Regional patterns persist on another Super Tuesday

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at his primary election night event at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The South gave primary wins to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton again on Tuesday, offsetting weaker showings for the two frontrunners outside of the region. All 11 states that were once part of the Confederacy have voted, and with the exception of Ted Cruz winning his home state of Texas, all have supported the outsider on the Republican side and the insider on the Democratic side.

Mr. Trump’s Republican votes have amounted to 22 percent of all votes cast so far in states where both parties have held primaries, according to Associated Press figures. He’s topped 20 percent in all of the former Confederate states except Texas (Mr. Cruz’s base) and Virginia (where he swept the western part of the state but lost several suburban Washington counties to Marco Rubio). Outside of the region, he’s exceeded 20 percent only in Missouri (doing best in the southeast) and Ohio, where he continued his pattern of doing exceptionally well in counties near the Appalachian mountain range.

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In Illinois on Tuesday, Mr. Trump got 16 percent of the total vote, his worst showing so far outside of Vermont, finishing well behind both Ms. Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Chicago and in the “collar counties” around the city. But Mr. Trump is expected to win almost all the Republican delegates from that state, thanks to his 39 percent on the G.O.P. side against an opposition mostly divided between Mr. Cruz and John Kasich.

Ms. Clinton completed her sweep of the South on Tuesday; Mr. Sanders’s 14-point loss in North Carolina was the closest he got to winning any contest in the region. Outside of the South, Ms. Clinton has so far beaten Mr. Sanders by more than five points only in the Nevada caucuses and in Ohio (helped by a 63-36 margin in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County).

Of the 19 states so far with comparable primaries, four have had higher turnouts on the Democratic side: Illinois, Louisiana (barely), Massachusetts and Vermont. In North Carolina, only about 10,000 more votes were cast on the Republican side, a sign that it will once again be a battleground state in the general election. In Alabama and Tennessee, among Mr. Trump’s strongest states, more than twice as many votes have been cast on the Republican side.

North Carolina is the only former Confederate state to give more votes (slightly) to Mr. Sanders than to Mr. Trump, perhaps reflecting a healthier economy and more educated electorate than in interior states. Outside of the South, Mr. Trump has received more votes than Mr. Sanders only in Missouri and Ohio.

Also see last week’s post, “The South Rises Again in 2016 Primaries.”

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