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Super Guide to Super Tuesday — Democratic Edition

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Alabama primary

53 delegates (35 district, 18 statewide)

Like every other state in the Deep South, Alabama is likely to deliver a big win for Clinton. Nationwide, she has much greater support among African-American voters than Sanders does, and the majority of the electorate in Alabama will probably be African-American. Also, more of the state’s Democratic voters identified as “conservative” than “very liberal” in the 2008 primary, which is bad news for Sanders. The polls show this to be among his weakest states. There is one bit of decent news for Sanders, however: Clinton’s base of support looks a lot like Barack Obama’s did in 2008, and Alabama was one of Obama’s weaker states in the South that year. But Obama still won with 56 percent of the vote; Sanders would be lucky to keep Clinton under 60 percent.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $342,466 69.5% 65% 35
Sanders 85,632 24.5 34 18
AL-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 44%
  2. Black 51%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 4%
  4. Asian 0%
  5. Other 1%

American Samoa caucuses

6 delegates (territory-wide)

We have no real information on how American Samoa will vote. And while I don’t mean to diminish the importance of American Samoa’s caucuses, only six delegates are up for grabs there. Clinton won in 2008, 57 percent to 42 percent — at a caucus that drew a record number of voters, 285. Yes, you read that number correctly.

Compare the candidates

Delegate target
Clinton 3
Sanders 3

Arkansas primary

32 delegates (21 district, 11 statewide)

Arkansas has one of the whitest Democratic electorates in the South. That’s good for Sanders. But Clinton served as first lady of Arkansas for 12 years. That’s bad for Sanders. Most polls show Clinton winning, but by a somewhat smaller margin than the 40 percentage points she won by eight years ago.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $675,123 56.9% 57% 18
Sanders 80,893 32.2 42 14
AR-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 80%
  2. Black 17%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 2%
  4. Asian 0%
  5. Other 1%

Colorado caucuses

66 delegates (43 district, 23 statewide)

This is a state that Sanders almost certainly must win if he is to have any shot at the nomination. Although we don’t have entrance poll data for the 2008 Colorado caucuses — and so don’t have the breakdown by race of who voted then — the share of black residents in Colorado is about the same as in Iowa, where Sanders basically tied Clinton. Even if Clinton is winning among Hispanic voters, they make up a lower percentage of the population in Colorado than in Nevada — where Sanders also came pretty close to winning. Colorado, instead, has a lot of fairly liberal white voters who went against Clinton in heavy numbers in 2008. It’s also one of the states where Sanders has made a fairly heavy advertising investment.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $2,142,095 44% 30
Sanders 672,999 55 36

Georgia primary

102 delegates (67 district, 35 statewide)

This is another state in the Deep South where the majority of voters are likely to be African-American. Clinton has the backing of civil rights icon John Lewis, a long-time congressman, and other black leaders. Georgia’s primary was Obama’s best in 2008. That being said, the state’s Democratic electorate is far more liberal than Alabama’s next door because of the Atlanta area vote, which could be good for Sanders. Georgia is also a lot wealthier than Alabama, which could be bad for Sanders. Either way, it’s possible, based on the polling, that Clinton will hit the 66 percent mark set by Obama eight years ago.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $1,270,918 63.9% 63% 65
Sanders 320,529 28.0 36 37
GA-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 43%
  2. Black 51%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 3%
  4. Asian 1%
  5. Other 2%

Massachusetts primary

91 delegates (59 district, 32 statewide)

Sanders has to win here. The Democratic electorate is overwhelmingly liberal and overwhelmingly white, and Massachusetts is next door to his home state of Vermont. It also offers an interesting test of how determinative voter income is in the Democratic race. Remember, Sanders nearly lost wealthy Hanover, New Hampshire, even though it borders Vermont and is very liberal. There are a lot of wealthy, liberal suburbs around Boston — such as Concord — that Obama easily won in 2008. Will these suburbs vote for the more liberal candidate or the candidate who is less likely to tax them?

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $3,903,445 48.8% 44% 41
Sanders 1,414,239 43.7 55 50
MA-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 85%
  2. Black 6%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 5%
  4. Asian 2%
  5. Other 2%

Minnesota caucuses

77 delegates (50 district, 27 statewide)

Minnesota offers one of the best pickup opportunities for Sanders. Caucuses, like Minnesota’s, are generally more friendly than primaries to candidates who appeal to the liberal base. And while the caucuses eight years ago didn’t have any entrance poll data — and so we don’t have a breakdown by race of who voted then — less than 6 percent of the state is black. Minnesota voters didn’t like Clinton eight years ago when she won less than a third of the vote. Minnesota is also right next to Iowa, where Sanders nearly won. The polling has been sparse, but Minnesota is one of Sanders’s better states according to Facebook “likes.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $1,097,545 39% 30
Sanders 439,522 60 47

Oklahoma primary

38 delegates (25 district, 13 statewide)

