US POLITICS

Candidates On A Mad Dash Around The Country Before Super Tuesday

As Rubio blazes across the country on Super Tuesday, Cruz takes it easy in good ol' Texas

US POLITICS
So many delegates, so little time. — (REUTERS)
Mar 01, 2016 at 12:33 PM ET

If Marco Rubio does not win the Republican nomination, at least he’ll have a ton of frequent flier miles. The Florida senator is on a frantic, last-minute campaigning spree, traveling nearly 4,000 miles through seven states in the days before polls close on Super Tuesday. That’s over a thousand miles more than Republican front-runner Donald Trump, and more than both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Vocativ analyzed the travel schedules of every major presidential candidate, finding that for most hopefuls, the apparent strategy is to cover as much ground as possible in an attempt to convince voters in about a dozen states to favor them. Sanders and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, however, seem to be taking a more pragmatic approach, only appearing in states where polls predict they’ve got a chance.

More Super Tuesday Isn’t As Super As It Used To Be

Super Tuesday offers a major chance for Rubio and Cruz to make headway on Trump, who is projected to win every state for which recent polling data is available except for Cruz’s home state of Texas, according to RealClearPolitics. However, Vocativ’s analysis of the candidates’ official schedules reveals two vastly different approaches to doing just that. Rubio has blazed across the country, starting with a rally at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday in Virginia, where 49 delegates are up for grabs. He then hit up Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Minnesota (in that order) before finishing up in Miami, Florida at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. In total, he will have traveled 3,856 miles in a little over 50 hours.

As Rubio embarked on his nationwide flash tour, Cruz was resting easy. He appeared at two rallies in Oklahoma on Sunday before traveling to events exclusively within his home state of Texas, where polls predict he will pick up most of the 155 delegates available. Cruz will have covered just 756 miles—the least of any of the five leading candidates—by the time polls close on Tuesday. But the strategy could work: Not only is Texas Cruz’s home state, but it awards more delegates than any other state on Super Tuesday.

Sanders was also keen on spending time in his native territory: the northeast. After stops in Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota, he headed onward to an event in Massachusetts, where he trails Clinton by less than 7 percent, according to an aggregation of recent polls in the state. On Super Tuesday itself, his only public appearance is in Vermont, which elected him as senator in 2007, and which polls predict is the only state he will clinch from Clinton—something the Clinton campaign seems to understand, given that she’s avoided the state entirely.

After her massive Saturday win in South Carolina, Clinton was busy blasting through five states, covering 2,957 miles between in total from Sunday to Super Tuesday.