Super Tuesday

Live Results And Analysis


Biden: ‘This Is A Movement’

Joe Biden has had many memorable moments during his long political career, but this Super Tuesday is probably the most memorable so far. Biden racked up an impressive 10 state win, including a victory in one of the most coveted – Texas.

Today in Los Angeles, he addressed a group of reporters, who had gathered around in a small conference room. “You know, what we can’t let happen in the next few weeks, is let this primary turn into a campaign of negative attacks. The only thing that it can do is help Donald Trump,” he said.

Looking ahead to next Tuesday, where seven more states will hold primary elections, the former vice president had a message of unity, welcoming all who want to join his campaign. “This is a movement we’re building. It is a movement. And we need that movement to beat Donald Trump and to build a future.”

But he also tried to position himself as more than the “establishment candidate” – a term often used by pundits to describe him. “I’m especially proud that our campaign is generating so much enthusiasm, driving up voter turnout all across the nation, “ he said. “Look at the results … The people behind me are bringing out people who have not participated.”

Biden refused to take any questions, but as he was walking out a journalist shoute: “Is this the establishment trying to defeat Bernie Sanders, Mr. Vice President?”

“The establishment is all those hard working people,” Biden responded.

Watch here:

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Sanders Admits Youth Turnout Has Not Risen As He’d Hoped

Sen. Bernie Sanders admitted today that his campaign has not so far been able to drive youth turnout in the way he and his advisers had hoped.

But he said he’s confident the numbers would be there in November.

“Have we been as successful as I would hope in bringing young people in? And the answer is no,” Sanders said. “We’re making some progress. But historically younger people do not vote in the kind of numbers that older people vote in. I think that will change in the general election.”

The Vermont senator spoke from his campaign headquarters in Burlington, Vt., and reflected on the Super Tuesday results.

Former Vice President Joe Biden currently holds a delegate lead over Sanders, but Sanders said that with his California win, which brought the largest delegate haul of the day, he and Biden move forward “basically neck and neck.”

Sanders strongly contrasted himself with Biden on various aspects of their records, including trade, health care and Social Security.

“Joe Biden is somebody I have known for many years,” Sanders said. “I like Joe, I think he’s a very decent human being. Joe and I have a very different voting record, Joe and I have a very different vision for the future of this country, and Joe and I are running very different campaigns."

Sanders was also asked about Sen. Elizabeth’s Warren, whose campaign manager has said she’s talking to her team to assess her path forward.

Sanders said he had spoken to her briefly earlier in the day and that she will make her decision in her own time.

Watch Sanders’ remarks here:

With reporting by NPR political correspondent Scott Detrow

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Bloomberg: ‘I Will Not Walk Away’

In an emotional speech to supporters this afternoon, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg ended his bid for the nomination and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.

Bloomberg reaffirmed his pledge to continue supporting the Democratic nominee — his longer-term objective since the start of his campaign last November.

“I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump,” Bloomberg told supporters. “And today I am leaving the race for the same reason — to defeat Donald Trump — because staying in would make it more difficult to achieve that goal.”

Bloomberg’s announcement comes after he was unable to win in any of the 14 states on Super Tuesday.The campaign had adopted the unconventional strategy of focusing on Super Tuesday states instead of the first four contests.

While Bloomberg did ask his supporters to join him in helping Biden attain the nomination, he did not explicitly say what that would look like. Bloomberg said in late December that regardless of his ability to get the nomination he would employ campaign staff in key states for the Democratic nominee.

“I will not be our party’s nominee, but I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life and I hope you won’t walk away either,” Bloomberg added.

Watch here:

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‘It Was A Great Comeback For Joe Biden,’ Trump Says

President Trump was watching the election results roll in last night, just like everyone else, though with more of a vested interest. Today, he had some thoughts, and seemed disappointed that reporters weren’t asking him about it at a coronavirus task force meeting with airline executives.

“No questions on the election?” he asked, with a smile.

The reporters obliged, prompting Trump to opine on a contest that yesterday he predicted would be "a very interesting evening of television."

“It was a great comeback for Joe Biden, incredible come back, when you think about it,” Trump said. Echoing some supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Trump suggested that by staying in the race, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren kept Sanders from victory in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas.

“She was really a spoiler,” Trump said of Warren. “She was very selfish from that point of view.”

Trump also celebrated former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s departure from the race. “One thing this whole thing has shown is you can’t buy an election,” Trump said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

To be clear, there aren’t a lot of Democrats looking to Trump for election analysis.

“Do I care? No,” Trump claimed. “Because we’re just waiting to know who we’re running against.”

As for who he thinks that might be, Trump said Biden looks to have an advantage given the states ahead in the Democratic nominating process.

So far today, Trump has sent seven tweets about the Democratic primary and not one about coronavirus.

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Major development

All 14 States Are Now Called; Biden Takes 10

All 14 Super Tuesday states now have declared winners. Former Vice President Joe Biden comes away at 10 wins and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at four. The Associated Press now projects a win for Biden in Maine after a close race there.

Though Biden took home the most and now leads in delegates, keep in mind that the Democratic primary states do not have a winner-take-all structure, meaning that each state’s delegates will be allocated proportionally based on the percentage each candidate received — as long as they reach at least 15%. That means how much a candidate wins by matters nearly as much as the fact that he won.

With specific totals still coming in. Here’s the count as of Wednesday afternoon:

Biden won 10 states:

  • Alabama - 63%
  • Arkansas - 41%
  • Maine - 34%
  • Massachusetts - 34%
  • Minnesota - 39%
  • North Carolina - 43%
  • Oklahoma - 39%
  • Tennessee - 42%
  • Texas - 34%
  • Virginia - 53%

Sanders won four states:

  • California - 34%
  • Colorado - 36%
  • Utah - 35%
  • Vermont - 51%
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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Maine

Maine is near Sanders’ home state of Vermont, and he had led in polls here. A key question here was who would pick up Pete Buttigieg’s support after he left the race. It was too close to call Tuesday night, and is the last state to be called out of the 14 Super Tuesday states.

Maine will be a presidential battleground come November. Maine was the whitest state to vote on Super Tuesday — the state party estimates that 96% of the party is white.

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How The African American And Latino Vote Broke Down

Four nights ago in South Carolina, Joe Biden showed his strength with African American voters in a big way, winning them by 44 percentage points on his way to a 29-point victory over Bernie Sanders. On Super Tuesday, it was black voters who once again were a key for Biden.

Overall, Biden won 58% of the African American vote last night, with some of his largest margins coming in the South. In Alabama and Virginia, for instance, Biden won more than 7 in 10 black voters, according to exit poll data as of last night. In Alabama, African Americans made up half of the electorate; in Virginia, more than one-in-four voters were black.

In Biden’s biggest win of the night, the delegate-rich state of Texas, black voters made up 21% of the electorate. Biden won them 60% to 17% over Sanders.

For Sanders, his success on Tuesday was fueled by what’s expected to be the largest minority voting group in 2020: Latinos. In California, the state with the most delegates on Tuesday (415), Latinos made up 26% of the electorate. Sanders won them over Biden 49% to 22%.

While that’s an encouraging sign for Sanders, it comes with an important caveat. As Juana Summers notes:

“The challenge for Sanders lies in the fact that though Latinos are among his most reliable voters in this race, there are few states ahead on the primary calendar in which they make up a sizable share of the electorate.”

Read more here.

