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Primary Update

Friday, March 4, 2016

Primary Update

After Super Tuesday, with 11 states completing their caucuses or primaries, the presidential race is starting to become a little bit clearer.

Hillary Clinton won seven states and Bernie Sanders won 4. While this looks like, and is being hyped as, a big Clinton victory, her camp had really expected to win 10 of 11 (allowing for Sanders to win only his home state of Vermont).

That same day, Donald Trump won seven states, Ted Cruz won three and Marco Rubio won one. The results help to solidify Trump as the leader, but it is closer than many believe.

The primaries are races to earn delegates to the respective party conventions.  It takes 2,383 delegates to win the Democrat nomination and 1,237 to win the GOP nod. Most states with primaries or caucuses before March 15th, including all of the March 1st states, award their delegates on a proportional basis, so it takes a big win to gather up the majority of delegates in any given state.

So, the total delegate count as of March 2 is as follows:

Hillary Clinton—595
Bernie Sanders—427

But there is a catch on the Dem side.  There are hundreds of “Super Delegates,” individuals who are typically party leaders and elected officials.  So far, 457 of these delegates are promised to Clinton, giving her 1,052.

On the GOP side, the tally is:

Donald Trump—319
Ted Cruz—226
Marco Rubio—110
John Kasich—25

Between March 5 and March 15, an additional 15 states hold primaries or caucuses. This includes four states that are “winner take all” where winning candidates collect all the delegates.  In all, there are 714 GOP delegates up for grabs and 1,147 for the Dems.

The big prizes include Michigan, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Illinois.

That is the state of the races, but there is an underlying theme that is playing out: the enthusiasm gap.

In almost every primary or caucus to date, the turnout on the GOP side has been very high, setting records in numerous states, including Virginia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Massachusetts.

As the GOP is setting records, turnout on the Dem side is significantly down from their last open primary election in 2008.  Clearly, the voters are more excited about the candidates on the GOP side, the pro-gun candidates.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.