5.20pm. Finally some Alaskan figures! Trump leads, but not overwhelmingly: he’s on 35.1%, Cruz 29.6%, Rubio 18.3%. That’s with 19% reporting, so no-one’s calling it, but it looks as if Trump’s on track to win eight of the eleven states, to Cruz two and Rubio one.
4.05pm. Clinton has been declared the winner in Massachusetts, being still 2.2% ahead with 92% counted. And although it hasn’t been called yet, I can’t see Trump losing Vermont: with 85% in, he’s got 32.5% to Kasich’s 30.6%.
Over at the betting markets, Trump has dipped slightly but is still an overwhelming favorite at 76.6% for the nomination. Clinton, also down a little, is even more unbackable at 93.0%. Rubio has plunged to single figures (9.9%), while Cruz is up to 4.3%.
For the presidency, Clinton is up but still a good value bet at 63.9%.
3.30pm (eastern Australian time, for those just joining us). Minnesota now called for Rubio and Sanders, while Clinton and Trump are holding on in Massachusetts and Vermont respectively. Otherwise it’s just Alaska to come – it closes in half an hour.
2.55pm. Rubio is holding onto his lead in Minnesota: with 53% reporting he’s got 37.3% to Cruz’s 28.0%. Trump is coming third (the first time that’s happened) with 21.1%. That looks like a win, but it’s hard to say just where the votes are coming from because the Times’s map seems to be on the blink.
Vermont is still very close, with Kasich just 1.5% behind Trump with 77% in.
2.30pm. AP has called Arkansas for Trump, giving him six wins plus the lead in Vermont, with Alaska still to come. Cruz has won Oklahoma and Texas, while Rubio leads on early figures in Minnesota.
On the Democrat side, Minnesota is looking good for Sanders: he’s on 59.3% to Clinton’s 40.6%, with 15% reporting. Very few votes in yet from Minneapolis-St Paul, though, so that’s probably why it hasn’t been called. Sanders also has a narrow lead in Colorado with 7% in, so not a bad night at all for him.
2.15pm. Counting is still in progress across eleven states, and the big news is that Rubio has hit the lead in one: he’s got 36.9% in Minnesota to Cruz’s 27.4% and Trump’s 20.4%. Only 10% reporting, so no-one’s calling it, but that could be his first win for the season.
Vermont is 64% done, also without a result declared: Trump leads with 32.6% to Kasich 30.7% and Rubio back on 19.5%. A good example of how having three rivals in the field is doing wonders for Trump – he probably wouldn’t even mind losing Vermont if it keeps Kasich around for longer.
Trump is also looking out of danger in Arkansas; with 34.7% he’s 7% ahead of Cruz with 21% of precincts reporting.
1.25pm. On the Democratic side, Sanders has won Oklahoma and is still competitive in Massachusetts, 4% behind with 26% in. That’s slightly above expectations for him, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to dent the narrative of Clinton’s inevitability. She’s racking up big wins elsewhere: 80% in Alabama, 72% in Georgia, 65% in Tennessee and Virginia.
But let’s see what happens in Minnesota and Colorado.
1.15pm. Cruz has now been called as the winner in Oklahoma as well, leading by just over four percentage points with 51% in. Although they might stall his momentum a bit, I think those results are probably good for Trump, since they’ll keep Cruz in the race. Rubio, on the other hand, isn’t winning anywhere, although on early figures he’s only about a thousand votes behind Trump in Arkansas. Minnesota and Alaska are still to come.
1.05pm (eastern Australian time, that is). This is a big one: AP has called Texas for Cruz, based on the exit polls. Together with his less-than-stellar performances in Oklahoma and Vermont, that means Trump is not having quite as good a night as many had expected. He has, however, won Virginia; with 87% in, AP has decided that his 37,000 vote lead over Rubio is insurmountable.
12.55pm. Vermont is another interesting one, being Kasich’s only real chance for a win, but at the moment Trump looks to have his measure. With 19% reporting it’s Trump 35.0%, Kasich 27.6%, Rubio 19.2% and Cruz 9.5%. Sanders, on the other hand, has 87.7% of the Democrat vote.
