Which Democrat will take Texas on Super Tuesday?

In less than a week, voters in 14 states and American Samoa and Democrats living abroad will head to the polls on Super Tuesday. The most hotly anticipated race is the Democratic presidential primary, and Rice University political scientist Mark Jones is available to comment on the race for delegates in Texas.

Mark Jones. Photo credit: Michael Stravato for Rice University's Baker Institute.

Mark Jones. Photo credit: Michael Stravato for Rice University’s Baker Institute.

“The marquee event on March 3 is the Texas Democratic presidential primary,” Jones said. “Voter turnout is expected to surpass the 1.6 million who turned out to vote in the primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but not expected to reach the 2.9 million who turned out in 2008 to choose between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

Jones said the two favorites to take home most of Texas’ 228 delegates are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren expected to finish third but still garner a significant number of delegates. He said a key number to watch is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s share of the vote – especially if he reaches the 15% threshold needed to receive a proportional share of the statewide delegates and of the delegates elected from Texas’ 31 state senate districts.

“At present, in spite of spending over $50 million on TV, radio, digital and newspaper ads in the Lone Star State, Bloomberg finds himself slightly below the 15% threshold,” Jones said. “And, if in a state with 28 million people spread across 19 media markets in an election taking place simultaneously with 14 others and a Democratic primary electorate that is more conservative than the average American Democrat, Bloomberg cannot muster 15%, then that would suggest that his strategy of using his vast wealth to overwhelm his rivals by spending massively more than them is unlikely to bear fruit as we move deeper into the primary calendar. Texas will quite possibly serve to make or break the Bloomberg candidacy.”

Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is an expert on Texas politics and has been quoted widely in local, state and national publications. To schedule an interview, contact him directly at mpjones@rice.edu or 832-466-6535.

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