Two new polls show Donald Trump leading in both Alabama and Oklahoma on the eve of Super Tuesday.
Trump’s biggest lead is in Alabama, where he leads the GOP field by 23 points. His lead is smaller in Oklahoma, but still a solid 12 points.
In Alabama, Trump has a dominating 42 percent of the vote. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are essentially tied for second, with Rubio drawing 19 percent, while Cruz has 16 percent support. Ben Carson is fourth, with 11 percent support and John Kasich is a distant fifth, with just 5 percent support.
The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday. Most of the poll, then, was conducted before Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions endorsed Donald Trump. It is possible that Session’s endorsement of Trump will push his support even higher in the state.
This is important, because if a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the statewide vote, they receive all of a Alabama’s delegates. Trump is near this threshold in Alabama, which could potentially push Rubio and Cruz out of contention for some of the state’s 50 delegates.
In Oklahoma, Trump has 35 percent, followed by Ted Cruz with 23 and Rubio with 22 percent support. John Kasich is fourth, with 8 percent, followed closely by Ben Carson with 7 percent support.
Trump and Cruz are tied with evangelical voters in Oklahoma, who make up 65 percent of the Monmouth poll sample. In Alabama, however, Trump leads among evengelicals by more than 20 points.
Trump leads both Cruz and Rubio in hypothetical three-way match-ups in each state. In the three-way race, Trump leads by 19 points in Alabama, but just 8 points in Oklahoma.
Although both states vote on Super Tuesday, the poll still finds that the electorate is still somewhat fluid. Less than 45 percent of likely voters in both states say they are certain in which candidate they will support. This is far lower than voter intentions measured in other state contests.
It is possible that the increased acrimony in the Republican nomination fight is causing people to become less certain in their choice. Trump’s supporters are the most committed to their candidate, however, with 60 percent of his supporters saying they certain they will vote for him.
Still, the high number of voters who say they may still change their mind makes it very hard to predict who will finish second or third. Candidate placement, and the margins between them, are critically important as the delegate are awarded proportionally.
Trump seems certain to achieve a massive win in Alabama’s primary on Super Tuesday. Oklahoma is still uncertain, however. While Trump has a slight edge, the final outcome will have a big impact on how the state’s 43 delegates are allocated.