Last night was Super Tuesday, part 2, where really important things were bound to happen because there just aren’t as many states left for the candidates to fight over. On the Democratic side, it was another opportunity for Sen. Bernie Sanders to remind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that he wasn’t quite dead yet, and for the Republicans it was another episode of America’s favorite new reality show: Chickens Come Home to Roost: All Star Edition.
If you weren’t able to stay up late enough for the final vote counts in Missouri and Illinois, here are the major highlights, changes and events from last night.
“Lil Marco” Is Out of the Race
It was pretty clear that Sen. Marco Rubio’s days as a candidate were numbered once Donald Trump started to call him “Lil Marco.” Has there ever been a “Lil” that ended up successful? Once you throw out Lil Wayne, Lil Marco is essentially in the same category as Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Fizz and Lil’ Bow Wow. Meaning he started off with lots of promise and hype but faded into obscurity, spending his most recent years desperate for attention.
Rubio, who was favored by Republican leaders and lauded as a potential “Republican Obama,” never reached the heights of political popularity that his demographic profile and hype laid out for him. Rubio suspended his campaign instead of ending it, which means he can hold on to his 168 delegates for a little while longer. Or at least until he thinks his delegates can help topple business mogul Donald Trump.
Black Votes Matter
Black voters reminded Democrats that they’re on notice when it comes to accountability and police brutality. In the Democratic primary for county prosecutor in Chicago, Anita Alvarez was defeated by Kim Foxx. Alvarez, who had served since 2008, had a long history of protecting police in brutality cases, and an even longer history of wrongful convictions. She was finally shown the door because of her involvement in the Laquan McDonald cover-up.
Just a few hours east, in Cleveland, a similar housecleaning occurred when Tim McGinty, the local prosecutor who did everything in his power to guarantee that there would be no trial for the shooting of Tamir Rice, lost in a Democratic primary to Mike O’Malley. One can only hope that these potential prosecutors deem the killing of preteens by incompetent cops to be a crime worthy of prosecution.
John Kasich Wins Ohio
Ohio Gov. John Kasich won his home state Tuesday night, which is something that just about every candidate running for his party nomination does (except Rubio), assuming he stays in the race long enough. With that victory, Kasich really doesn’t improve his chances of winning the Republican nomination.
The candidates are 30 contests in, Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz have insurmountable leads, and Kasich is not predicted to win any other key states in the coming weeks. However, Kasich’s hope is that winning his home state makes him electable in the eyes of Republican voters. And should the Republican convention in Cleveland in July end up being brokered (basically, meaning that the nominee is decided at the convention because no one comes in with the right number of delegates), he might get some home cooking and leave as the nominee.
Sanders Does Better With Blacks; Clinton Does Better With Everyone
Sanders can’t catch a break. After an upset victory in Michigan, which featured his best showing with African-American and Latino primary voters, it appears that he’s come back down to earth. Clinton beat Sanders in nearly every Super Tuesday state. The only state in question right now is Missouri, where the vote count is still too close to call, but it ultimately doesn’t matter.
While Sanders actually won African-American vote percentages in the high 20s and 30s in places like Ohio and Illinois, that wasn’t enough to overcome Clinton’s advantage with female voters and her increased competitiveness with white Midwestern voters. While Sanders has made it clear that he’s not quitting (his speech last night was from Arizona, a primary state two weeks from now), at this point it’s more out of pride and commitment than a real chance to win.
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Jason Johnson, political editor at The Root, is a professor of political science at Morgan State’s School of Global Journalism and Communication and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera International, Fox Business News and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Follow him on Twitter.