Everything appears to be on schedule Tuesday night in the GOP primaries.
Trump has been declared the winner in Arizona. It being a winner-take-all state, The Donald will get all 58 delegates, with (it appears probable) less than 50% of the vote (46.6% at latest count). Only 55% of the precincts have reported at this point; the voter turnout was exceptional today, and many people, especially in populous Maricopa County — which contains the Phoenix metro — were in line at the 7 PM poll closing, but weren’t able to vote until after 9 PM. It’s now 11:00 PM in Arizona.
Ted Cruz , meanwhile, won the Idaho caucuses by a big margin, but has to split the delegates with Trump. He picks up 20 pledged delegates to Trump’s 12. It hasn’t helped him that Marco Rubio was still on the ballot and got nearly 16% of the caucus vote, or over 35,000 votes. With most of those Rubio votes, Cruz could have broken 50%.
In Utah, Cruz is leading by a healthy margin, and is expected to win, but I haven’t seen any of the majors call it for Cruz yet. Only 3% of caucus sites are reporting right now.
On the Democratic side, Hillary won Arizona walking away, 59.6% to 37.8%. The Idaho results for the Democrats aren’t trickling through yet. But the interesting news is that Bernie has stormed ahead to a yuuge lead in Utah (AP has already called it for him):
The lead may shrink a bit as the remainder of the caucuses report, but it does seem unlikely that Hillary will surge anywhere in the state to overcome Bernie-mentum in this one.
Kasich will take heart from his vote total, which is running to some 66,000 or so across the three states as of this posting. (He may or may not keep leading Trump for second place in Utah.) That’s not actually a negligible number, out of the total votes cast so far. It wouldn’t justify his staying in the GOP race, in any normal election year. But, of course, he’s being bankrolled by George Soros (a lot) to stay in the primary campaign: to frustrate not Trump but Cruz. I’ve written a lot about why voters are going for Trump, and at some length about why I support Cruz. But I’m not sure I could get in the heads of people who are voting for Kasich at this point.