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Biden Supporter Rep. Tim Ryan: ‘People Want Some Steady Leadership’

Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who early on endorsed Joe Biden after his own short-lived campaign for president, says the former vice president showed the country last night that he’s the candidate best positioned to beat President Trump.

“Well, it became evident yesterday he can pull the coalition together in places like Texas, but still win Maine and Minnesota,” Ryan told NPR’s Morning Edition. (Maine has not been called for Biden, though he holds a lead there.)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won California last night, but Biden finished at the top in Texas, where polls had been showing him in a tight race with Sanders. Biden also picked up surprise wins in Massachusetts and Minnesota, where he’d spent virtually no time campaigning.

Ryan said Biden’s momentum was not just about the consolidation of moderate support after former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended their campaigns and endorsed Biden.

He said voters have been watching how Trump has handled challenges like the coronavirus outbreak in recent days and that’s shaped the kind of candidate they want to see in the White House.

“People want some steady leadership, and I think it’s becoming apparent it’s Joe Biden,” Ryan said.

He also said he’s confident Sanders supporters will come out to support Biden in November, should the former vice president edge out the Vermont senator for the Democratic nomination. “Nothing’s going to sharpen everybody’s mind like the prospects of removing Donald Trump from office, so I think the coalition of the Democratic party and across the country is going to come together.”

Biden will need those Sanders voters to beat Trump, Ryan says.

“We need to have all hands on deck,” he said. “You’re going to need the progressives, the Bernie Sanders supporters, the Elizabeth Warren supporters. Everybody’s got to help us do this.”

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Sanders Campaign Co-Chair Lauds ‘Great Night’ For Candidate

Rep. Ro Khanna of California, national co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign, says the Vermont senator “had a great night” on Super Tuesday.

“We had a big win in California,” Khanna told NPR’s Morning Edition. “In Texas, we dramatically improved our performance over 2016. There’s no question [former] Vice President [Joe] Biden had a big night as well and this is going to be a two-person race. We are very confident we will emerge victorious.”

Sanders won the largest delegate haul, California, but came short of a win in Texas. At the end of the night, Biden passed Sanders in the overall delegate count, 453 to 382.

In the interview, Khanna declined to weigh in on whether Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren should suspend her campaign to allow the progressive wing of the party to consolidate around Sanders.

Last night, Warren placed third in her home state, behind Biden and Sanders. An aide to Warren tells NPR’s Asma Khalid: “Elizabeth is talking to her team to assess the path forward.”

“I don’t think that’s for our campaign to say,” Khanna said about the future of Warren’s campaign. “I have a tremendous amount of admiration for Senator Warren. She has contributed great ideas and she has every right to continue … so that’s completely her decision.”

After dismal showings in South Carolina, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed Biden, giving him a lift going into Super Tuesday. Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who plowed more than $500 million on his campaign, quit the race Tuesday — and endorsed Biden. Following surprise Biden wins in Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Minnesota, Khanna says the Sanders campaign needs to work on expanding its coalition, making the case to older and suburban voters that Medicare for All has long roots in the Democratic platform.

Khanna downplayed any disappointment about last night. “Politics is all about expectations,” he said, noting that a year ago “people would have been thrilled” with Sanders’ Super Tuesday results.

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Major development

Warren Assessing Her Path Forward

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is “talking to her team to assess the path forward,” an aide tells NPR.

Warren has not come in the top two in any primary states so far, including the 13 Super Tuesday states that have been called.

Her campaign manager Roger Lau posted a statement on Medium saying the campaign “fell well short of our viability goals and projections, and we are disappointed in the results.”

“We’re still waiting for more results to come in to get a better sense of the final delegate math. And we also all know the race has been extremely volatile in recent weeks and days with frontrunners changing at a pretty rapid pace,” he added.

“This decision is in her hands, and it’s important that she has the time and space to consider what comes next. Elizabeth believes in her ideas and in the big, structural change that is badly needed to root out corruption in Washington and will decide what she thinks is the best way to advance them.”

This post has been updated.

— Asma Khalid
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Major development

Bloomberg Suspends Campaign, Endorses Biden

The former New York City mayor has promised his presence will still be felt through November.

"Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump," Bloomberg said in a statement Wednesday morning, after a disappointing Super Tuesday. "Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult."

By the time he exited the race, Bloomberg spent more than half a billion dollars on television ads.

Read more here.

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Sanders Has Obama Make His Case In New Ad

After Super Tuesday catapulted former Vice President Joe Biden to the head of the delegate pack, the Bernie Sanders campaign announced three new ads today that will run in nine states that vote next.

One of the spots features remarks made by former President Barack Obama in 2006 and 2016 heaping praise on Sanders. Obama has not endorsed anyone in the race, but the Sanders campaign is deploying a tactic used by several other candidates — including Biden and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — to tie their candidate with the popular former president.

“Bernie is somebody who has the virtue of saying exactly what he believes,” Obama says in the ad, while images of Sanders with Obama flash on the screen. “Great authenticity, great passion and is fearless.”

Another ad features a union autoworker talking about how bad trade deals “decimated” his community. A third ad pulls tape of Biden from 1995 calling for a spending freeze on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The Biden campaign has emphasized that as vice president, Biden fought to protect Social Security.

The themes featured in the ads are a nod to two of the states that will vote this month — the Michigan primary is March 10 and the Florida primary is March 17. And it’s a line of attack that Sanders previewed on Tuesday during an address to supporters in Vermont.

"We’re going to beat Trump because this will become a contrast in ideas. One of us in this race led the opposition to the war in Iraq, you’re looking at him. Another candidate voted for the war in Iraq. One of us has spent his entire life fighting against cuts in social security and wanting to expand Social Security. Another candidate has been on the floor of the Senate calling for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans."

Sanders spent about $16 million in Super Tuesday states through Feb. 27. Bloomberg spent a quarter of a billion dollars, while Biden had spent only about $625,000.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Texas

Texas has the second-largest haul of the night, with 228 delegates. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were in a very tight race for the state.

Biden spent only about $89,000 here, compared with more than $3.7 million from Sanders.

This state has not always been friendly to Sanders. He lost it to Hillary Clinton by more than 30 points in 2016. A number to watch is 33%, the percentage of the vote he got the last time around. Sanders struggled because Clinton had a fairly strong hold on voters of color, and Texas is expected to be a majority-minority electorate.

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Listen: Super Tuesday Recap From The ‘NPR Politics Podcast’

The most important day in the presidential primary calendar has now come to a close, with 14 states voting on Super Tuesday.

It’ll be several more days before all the results are finalized, but some lessons from the night are already clear — former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came out of Super Tuesday as clear front-runners.

The NPR Politics Podcast team has just left the studio, and we’re out with a new episode breaking it all down. And if you want more analysis, be sure to subscribe to the podcast. New episodes every weekday.

— Eric McDaniel
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Voters Endure Long Waits In California, Texas

High turnout and voting problems marred Super Tuesday for voters in California and Texas. Some voters in Houston and Los Angeles waited hours past poll closing times to cast their ballots.

“I’ve been waiting for about two and a half hours now, but it’s probably going to be three by the time I get to vote,” Madeleine Couling told Houston Public Media. Couling was waiting in line at the University of Houston. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking to sit and watch the primary results come in.”

Voter turnout in Harris County, where Houston is, reached its highest levels since 2008, while some polling sites also experienced technical problems. Houston Public Media reports that another factor is the shrinking number of polling places in Texas. The county has 52 fewer places in 2020 compared with previous elections, and those closures disproportionately affected nonwhite communities.

