A Big Push for Flawed Front-Runners

March 03, 2016

Super Tuesday was a huge day for the Democratic and Republican Party front-runners. Both took big steps toward winning their respective nominations—but even as they piled up delegates, they still face challenges. 

Hillary Clinton swept seven of the night’s 11 Democratic contests, winning 61.4% of the day’s vote. She started that morning with 91 delegates from February’s contests and ended the evening at 581. This doesn’t include her support from so-called superdelegates—elected politicians and various Democratic Party pooh-bahs who are automatically entitled to vote for any candidate they want at the national convention. 

Bernie Sanders raised $42 million in February—and did it the easy way. Mrs. Clinton must trudge across the country to fundraisers, soliciting $2,700 a donor. Sen. Sanders need only send an email or tweet to get $30 each from millions of Americans.

But money alone won’t sway the Democratic contest. Leading among the 712 superdelegates by 457 to 22, Mrs. Clinton will be the nominee unless she or someone close to her is indicted over her private email server. Still, Mr. Sanders’s fundraising shows the Democratic Party’s left-wing grass roots are unlikely to roll over anytime soon for the former secretary of state.

So what does Bernie want? He will arrive at the Philadelphia convention in July with a chunk of delegates and authentic enthusiasm. He doesn’t seem to be angling for the vice-presidency. Instead, he appears to be a true believer who wants to kill the superdelegate process and demand explicitly democratic-socialist platform planks on income inequality and government regulation. These could be troublesome for Team Clinton.

Donald Trump also had much to celebrate. The Republican front-runner started the day with 82 delegates and, by carrying seven of the 11 Republican contests, has added 237 to bring his total to 319 of the 728 chosen so far.

Mr. Trump took 2.9 million of the 8.5 million votes cast, roughly 34.4%. Sen. Ted Cruz garnered 2.5 million votes, 29.3%. Sen. Marco Rubio got 1.9 million, votes, 22%. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Dr. Ben Carson and the other 14 candidates trailed with 1.2 million votes, 14.4%.

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