p.m. Pacific.
So, what’s the outlook for the two candidates heading into the Super Tuesday primaries? The polls may or may not tell the story, after Sanders shocked Clinton and the whole political scene by coming back from a 20-point deficit to edge her out in the Michigan primary last week.
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But while the the polls paint a clear picture in Florida, where Clinton appears solidly in control with an astonishing 30.9 percentage point lead, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, the prospects for a close race are shaping up in the midwest, where the Bernie Sanders base of largely white, working-class voters dominates the electorate.
While the Real Clear Politics average in Illinois, where the population is close to 80 percent white, still shows Clinton leading by 13.9 points, the most recent poll taken in that state, by CBS News and YouGov, showed Sanders pulling ahead by two points.
Clinton also maintains a polling average lead of 17.8 points in Ohio, with an 83 percent white population. But a CBS News/YouGov poll — again the most recent survey conducted there — shows Sanders closing the gap with nine-point deficit, compared to 20 or even 30 in other recent polling.
Hillary Clinton has also had a difficult week, with a couple of well-publicized gaffes — including an interview she gave after attending the funeral of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, in which Clinton inexplicably praised Reagan for her supposed AIDS advocacy in the 1980s, when the public record clearly shows that for the initial six years of the epidemic, no such advocacy existed.
Then, on Saturday, Clinton blasted Sanders for, she said, his lack of interest in health reform when she was leading a health care initiative in the 1990s. But the Sanders campaign quickly pointed out what seemed to be another embarrassing memory lapse by the Democratic frontrunner.
— mike casca (@cascamike) March 12, 2016
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]