In Los Angeles, long lines were blamed on technical snafus and high turnout. Those lines prompted Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign to file a last-minute lawsuit seeking to keep the Los Angeles polling places open longer, a move that was rejected by officials.

— Brett Neely
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Delegate Snapshot: Biden Leads

With results from Texas and Maine remaining too close to call, the current delegate count shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading in total delegates, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to NPR’s delegate tracker.

Biden’s delegate count has shot up over the course of just one week. He has eight wins so far tonight, after sweeping the South Carolina primary this past Saturday.

Sanders won fewer Super Tuesday states than Biden, but he came in first in California, which had the most delegates at stake.

The two candidates are neck and neck in Texas, which has the second-highest number of delegates. Both candidates have surpassed the state’s 15% threshold, meaning they will each be given a proportional amount of delegates based on the final primary vote.

Sanders and Biden dominate the current delegate count, and there is a sizable gap between them and the rest of the remaining candidates.

Super Tuesday marked the first time that former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was on the ballot, but he was unable to pull in a significant number of delegates. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also did not see a big bump in delegates tonight.

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A Tight Texas Primary

The race for delegate-rich Texas is growing close for Democrats. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are essentially tied in the state, with more vote coming still coming in.

With 228 delegates at stake, Texas is the second-biggest prize on Super Tuesday. The state has a large Latino population and is seen as a key test for both candidates.

Hillary Clinton won the Texas primary in 2016 with 65% of the vote. Sanders won 33%.

Sanders and Biden each made more than a dozen trips to the state, with Biden appearing 16 times and Sanders visiting 13 times. Here are the latest results:

This post has been updated.

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Alabama GOP Senate Primary Heads To A Runoff

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville in a March 31 runoff to be the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Sessions was polling with a narrow lead over Tuberville and fellow Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne in the days leading up to Super Tuesday.

The winner will face off against Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., in November.

Sessions is running to reclaim the Senate seat he vacated when President Trump nominated him to be attorney general. Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, but their relationship deteriorated when Sessions decided to recuse himself from the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

NPR’s Debbie Elliott reports that all three GOP candidates campaigned heavily on their bond with and support for Trump. Sessions fought to convince Trump supporters that his recusal from the Russia probe was necessary to follow the law — not an affront to Trump.

Republicans hope to reclaim the seat currently occupied by Jones, who won a 2017 special election. He defeated Republican Roy Moore, who was also on the primary ballot this year. Moore has been an outcast in his party since 2017, following reports that he engaged in relationships with underage girls when he was an adult. Accounts of those relationships were published in the run-up to the 2017 special election.

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Tennessee Tornado Victim: ‘I Still Feel Like I Have To Go And Vote’

Many voters in Nashville, Tenn., were determined to vote even after a severe storm and tornado left dozens of people dead, with others still missing.

Among those voters was Jose Camero, who was at home last night with his wife, who is eight months pregnant.

“And I just see this thing that I’ve never seen before coming with all this force and just ripping trees from our front yard,” Camero told NPR. “I was able to turn around when the first tree hit our house and the glass exploded.”

Camero and his wife were able to ride out the storm in a closet — but woke to find their house destroyed.

But Camero didn’t want to miss his chance to vote for his candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who Camero says has energized people like himself.

“I don’t have a roof — my belongings are wet, destroyed, covered in glass — and I still feel like I have to go and vote,” said Camero.

The Sanders campaign arranged for someone to pick him up and take him to the polls.

He waited in line for an hour to cast his ballot.

“While I was there, everybody was affected one way or another by the tornado. Maybe not as bad as me, or maybe even worse, or maybe the smallest amount, but I think everyone was really excited to vote. It just made it feel like it was the right decision,” said Camero.

When all the votes were counted, Joe Biden won Tennessee.

— Denise Guerra, NPR Producer
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Biden: ‘We Started A Movement’

Joe Biden celebrated a string of victories on Tuesday night, telling supporters that his campaign is for those people who have been counted out.

“It’s a good night, and it’s getting better,” Biden said as he stepped onto the stage in Los Angeles.

It was a remarkable turnaround for a campaign that had faltered in earlier states and struggled with fundraising.

The former vice president has won eight states so far, including Massachusetts, Virginia and Minnesota. In Virginia, in particular, turnout was way up from 2016, allowing Biden to take a swipe at the other front-runner in the race, Bernie Sanders.

“People are talking about a revolution — we started a movement. We’ve increased turnout. The turnout’s turned out for us,” Biden said.

While Biden has won most of the states up for grabs on Tuesday, Sanders won California, the biggest state of the night. Texas, the second-biggest state voting tonight, has not been called yet.

— Ayesha Rascoe
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Major development

Sanders Projected To Win California

California has the largest delegate haul of the night — 415.

Bernie Sanders spent about $7 million on ads in the state (of the $15.5 million he spent across Super Tuesday states), according to data as of Feb. 27 from Advertising Analytics and provided to NPR.

Joe Biden spent nothing on California TV ads and just $4,000 on digital ads. Mike Bloomberg, in contrast, spent more than $71 million and polled below the 15% threshold required to get any delegates in all of these contests.

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Biden Victory Speech Interrupted By Protesters

As former Vice President Joe Biden took to the stage in Los Angeles alongside his wife, Jill Biden, and his sister, Valerie Biden Owens, he touted a slew of victories that his campaign has already notched — Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and more.

“It’s a good night,” Biden declared at the beginning of his speech. “And it seems to be getting even better. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.”

Not everyone was so happy.

About five minutes into the speech, several anti-dairy protesters attempted to rush the stage, with a few of them successfully climbing onto the stage before they were escorted off.

The protesters, who held “Let Dairy Die” signs and chanted as such, were met with boos from members of the crowd, who had a chant of their own: “Let’s go, Joe.”

Recovering quickly, Biden resumed his speech immediately.

“The middle class is getting clobbered,” Biden continued.

Anti-dairy protesters have previously interrupted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as well as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during a rally in Nevada last month.

— Maya Gandhi, NPR Washington Desk Intern
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Sanders Addresses Supporters Before California, Texas Results

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stressed victory to a crowd of supporters in his home state tonight, while still awaiting results from California and Texas, two delegate-rich states where he is expected to do well.

In his speech, Sanders touted several of his cornerstone campaign policies, including “Medicare for All,” economic reforms and the elimination of college debt.

“We’re not only taking on the corporate establishment — we’re taking on the political establishment,” Sanders added.

Sanders’ speech comes as former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads in the delegate count for the night, winning the most states so far.

Without mentioning Biden by name, Sanders criticized the former vice president’s political record on health care, the economy and trade while also highlighting Biden’s decision to vote for the war in Iraq — a choice Sanders opposed.

With polls closing in California at 11 p.m. ET, Sanders said he was “cautiously optimistic” about winning the Golden State, which has 415 delegates in play. He also said he believes he’ll do well in Texas, which has 228 delegates.

Sanders has currently won Colorado, Vermont and Utah.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Massachusetts

Massachusetts is Elizabeth Warren’s home state, but Bernie Sanders also made a big play for it, recently holding a large rally here. Ninety-one delegates are up for grabs here.

Despite not having much of a presence in the state, Biden is projected to win the state, with Sanders second and Warren in third:

This post has been updated.

