Political Junkie March Madness Goes to the Sweet 16

We asked you to cast your votes, and you did! With 124 ballots cast over three days, half of the 32 challengers in our GOP March Madness bracket pool have been sent back home.

But we still have four more rounds in our tournament, and now it’s time for you to determine who our Elite 8 will be.

We have a new, updated bracket for you to view, and some tight match-ups this go-around, so help out your favorite candidates and cast your votes! We are accepting votes in the Round of 16 through Sunday, March 30 at 11:00 pm EDT.

It is also not too late to submit your prediction for who our champion will be! Remember, we will randomly select one lucky winner from among all the correct predictions, and they will receive our fabulous vintage Political Junkie button, and be congratulated on the podcast. The deadline for these is also Sunday night at 11:00 pm EDT. Head over to our March Madness page to submit your predictions.

PJ March Madness - Round of 16 Bracket

Round of 32 Voting Results & Round of 16 Match-Ups

LEFT SIDE

#1 Rand Paul vs. #6 Jeb Bush
Rand Paul – 116 (94.3%)
Michele Bachmann – 7 (5.7%)

Jeff Flake – 17 (13.8%)
Jeb Bush – 106 (86.2%)

#5 Rick Santorum vs. #10 John Thune
Rick Santorum – 91 (73.4%)
Bob Corker – 33 (26.6%)

John Thune – 82 (66.1%)
Mitt Romney – 42 (33.9%)

#8 Jon Huntsman vs. #3 Ted Cruz
Jon Huntsman – 94 (76.4%)
Cory Gardner – 29 (23.6%)

Sam Brownback – 20 (16.3%)
Ted Cruz – 103 (83.7%)

#4 Mike Huckabee vs. #2 Chris Christie
Mike Huckabee – 64 (52.0%)
Eric Cantor – 59 (48.0%)

Sarah Palin – 10 (8.1%)
Chris Christie – 114 (91.9%)

RIGHT SIDE

#1 Scott Walker vs. #6 Bobby Jindal
Donald Trump – 18 (14.8%)
Scott Walker – 104 (85.2%)

Bobby Jindal – 79 (64.2%)
Susana Martinez – 44 (35.8%)

#5 Rick Perry vs. #7 Rob Portman
George P. Bush – 38 (30.6%)
Rick Perry – 86 (69.4%)

Rob Portman – 109 (87.9%)
Tom Cotton – 15 (12.1%)

#9 Scott Brown vs. #3 Paul Ryan
Scott Brown – 83 (67.5%)
Mike Pence – 40 (32.5%)

Paul Ryan – 114 (91.9%)
Jim DeMint – 10 (8.1%)

#4 Jon Kasich vs. #2 Marco Rubio
Tim Scott – 37 (30.1%)
John Kasich – 86 (69.9%)

Marco Rubio – 106 (85.5%)
Ben Carson – 18 (14.5%)

Round of 32 – Brief Analysis

Most of the contests in the Round of 32 were pretty lopsided; no surprise there. However there were a few upsets: #7-seed Mitt Romney will not be vying for another nomination in 2016, as he lost to #10-seed John Thune by a 2-to-1 margin. Some other big Republican that did not do so well included Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, who each took just a small handful of votes.

A mere 5 votes separated #4-seed Mike Huckabee from #13-seed Eric Cantor in our closest contest, but Huckabee took that match. But overall, the trends here suggest that our fans are interested in seeing a new rising star emerge out of the GOP. Who will it be? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Oh, and Donald Trump? With only 18 votes, you’re fired. (Sorry, had to do it.)

–Douglas Bell, Political Junkie Web Producer
(Ken will offer his overall analysis of our contest after our championship is named in mid-April.)

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