Presidential field narrows after Super Tuesday

(FILE-AP/CNN Newsource)

Super Tuesday as come and gone and the field of Republican candidates has now narrowed to four. Dr. Ben Carson announced Wednesday he doesn't see a path for himself to the nomination and he will quit campaigning.

Donald Trump was the big winner after coming out on top in seven states. Meanwhile Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich all continue to claim they're the best candidate to take down Trump. Carson leaving the race narrows the field but the rest of them are all making the case someone else should drop out. Super Tuesday didn't clear up that debate.

"Super Tuesday clarified that Donald Trump is in the driver's seat in this race," said Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both won states on Super Tuesday. That means Trump's competition will continue to be split.

"Nobody has a really compelling case to be the one who stays in," said Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State. "It means nobody will drop out. (Trump is) going to be very, very hard to stop particularly in a crowded field."

Some GOP operatives think Trump has shown some signs of weakness though.

"We cracked the veneer as a party (Tuesday) that Donald Trump is unbeatable," said Matt Borges, the Ohio Republican Party chairman who is supporting Kasich. "We're nowhere near done and we haven't even started the winner-take-all primaries yet, of which Ohio is one."

Borges pointed out Kasich is in the final four after an initial field of 17 candidates.

Trump has not won a majority of the vote in any state. Some Republicans said that shows more than half of the party still wants someone else as the nominee.

"If only (Trump) used those powers for good he might be an unstoppable force," Borges said. "Instead he's chosen to embrace this very decisive message that's not going to help us win here."

Tokaji and Beck point to a few races to watch in the next few weeks. Michigan will vote March 8th. That's one state Kasich is campaigning in this week. Tokaji said he's interested in how Trump will do in a Midwestern state.

After that, Florida and Ohio will be critical races for Rubio and Kasich respectively. Each one of them desperately wants to win their home state so they can make a case for the nomination.

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