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Va. Rep. Spanberger Endorses Biden

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., a moderate freshman who defeated a Republican in 2018, says that her focus in 2020 will be on retaining her seat — but that it would certainly help to be on the same page as her party’s nominee for president.

"I intend to be running against who the Republican nominee is in my congressional district,” Spanberger told NPR. “In any case, it would be desirable for me to be aligned on policy with the person at the top of the ticket because it’s just one less conversation to have."

Spanberger announced her endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden minutes after the polls closed in Virginia. She says she held off on weighing in because she didn’t want her personal preference to sway any voters.

“Across our districts, the level of enthusiasm on the ground for all of the candidates has been impressive. People have been door knocking and phone banking and excited about their individual candidates,” she said. “I really wanted people to go to the polls and vote for the person that they felt was the right choice.”

Spanberger is a top target for Republicans looking to win back seats they lost in 2018. The former CIA officer was one of seven House Democrats with a national security background who wrote an op-ed announcing their support for impeachment. The group called the allegations against President Trump a security threat.

Republicans say her vote for impeachment undermined her moderate reputation.

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Elizabeth Warren Currently Lagging In Home State Of Mass.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is trailing both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden in her home state, with nearly half of votes currently counted.

If these results hold, it would be an extremely disappointing result for Warren, who has struggled to gain traction in these early nominating contests. She has yet to win a primary or caucus. Warren finished fifth in South Carolina and fourth in New Hampshire.

Ahead of Super Tuesday, Warren’s campaign had said she would not be dropping out, arguing that she was the candidate with the “highest potential ceiling of support and the one best positioned to unite the party.”

As of 10:30 p.m. ET, Biden is in the lead, followed by Sanders, who represents the neighboring state of Vermont. Biden’s strength in Massachusetts is somewhat surprising since he was going up against candidates with close ties to the state.

Some 91 delegates are on the line in the state. Here are the latest results:

— Ayesha Rascoe
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Major development

Sanders Projected To Win Utah

The Utah Democratic Party estimates that Latinos account for 14% of the party in this very white state. A poll from last week has Bernie Sanders ahead at 28%, Mike Bloomberg at 19%, Elizabeth Warren at 15% and Joe Biden below the 15% threshold for delegates. The poll was conducted after the Las Vegas debate, but Bloomberg showed up in the state the day after that debate.

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Mayor De Blasio Defends Sanders’ Viability In California And Texas

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told NPR that he expects Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to perform well in California and Texas tonight — despite a growing delegate lead for former Vice President Joe Biden after more than five primary wins so far tonight.

De Blasio, who briefly ran for president before dropping out and endorsing Sanders, says that Sanders’ support among young people and Latino voters will make him a strong contender as polls close across the country.

He emphasized that he believes only Sanders and Biden will remain serious candidates for the nomination, while also adding that he plans on backing the Democratic nominee regardless of who the person is.

When asked about former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s candidacy, de Blasio disagreed with Sanders, who said he wouldn’t welcome Bloomberg’s monetary support if Bloomberg were to drop out of the race.

"Of course, we need all hands on deck to beat Donald Trump. I respect Bernie, and it is very consistent with Bernie’s values to say he doesn’t want that kind of support. Obviously, that support could go any number of other kindred places to the Democratic Party and all sorts of other allied organizations rather than directly to a campaign,” de Blasio told NPR.”

“But, well, I say we take it,” de Blasio added.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Arkansas

With 31 delegates, Arkansas cuts a similar profile to Oklahoma, but it had a higher share of the electorate that was black in 2016: 27% of Arkansas Democrats were black, and 34% were whites without a college degree.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Minnesota

Minnesota is Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s home state, and she was narrowly leading here before she decided to drop out of the race. She endorsed Joe Biden yesterday.

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Latino Voters Are Boosting Bernie Sanders In Texas

Polls are now closed in Texas, where about one-third of the Democratic electorate is made up of Latino voters. Four years ago, Bernie Sanders lost the state to Hillary Clinton by more than 30 points. But this year, he’s having a better night in Texas, something that he owes to a strong showing among Latino voters.

According to exit polls, Sanders is winning more than 40% of Latino Democrats. In 2016, he won just 29%. He is performing particularly strongly among young Latino Democrats between ages 18 and 29, with 64% support.

Black voters make up about a fifth of the Democratic electorate. Sanders has about 20% support among them, according to exit polls. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been boosted by the support of black voters across the state, has the support of 55% of black voters.

As for white Democratic primary voters, Sanders has a narrow lead over Biden.

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Bloomberg Wins Most Delegates In American Samoa

American Samoa held its caucuses today, and Mike Bloomberg came out with the most votes and delegates, according to the territory’s Democratic Party.

Of its six Democratic delegates, five were awarded to Bloomberg and one to Tulsi Gabbard, who was raised in Hawaii, the AP reports. Gabbard was born in American Samoa.

Bloomberg got nearly half the votes, followed by Gabbard’s 29%. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren were all below the 15% threshold, according to the party.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Tennessee

With 64 delegates, Tennessee is the state where Joe Biden invested most in ads ahead of Super Tuesday (even though it was only $157,000 and less than half of what Bernie Sanders put in). Tornadoes in the Nashville area disrupted voting in the state today, leading some polling places to stay open late.

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Cunningham To Face Tillis In North Carolina Senate Race

Army veteran and former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham will be the Democrat on the ballot challenging Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in November. Democrats hope to unseat Tillis in a state that has trended toward Democrats in recent years.

Cunningham was endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in a four-way primary. He defeated a progressive challenger, North Carolina state Sen. Erica Smith.

This is the first reelection bid for Tillis, who won his seat in 2014, narrowly defeating Democrat Kay Hagan.

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Trump Breezes Through Primaries So Far, As Expected

Facing limited competition, President Trump is stacking up wins on Super Tuesday. So far, Trump can claim victory in Texas, Vermont, North Carolina, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Arkansas.

That’s not surprising. The only significant challenger to Trump is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who has not been able to gain much support for his long-shot campaign against the incumbent president.

The Trump campaign has said it views these primaries as a trial run for its efforts to get Republican voters energized and ready to get out to the polls in November.

Trump also has worked to keep his Democratic opponents from getting all of the attention in these primary states by holding a series of campaign rallies, most recently in North Carolina on Monday.

— Ayesha Rascoe
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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Oklahoma

Thirty-seven delegates are up for grabs in Oklahoma. There was sparse polling in the state. The latest, conducted about two weeks ago and before the Las Vegas debate, showed Joe Biden statistically tied with Mike Bloomberg, who has spent a whopping $5.3 million in the state. Bernie Sanders was teetering on the threshold line.

Elizabeth Warren was below the threshold line; it would be pretty remarkable if she got no delegates from the state where she was born and raised.

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Major development

Sanders Projected To Win Colorado

Colorado has 67 delegates. The state switched from a caucus to a primary and no entrance polls in 2016, so who turns out is a bit of a wild card. The state Democratic Party estimates that Latinos could be as many as 1 in 5 voters.

Remarkably, Mike Bloomberg spent almost $10 million on ads in this state and could get shut out of any delegates.

Colorado is a presidential battleground state that now leans blue.

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DNC Chair Has No Regrets About Rule Changes

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez says he has no regrets about changes made to the Democratic Party’s nominating process. The party voted in 2018 to drastically reduce the power of superdelegates, shifting the influence to delegates directly elected in primaries and caucuses.

“I think we were very, very inclusive,” Perez told NPR. “We really returned power to the people.”

