by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Marc Rotterman offers John Gizzi of Newsmax an assessment of the current state of the Republican presidential race.
With days to go before South Carolinians vote in the nationally-watched Republican presidential primary, virtually every poll shows Donald Trump maintaining a comfortable lead.
According to one veteran GOP consultant, the ability of Trump as well as that of Ted Cruz to woo Democrats and independents in states that permit crossover voting will make both contenders forces in the eight-state “Super Tuesday” primary March 1.
“If Trump can win in South Carolina and Cruz comes in second, then what you’re seeing are two outsiders appealing to what are typically referred to as ‘Reagan Democrats,'” North Carolina GOP consultant Marc Rotterman told Newsmax. He defined “Reagan Democrats” as “blue-collar and middle-income Americans who crossed over—or whose parents crossed over—to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and ’84, but never re-registered as Republicans.”
Rotterman, who has no horse in the presidential race this year, pointed out that these “cross-over voters” will be a particularly strong force in the next site of battle for the Republican nomination: the so-called “Super Tuesday” states who will select delegates to the national convention nine days after South Carolina.
Nine of the 14 states choosing delegates on “Super Tuesday” are “open primaries,” permitting participation by non-Republican voters. These are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia.