What do Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawai’i all have in common? Their residents are all picking presidential candidates today. Here’s what to watch for as the presidential primary race makes its latest stop.
Michigan and Mississippi will hold primary elections for both parties. Idaho will hold a Republican primary and Hawai’i will hold a Republican caucus.
Elsewhere, the Democrats Abroad primary that began on Super Tuesday closes today. The Democratic party treats this group as equivalent to a state and it is worth 13 delegates.
For the Democrats, Michigan is worth 130 delegates and Mississippi is worth 36 delegates. A candidate needs a total of 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic race with 675 delegates*. Clinton has made a point of campaigning hard in Michigan, especially since the Flint water crisis came into the public spotlight. She is poised to dominate the state. Combine this with her almost certain victory in Mississippi (she’s blanked Bernie Sanders in the South so far) and Clinton is set to have a very good night.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is second in the Democratic race with 480 delegates. Sanders has had bad luck in southern states so far, so don’t expect him to be close in Mississippi. He probably won’t win Michigan either, but it’ll be a big moral victory if the Senator can keep it close in a state where he has been thoroughly outworked by Clinton.
Michigan is the big prize for the Republicans, worth 59 delegates. Mississippi is worth 40 delegates, Idaho is worth 32 delegates and Hawai’i is worth 19 delegates. A candidate needs a total of 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Idaho and Michigan are both winner-take-most states while Mississippi and Hawai’i split their delegates proportionally.
New York businessman Donald Trump leads the Republican race with 384 delegates. Trump has faltered a bit lately, but he is still poised to win big today. Expect him to take Michigan and Mississippi, and to probably take Idaho and Hawai’i as well.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump has a 92 percent chance of winning Michigan
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is second in the Republican race with 300 delegates. Cruz is on a bit of a hot-streak lately and has emerged as the top candidate to overtake Trump. It’ll be important that he continues that momentum today.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is third in the Republican race with 151 delegates. Rubio got a boost on Sunday when he won the Puerto Rico primary, but he is still struggling to convinve establishment GOP voters to rally around him. With Florida, his winner-take-all home state coming up on the March 15, Rubio needs to find a way to winner another state or two to stay in this race.
Ohio Governor John Kasich is fourth in the Republican race with 37 delegates. Kasich has put a lot of his campaign effort into Michigan and surrounding midwestern states; today is a big test for his strategy.
*Delegates counts in this article reflect only pledged delegates. Unpledged “superdelegates” are not included because they are uncommitted and can switch candidates at any point before a party’s convention.