Super Tuesday, one of the most important moments in the presidential nomination process, will see around a dozen states vote. The results on Tuesday could be pivotal in deciding who will be the next president.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is looking to consolidate her strength after a blowout win in South Carolina. If she does as well as expected, challenger Bernie Sanders could be facing the end of the road.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump could deliver a crushing blow to his rivals with a string of Super Tuesday wins, while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio look to stop his momentum.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s at stake for Republicans and the mood in the Super Tuesday states voting today:
Alabama (50 Delegates)
Alabama polls currently show Trump leading, with at least one poll showing him ahead by more than 20 points. Alabama has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, at 6.3%. Trump’s campaign has been designed to appeal to frustrated working-class voters who feel they’ve been let behind.
Virginia (49 Delegates)
Trump is currently leading here as well, with polls showing him in front by double digits. Virginia’s unemployment rate is only 4.2%, so if he does well here it could be a signal that his appeal is broadening. Virginia is considered a critical state for the general election. The state went to Barack Obama twice after swinging Republican for a generation. The stark differences between the Democratic-leaning northern part of the state — especially in certain DC suburbs — and the conservative southern portion could prove vital here.
Massachusetts (42 Delegates)
Massachusetts is just about as liberal as they come. While that should mean a perceived moderate like John Kasich would do well, Trump is leading in the state by more than 20%. One interesting fact about Massachusetts: according to a Pew poll, only 33% of Republicans say religion is important to them, by far the lowest rate in the Super Tuesday states.
Arkansas (40 Delegates)
Arkansas hasn’t been polled as extensively as some of the other states, but Cruz did have a narrow lead there in early February. It is a neighbor to his home state of Texas, which could help the candidate. It is also a heavily religious state. Trump has done well with evangelical voters, especially in South Carolina. It’s possible his comments about Planned Parenthood in recent debates could scare off these voters, though.
Wyoming (29 Delegates)
Wyoming is a caucus state which has virtually no polls. It’s a rural state, which might help Cruz, who won in Iowa, another rural state.
Alaska (26 Delegates)
Trump led the most recent poll in this caucus state, but that was back in January. Alaska is less religious than most Republican states, with only 55% saying religion is important to them. That could bode well for Trump. So could the state’s comparatively high 6.6% unemployment rate.
North Dakota (28 Delegates)
Similar situation to Wyoming. Under-polled. North Dakota will not likely garner much attention.
Texas (155 Delegates)
This is the big prize on Super Tuesday. Ted Cruz has home field advantage, and he’s leading by around 10 points in the latest polls. If Trump can cut into that lead or even overtake Cruz, it might be game-over for the senator. Sixty-six percent of Republicans say religion is important to them. Trump needs to perform as well with these voters in Texas as he did in South Carolina to have a chance.
Georgia (76 Delegates)
Trump is up by double digits here. A win in this deeply religious state would pair well with his win in South Carolina, doubling down his base in the Southern States. Unemployment is middle of the pack at 5.5%, but Trump’s appeals to the fears of white voters are key in this state.
Tennessee (58 Delegates)
Surprise surprise, Trump is winning here as well. Unemployment sits at 5.6%, and evangelical voters make up 67% of Republicans in the state. Again, this is a key test of Trump’s popularity with religious voters.
Minnesota (38 Delegates)
Minnesota is one of the rare polling bright spots for Marco Rubio. He’s leading here in the most recent polls, though by single digits. Minnesota is an important state for the general election. It has been consistently blue, but Republicans are eying it as a potential battleground state for 2016.
Colorado (37 Delegates)
In Colorado, the Republicans elect delegates, not presidential candidates. And, unlike in other caucus states, those delegates are not pledged to candidates. A straw poll of candidates isn’t even conducted anymore.
Vermont (16 Delegates)
On the Republican side, the home of Bernie Sanders is currently leaning towards Trump. The state has a large white population.