The winner-take-all Republican primary for 99 delegates is shaping up to be a climactic moment. There’s little drama in the Democratic race, where Hillary Clinton is comfortably ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders with 246 delegates at stake. Donald Trump faces a big test, but polls show him ahead of Marco Rubio, the state’s junior senator. If he loses, Rubio will have little rationale for his campaign. His best hope: massive turnout in Miami-Dade County. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich could come away with no delegates.
Democrat Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders in her native state. A poll last week found her ahead, 67 percent to 25 percent, and she swept nearly every demographic category in the race for 182 delegates. Clinton was born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge. The GOP contest for 69 delegates is splintered. Donald Trump was leading in recent polls, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio weren’t far behind. Even Ohio Gov. John Kasich was in double digits.
Donald Trump has momentum. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has high-profile endorsements. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has a message tailor-made for evangelical voters. That adds up to a potentially tight race for the state’s 52 delegates. Hillary Clinton seems to have an insurmountable advantage and most of the state’s 84 Democratic delegates within reach. She has top officials’ endorsements and broad support among blacks. But a surprise by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is possible: He’s got grass roots energy.
Front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are favored to add to their wins and their delegate totals — 121 for Democrats and 72 for Republicans — but there are signs that upsets are possible. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz trailed Trump in recent polls, but analysts said there’s a chance voters could be swayed by calls to block Trump from securing the GOP nomination. Still, Trump had a surprising 42-31 percent edge among evangelicals. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support from young and independent voters could cut into Clinton’s sizable lead.
Gov. John Kasich has bet his political future on the outcome in his home state and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday asked his supporters here to vote for Kasich. But even its 66 winner-take-all GOP delegates might not save Kasich’s candidacy, and several polls showed Donald Trump ahead in Ohio. Hillary Clinton leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the battle for 159 Democratic delegates, but Ohio is similar in demographics and concerns to Michigan, so watch for another Sanders surprise.