Sanders also has a narrow but adequate-looking lead in Oklahoma, 50.3% to 41.5% (also with 19% reporting). On the Republican side, Cruz and Trump are almost neck-and-neck, with Cruz about 500 votes ahead and Rubio not far out of it as well.
12.35pm. With 65% of precincts reporting, Virginia, always a very heterogeneous state, looks really interesting. Trump leads with 37.1% to Rubio’s 30.3%; Cruz is well back on 17.0% and Kasich a very disappointing 8.3%. But Rubio is winning quite well in the northern counties (the Washington suburbs), and there are still a lot of votes to come from there – only 29 of 243 precincts in Fairfax county have reported, and Rubio’s won them with 39.8%.
Some might remember how the 2013 race for governor in Virginia went, with the Republican in the lead for almost the entire count, until he was overtaken on the suburban results right at the end. That’s the pattern Rubio will be hoping to repeat. Delegate allocation is proportional, so it wouldn’t make much difference that way, but it would give him a big morale boost.
We also now have a handful of votes in from Texas, showing Cruz (and of course Clinton) in the lead.
12.20pm. Trump has been declared the winner in Massachusetts just on the exit polls; no call for the Democrats, but Sanders has a big lead with four precincts in. Trump and Clinton have also both won Alabama and Tennessee; no meaningful results yet from Oklahoma, and none at all from Texas.
And American Samoa has been called for Clinton.
11.50am. AP has now called Georgia for Trump, even though hardly any votes have been counted there. On 16 precincts he leads with 51.0% to Cruz on 21.0% and Rubio on 17.2%.
The next action will be in ten minutes, when polls close in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and eastern Texas, followed by Arkansas half an hour later.
11.30am. With 1% reporting in Virginia, Trump has 38.5% to Rubio’s 30.7%, Cruz well back on 17.7%. And with two precincts in in Georgia, Trump has more than half the vote.
At FiveThirtyEight they’re saying that Kasich is leading in the exit polls in Vermont.
11.10am (remember all times are eastern Australia, or GMT+11). No figures yet, but Associated Press has called Georgia and Virginia for Clinton, and Vermont for Sanders.
Just as Russia had an October Revolution in November, the United States has Super Tuesday on Wednesday – at least, it’s Wednesday in Australia. Results will start to come in in about ten minutes, from 11am eastern Australian time (and I’ll give everything in that, since otherwise we’d be shifting across several different American time zones – it’s eight hours behind New York (or, for pedants, 16 hours ahead)).
So what are we looking for? Most interest is in the Republican race, where eleven states are voting: seven in the south (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Virginia), Massachusetts and Vermont in the north, Minnesota in the midwest, and Alaska. Minnesota and Alaska are caucuses, the rest are primaries.
The Democrat list is the same, but without Alaska and with Colorado and American Samoa (both caucuses) instead. There are plenty of guides available: here’s a good one at Vox, and here’s FiveThirtyEight Republican and Democrat. The Green Papers have lots of detail about how delegate allocation works. For results as they come in, I generally rely on the New York Times.
Donald Trump, now a runaway favorite for the Republican nomination, is regarded as leading the field in ten of the eleven states: the exception is Ted Cruz’s own state of Texas, but even there a Trump victory is thought possible. A loss for Trump anywhere else would give some comfort to his rivals: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Alaska are probably the best chances for it.
But in addition to trying to get within striking distance of Trump, his rivals need to sort out themselves. What Trump most wants is for Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich to all get some encouragement from today so that all of them will stay in for a few more rounds, splitting the anti-Trump vote.
Conversely, what the Republican establishment desperately needs is for one of the three to outdistance the others, setting up a one-on-one contest.
All the states voting so far have some proportional element in their delegate allocation, so it’s hard for anyone to build up a huge lead. That changes (for Republicans, not Democrats) on 15 March, when states can start holding winner-take-all primaries; Trump’s strategy (in which the media seem to be helping him a lot) is to make it all look like a foregone conclusion before then.
On the Democrat side, which I probably won’t be talking about much, Bernie Sanders will win a landslide in his home state of Vermont, while Hillary Clinton is favored everywhere else. Massachusetts, however, is expected to be close; apart from that, Minnesota and Colorado are probably Sanders’s best shots.
The first three states to finish voting, at 11am, are Georgia, Vermont and Virginia, so we should see something from them very soon.