Perez said there was an unprecedented field of candidates and the rules allowed voters to “kick the tires” of all of them before voting.

Perez added that his main regret was that Iowa “didn’t go well.” He said mistakes were made and the party learned from the chaotic failure of a new vote-counting app that has significantly delayed the final results in that state.

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In North Carolina, Democrats React

At a county Democratic watch party in Charlotte, N.C., attendees started reacting to Joe Biden’s early wins.

Deborah Winegar, 76, said: “I’m really disgusted because I wanted Bernie Sanders to win, or Elizabeth Warren. And [Biden] stands for nothing. What does he stand for? Zero. I have no idea why he’s even running.”

Winegar likes Sanders’ and Warren’s positions on health care, and she said she’s unsure if she will vote for Biden in November if he’s the nominee.

State Sen. Joyce Waddell did not endorse anyone and declined to say whom she voted for. “I want anybody who can beat Trump.”

Tim Ahearn, 71, said he originally supported Amy Klobuchar but voted for Biden, whom he described as a “decent guy” and a “class act.”

“I think he can beat Trump. I think he’s the best guy we’ve got to beat Trump,” he said. “I don’t think the others have a shot at beating Trump.”

Ahearn said he hopes Biden chooses a young progressive as his running mate if he’s the nominee.

Asked about criticism of Biden by progressives, Ahearn said, “I think it’s progressive to get things done,” adding that he thinks Biden is more likely to win and get things done in “the real world.”

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‘I Am Not Planning To Endorse,’ Hillary Clinton Tells NPR

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate in the 2016 race, told NPR on Tuesday that she will not publicly endorse anyone in her party’s race in 2020.

“I am not planning to endorse,” Clinton, the former secretary of state, said in an interview. “I am going to say the same thing I’ve been saying from the beginning of this vigorous primary contest: I hope the voters will pick the person that is most able to beat Donald Trump in the Electoral College. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.”

Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 but lost the Electoral College. She said Democrats need to rally around a 2020 candidate who can defeat Trump despite the challenges of the Electoral College.

When asked about growing support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Clinton ran against in 2016 and who is the current front-runner for 2020, Clinton emphasized that the race is far from over. She said former Vice President Joe Biden’s win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday was a sign of that.

Clinton also dismissed complaints from the Democratic Party’s growing progressive wing about the Democratic “establishment.”

“If the ‘establishment’ means you put your head down, you get to work, you figure out how you’re going to pay for things, you build a coalition, you actually make change — then I think that’s a misnomer,” Clinton said.

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DHS Says Everything Going According To Plan, But Be Patient

A number of states reported election technology issues throughout the day Tuesday, but national security officials say those are isolated incidents. There is no evidence of any election interference aimed at voting systems, Department of Homeland Security officials told reporters at a briefing Tuesday afternoon.

In California, 15 counties had issues connecting to the state’s voter registration system, which then required a server to be reconfigured and restarted, according to the California secretary of state. In Minnesota, an online polling-place locator crashed, and a staffer mistakenly then linked to a partisan website for voters to get information.

Long lines and voting machine failures have been reported in Texas as well.

None of that is out of the ordinary for an election involving tens of millions of votes, however, said Chris Krebs, the director of the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“These are intermittent IT issues that are resolved. All the systems are back up online. All the systems look green right now,” Krebs said. “We are not aware of any persistent long-term issues related to the election infrastructure in the United States right now.”

Krebs and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf spoke with reporters from a war room full of election experts, voting-machine vendor representatives and national security officials.

That sort of coordination wasn’t present in 2016 when Russia staged an attack on American democracy, Krebs said.

Although there isn’t evidence at this point of the sort of cyberattacks that operatives staged four years ago, disinformation efforts on social media have continued. Officials say that they haven’t seen a spike on Tuesday but that it’s more of a “steady and constant flow.”

“The Russians never left after 2016,” Krebs said.

The voting advocacy coalition Election Protection says it has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about a robocall that went out to some voters saying the primary election was Wednesday and not Tuesday.

Federal officials also stressed patience Tuesday night, as states such as California and Texas have made it clear they may not have complete results by the time many people in the Eastern time zone want to go to bed.

“Tonight’s unofficial results, as they come in, are just that: They’re unofficial,” Wolf said. “It takes time for state and local officials to count and certify results, so we ask for your patience, which is absolutely critical for the process.”

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Biden Racks Up String Of Early Wins

It’s still early, as results from the states with the largest delegate hauls — Texas and California — aren’t in yet, but former Vice President Joe Biden is on a roll so far.

He is projected to win primaries in three Southern states — Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama. All three were called relatively soon after the polls closed in those states, signaling some real momentum coming out of his big win in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday. As in South Carolina, Biden’s strength with African American voters, a core constituency in the party, helped propel him to pick up the lead in delegates over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — at least for now.

Biden’s quick turnaround in a matter of days followed his strong showing in South Carolina but was also fueled by a string of endorsements from former rivals in the Democratic primary race — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

The centrist candidates’ rapid coalescing around Biden showed an effort by party leaders to try to unite around a single alternative to Sanders. Sanders won his home state of Vermont, and his campaign points to strong operations in big Super Tuesday states with results later on Tuesday, enthusiasm from loyal supporters and an ability to draw new voters.

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Warren Says Stop Strategizing, ‘Vote From Your Heart’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke in Detroit on Tuesday night before most states had reported their results. Her event was much more of a standard Warren campaign rally than an election-night celebration. But she kicked off her stump speech with a new passage, telling people to stop trying to strategize around electability with their votes:

“What I see happening is a lot of folks trying to turn voting into some complicated strategy. You know, pundits, friends, neighbors are all saying you have to second-guess yourself on this.

“They’re playing games about prediction and strategy: ‘Guess what your neighbors are up to here?’ But prediction has been a terrible business, and the pundits have gotten it wrong over and over.

“So here’s my advice: Cast a vote that will make you proud. Cast a vote from your heart. And vote for the person you think will make the best president of the United States of America.”

Warren was met with a loud, enthusiastic crowd: The campaign reported 2,200 in attendance at the rally. Still, by the time she finished speaking, AP results showed her well behind the winners in the four states that had been called.

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Voting In Charlotte, N.C.

Voters lined up earlier this evening outside a Baptist church in Charlotte, N.C., waiting to cast their ballots. Joe Biden was later projected to win the state.

At Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church in Charlotte, Millie and Jameet Kalra said they were still making up their minds.

“We’ll see when we get up there,” Jameet said. “I’m torn between voting for who I want to and who I think could win.”

Millie said she was determined to vote for whoever she thought could beat Trump but was still uncertain who that is, though she was leaning toward Joe Biden.

“You have the issues at hand … what aligns you your views. And it’s really a matter of who I want to vote for or who I think has more power to beat [Trump],” she said. “For me, it’s gonna come down to who I think could beat him, whether it’s the person I’d choose or not.”

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Alabama

With 52 delegates, Alabama is the most heavily African American Democratic electorate of Super Tuesday, and Biden hoped to win big here.

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Democratic Voters Unhappy With Idea Of Bloomberg As Nominee — AP VoteCast

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has spent millions of dollars in an aggressive bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but according to AP VoteCast data, a large share of Democratic primary voters say they would be dissatisfied if he were the nominee.

Roughly 60% of voters in Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts — three of the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday — say they would be dissatisfied if Bloomberg were the party’s nominee to take on President Trump, according to VoteCast.

