The results from last night are in and both Clinton and Trump have solidified their leads in their respective races. While, at this point, it looks as though the two frontrunners may have practically finished the job, there is a long road ahead for better or for worse.
I have spent a decent amount of time here talking about Trump in the past few months, so I'll keep my comments on this matter short. The situation is dire for another candidate, at this point either Rubio or Cruz, to run as the Trump alternative. Both campaigns are still in full motion, however, after Super Tuesday. Trump, who is now seen as out of control by many within the Republican establishment, will continue to polarise voters. Those who have seen him as honest and forthright will continue to valorise him; others who can see the degree to which his campaign is based on hate and fear will continue to try to take him down. The window on this is perilously short since the rules for the Republican primary are set to produce a winner relatively quickly (to avoid a repeat of the Romney situation of 2012).
What is perhaps more interesting is the Democratic race (great interactive results here). Last night of the eleven states in question, Clinton won seven. The divide is rather stark, with southern states overwhelmingly going Clinton's way (some with 50 point margins). Many have started sounding the alarm that it is now over for Sanders, but in my opinion it is still far too early.
For one, Clinton had taken a similar lead in 2008 before Obama was able to rally to the finish, which by the way was in June. Moreover, Sanders won by margins no narrower than 18 points in the four states he carried. The thread from the results is that, by and large, Sanders is not faring well in more diverse states. This is interesting given Clinton's backing and background.
For one, southern liberals, and in particular black Democrats, are supporting Clinton. This despite her race baiting Obama (relatively unsuccessfully) in 2008. She has yet to address questions of race that have been (on numerous occasions) asked of her. Avoiding the issue has led to success for her. As well, in January, Human Rights Campaign endorsed Clinton stating that she was the best bet for LGBTQ Americans. Susan Sarandon, speaking at a Sanders event, noted that “It’s one thing to be for gay rights and gay marriage once everybody else is for it,” pointing out that she had only recently become an ally. Lastly, Clinton is most certainly an establishment candidate for the corporate funding she has received. She has taken very weak positions on economic regulation and has been working hard to keep her son-in-law, a wealthy investment banker, out of the picture.
With new contests virtually every week for the next few months, there is still time for the winds of change. My only remaining insight is that it's only going to get uglier.