Not too many delegates, but plenty of momentum.
After Thursday night’s slug fest of a GOP debate, voters in four states will make their selections for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday. Here’s what’s going on in each state.
Kansas (40 Delegates)
The latest polls in Kansas had Donald Trump leading by 13 points, but that was before Super Tuesday, the pleas from Mitt Romney, and Thursday’s out-of-control debate. Kansas is one of the most deeply Red states in the country. It has gone Republican in every presidential election since 1940, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson’s walloping of Barry Goldwater in 1964. It is a very religious state, with 55% referring to themselves as “highly religious” according to a Pew poll. So far, Trump has done well with evangelicals; Cruz will have to reverse that if he wants to win the caucuses in this state.
Kentucky (43 Delegates)
Again, Trump was leading here in polls, but they were last taken before Super Tuesday. Kentucky is another caucus state, and Trump’s strong polling hasn’t been as predictive in caucuses as it has been on primaries. He’s been sweeping the South, though. A win in Kentucky would further solidify his support in the region. Kentucky also has a relatively high unemployment rate of 5.7%. Trump plays well with disaffected voters, so that bodes well for him.
Louisiana (46 Delegates)
The Bayou State is the one real primary (non-caucus) to hold elections this weekend. Trump was leading by nearly 20 points in polls taken just after Super Tuesday. Again, a relatively comparatively unemployment rate of 5.8% plus a healthy base of conservative white voters is good for Trump in this state.
Maine (23 Delegates)
Maine hasn’t been polled since November, so the contest’s outcome is up in the air. It’s a mostly white state, though, which is the electorate Trump has eaten up. He also won in other New England states, including New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
Though the bigger states are still to come, namely Florida and Ohio, both winner-take-all states with big delegate allocations, Saturday could offer a good sign of what is to come. If Trump wins despite this week’s raucous events, the GOP establishment’s fears that he is simply a teflon candidate could prove accurate.