All eyes on Florida, Ohio for Super Tuesday 2.0

2016-US-presidential-candidates{Big News Network.com} – WASHINGTON All eyes are on Florida and Ohio for the crucial primaries on Tuesday that will help shape the dynamics of the presidential race for both the Republicans and Democrats as the major contenders campaigned furiously to woo delegates.

With fewer candidates in the competition, the outcome in the winner-take-all states of Florida and Ohio are going to be keenly watched.

Tuesday has been dubbed “Super Tuesday 2.0” with five states going to the polls – Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio as well as the Northern Mariana Islands.

Ohio has turned into a three-way race for the Republican nomination for president, with billionaire Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz all competing for 66 winner-take-all delegates.

Trump, 69, on Sunday night announced he is cancelling his rally in Florida and will instead campaign in Ohio, which he expects to be attended by thousands of people.

Trump needs to win both Florida and Ohio. Though Trump has won primaries and caucuses in 14 states and has 460 delegates, but he is just 100 delegates ahead of nearest rival Ted Cruz who has won seven states and has 360 delegates.

Kasich has said he will win Ohio’s primary Tuesday and deny Trump the winner-take-all state’s 66 delegates.

Polls in Ohio have shown Kasich with the best chance of defeating Trump here. The two are deadlocked in recent surveys, with Cruz trailing by as much as 20 percentage points.

A CBS News poll released Sunday showed Cruz with 27 percent among GOP likely voters to Kasich’s and Trump’s 33 percent each.

Cruz is going all out to ensure Marco Rubio loses his home state of Florida Tuesday, campaigning heavily in the state even though Rubio’s defeat means Trump will win there.

Rubio with three wins has 163 delegates, while Kasich, who is yet to win a single state, has 63 delegates. To win the party’s presidential nominee, the candidates need to have the support of 1,237 delegates out of a total of 2,472 delegates.

Joining Romney’s strategy, Rubio has also asked his supporters to vote for Kasich in Ohio.

Future of more than 360 delegates is at stake in the primaries in these five states, where electioneering has been marred by unprecedented violence and protests, particularly at the public rallies of Trump.

In the Democratic presidential race, top contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both sought to enthuse their party faithful on Sunday, and spoke separately before more than 3,000 attending a dinner for the Ohio Democratic Party.

Sanders stuck with his economic equality and anti-trade agreement message while Clinton criticized the rhetoric on the Republican side and defended her own positions on free trade.

Polls show Clinton leading in Ohio, where voters have been casting absentee ballots for more than three weeks.

Sanders is banking on a big Democratic turnout in hopes of pulling off another narrow, surprise upset as occurred in Michigan last week.

The delegate math is stacked against Sanders’ hopes of accepting the party’s nomination in Philadelphia in late July.

Clinton has 1,231 delegates, including pledged super delegates, of the 2,382 needed to capture the Democratic nomination while the Vermont senator has 576

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About Cholo Brooks 13364 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.