Super Tuesday is arguably the most important day of the entire primary season—at least so far.
More delegates will be chosen than on any other day in the primary season, and that’s why it gets so much attention. For Republicans and Democrats alike, it’s a good indicator for who will be the eventual nominees of each party.
Republicans: Trump’s lead continues
Despite an especially contentious debate and harsh exchanges that continued over the past weekend, Donald Trump’s support held steady in the states holding Republican primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday, according to Election Tracking surveys conducted by SurveyMonkey.
Trump held a significant lead throughout the week, winning the support of 36% of Republican voters who reside in 11 states holding primaries or caucuses on Tuesday. In the combined sample, Ted Cruz (24%) runs second followed by Marco Rubio (18%), Ben Carson (9%), and John Kasich (5%).
Perhaps more significantly, support for Trump and the other candidates was essentially unchanged before and after the debate. Trump’s support after the debate (37%) was just a single percentage point higher than before (36%), support for Cruz was just two points lower (dropping from 25 to 23%), while Rubio’s vote ticked up just one percentage point (from 17 to 18%).
Over the past week, Trump also held comfortable leads in 6 of 7 states holding Republican primary elections on March 1 (states where SurveyMonkey was able to complete at least 500 interviews among Republican voters over the past week). Trump’s leads were widest in Alabama and Tennessee, where his vote total approached half of Republicans.
His leads were narrower in Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma and Virginia.
The Republican contest looks closest in Texas, where home-state favorite Ted Cruz had a narrow, two percentage point edge over Trump (33 to 31%) followed by Marco Rubio (at 19%).
In other states, Rubio had a comfortable lead over Cruz for second place only in Virginia, while the two were separated by single digits elsewhere.
What may be of greater consequence for Cruz and Rubio are qualifying thresholds of 20% required to win delegates in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas (sometimes at the Congressional District level). Except for Cruz in Texas, both candidates are near or below those thresholds in all four states.
Democrats: Clinton leads Sanders by wide margins
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton held wide leads over Bernie Sanders in 3 states where SurveyMonkey was able to conduct more than 500 interviews among Democratic voters over the past week. She led by margins ranging between 17 and 23 percentage points in Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. Sanders ran far closer in Massachusetts, where Clinton had a slight edge (48 to 46%).