For the third straight Tuesday, several states will cast their votes for the Republican presidential nominee. The results will either offer clarity, with Donald Trump firmly entrenched at the top of the delegate count, or instill more uncertainty than ever with multiple candidates packed together like sardines, meandering towards a brokered convention in Cleveland. Here’s what to look for in the states voting on Tuesday:
Florida (99 Delegates)
Florida is the biggest delegate prize of the day, and it is likely to go to Trump. While this is Marco Rubio’s home turf, polls currently show Trump up nearly 20 points. Remember, Florida isn’t just Miami and Orlando; the entire Northern part of the state is very rural and Southern in character, a region of the country Trump has largely swept. With Florida expected to be a key swing state in the November general election, the results here, including turnout, will be important to consider.
Ohio (66 Delegates)
Another potential swing state, and yet another state with a sitting politician in the race. Gov. John Kasich is currently leading the polls in his home state, but by an average of fewer than five points. Trump is sitting in second. If the New York businessman manages to pull out a win in the Buckeye State, he may very well have the nomination in the bag. This is likely to be closest, and most closely watched, primary race on Tuesday evening.
Missouri (52 Delegates)
Missouri will likely offer a close race. The latest polls showed Trump ahead, but by just seven points. Missouri is a state with multiple identities; in some ways, it is quintessentially Midwestern, but it has Southern-influenced elements as well. Missouri is the 15th most religious state in the nation, according to a Pew study. Though Trump has done better with evangelical voters than expected, those voters could still flock to Ted Cruz and hand him a much-needed win
Illinois (69 Delegates)
Trump is leading here by around 6%. Illinois is another state where outsiders tend to forget that there are millions of voters who live outside of the big cities, namely Chicago. Downstate Illinois is rural, which is a good sign for Trump. A win here, even if he were to lose in Ohio, would give him another Midwestern state, further solidifying his chances of securing the nomination.
North Carolina (72 Delegates)
This is the only state voting on Tuesday that will allocate its delegates proportionally rather than on a winner-take-all basis. Trump is up by more than 10 points here, so it is likely his Southern dominance will continue unabated.