Everyone seems to believe that Trump will sweep or nearly sweep today’s primaries. He’s certainly favored by the media to do just that. I think at the end of the day he will likely win the vast majority of states today. But here are the top four states that he might lose today, ranked according to my own highly subjective probability matrix.
1. Texas – This one is not exactly groundbreaking news. Recent polling for the most part has shown Cruz pulling away with this race, although there are still a couple of polls that show Trump getting disconcertingly close. Interestingly, there are also a couple polls that show him falling dangerously close to third place in Texas, which would be an embarrassing result indeed.
2. Minnesota – This is one that the Rubio camp is looking at as their best chance for victory today. The only poll taken of Minnesota (which is admittedly several months old) showed Rubio in the lead, and Rubio has given the state more attention than probably any of the other candidates. Minnesota’s a state that’s fallen off the radar a bit and Team Rubio is hoping that they can pull off a surprise win in these caucuses, and shake the knock that they “haven’t won a state” yet.
3. Tennessee – As I discussed in my preview yesterday, Tennessee has almost the identical voting profile of Iowa. The density of evangelical voters in Tennessee, combined with an impressive Cruz turnout organization, could let Cruz sneak up and leapfrog Trump (there’s been only one recent poll and it looks bogus). Also, Team Rubio has spent a lot of time in Tennessee suburbs of late and feels optimistic about their opportunities for pulling off a Volunteer state surprise. The main problem Rubio and Cruz have here is that they seem likely to split the Iowa-ish vote again.
4. Virginia – Another state that Team Rubio is looking at as a possible surprise in spite of polling to the contrary. Recent polling in Virginia shows Rubio creeping up towards the 30% mark in Virginia, which is his highest showing in any state. The problem is that Trump has been around the 40% mark. Virignia remains an outside shot, but is probably Rubio’s second best chance of taking a state today.