After today [Tuesday, March 15], the current presidential campaign as we know it will have changed dramatically.
With more than 1,000 combined delegates up for grabs today, voters in five states will be tasked with deciding the shifting fate of the race from here on out.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump could very well secure the GOP nomination as he looks to get a hold of a portion of the 358 Republican delegates on the field today.
For the Republicans, Ohio is one of the first two winner-take-all states, where polling shows Donald Trump competing mainly against Ohio Governor John Kasich for the state’s 66 delegates. If Trump should win, Kasich’s campaign will finally come to an end. However, if Kasich takes his home state, he could very well extend it all the way to the Republican convention, where he believes a brokered convention could take place.
Florida sees the exact same scenario, this time with Marco Rubio in the race towards 99 delegates. It goes without saying that a Trump victory, or any victory, for that matter, that doesn’t involve Marco Rubio will force the Florida Senator out of the race.
Polls shows Trump as a viable option in both Ohio and Florida—a combined 165 delegates in addition to a predicted win in North Carolina could propel him towards the GOP nomination regardless of the presence of Ted Cruz, who stands to take the victory in Missouri, and possibly Illinois, where he only trails Trump by four points in the polls.
For the Democrats, all eyes will once again be set on Ohio. After a stirring upset in Michigan, Senator Bernie Sanders could very well take Ohio from Hillary Clinton, as it matches the same political landscape as a fellow industrial state in the “Rust Belt.”
Senator Sanders’ arresting message on economic issues that matter most to these states has seen his profile elevated, possibly taking a once secured victory from Clinton.
While Florida and North Carolina are likely to be added to Clinton’s list of cinched victories in the South, Bernie Sanders could very well produce some results in Illinois and Missouri.
Illinois, similar to its neighbors in Michigan and Ohio, could see a Sanders victory, blossomed from growing political tension and economic disparity while Missouri could look to its western neighbors, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, where Sanders has seen favor.
Once again, however, Sanders stands to lose the bulk of the delegates if he can’t produce a big win in one of the bigger states, particularly in Florida or Ohio. If Clinton wins these, she’ll rack up the amount of delegates she’s been needing to edge out Sanders once and for all.