Today, Utah and Arizona are voting in the primary election for the Republican nominee for President of the United States. In Utah, there is a caucus, and in Arizona it is a closed primary. Here is the info you need to watch the polls tonight, including closing times, vote counting, and how delegates are assigned.
POLLING: In Arizona, only registered Republicans can vote in the primary, which would normally be a factor in favor of Ted Cruz. However in the case of Arizona, polling shows Trump with a significant lead. The RCP average has him up 13 points, and FiveThirtyEight puts his odds of winning at 91%. Still, there hasn’t been very much polling in the state so whether Trump is trending up or down is a question, and certainly in the wake of many recent events Cruz is hoping for an upset. If Cruz were to upset, it would be a much bigger PR win than it will be for Trump to meet expectations.
VOTING: In the one county in Arizona that uses Daylight Saving Time, polls close at 9pm Eastern. In the rest of the state, they don’t close until 10pm Eastern.
DELEGATES: Arizona is a winner-take-all primary, and has 58 delegates up for grabs. A huge total for either candidate and big prize in the race going forward. This is one of several states that will truly make or break candidates heading into the convention.
POLLING: Utah is a very different story. Trump’s numbers are in the toilet in the state. Trashing Mitt Romney’s religious conviction probably didn’t help. Cruz has a humongous lead over Donald, who is polling so poorly that in Utah – electorally speaking the reddest state in the Union – they would rather vote for Hillary than him. All signs point to an easy win for Cruz, and Kasich to edge out Trump as well.
VOTING: Utah is allowing online caucusing this year and it won’t be closed until 1am Eastern. Yes, ONE. So have your coffee ready, vote watchers. Gonna be a late one.
DELEGATES: Utah is a caucus. Here is how they apportion votes. If one candidate wins over 50% of the vote, all 40 delegates go to that one winner. If each of the top three candidates individually receive more than 15% of the vote, but none over 50%, then the delegates are assigned proportionally among them. If, on the other hand, only two or fewer candidates each receive 15% of the vote, then the delegates are assigned proportionally among all candidates.
It goes without saying, then, that for tonight to be considered a victory or even a push for the #StopTrump vote, Ted Cruz needs to blow him out of the water in Utah. (It also goes without saying that Kasich is a huge roadblock to that in both states, tying up votes and, in the case of Utah, probably delegates.) If Cruz exceeds 50% of the vote, then he takes 40 and Trump likely takes 58. So Cruz in Utah is the race to watch. Stay tuned to RedState for continuing coverage through the day and throughout the night until tomorrow morning.
Yeah, I’ve got coffee brewing too.