Super Tuesday Returns, From The Presidential Race On Down The Ballot

Cruz and Clinton took Texas – along with quite a few delegates – while down-ballot races showed many incumbents had staying power.

By Rhonda FanningMarch 2, 2016 12:38 pm,

The races aren’t over – Trump and Clinton – and no one has received enough delegates to lock it up yet – Trump and Clinton –  but if you squint really hard – Trump and Clinton – you might be able to barely discern the outlines of who just might be on their way to securing their party’s nominations.

By now you know the basics of the map yesterday: Trump and Clinton both picked up seven states. Kevin Diaz, Washington bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, says this turnout bolsters the case for Cruz as the alternate to Trump. Diaz says things are not looking good for Rubio, who’s down by double-digits against Trump in Rubio’s home state of Florida.

“If he doesn’t rebound in Florida,” Diaz says, “I think, yeah, it is a two-man race.”

What you’ll hear in this Presidential primary segment:

– The dimensions of the evangelical vote, which Cruz tried to lock up on his big Southern tour but came up short

– How can Cruz remain viable and what his Super Tuesday victories mean

– What may happen in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine with those states’ votes slated for Saturday

And in a look at the down ballot races, incumbents did well in Texas congressional races. Brandon Rottinghaus, associate professor at the University of Houston, says the incumbent victories were “odd” considering Texas has been Tea Party country, where they’ve seen some success getting candidates on the ballot and ejecting establishment conservatives.

With wins for Byron Cook and Charlie Geren – both of whom are allies of incumbent House Speaker Joe Straus – Rottinghaus says this is a victory for Straus, who started the year with more than $8 million to spend in order to keep his seat.

“It’s an attrition game,” he says. “At this point, nobody really got caught off-guard.”

In 2014 incumbents took a hit because they weren’t ready for the Tea Party insurgency, Rottinghaus says. This year, they were ready.

What you’ll hear in this down-ballot segment:

– How the incumbent Mary González, D-Clint, survived a challenge from former state Rep. Chente Quintanilla, D-Tornillo

– What infighting these primary challengers could portend for the Democrats in Texas

– Who’s battling it out for the seat on the Railroad Commission, on both the GOP and Democratic sides