I'm actually going to bug out at some point tonight, as there's a project I'm working on that needs to be done after nightfall and I'll be unable to blog during then. But I will likely have my Twitter going at @PaulWartenberg so you can track me there if need be.
Otherwise, considering all the polling for Florida it's already looking like a good night for Trump (AUGH), a bad night for Rubio (HAHA) and Cruz (AUGH) and Kasich (Meh) on the Republican side, and a good night for Hillary (Ehhhh, Okay) and a not-so-good night for Bernie (Son, you gotta learn not to talk to women that way).
I'll provide a link to a news site that you can follow in the meantime, and I'll add other sites that may liveblog or at least keep a running commentary...
Update: I've got the NBC News tracker linked here for Florida.
Balloon Juice's link finally has a thread going.
The Atlantic has a liveblog link here.
I will see about others.
Be right back.
UPDATE 7:20 PM EDT: The early polls for Florida are in. Trump is decisively beating Rubio and Hillary is decisively beating Bernie. However, the state's Panhandle will be coming in late due to their being in the Central Time Zone, so they won't close until 8:00 PM or so. There's also the possibility of the South Florida turnout swamping the ballot count, so there may be a delay there as well.
I want to see what the overall voter turnout is like. If the Republicans are substantially turning out in higher numbers than the Democrats, I will be worried. One thing I hate about Florida is the terrible voter turnout among Democrats when they're unimpressed with their candidates. If the numbers are within norms - that is, accounting for their being more Republican candidates to vote for - then I'll feel okay. But this is what's going to bother me most tonight.
UPDATE 7:35 PM EDT: Ohio and North Carolina polls are starting to close. We're not going to see serious numbers on them yet, but we'll see. Ohio is a huge state for Hillary to win or lose, because if Sanders wins there that hurts her momentum. Illinois is another potential speed bump, but Ohio is as much a key for her as Florida.
UPDATE 7:43 PM EDT: The number of voters so far are polling within reason, at least in my opinion, between the Republicans and the Democrats. Right about now, Trump has 590,000 or so voters to Hillary's 640,000 or so, with Bernie at 313,000 or so compared to Rubio's 350,000 or so. Where the numbers add up more are for the remaining two Repubicans, with Cruz in Third at 207,000 and Kasich at around 70,000. Carson is out of the race but still polling with 14,000 (likely holdovers from Early Voting and Absentees).
UPDATE 7:45 PM EDT: Alright, I'm going to bug out in a few minutes to run my errand, and I'll be right back. Add comments if you'd like, send me a Tweet at my @PaulWartenberg account.
Be right back!
UPDATE 9:25 PM EDT: Okay, I'm back from my errand..
SO OF COURSE MARCO RUBIO SUSPENDS HIS CAMPAIGN WHILE I'M NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
Losing your home state in a primary run is about as painful as you can get in politics. Losing your state in the general election is a blow, but you can always excuse it by noting the overall political bent of your state was never really in your favor. When it's a Closed Primary and your state DOES bend your way, then you were never really as well-liked as you thought you were...
UPDATE 9:52 PM EDT: I may wrap this up since the Florida stuff is pretty much done for the night and I have other projects to work on.
The big news will be of course the end of the Rubio campaign, which whimpered into the night by failing to win his own state. On the other side of the "Will He Drop Out" question, Kasich won his home state of Ohio, which gives him momentum for the next week or so before Trump humiliates the hell out of him. Cruz is still Cruz, probably in this all the way to the end as need be until he gets a deal he likes.
As for the voter turnout, right now it's looking a little disappointing in terms of overall turnout. There's about 4 million Republicans and 4.9 million Democrats, and yet both parties are totaling up to around a quarter of their registered numbers. There's looking to be about 1.7 million total for the Democrats (with Hillary winning about 1 million), and over 2.1 million for the Republicans (with Trump getting about 1 million himself with Rubio getting over 600,000 and Cruz at 300,000).
What matters is the Winner-Take-All nature of Florida's delegate counts: Trump is now building a serious lead, with Kasich's win the only minor speedbump he's facing tonight. Trump's likely to increase that lead with a win in Illinois, and it's down to North Carolina's final numbers to see if Cruz ekes out a win there to hamper Trump's numbers.
On the Democratic side, Sanders could win Missouri tonight, and maybe Illinois, but Hillary's wins in Florida and North Carolina and now Ohio give her a huge boost in delegate counts as well. I'm not sure if the Winner-Takes-All rules apply to the Democratic side, but still this is a good night for Hillary.
I might check in one more time before midnight, just for another recap or last second thought.
UPDATE 11:39 PM EDT: It bothers me a little bit that Twitter is now chatting up Hillary's likely Veep choices. Settle down, folks. It's still a few months before worrying about that.
There's still buzz - coming out of Politico - that there are a few Republican movers and shakers arguing for a Third Party run against Trump... as though they were even able to beat Trump within their own ranks. It's still a part of the Denial they're facing that their own party has turned against their interests. I doubt it'll go very far. There are few people with any stature who would sign off for this suicide mission.
This is pretty much it for tonight. I'll post something else in the week about my thoughts and fears about the Trumpocalypse. G'night kids.
UPDATE 11:40 PM EDT: At least DUNK CITY won tonight. :)
UPDATE MARCH 16: It's the morning after.
It turns out Hillary won all five states on Tuesday and built a larger delegate lead. Sanders is now talking about trying to rally the Superdelegates to him, but that's unlikely because they're more focused on protecting the party and let's face it Sanders is just a Democrat for this Presidential race (he has little cred within the organization itself). The optics of the Democratic race is now all on Hillary. The best Sanders can do is run an honest race and keep Hillary focused on the key issues.
As for the Republicans... Trump is getting worse. He's making it very clear and very public that he wants his convention and his nomination and he's threatening riots in the streets if he doesn't.
More on this later. There's other news: Obama is announcing his SCOTUS pick to replace Scalia today. The Republican response is going to be such an epic fail, you can tell even before this happens, they've dug themselves into such a deep hole on their obstruction that they're stuck...