Mississippi (40 Republican delegates, 41 for Democrats)
Donald Trump waltzed to victory in Alabama on SEC Primary day, but had an unexpectedly tight win in Louisiana on Saturday because of a late surge for Ted Cruz. The results here will be a good indication of whether Trump has truly stumbled in the past week. Demographically, it’s a dream state for Trump – like Alabama but even more rural and less educated. Cruz did pick up a late endorsement from Gov. Phil Bryant.
In the most racially polarized voting state in the country, the Democratic electorate is almost entirely black, meaning Hillary Clinton should dominate here against Bernie Sanders.
Candidate visits: Trump was in Madison on Monday. Cruz was in Florence on Monday.
Links: This Clarion-Ledger story on Trump’s rally is worth it for the kicker quote from a voter: “I live in Mississippi,” she said. “It’s full of rednecks. Trump is classy next to that.”
The Cruz campaign is telling donors Mississippi is hard to predict because it is “more populist than conservative.” Then, yeah, sounds like Trump country. (CNN)
Michigan primary (59 Republican delegates, 147 for Democrats)
Today’s biggest delegate haul has drawn a lot of interest on both sides of the aisle. John Kasich has poured time and resources into the state with the hope of finally getting a win on the board – though he has said his home state of Ohio is his only must-win to stay viable.
The territory should suit Kasich, but Trump still has a healthy lead in the polls here – and his attacks on free trade deals are likely to resonate in the Rust Belt. Michigan could be a good test of the Mitt effect: Romney’s anti-Trump fusillade could play well here, where Romney's father was governor. Or it could fall flat.
If one candidate tops 50 percent, he gets all the delegates, but that seems unlikely. Keep an eye on whether Marco Rubio can hit 15 percent here and siphon away a few delegates.
On the Democratic side, the heavily African-American electorate favors Clinton, though Sanders has spent a lot of time here lately pressing an economic inequality message in a state battered worse than just about any other by the financial crisis. Clinton has been hitting Sanders for not supporting the auto bailout, because funds to save GM and Chrysler were taken from the Wall Street rescue, which Sanders voted against.
Polls: Fox 2 Detroit March 6: Trump 42, Kasich 20, Cruz 19, Rubio 9; Clinton 66, Sanders 29. Trafalgar Group March 5-6: Trump 41, Cruz 23, Kasich 23, Rubio 8. Monmouth University March 3-6: Trump 36, Cruz 23, Kasich 21, Rubio 13; Clinton 55, Sanders 42. ARG March 4-5: Kasich 33, Trump 31, Cruz 15, Rubio 11.
Candidate visits: The Republicans debated in Detroit on Thursday. Trump rallied in Warren and Cadillac on Friday. Kasich has stumped all over the state in the past week, just about non-stop. Cruz was in Grand Rapids on Monday.
The Democrats debated in Flint on Sunday. Sanders has been camped out in the state since Friday, hitting Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Macomb County, Kalamazoo, Dearborn and Ann Arbor. Hillary Clinton was in Detroit on Friday and Monday, and Bill Clinton was there Saturday and Sunday.
Links: The only GOP candidate not advertising in Michigan is Cruz. Kasich has spent the most time wooing the state. (Detroit Free Press)
Rubio’s campaign sent out a robocall here of Romney attacking Trump. (Detroit News)
Michigan might be Sanders’ last real chance to derail Clinton’s path to the nomination. (USA Today)
Idaho GOP primary (32 delegates)
This is the only state voting today where Rubio made a real play, with a weekend campaign swing. His ties to the Mormon church -- which he briefly converted to as a child – and to neighboring Nevada could help, along with the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Jim Risch. Popular U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, meanwhile, endorsed Ted Cruz, who has embraced the land rights issues that have animated Western conservatives.
Trump led one recent poll here and won Nevada. But one factor that could play against the mogul: Turnout is expected to be low, as Idaho moved up its primary this year and candidates have not spent money on getting out the vote.
Also, Romney remains popular in this Mormon-heavy state. Another Mitt Effect test.
Polls: Idaho Politics Weekly Feb. 17-26: Trump 30, Cruz 19, Rubio 16, Kasich 5.
Candidate visits: Rubio was in Boise and Idaho Falls on Sunday. Cruz was in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday.
Links: “There seems to be a general lack of awareness that there’s an election tomorrow.” (Idaho Statesman)
Hawaii GOP caucus (19 delegates)
There has been little attention paid to this far-flung caucus in a state with very few Republicans. Cruz has the backing of the only Republican state senator in Hawaii, while Kasich was endorsed by a former congressman. Cruz has done better in caucus states, including a win in Alaska.
Candidate visits: They wish.
Links: None of the candidates has visited Hawaii, but local Republicans say they don’t feel too left out. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, a Kasich backer, wrote an impassioned #NeverTrump plea (Honolulu Civil Beat).
Trump tweeted that he employs many people in Hawaii because he owns a hotel there, but he actually does not own the hotel. It’s just branded with his name. (CBS News)
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