5 things to know about the week of Feb. 29

By Thom Fain/Briefing

March is almost upon us, and in many places south of the old Mason-Dixon line, this means springtime is finally here. Ball players report to camp, trees begin to bloom, grasses start turning green. The winds shift. Skies lighten to bluer days, and in these Weird Times humans buzz about by the tens of thousands at strange political rallies headlined by one famous real estate mogul claiming to Make America Great Again.


The states of the South look to potentially put Donald Trump so far into first place for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination that he’s likely unstoppable, while Democratic voters likely will emphatically embrace Hillary Clinton as his best rival.


These are the winds of change, indeed.


So without further ado, here are five things to know this week:


1. Super Tuesday is super important
The so-called SEC primary refers to the Super Tuesday states across the South: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Sen. Ted Cruz looks to benefit from his “firewall” here of white evangelical voters, and similarly Hillary Clinton looks to take a huge leap in delegates on account of her overwhelming support of religious minority voters in the race for delegates. 2,383 are needed to win the nomination at the DNC, and 1,237 are needed to earn the GOP nod.


2. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Ole Party
The GOP is breaking into two noticeable factions — those who believe Donald Trump sitting atop its card will cause the house to crumble, that are coalescing behind Sen. Marco Rubio — and those who believe Trump is the best chance for the GOP to win back the White House. This second group is led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama who have all endorsed Trump in recent days. Several prominent conservatives have publicly stated they either intend to forgo a vote altogether, or vote for Hillary Clinton if Trump gets the nod, in order to “save our country.”


3. Be Great Again, somewhere else
Those intellectuals and ex-pat wannabes so inclined to pack up their bags and leave the country in case of a Trump presidency can start their planning now, thanks to Canadian DJ Rob Calabrese, who is promoting the beauty and serenity of Nova Scotia, Canada, as a destination for settling down for a while. In Cape Breton, the DJ notes, “women are legally able to choose an abortion, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.”


4. And … what happens after Tuesday?
The next big batch of races after Super Tuesday is Saturday, when Kansas and Louisiana have contests for both parties, Kentucky and Maine hold Republican caucuses, and Nebraska holds its Democratic caucuses.


5. The front-runners are dominating
A new CNN/ORC Poll released on Monday shows real estate mogul Donald J. Trump with his biggest lead yet — 49% of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters now support the New York tycoon. If he wins a majority of the delegates at stake on Super Tuesday, it could spell out a brokered convention.


Briefing is a GateHouse Media property. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/briefing_2016 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/briefing2016, or visit our website at http://elections.gatehousemedia.com/national/todaystopics.

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