From Detroit, Michigan –
After an unexpectedly poor showing over the weekend in five contests, Donald Trump will try to bounce back on Tuesday, with Republicans voting in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii, as GOP voters try to determine whether to crown Trump as their party’s leader in the next week or string out the process well into April and beyond.
While Michigan is the biggest prize on Tuesday, Trump and other Republicans have been focused on other states, leaving the state mainly to John Kasich in recent days.
“I want to win this election more than anybody,” Kasich said, as he courted voters at a well attended town hall in the Detroit suburbs on Monday.
“Could you vote for me tomorrow?” Kasich asked one Michigan man, who had just gone on a screed against Trump at a town hall meeting in Grosse Pointe Woods.
The man’s reply was that he was deciding between Bernie Sanders and Kasich, a reminder that voters in both Michigan and Mississippi are able to vote in either the Republican or the Democratic primaries.
Trump has been comfortably ahead in the polls in Michigan since last September, but in recent days, there has been evidence that numbers for Kasich and Ted Cruz are building.
That snippet was from a poll done by Monmouth University, showing Trump was still in the lead, but maybe not as secure in this state as he was before the last GOP debate in Detroit.
Here’s a thumbnail on each state that is voting for the GOP on March 8:
MICHIGAN – While this is biggest state in terms of delegates with 59, John Kasich had the state to himself in recent days. Ted Cruz did arrive late on Monday night for an event in Grand Rapids. Trump is the favorite, but polls indicate Kasich and Cruz are gaining.
If you win more than 50 percent of the statewide vote, you get all 59 delegates, otherwise, this is a proportional state for delegates. The threshold to be eligible for delegates is 15 percent.
MISSISSIPPI – The Magnolia State offers 40 delegates, 12 from 4 Congressional districts, and 28 statewide. There is a 15 percent threshold for the pot of statewide delegates.
If you win more than 50 percent in a Congressional district, that candidate gets all three district delegates. Otherwise, the leading candidate gets two, and the second place finisher gets one.
This state should be a battle between Trump and Cruz.
IDAHO – The first of the two caucus states, Idaho offers 32 delegates, which is more than Iowa was worth.
Idaho has a very odd rule, in that if you win more than 50 percent of the delegates – you get all of them.
Otherwise, the delegates are awarded proportionally, with a 20 percent threshold, which is a high bar to cross.
Trump, Cruz and Marco Rubio all visited Idaho in recent days. A new poll had Trump leading, but we have seen that polls in caucus states have been at times unreliable.
HAWAII – If you like to stay up late, then you can be my stand-in correspondent to wait for the votes to be counted in the GOP caucus in Hawaii. 19 delegates are at stake – 6 for the state’s two Congressional districts, and 13 statewide.
The delegates are awarded on a proportional basis.
150 delegates in total are available for Republicans on Tuesday.
While Republicans vote in four states, Democrats only go to the polls in Michigan and Mississippi.
The polls suggest that Hillary Clinton is the big favorite in both of those states.