Well, Super Tuesday #2 is in the books and here are a few things stand out on the morning after:
#1 – Deborah Ross soars – Perhaps the biggest surprise here in North Carolina was the U.S. Senate race. If someone would have claimed a couple of months ago that Deborah Ross — an almost complete unknown — would poll a higher percentage of votes in the Democratic primary than longtime incumbent Richard Burr did in the GOP primary (and almost the same number of actual votes), they’d have been dismissed as crazy. Yet, amazingly, that’s just what happened. This has to send a few shock waves through the Burr camp and clearly bolsters Ross’ appeal to national Democrats, as well as her prospects in November.
#2 – General Assembly set to have first Asian-American member? Another somewhat surprisingly big winner last night was Raleigh lawyer Jay Chaudhuri, who easily swept past Ellis Hankins in the Democratic primary to replace State Senator Josh Stein (who appears to be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General). Chaudhuri seems poised to become a rising star in state Democratic politics and, as far as can be determined, will be the first Asian-American elected to the North Carolina General Assembly if he wins in the Democratic-leaning district this fall.
#3 – Experts divided over whether Trump is a lock after Kasich’s win in Ohio. One of the most interesting discussions last night surrounded the meaning and impact of John Kasich’s win in the Ohio GOP presidential primary. One train of thought — expressed by CNN’s John King — was that Kasich staying in the race further divides the delegates and makes it harder for Donald Trump (who won Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and maybe Missouri) to secure the necessary 1200+ prior to the convention. Minutes after King made that assertion, however, an MSNBC analyst opined that Kasich staying in makes Trump’s nomination more likely, because there are 10 GOP primaries still to go that are “winner take all” and Trump can continue to pile up delegates with plurality wins. Whichever the case, it all remains morbidly fascinating — especially if a brokered convention (the ultimate reality TV freak show) were to somehow actually come about.