The polls just closed in Arkansas, and the race is too close to call. The CNN exits have the race at 34% for Trump, 30% for Cruz, and 25% for Rubio.
Here’s the takeaway from this news – the GOP map has realigned in ways we don’t really understand yet. Trump looks to have won TN, AL and GA with surprising ease. However, he’s having a surprising struggle in VA with Rubio, in OK with Cruz, and in AR with both (and in VT with Kasich and Rubio).
Trump may well end up winning 9 or 10 states tonight, but he isn’t running away with states as he was expected to do. In fact, he looks like he will be in late night dogfights in 6 or 7 states, which is more than quite frankly I would have predicted when the race started.
Unfortunately, Ben Carson is either not very bright or insane, and is saying that he’s not dropping out, in spite of the fact that he’s in last place everywhere, and Kasich is not doing much better and is still not dropping out either.
The further problem is that both Cruz and Rubio are going to probably have stories for why they should continue on. Cruz will probably come out with more delegates than Rubio. However, Rubio will say that Cruz has already had all of his best states. And so this thing really could move forward with five candidates, which is the best way for Trump to win.