Trump Dominates Tuesday’s Voting
Trump swept all five states tonight as expected, and actually did a bit better than the polls indicated. He not only won a majority of the vote in every state, but came close to 60% or exceeded it in several places. With half the vote counted at 10:00 Eastern, Trump was at 57% in Pennsylvania. Trump also took 59% of the vote in Connecticut with almost three-quarters of precincts reporting. 61% of Delaware Republicans backed Trump with 99% reporting, and his percentage was even higher in Rhode Island. Maryland appears to have been his worst state of the night, and even here he trounced Kasich by 33 points.
According to exit polls in the three states that had them, Trump did especially well with men, non-college degree holders, and older voters, but he won practically every demographic group in every state. Even among Maryland Republicans with postgraduate degrees, he edged out Kasich 38-36%. Among Connecticut Republicans that were college graduates, he beat Kasich 55-34%. He won every ideological group, and did better with conservatives rather than moderates in these states. 68% of “somewhat” conservative Connecticut Republicans backed Trump, as did 63% of “somewhat” conservative Pennsylvania Republicans. Likewise, 55% of “somewhat” conservative Maryland Republicans supported Trump while 26% went for Kasich. “Somewhat” conservative voters are often the largest ideological bloc in Republican primaries, and Trump won a disproportionate share of support from them across the region tonight.
In contrast to Trump’s success, Cruz’s exceptionally poor showing everywhere tonight underscored how much of a factional candidate he remains despite his status as the only plausible alternative to Trump. Cruz failed to clear 20% in any state today, and in some states he couldn’t even reach 15%. Cruz is known to be primarily the candidate of very conservative voters, and they made up a smaller fraction of the electorates today than they have in most previous primaries. In Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Connecticut, they made up less than a third of the voters. And even among very conservative voters, Cruz consistently came in behind Trump. In Pennsylvania, Trump won very conservative voters by a few points, won them in Maryland by 19, and won them in Connecticut by 29. Cruz lost with his strongest constituency in every election, and was annihilated with everyone else.