Takeways from the Super Tuesday primaries | Inquirer News

Takeways from the Super Tuesday primaries

/ 08:49 AM March 06, 2024

Super Tuesday primary election in Rio Grande City

A voter exits a polling location, during the Super Tuesday primary election in Rio Grande City, Texas, U.S., March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Cheney Orr

After 15 states and one U.S. territory cast votes on Tuesday, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump likely will stand on the cusp of sealing the Republican presidential nomination. His last remaining rival, Nikki Haley, will be searching for some rationale to continue her increasingly implausible bid.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is expected to continue to pick up delegates on the Democratic side as he eases toward the November general election.


READ: Taylor Swift urges US fans to vote in Super Tuesday elections


Here are some early takeaways from Super Tuesday as voters were still heading to the polls across the country:

Getting on board

Republican voters seem to be growing more comfortable with the idea that their nominee may have committed a crime.

According to exit polls conducted by Edison Research, fewer than one-quarter – 23% – of those who voted in the California primary believe Trump would be unfit to serve as president if convicted of a crime.

The electorate that votes in the California primary skews conservative, as the state allows only registered Republicans to vote. But that 23% figure is far lower than the tallies in other conservative states such as Iowa and South Carolina, where more than 30% of respondents said Trump would not be fit to serve if convicted.

Trump faces multiple federal and state charges for his role in attempting to subvert the 2020 election, as well as federal charges over his handling of classified documents and a New York state case concerning hush-money payments to a porn star. It looks increasingly likely that resolution of those cases could drag past the election.


The exit poll results suggest Republican voters are increasingly lining up behind Trump as the nominee. Beyond California, Edison conducted polls in North Carolina and Virginia that showed Trump strengthening his grip on the party and consolidating his appeal among Republicans.

No penalty

Democratic voters in Iowa did not punish Biden for his decision to oust the state from its early spot in the nominating calendar in favor of more diverse states like South Carolina and Michigan.

Biden easily won Iowa, receiving 91% of the 12,193 votes cast in an exclusively postal ballot election.

The state was the first in the nation to provide results on a night where Biden is expected to sweep the Democratic contests being held in 15 states and one U.S. territory.

He faces no real competition in his party. In Iowa, the uncommitted vote came in a distant second with 480 votes, according to Edison Research, followed by Democrats Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson with 362 votes and 268 votes, respectively.

Biden’s reelection campaign has kept a low profile on Super Tuesday as it prepares to ramp up campaigning following his State of the Union address scheduled for Thursday.

Warning signs for Biden

Perhaps most worrisome for the Biden campaign on Tuesday were exit polls from California that showed Trump crushing Haley among nonwhite voters.

According to Edison, Trump bested Haley with those voters, most of whom were Hispanic, 72% to 23%. California has been the most diverse state to hold a Republican primary this year with 36% of respondents classifying themselves as “nonwhite.”

Hispanics and other nonwhite voters are at the core of the Democratic constituency. Trump, however, trailed Biden among Hispanics by just 10 percentage points – 27% to 37% – in a January Reuters/Ipsos poll, with the rest of voters undecided or planning to vote for someone else or not all.

Biden beat Trump among Hispanics by about 20 percentage points in the 2020 election.

Other recent opinion polls have shown Trump gaining strength among nonwhite voters, particularly from the working-class. In the California poll, 24% of voters said they lacked a college degree.

Haley has based much of her candidacy on her appeal to moderates and independents, but both those segments went for Trump in large numbers in California, according to Edison.

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Haley did manage to win the majority of moderates in North Carolina and Virginia, states that allow voters who are not registered Republicans to vote in the Republican primary.

TAGS: primaries, Super Tuesday, United States

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