About half the voters in North Carolina and Virginia said they would not be happy with the pick, according to VoteCast, which is a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Former Vice President Joe Biden was projected to win both those states on Tuesday.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win North Carolina

Polls showed Joe Biden slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders in North Carolina. The only other candidate polling at or near threshold was Mike Bloomberg, who has spent almost $15 million on ads in the state.

There are 110 delegates at stake here, the third-largest haul today. Also, black voters are key here — about a third of the electorate in 2016 was African American.

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A Contested Convention Is A Hot Topic, But Unlikely

The Democratic primary race is split, with divisions seemingly deepening by the day — leading to lots of talk about a contested or brokered Democratic convention.

It’s rare, but that’s what would need to happen if no single candidate were able to get 1,991 delegates after all the state runoffs.

Today, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg acknowledged that he can’t get enough delegates to be the nominee without a contested or brokered convention.

"I don’t think that I can win any other way,” he said.

But such a convention still seems like a long shot for reasons of timing. The convention isn’t until July — but 90% of the delegates will be allocated by the end of April.

So it seems pretty unlikely the nomination and division would be allowed to hang in the balance for three months. There may be some brokering, but it will likely happen in that period — not at the convention in Milwaukee.

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Bloomberg Vastly Outspending Opponents On Super Tuesday Ads

Today marks the first set of elections where former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is officially on the ballot — and in preparation, he has shelled out an extraordinary amount of money to make his candidacy known.

Since announcing his candidacy in late November, the multibillionaire has spent $500 million on ads around the country.

In Super Tuesday states alone, Bloomberg has spent about a quarter of a billion dollars on ads, per data from Advertising Analytics through Feb. 27.

He has spent the most money in California ($71 million), Texas ($53 million) and North Carolina ($15 million), which are the three states offering the most delegates today.

And compared with his competitors, Bloomberg leads in ad spending by about $200 million.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the second-highest spender — he has spent about $16 million on the states in play, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at about $4 million. Both Warren and Sanders have benefited from outside ad spending from superPACs supporting them.

Despite his strong win in South Carolina, former Vice President Joe Biden’s ad spending total for Super Tuesday states is strikingly low. As of Feb. 27, Biden had spent only about $625,000 on ads, which was less than he spent on just South Carolina.

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Bloomberg ‘Absolutely Not’ Dropping Out, But Will ‘Assess’

Campaign Manager Kevin Sheekey shot down speculation that his candidate will exit the race today, but he contradicted Mike Bloomberg’s comments earlier today that he was willing to wage a convention fight for the nomination.

“Absolutely not,” Sheekey told reporters about reports that Bloomberg was being advised to exit the race tonight. He said the campaign would assess where it stands after Super Tuesday. “I think you make an assessment in any campaign like this after every time that there’s a vote. We have not had a vote yet, so we have not had to assess.”

Sheekey directly contradicted Bloomberg’s statement in Miami today that his only path to the nomination was a contested convention — a fight he was willing to wage. “I don’t happen to think Democrats will have a contested convention,” Sheekey said. “I heard him, and that may be true, it may not.”

He added: “As of right now we’re committed to stay in [until the convention], but we’ll see what happens today.”

Sheekey notably praised former Vice President Joe Biden — noting he donated to Biden’s campaign before Bloomberg entered the race — and said one of the two candidates will be the nominee.

“I know the vice president personally. I find him to be one of the most decent public servants I’ve ever met,” he said. “I expect one of them to be the nominee, and I expect the other to be supporting that person.”

Sheekey also rejected the characterization of Bloomberg as a spoiler against Biden on the ballot who threatened to siphon votes from Biden and allow Bernie Sanders to walk away with more delegates. “Look, I think Mike Bloomberg is either the candidate for the party or the single most important person helping that candidate defeat Donald Trump,” he said. “To me that’s the opposite of a spoiler.”

Sheekey stressed Bloomberg’s commitment to continuing to spend resources in 2020 to defeat Trump, even if Sanders wins the nomination. “They agree on something that’s really important, which is this president has to be removed from office.”

He added: “We will find out how well [Bloomberg] does tonight. And we’ll find out whether Mike Bloomberg is on his way to becoming the candidate, or we will find out that Mike Bloomberg is going to be the most important person to whomever that candidate will be.”

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Major development

Sanders Projected To Win Vermont

Vermont is Bernie Sanders’ home state, for which he has served as senator since 2007. He was the overwhelming favorite to pick up all 16 delegates here, as he did in 2016.

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WATCH: How Super Is Super Tuesday

Before Super Tuesday, just 4% of the total delegate count had been allocated, and after Super Tuesday, that goes up to about 40%.

In total, 1,357 delegates are at stake tonight, including those for the large states of California, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia.

Doing well on Super Tuesday is crucial for candidates, and although no one can come out of tonight as the presumptive Democratic nominee, a clear front-runner could be established.

Here’s an explainer video on just how important tonight is for the five remaining candidates.

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Candidates Spend Big Bucks In Delegate-Rich States

California, Texas and North Carolina have the most delegates in play tonight — 753 in total — making it no surprise that ad spending totals are highest in these three states.

With only five candidates remaining in the race, the amounts that the top three spenders in each state are spending vary drastically, since former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is dropping hundreds of millions of dollars on ads around the country, while the majority of candidates are spending much less.

The best example can be seen in California, which has 415 delegates.

Bloomberg has spent $71 million, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at $7 million and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at $82,000.

Similar comparisons are seen in Texas, which has 228 delegates, and North Carolina, which has 110 delegates. Bloomberg has shelled out the most money, followed by Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

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Major development

Biden Projected To Win Virginia

With 99 delegates up for grabs in Virginia, the state’s results are an early indication of whether and how moderate Democrats are coalescing around Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton won here by almost 30 points over Bernie Sanders in 2016.

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Tennessee To Keep Some Voting Places Open After Tornadoes Strike

A county judge in Tennessee has ruled that five polling sites in Nashville must be kept open until 10 p.m. Central time tonight after a tornado tore through the area overnight, causing voting delays and closures. Other sites in the county will stay open until 8 p.m. They had been scheduled to close an hour earlier. The decision came after the campaigns of Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, along with the state Democratic Party, filed a suit requesting the extension.

They argued that voters’ constitutional rights would be infringed upon if they were not given more time to vote. Many polling sites in the area opened late, and others did not open at all.

Voters were directed to other "super sites" where there were long lines.

"This means that democracy won, because people are going to be given the opportunity to vote," said the state party’s attorney, Dave Garrison, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

Unexpectedly strong tornadoes killed at least 22 people across the state and caused widespread damage.

There is lots of precedent for extending polling hours on Election Day because of mechanical failures and other disruptions or delays. There have even been cases where elections were rescheduled due to extraordinary circumstances.

The most striking change in recent history was in New York City, which had a mayoral primary on Sept. 11, 2001. Polls opened as scheduled but voting was suspended after the attacks on the World Trade Center later that morning, and the primary was rescheduled for two weeks later.

A primary election was also rescheduled after Hurricane Andrew caused major destruction in Dade County, Fla., in 1992.

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Trump: ‘Interesting Evening Of Television’ Ahead

President Trump said he’s getting ready to watch the results of the Super Tuesday races unfold.

“It’s going to be a very interesting evening of television. I think it’s really going to be something,” Trump told reporters after touring a vaccine lab at the National Institutions of Health. He noted that it will likely be a late night, with some races in the West.

