Tomorrow's the big night, whether you prefer to call it Super Tuesday or the "SEC Tuesday" (because of all the Southern states). So rather than scramble to get this out before the polls close tomorrow night, I'm posting all my primary picks today.
Before I begin, let's take a look at how my record stands, so far. I did pretty well last week, picking all four candidates correctly (the top three Republicans, and the Democratic winner). Here are my updated stats:
Total correct 2016 Democratic picks: 2 for 4 -- 50%
Total correct 2016 Republican picks: 9 for 12 -- 75%
Total overall correct picks: 11 for 16 -- 69%.
I'm obviously doing better with the Republican races, but maybe I'll be able to get my numbers up after tomorrow night.
One change in the game needs mentioning. Because there are so many races to call, and because the further we go the less any secondary positions mean, starting today I'll only be calling the Republican winners instead of the top three finishers in each state.
We've got a lot of races to call, as Republicans vote in 11 contests and Democrats vote in 12. You may hear different state totals, because there is what appears to be a weeklong "Democrats Abroad" vote beginning tomorrow, and also because there are some Republicans voting in "non-binding" contests as well -- all of which I'm going to ignore, for now. In alphabetic order, here are the states with primaries and caucuses which will actually count towards delegates tomorrow night.
The polling here is overwhelming on both sides of the aisle. Hillary Clinton will pick up an easy win here, and Donald Trump will coast to victory as well.
Alaska is one of those states where polling barely exists, and what there is can't be trusted much. The last poll taken was in mid-January, and showed Trump beating Ted Cruz by four points (28-24). But it's really anyone's guess who will win. I'm going to say that the Sarah Palin endorsement carries the day, and Trump carries the Frontier State. I'm basing that on gut feeling, though, so I could very well turn out to be wrong.
American Samoa (Democrats)
This one is complete and utter guesswork. No polls, no media attention, so you've got to just flip a coin on this one. I'm going to say Hillary Clinton wins, for no other reason than name recognition. But it's just a stab in the dark, really.
Arkansas is another state that doesn't draw a lot of interest from pollsters. The last polls were taken at the beginning of the month, and so can't be seen as all that reliable. On the Democratic side, though, Arkansas is one of at least three states that Hillary Clinton can claim "home state" status in, so it'll be no surprise to see her easily win here.
The last Republican poll put Ted Cruz up by four points over both Trump and Marco Rubio, but that was almost a month ago. Cruz desperately needs to win at least one state other than his home state, and it looks like he might have his best chance here. But I'm going to go with my gut and say Trump wins Arkansas with Cruz close behind. I have no real reason to base this prediction on, however.
Colorado is another state with not much polling at all. Nevertheless, what scant polling there is seems to show a trend towards Bernie Sanders in the past few weeks. This should be a pretty friendly state to Sanders, and I'm going to bet that the college students turn out to vote in a big way and give Sanders the edge he needs to beat Hillary.
Another easy call, due to overwhelming polling leads. Georgia goes for both Trump and Clinton, by wide margins.
The Republican side is pretty easy to call in Massachusetts, as Donald Trump seems poised to win yuge here. However, on the Democratic side there's a very tight race. Massachusetts neighbors Vermont, of course, but Bernie doesn't have the polling advantage right now. All the polls are very close -- within the margin of error -- but what they seem to indicate is a late-breaking trend towards Clinton. My guess is that this might be the last race called tomorrow night because it will be so close, but that in the end Clinton will edge out Sanders.
Minnesota is another state that appears to be allergic to polling. The last polls were conducted in January, so it's impossible to see what trends may have developed since then. On the Republican side, the last poll showed Rubio leading with 23 percent, Cruz in second with 21, and Trump with 18. But, again, that was five weeks ago. I really have doubts that Rubio is going to win a single state tomorrow night, so I'm just going to go ahead and call Minnesota for Trump, instead. This is just a wild guess, of course, since he was polling third the last time data appeared. But I'm betting that his nationwide polling rise helped him enough in Minnesota to put him over the top.
On the Democratic side, Clinton had a big lead five weeks ago, but Bernie has been campaigning to win here. Somehow, though, I don't think he had enough time to close the gap. I think Clinton will win here, but I have no idea what the margin will be. It could be big, or the race could be very close.
Oklahoma is going to be the hardest loss of the night for Ted Cruz. He's from the state next door, and the demographics of Oklahoma were supposed to be very similar to those in Texas. Unfortunately for him, though, Donald Trump is doing very well in the Sooner State. Trump will pick up an easy win here tomorrow.
There may be an upset on the Democratic side, though. The polling here (what there is of it) is just as close as Massachusetts. But this time the late-breaking trend seems to be in Bernie's favor. Due to this fact, I'm going to go ahead and say Oklahoma will feel the Bern tomorrow night. Sanders wins, but by a very small margin.
Another easy-to-call Southern state. Trump wins big here, and so does Clinton.
Hillary Clinton will also win big in Texas, but the Republican race is going to be the one to watch. Donald Trump would truly love to steal Texas away from Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio would cheer Trump on if he managed it (because it'll make Rubio's argument that Cruz can't win a lot more potent). But even though Trump has been doing better in the polls, he still hasn't completely closed the gap with Cruz. So there will be no upset in Texas, as Ted Cruz wins his home state. Even winning Texas (which has a lot of delegates), though, won't be enough for Cruz, and the calls for him to exit the race will begin Wednesday morning. So winning Texas will be nothing more than a consolation prize for Cruz.
Obviously, Bernie Sanders is going to crush Hillary Clinton in his home state. The last poll I saw had him up by a whopping 76 points. So it's a pretty easy call that Vermont will be the best news Sanders fans have tomorrow night.
The polling on the Republican side isn't quite as lopsided, but it does show Trump with a commanding lead here, so it's an easy pick to say Trump wins Vermont.
And we end on another easy call in the South. Virginia goes for both Trump and Clinton.
Whew! That's a lot of states voting all at once!
Let's review my picks, and then if you think I'm wildly off, let me know about it in the comments, as usual. Super Tuesday is going to be very good to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders will have a few more states in his pocket, but the road ahead is going to look very grim indeed for both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Here is the full list of my picks for tomorrow night:
Hillary Clinton wins a total of nine states -- Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Bernie Sanders wins only three states -- Colorado, Oklahoma, and Vermont.
Donald Trump steamrolls across 10 states -- Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.
Ted Cruz wins only his home state of Texas, and Marco Rubio doesn't win a single state.
Those are my Super Tuesday picks -- what are yours?
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