On Super Tuesday, which is March 1st, roughly 1/4 of the delegates to the national conventions will be awarded. Strong results for — or against — any one candidate could help swing the entire election.
Here are 3 key things to look for as the day unfolds.
1) Can Ted Cruz carry Texas and at least 3 other states? If so, Ted will have a substantial number of delegates and can claim having beaten Donald Trump in 5 contests. It may become a 2 person race between Cruz and Trump after that. If Cruz loses Texas, or fails to win any other states, the race may swing to Donald who could be tough to stop after Tuesday.
2) Can Rubio win any states? Marco is well liked and has come in second in two states; he has broad support. However, he has yet to win any states. Even in Florida, his home state, Trump has come out ahead in a recent poll. The Florida primary isn't until March 15, but if Rubio doesn't have at least some victories by then it may be tough for him to be seen as a viable candidate. You need some first place finishes as well as second.
3) Can Bernie beat Hillary in 3 or more states? If not, he will be an interesting footnote in history but the Hillary momentum will be very tough to stop. Hillary already has hundreds of super delegates committed to her, which may be unfair but it is Democratic politics. Without a strong surge by Bernie on Tuesday, Hillary is likely to become the Democratic nominee.
So if Ted, Marco, and Bernie can't win several states on Tuesday, the Las Vegas oddsmakers will probably be predicting a Trump vs Clinton race this fall.