Trump has repeatedly weighed in on his potential rivals for president. In recent days, he has accused the Democratic establishment of trying to keep Bernie Sanders from becoming the nominee.

He offered that assessment again on Tuesday. “I don’t know what’s happened with Bernie. I think they’re trying to take it away from him. I don’t know if that’s fair, but I guess that’s politics,” Trump said.

— Ayesha Rascoe
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Youth Vote Not Keeping Pace With Overall Turnout Increase

One number to watch across the 14 states that vote today is the percentage of the electorate composed of young voters, compared with 2016, because — so far — youth voter turnout is not keeping pace with the overall Democratic voter turnout increase.

Bernie Sanders has made a key selling point of saying that his nomination would lead to record turnout among young voters.

Turnout in the 2020 Democratic nominating contest has spiked 26% from 2016, according to raw voter totals from the first four elections, in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. But the youth vote — voters 18 to 29 — is up only 5%, according to an NPR analysis of raw vote results and publicly available entrance and exit polls conducted by Edison Research and paid for by most of the major television networks.

What’s more, young voters have been down as a share of the electorate in all states except Iowa.

So far, roughly 1.1 million people have voted in the Democratic contests. That’s up from about 874,000 after the first four contests of 2016. Roughly 157,000 voters ages 18 to 29 came out in the first four contests, compared with about 150,000 in 2016.

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UCLA Students Torn Between Electability And Voting With Their Heart

The concept of electability was on the minds of many of the hundreds of students who waited in line to cast their vote today at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has long been a favorite among college students across the country. Many have been attracted to him for his stances on universal health care and free college tuition and his long record on speaking against income inequality.

Mitchell Svantner, 20, was among those waiting in line. He is voting for Sanders.

“Mainly because I agree the most with his principles. I think he’s been the most consistent over time, as opposed to someone like Joe Biden, who is definitely like the establishment choice,” he explains.

His friend Luis Sanchez, 21, also supports Sanders. “He inspires me the most. All the other candidates don’t really do that,” he adds.

But today some students said they are changing their minds, despite their clear preference for both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

As Brooke Rosenberg, 20, waited to cast her vote, she was still undecided. Rosenberg followed the news over the past few days and it gave her pause.

“I am a little torn, but I think I will go for Biden,” she explains. “I really like Elizabeth Warren, but I just don’t think a woman is going to win this election, unfortunately. Also, I don’t want [President] Trump to, like, tear her down. And then I do really like a lot of Bernie’s ideas, but I don’t think he’s in the lead at all. So I might as well support the person who’s going to beat Trump.”

Methu Pal, 18, from the Bay Area, who was in line behind Rosenberg, agrees.

“I do like Bernie’s ideas, but I think a lot of them are unrealistic. So, if he was put against Trump, I don’t think he would win,” she says. “He’s making a lot of promises that take more than four years to accomplish.”

I asked them to tell me if they didn’t worry about electability, who would they support from their heart. “Warren … because I think she’s a really strong woman,” Rosenberg says right away. “Bernie,” Patal adds. “Because I like his ideas the most, even though they may seem unrealistic, like if they were successful, I think they would be really great for the country and for young people.”

As I walk out of the hall one student whispers to me about his choice. He is worried about his sibling and does not want to speak on the record. “My sister will disown me.” She is idealistic, he explains. “But Biden is the only one who can defeat Trump.”

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Deadly Tornadoes Disrupt Voting In Tennessee

Polls opened in 14 states this morning for Super Tuesday, but voting in Tennessee was disrupted by unexpectedly violent tornadoes that swept through the state overnight, killing at least 22 people. Numerous polling sites in and around Nashville opened an hour late or never opened at all.

In Putnam County, east of Nashville, voters were told they would have to cast their ballots at the county election office rather than in their usual precincts. In locations without power, election officials were relying on generators to keep the polls open.

Gov. Bill Lee warned residents to be careful making their way around damaged areas, but he said the state would do what it could to "make it possible for as many folks as we can to vote."

While officials said polls would still close at the scheduled time, 7 p.m., pressure was growing to extend voting hours to accommodate the delays and closures.

Election Protection, a coalition of voting rights groups, sent a letter to Lee and state election officials asking that primary voting in Tennessee be extended through at least the end of the week “to provide voters a fair opportunity to access the polls." The group said it would seek "appropriate relief if necessary," implying that it would go to court if the hours are not extended.

Other than the disruptions in Tennessee, federal security officials say they have not seen any unusual or disruptive activity. A senior official with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told reporters this morning that officials have seen no unusual spikes in social media disinformation intended to disrupt the election.

He also said that the level of malicious scanning of election systems is also steady. The agency is coordinating with state and local election officials, vendors and social media companies to monitor today’s elections

"We don’t have any information, any intelligence, on targeted attacks or probing of election systems or election voting machines, or anything of that nature," the official said. Intelligence officials have warned repeatedly that foreign adversaries, especially Russia, are intent on disrupting the 2020 elections, as they did in 2016.

Other problems in early morning voting appeared limited, although there were reports of long lines and malfunctioning machines in a number of counties in Texas and North Carolina.

About a dozen volunteer election clerks in Sacramento County, Calif., did not show up at the polls because of concerns about the coronavirus. That also appeared to be a problem in Travis County, Texas.

Election officials in many primary states have provided additional disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers to alleviate concerns about the spread of the germs at polling sites.

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Bernie Sanders Drops By His Own Polling Place On Super Tuesday

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drove himself and his wife Jane to their own polling place in Burlington on Super Tuesday, parking his Subaru and joking to the gathered crowd that he wanted to make sure at least two people voted for him in his home state.

After casting his own vote, Sanders spoke briefly to press outside, calling it a “very, very important day” and said his campaign looks forward to doing well.

He gave a short version of his stump speech, saying families in this country want “an economy and a government that works for all and not just the few.”

He also said if there’s a Democratic campaign that can beat President Trump, it’s his.

“We have the grassroots movement all over this country,” Sanders said. “Up to now, we have knocked on, I believe, some 2 million doors all across this country from Maine to California. We are putting together a multi-generational, multi-racial movement of people who are standing up for justice. And to beat Donald Trump, we are going to need to have the largest voter turnout in the history of this country. We need energy. We need excitement. I think our campaign is that campaign.”

Franklin Paulino got to the Robert Miller Community Center polling place early with signs supporting Sanders, hoping to catch a glimpse of the senator.

Paulino says a top issue for him is health care and he likes Sanders’ proposal for Medicare for All.

He said that while he’s optimistic Sanders will do well overall on Super Tuesday, he’s concerned about the recent endorsements from Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg of former Vice President Joe Biden.

“I think it’s a little bit concerning that it happened right before Super Tuesday,” Paulino said. “It certainly puts [Sanders] in a tough position. And it was all done very last minute, so it’s unfortunate.”

At stake Tuesday are 1,357 delegates among 14 states — about a third of all delegates. Sanders is the overwhelming favorite to pick up all 16 of his home state’s delegates, as he did in 2016.

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Bloomberg Acknowledges He Has No Direct Path To Nomination

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg set low expectations for Super Tuesday, where he is appearing on the ballot for the first time.

At a campaign stop in Miami, Bloomberg acknowledged he might not win any of the 14 states holding contests today but said he would win enough delegates to stay in the race and take it to the convention.

"You don’t have to win states you have to win delegates," he told reporters.

"I think what happens here is nobody gets a majority,” Bloomberg said. “The best somebody’s going to have is a plurality … and then you go to a contested convention and then we’ll see what happens at the convention."

