Voters cast their ballots in a polling station at the Ripton Town Clerk's office in Ripton, Vt., in the morning on March 1, 2016. Voters in 12 states go to...
Hilary Swift/The New York Times/Redux

Latest polls show bumpy road ahead for Republicans

Many campaign observers are still catching their breath from the Super Tuesday contests, but the respite is brief before the next round of voting. Not only is there a debate tonight, but on Saturday there’s another Republican primary (Louisiana) and three more GOP caucuses (Kansas, Kentucky, and Maine).
Those contests are followed on Tuesday by three Republican primaries (Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi) and another GOP caucus (Hawaii) – all in advance of a mini-Super Tuesday on March 15.
In the short term, there aren’t a lot of polls offering guidance on what to expect, but there’s at least some data to chew on. For example, in Michigan – home to 59 delegates, the largest of any state ahead of March 15 – a new EPIC-MRA poll was released last night:
1. Donald Trump: 45%
2. Marco Rubio: 14%
3. Ted Cruz: 10%
4. John Kasich: 5%
A Mitchell Research poll conducted over a similar period found a more competitive race, but with the frontrunner still poised to win with relative ease.
1. Donald Trump: 39%
2. Marco Rubio: 19%
3. Ted Cruz: 14%
4. John Kasich: 12%
I’ve seen some suggestions that if Trump has a regional weakness, it may be the Midwest: he not only came in second in Iowa, despite polls showing him ahead, but his only third-place finish this year was in Minnesota. That said, if Trump wins Michigan, this chatter will likely fade away. (As of this morning, FiveThirtyEight gives Trump an 82% chance of winning the state.)
In Louisiana, meanwhile, a Magellan Strategies poll released yesterday showed the race shaping up this way:
1. Donald Trump: 41%
2. Ted Cruz: 21%
3. Marco Rubio: 15%
4. John Kasich: 9%
And Magellan Strategies also polled Mississippi Republicans, and released these results:
1. Donald Trump: 41%
2. Ted Cruz: 17%
3. Marco Rubio: 16%
4. John Kasich: 8%
If Republican insiders are looking for states in which Trump will get tripped up, the road ahead offers limited hope.