This is Sanders’s best chance to win a Southern state. Oklahoma has a lot of the lower-income, white voters with whom Sanders has excelled in early primaries. Although African-Americans were a small part of the 2008 electorate in Oklahoma (American Indians might have been a larger share), most of the polling this year has found Clinton with a small, though not insurmountable, advantage. The biggest complicating factor for Sanders is that Oklahoma Democrats are not very liberal. Like in Alabama, self-identified conservative Democrats outnumbered very liberal Democrats in the 2008 primary.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $701,502 42.6% 48% 18
Sanders 115,780 48.6 51 20
OK-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 82%
  2. Black 6%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 4%
  4. Asian 0%
  5. Other 8%

Tennessee primary

67 delegates (44 district, 23 statewide)

Tennessee is less racially diverse than many other Southern states. Still, nearly a third of the Democratic electorate in 2008 was black. Also that year, conservative Democrats equaled very liberal Democrats. Those two facts combine to make Tennessee a tough state for Sanders. Indeed, they point to a larger problem for him. To make any sort of play in the South, Sanders would have to do well in the peripheral states, such as Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee, where the black populations are relatively small. That Sanders isn’t polling closer to Clinton in Tennessee suggests that he will have a major problem in acquiring the delegates necessary to win the nomination.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $832,096 59.2% 48% 33
Sanders 215,958 32.2 51 34
TN-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 67%
  2. Black 29%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 3%
  4. Asian 1%
  5. Other 1%

Texas primary

222 delegates (145 district, 77 statewide)

Another Southern state, another likely Clinton win — though her margin of victory may be smaller in Texas than elsewhere in the South. Texas has fewer black voters and a lot of white liberals around Austin, which could help Sanders. Still, black voters were a higher share of the Democratic electorate in Texas in 2008 than they have been this year in any state that has voted so far besides South Carolina. The Lone Star State will be an interesting test of how much Sanders has improved his standing among Hispanics. If it’s a lot, the contest in Texas may be closer than expected. If not, Clinton will probably win easily. One interesting side note: Although delegates are usually awarded proportionally on the state and congressional district level in Democratic contests, they will be awarded proportionally on the state and state Senate district level in Texas.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $5,735,095 60.0% 56% 126
Sanders 956,965 33.9 43 96
TX-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 46%
  2. Black 19%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 32%
  4. Asian 2%
  5. Other 1%

Vermont primary

16 delegates (statewide)

The only question here is whether Clinton will hit 15 percent statewide; that’s the threshold she has to clear to win any delegates. If she doesn’t, it’ll be a delegate sweep for Sanders in his home state.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $95,442 10.2% 8% 2
Sanders 949,690 85.8 91 14
VT-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 94%
  2. Black 1%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 3%
  4. Asian 0%
  5. Other 2%

Virginia primary

95 delegates (62 district, 33 statewide)

Virginia is another Southern state where Clinton is likely to do well. Based on who voted in 2008, the electorate should be about 30 percent black, a smaller share than in some other Southern states, particularly those in the Deep South such as Alabama. That could limit Clinton’s margin in Virginia. Similar to areas just outside of Boston, the Washington suburbs should be a good test of which way wealthier liberal voters go. And the counties that border West Virginia will give us a clue as to how economically depressed areas of Appalachia that have conservative white residents will vote.

Compare the candidates

Money raised Polling average Vote share benchmark to beat Delegate target
Clinton $3,183,483 57.9% 54% 52
Sanders 552,513 35.0 45 43
VA-winprob-pollsplus-2016-02-29t120426-0500

Racial breakdown of 2008 electorate

  1. White 61%
  2. Black 30%
  3. Hispanic/Latino 5%
  4. Asian 2%
  5. Other 1%

 

Sources and terms

All pledged delegates in the Democratic primary are awarded proportionally with a 15 percent threshold at the district — usually congressional — level and statewide. Districts with higher vote shares for Democrats in recent elections are rewarded with more delegates.

Delegates at stake

The number of delegates up for grabs in each state and how they’re awarded, according to The Green Papers.

Polling average

Each candidate’s support as of mid-day Monday, according to FiveThirtyEight’s weighted polling average.

Vote share benchmarks

Estimates, based on each state’s demographics, of what would happen in the state if the national vote were evenly divided between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Delegate targets

Estimates, based on demographics and delegate rules in each state, of how many delegates Clinton and Sanders would need in each primary and caucus to win a simple majority of the 4,051 pledged delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

Money raised

The amount a candidate’s campaign has raised in the state in itemized individual contributions, minus refunds, this election cycle through Jan. 31, according to the Federal Election Commission. Individuals’ contributions are itemized once they have given at least $200 to a candidate.

Racial breakdown

The racial makeup of the 2008 Democratic primary electorate, according to state exit polls conducted by Edison Research.

Harry Enten is a senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight.

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