Firstly, congratulations, Team Trump, for winning Hawaii (which the markets did not expect you to do). And congratulations, team Sanders, for winning Michigan (which neither any of the polls or markets expected you to do, but I am not too surprised by).
Now, for the retrospective. Trump won Mississippi on March 8 with 3.9 percentage points’ worth of votes more than he did Alabama, a virtually identical state, on March 1. However, if you look at this map, you can see that Mississippi is visibly more Cruz’d than Alabama. And, indeed, the Senator Ted Cruz penetrated Mississippi with 15.2 percentage points of the vote more than he did Alabama. This was despite Kasich doubling his vote share in Mississippi from that in Alabama. So who are the big losers here? The obvious answers are Dr. Ben Carson (down and out; won 10.2 percent of the vote in Alabama) and Bought Rubot (lost a solid 13.6 percentage points’ worth of votes from Alabama to Mississippi; this was the largest source of Kasich’s gains).
Most of Carson’s and Rubio’s voters went to the Senator Ted Cruz, not the Donald. In any case, the near-finished slaying of the last neocon in the race is obviously a good thing. Kasich and Cruz are generic Russophobes, both of whom opposed the Libya intervention when it started (unlike the Donald, who strongly supported it on the condition the U.S. get Libya’s oil, and Marco Rubio, who was a major cheerleader).
How much of a difference eight days can make! From most likely alternative to Donald Trump to not winning so much as one county in four diverse states! Today, we can see that March 1 was the last and highest of the electoral high-water marks of Marco Rubio, with Rubio winning the vast majority of his counties inside the fifty U.S. states on no other date than Super Tuesday. Trump, meanwhile, had a fine night, winning by a margin of eight or more percentage points in three states on Tuesday. Paradoxically, Rubio’s meltdown means Trump gained more delegates in Idaho than if he had won and Rubio had done decently.
Now, for the prospective. Rubio is sure to drop out after losing Florida one week from now. The Michigan results give us hope and assurance that the beginning of Cruzlandia just South of the Ohio river does not mean that the Donald will not be able to pull off electoral victories in Illinois and Ohio. The modest showing of Kasich in Michigan give further hope of a Trump win in Ohio. However, while it’s reasonable to call Illinois (an open primary state) for Trump, Ohio still remains a mystery, though most likely going for Trump as well. Trump obviously wins North Carolina. Missouri is a toss-up, but Trump is favored due to the open primary and a recent shooting involving an illegal. Thus, my predictions for March 15, despite uncertainty, are:
Trump wins all March 15 states
Note that my first post on the subject (which actually started as a Money Illusion comment), posted on February 22, right after Trump’s victory in South Carolina, was eerily prescient regarding Cruz’s future strength and Rubio’s future weakness. Back on February 22, talk of Rubio’s ceilings certainly wasn’t on the radar of most campaign journalists. Sometimes, as Abraham Lincoln once said, first they fight you, then they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then you lose.