March 8 Primary Cheat Sheet

Everything you need to prepare for Tuesday’s contests.

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, second from left, gestures as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich watch him a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Detroit.
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Adam Wollner
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Adam Wollner
March 7, 2016, 8 p.m.

Four states from very dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try — Michigan, Mis­sis­sippi, Idaho and Hawaii — hold pres­id­en­tial nom­in­at­ing con­tests Tues­day. There are 150 del­eg­ates up for grabs on the Re­pub­lic­an side and 166 pledged del­eg­ates at stake for the Demo­crats. Here is what you need to know be­fore the res­ults start pour­ing in:


Poll Times: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. (A hand­ful of counties in the Up­per Pen­in­sula are open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m ET.)

Del­eg­ates: The Re­pub­lic­ans have 59 del­eg­ates al­loc­ated pro­por­tion­ally based on the statewide res­ults with a 15 per­cent threshold. If a can­did­ate takes more than half the vote, he re­ceives all the del­eg­ates. The Demo­crats have 130 pledged del­eg­ates al­loc­ated pro­por­tion­ally with a 15 per­cent threshold and 18 su­per del­eg­ates.  

What To Watch For: This is the biggest del­eg­ate prize of the day for both parties, and Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton enter as the fa­vor­ites. Both primar­ies are open to any voter, re­gard­less of party re­gis­tra­tion. For the Re­pub­lic­ans, keep an eye on Oak­land County, which pro­duced the most GOP votes in the past two primar­ies. Trump should find sup­port in areas like Ma­comb County where white, blue-col­lar voters hold sway. The west­ern part of the state was kinder to Rick San­tor­um in 2012 and could be fer­tile ter­rit­ory for Ted Cruz this time around.

On the Demo­crat­ic side, Clin­ton hopes to re­peat her strong 2008 per­form­ances in Wayne County (home to De­troit) and Gene­see County (home to Flint), while Bernie Sanders will need to run up the score in Washten­aw County (home to the col­lege town of Ann Ar­bor) to stay com­pet­it­ive.


Poll Times: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m ET.

Del­eg­ates: The Re­pub­lic­ans have 40 del­eg­ates al­loc­ated pro­por­tion­ally at the statewide and con­gres­sion­al dis­trict level. For the at-large del­eg­ates, there’s a 15 per­cent threshold. In each dis­trict, the top vote-get­ter re­ceives two del­eg­ates, and the run­ner-up re­ceives one. If the top vote-get­ter clears 50 per­cent in a dis­trict, that can­did­ate re­ceives all three del­eg­ates. The Demo­crats have 36 pledged del­eg­ates al­loc­ated pro­por­tion­ally with a 15 per­cent threshold and five su­per del­eg­ates.

What To Watch For: Trump and Clin­ton are also the front-run­ners here. Both parties’ primar­ies are open to all voters. This will be one of the last re­main­ing states where evan­gel­ic­als play an out­sized role: They ac­coun­ted for 83 per­cent of the GOP primary elect­or­ate in 2012. Marco Ru­bio will need to do well in Hinds County, where Jack­son is loc­ated, and the sur­round­ing Madis­on and Rankin counties, as that is where many of the state’s wealthy, col­lege-edu­cated voters are.

Re­li­gious voters are im­port­ant on the Demo­crat­ic side, too. Nearly 6 in 10 voters in the 2008 primary said they at­ten­ded church once a week. Black voters, which ac­count for 37 per­cent of Mis­sis­sippi’s pop­u­la­tion, will also be crit­ic­al, an­oth­er factor in Clin­ton’s fa­vor. Demo­crat­ic-heavy Hinds County, where Barack Obama dom­in­ated eight years ago, is a key area to watch.


Poll Times: The polls are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET in the south­ern part of the state, which is in the Moun­tain Time Zone, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET in the north­ern part, which is in the Pa­cific Time Zone.

Del­eg­ates: The Re­pub­lic­ans have 32 del­eg­ates al­loc­ated at the statewide level with a 20 per­cent threshold. If a can­did­ate takes more than half the vote, he re­ceives all the del­eg­ates.  

What To Watch For: Only re­gistered Re­pub­lic­ans can vote in the primary, but same-day re­gis­tra­tion is per­mit­ted. Cruz and Ru­bio cam­paigned in Idaho in the days lead­ing up to the primary, but Trump, who has struggled in closed con­tests, did not make a trip. Mitt Rom­ney and John Mc­Cain won the last two nom­in­at­ing con­tests here. The state’s two most pop­u­lous counties, Ada County (home to Boise) and Bon­neville County (home to Idaho Falls) should point to the dir­ec­tion the state is go­ing.


Poll Times: Caucus loc­a­tions are open from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET.

Del­eg­ates: The Re­pub­lic­ans have 19 del­eg­ates al­loc­ated pro­por­tion­ally based on the statewide and con­gres­sion­al dis­trict res­ults with no threshold.

What To Watch For: No Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial hope­ful paid a vis­it to Hawaii this cycle. The caucuses are open only to re­gistered Re­pub­lic­ans, but voters are al­lowed to re­gister at their polling place the day of the elec­tion. Rom­ney and Mc­Cain won the state’s last two caucuses. Most of the Re­pub­lic­an votes are loc­ated in Hon­olulu County, so who­ever car­ries that county Tues­day will likely win the whole state.

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