Storylines to Watch in This Weekend's Primaries and Caucuses

This weekend marks the next round of states casting ballots.

ByABC News
March 5, 2016, 12:23 AM

— -- Today marks the next round of states casting ballots in the 2016 race for the White House.

Democrats are facing off in Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Maine (ending Sunday). Republicans vote in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. These states may be small, but they mark an important day in a race where every delegate will count in July.

There are 178 delegates at stake in the Republican race, bringing the total delegates allocated to more than 900. On the Democratic side, 156 delegates will be at stake.

Here are some storylines to watch:


Will Trump Lose Another Caucus?

Trump’s winning percentage in primary states (9 of 11) far exceeds that of caucus states (1 of 4), which some analysts say is not a coincidence. Trump has almost no presence in Kansas. And according to political pros, caucuses reward candidates who “identify their voters, convince them to sit through a lengthy and confusing meeting, then get them to show up,” according to the Kansas City Star. Meanwhile, rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have campaigned and invested in the Sunflower State. Will it be enough to deal another caucus defeat to the Donald?

Rubio Won the Kansas Endorsement Contest But Can He Win the Caucus?

According to scoring from the website FiveThirtyEight, Marco Rubio’s endorsements by Sen. Pat Roberts, Gov. Sam Brownback and Rep. Mike Pompeo (all things being equal) gives him a leg up on Cruz, who was endorsed by Rep. Tim Huelskamp, and on Trump, whose only Kansas endorsement came from Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Will Rubio’s endorsement edge translate to a win? Or would a Rubio loss offer more proof that endorsements carry diminished significance this election cycle?

Hoop Screams: Students Protest Jayhawk-Caucus Scheduling Conflict

Democratic Jayhawk fans are not pleased with the choice they face today: participate in the party’s caucuses or watch KU’s last home game of the year. Dozens of fans united in protest this week on the KU campus to complain that the KU-Iowa State’s 3 p.m. tipoff comes just as caucusing begins. Students have asked their school to reschedule the game, so far to no avail. “

It's the final regular season game of the year, Senior Night, KU is ranked #1 in the country, and Lawrence (and Douglas County) is the liberal bastion of the state,” said KU alum Travis Hare, noting that Nader scored big in Douglas County in 2000. “The game is happening right when the caucuses are happening. Allen Fieldhouse holds close to 20,000 people plus TV watchers all over the state. It honestly could have a major impact on the turnout, particularly for Bernie.”