Chris Bradford, ANN Contributor
7 February 2016, updated 6:50 PM EST
Cruz claim that it splits the party is rather accurate based on polling data. Cruz holds a plurality of support in the overall GOP at the moment with 38%. Murkowski has 29%, and Christie has 27% with Paul in last place with 6%. The self proclaimed moderates that vote for Murkowski and Christie, however, make up a bloc of 56% of voters. All signs in this party’s contest show that it will be a very long a divisive presidential primary season.
- February 7, 2016 -
MURKOWSKI WINS MINNESOTA, COLORADO, CRUZ TAKES MISSOURI
Today, Murkowski has really reaffirmed her status as a frontrunner in this race through victories in the Minnesota and Colorado contests. She has shown herself to be very popular in the West and Midwest, and these victories help confirm this. However, Cruz took Missouri by a fairly comfortable margin. Murkowski has a fair amount more delegates than Christie, and his campaign is largely on damage control.
HUNTSMAN: A lot of the right things have been said already. Christie is the third wheel right now and something major has to happen if he wants to get himself back in the top spot. Murkowski was really successful in displaying as Christie having all of the charisma and none of the substance, while she has shown herself to have all of that, along with a no nonsense but still somewhat pragmatic attitude. She is looking like the one to beat.
- February 13, 2016 -
O'MALLEY TAKES SOUTH CAROLINA
On the much quieter Democratic side of the contests, O'Malley has won the South Carolina contest by a fairly comfortable margin. O'Malley has polled very well among African-Americans in the primaries since Governor Patrick's exit and this is very likely one of the major elements that contributed to his victory.
HUNTSMAN: Being the Governor of Maryland certainly helps with picking up the African-American vote. He knows what they need and a lot of the social programs he implemented in Maryland were aimed at helping them specifically. If he becomes the nominee, I would expect him to have a lot more clout in the south than President Obama did in 2008 and 2012, even with the monolithic black vote.
- February 16, 2016 -
O'MALLEY ROUNDS OUT CAROLINAS
O'Malley rounds out his victory in South Carolina a few days ago with a victory in North Carolina today. This victory was just as strong as the one in South Carolina, and not very much of a surprise considering that polling indicated this exact thing occurring.
HUNTSMAN: I really don't have much to say about North Carolina than I already said about its southern counterpart. North Carolina was the only swing state that went for Romney in 2012, and North Carolina is very likely to be in play this year, especially if O'Malley is the nominee.
- February 23, 2016 -
O'MALLEY CONTINUES VICTORIES IN ARIZONA, MICHIGAN
The Governor of Maryland continues to have very strong showings in the Democratic contests. He wins the Arizona and Michigan contests today, although it is important to note that Klobuchar only trailed him by 4% in Michigan. At this point, O'Malley has created a solid delegate lead, but Klobuchar could catch up easily through a victory in a big contest.
HUNTSMAN: These contests are the final ones before Super Tuesday for the Democrats. Super Tuesday, from what we can see now, will be far from a deciding match for this party. Klobuchar has a lead in Texas, which is an enormous delegate grab and could easily put her above O'Malley. There is also the element of Udall, who could realistically take away enough delegates from either to prevent a breakthrough from either. However, this does not appear to be headed to convention in any stretch of imagination.
- February 28, 2016 -
CRUZ TAKES ARIZONA, CHRISTIE WINS BIG IN MICHIGAN
ANN can bring you some more intriguing news, this time with the Republican Party. Christie has secured a two percent margin of victory over Murkowski in Michigan, while Cruz made a less exciting victory in Arizona. This is likely the fuel that Chrstie's campaign needs to keep going. It was looking like he was finished for a week or so, but that might not be so. Christie is still far behind in the delegate count, but Michigan is a decently sized prize that can propel hm back in the nomination race.
HUNTSMAN: A Christie breakthrough was largely unexpected at this point. I think that Michgan, with a balance of rural and urban atmospheres most closely associated with the northeast, and felt the most relateable with a northeastern moderate over an Alaskan maverick or a Texan conservative. A Christie victory in this state shows is that he could still win state in the Northeast, including New York, or possibly even California. A key lesson to learn from these Republican primaries is that nobody should underestimate the underdog, from the rise of Murkowski to Christie fighting back.
Looking to Super Tuesday: what needs to happen?
Chris Bradford, ANN Contributor
28 February 2016, updated 9:19 AM EST
Super Tuesday, one of the most important days in the primary season is coming up quickly. Sometimes it can be the day to decide races, but this year, the Democratic and Republican field is so closely locked that it appears unlikely a breakthrough will be made. Here are the Republican side of the races:
Senator Lisa Murkowski Alaska: 132 delegates
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas: 128 delegates
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey: 117 delegates
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky: 35 delegates (unpledged)
Fmr. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania: 4 delegates (pledged to Cruz)
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana: 0 delegates
Senator Murkowski has pulled a lead due to victories in some big winner take all contests, but Cruz is only a meager 4 delegates behind and Christie only 9 behind Cruz. Senator Paul, who ended his bid after Missouri, has not endorsed a candidate yet, and therefore his delegates are unpledged. His delegates could end up making the difference, and it is likely he will go for Murkowski or Cruz, as he has a very long history of disagreement with Christie. Anybody could feasibly pull ahead on Super Tuesday.
Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland: 145 delegates
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota: 132 delegates
Senator Mark Udall of Colorado: 88 delegates
Governor Deval Patrick: 14 delegates (pledged to O’Malley)
Fmr. Governor Howard Dean of Vermont: 0 delegates
Governor O’Malley holds a slim lead in the Democratic field. Overall, this race is shaping up to be a very close two way race. If Udall wants to have a legitimate shot at the nomination, he is going to have to pull out some big victories tomorrow.