Elections analyst Nate Silver concludes what he thinks is the message for Super Saturday’s elections: Ted Cruz WON.
From Five Thirty Eight:
We’ll have more analysis of tonight’s results in the days ahead, but here’s how I’d score the evening relative to expectations on the GOP side. I mean that in a more precise way than when the term “expectations” is usually invoked. Specifically, I mean that if you’d drawn up a list of plausible outcomes this morning and ranked them from best (10) to worst (0) for each candidate, how would candidates fare by that measure?
Ted Cruz — 9 out of 10. Huge win in Kansas, unexpected win in Maine, and unexpectedly close to Trump in Louisiana, with results suggesting he might even have won if not for early votes. Cruz’s loss in Kentucky was also narrow — he came much closer to Trump, for example, than he did in Tennessee on Super Tuesday. Not quite a “best case scenario” but not more than one step removed from it.
Donald Trump — 2 out of 10. You could equivocate by saying Trump performs poorly in caucuses, and there aren’t all that many of them left, but the huge split in the election day versus early vote in Louisiana suggests that he’s encountering serious problems, perhaps the most serious since voting started on Feb. 1. It also appears as though Cruz will pick up more delegates than Trump did from the night.
Marco Rubio — 1 out of 10. Just 17 percent of the vote in Kansas, 17 percent in Kentucky, 11 percent in Louisiana (with a huge drop-off from the early vote to election day votes) and 9 percent in Maine. Not. Good. He’ll presumably hang on until Florida on March 15 and a win there would still be a big deal, but he needs to gain votes to do that and right now he’s losing them instead.
He also sums up Kasich for anyone bored enough to care about that jerkface.
The manner in which Ted Cruz won Louisiana and how it means the vote might be coalescing around Cruz is expanded on by MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki – we posted that here.