Asked if he was working toward a contested convention, Bloomberg conceded: “I don’t think I can win any other ways.”

Bloomberg is spending the day campaigning in Florida ahead of the state’s March 17 primary.

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In Texas, Some College Students Too Busy For Super Tuesday

In Texas, 228 delegates are up for grabs, the second-largest Super Tuesday haul after California. Texas is one of the youngest states in the country. Forty percent of the population is under the age of 30, and demographers project that 1 in 3 voters in Texas will be under 30 by 2022.

At the University of Texas at Arlington, a large public university with a diverse student body, the university center is bustling with students grabbing a coffee, poring over PowerPoint slides between classes and gathering with friends over a meal from Subway or Panda Express.

Jibraan Nawaz, a junior from Oklahoma, said he’s not registered to vote in Texas and didn’t know Oklahoma’s primary was also on Super Tuesday, but he said if he were to vote, he’d pick Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Nawaz is a political science major, and so he said he’s a little embarrassed he hasn’t been keeping up with the election.

“Dude, 67% of people don’t even know their local representative for Congress,” he said. “I didn’t know mine until recently. It’s crazy because we should know that the primaries are happening. We should go out to register to vote. I just haven’t done it because I’m preoccupied with school.”

Dozens of students here said they didn’t know the Texas primary was this week or didn’t know who was running. Many said they weren’t planning to vote. They said they don’t have time or don’t know where or how to register. Others said they just aren’t following the race closely.

But among those who were planning to vote, Bernie Sanders was the overwhelming choice. According to RealClearPolitics, the Vermont senator’s polling average is 29.5% in Texas, where he has strong support from young voters and Latinos.

Katya Salas, a senior at UT Arlington, is leaning toward Sanders and plans to vote in the primary. She’s also considering former Vice President Joe Biden. But as a public health major, Salas said Sanders’ push for Medicare for All is likely to swing her toward his camp.

Salas is Latina and says she recognizes the impact young people of color will have on the election in Texas. Over the weekend, she found out her roommate wasn’t registered to vote and made her sign up, even though it won’t be effective for the primary. Salas said the stakes in November are too high not to participate, but she doubts that Texas will vote for a Democrat this cycle.

“We’re slowly going there, but I think we still need more time,” she said.

Micah St. Romain is also weighing Bernie Sanders, but says she may still support Donald Trump in November. St. Romain is a first-generation college student and so college affordability is really important to her.

“My parents can’t really afford to pay for my education, and I have a lot of friends who don’t even go to college because they can’t afford it and there’s not a lot of options for them,” she said.

That’s why she likes Sanders.

“I feel like he’s doing a lot for people our age,” she says. “Nobody really cares about the young people.”

As KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports, turnout among young voters has historically been low in Texas, but it tripled between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. Many of the Democratic Party’s gains in Texas have been driven by a rise in young people and people of color going to the ballot box on Election Day.

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Bloomberg’s $500 Million Bet

No matter what happens on Super Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has already made history.

The billionaire philanthropist and businessman has run the most expensive self-funded campaign ever, crossing the $500 million mark in ad spending alone in the days before Tuesday’s contests. "You’ve all heard the slogans, ‘Mike will do it,’ ‘Mike will get it done.’ And if you haven’t, I’ve wasted an awful lot of money," he quipped at a campaign stop in Tennessee over the weekend.

Bloomberg entered the race — exactly 100 days before Super Tuesday — at a moment of Democratic anxiety about the field and former Vice President Joe Biden’s performance. Bloomberg announced his bid as "a new choice for Democrats" with a focus on competing within the moderate wing of the party. However, heading into Tuesday’s primaries, Biden is in a radically different position coming out of South Carolina, with a decisive victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and with more enthusiasm and endorsements going into Tuesday.

Read more here.

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Early Voted For Buttigieg Or Klobuchar? Most Can’t Change That

Voters who already cast their ballots for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — two candidates who recently suspended their campaigns — are calling on their states to rescind early votes.

That said, several states including California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado and Utah have released statements saying they will not allow early voters to change their mailed or submitted presidential preference.

Additional delegate-rich early voting states on Super Tuesday, including Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee, have not yet released updated statements on allowing early voters to change their submitted votes. But this does come after both North Carolina and Texas reportedly saw an uptake in early vote turnout this cycle.

Looking past Super Tuesday, states could potentially still amend their original early voting restrictions.

Michigan, which votes on March 10 and has 125 delegates, will allow voters to send in a new ballot and void their original one, according to WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter.

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Warren Takes Aim After Biden Gets Big Endorsements

After a day in which three former presidential candidates — Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke — endorsed Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren went after him last night in Los Angeles. She cast him as a too-moderate member of the Washington establishment.

“I respect his many years of service. But no matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating a fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment,” she told the crowd. “Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment. And nominating someone who wants to restore the world before Donald Trump, when the status quo has been leaving more and more people behind for decades, is a big risk for our party and for our country.”

Warren’s friction with Biden can be traced back to the early 2000s, when she clashed with him over his votes on bankruptcy legislation.

Her campaign has pinned its hopes on a contested convention. In a Medium post from Sunday, campaign manager Roger Lau said it was likely that no candidate would get a majority of delegates by the Democratic convention. He also predicted “a strong delegate performance on Super Tuesday” for Warren.

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Sanders: ‘I Want To Open The Door’

The flood of Joe Biden endorsements from all the vanquished primary opponents hadn’t yet begun when Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a press conference Monday morning.

But Sanders’ answers — and his tone — would hold fresh throughout the day as fallen candidate after fallen candidate backed the former vice president, and the long-awaited Stop Sanders movement came together in public on the eve of the most important day on the primary calendar.

“I am shocked by that,” Sanders said, in response to a question about former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s withdrawal from the race, and the fact it seemed to have a whole lot to do with blocking Sanders from building an unstoppable delegate lead.

“It is no secret — the Washington Post has 16 articles a day on this — that there is a massive effort trying to stop Bernie Sanders,” Sanders said. “That is not a secret to anyone in this room. The corporate establishment is coming together. The political establishment is coming together. And they will do anything — they’re really getting nervous that working people are standing up.”

“We’re not going to win the endorsement fight. The establishment will rally around the establishment candidates. That’s the simple reality,” he said.

As Sanders made his way from the Salt Lake City hotel where he met with reporters to the site of an outdoor rally in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains, word came that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar had dropped out, and would endorse Biden.

Sanders made no mention of Buttigieg’s exit or Klobuchar’s endorsement during the speech.

He then boarded a plane to fly to Klobuchar’s home state, where, upon landing, Buttigieg had formalized his endorsement of Biden.

A little bit after that, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, out of the race for months, had joined the Biden bandwagon, too.

What did Sanders think? “It is no surprise they do not want me to become president,” Sanders told CNN in an interview from St. Paul.

As rumors shot around online that more Biden endorsements might come — maybe California Sen. Kamala Harris? — Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar took the stage.

“I am a little tired of the political establishment and the political pundits constantly dismissing what people here in the heartland are fighting for. And I am sick and tired of them calling our progressive bold ideas radical,” said Omar, who over the weekend had called out the media for its “lies” and “disinformation.”

Even as the Biden endorsement onslaught provided a sharp illustration of the shadowy “establishment” opposition Sanders and his allies constantly warn against, many of those very “pundits” Omar cited have theorized the rhetoric coming out of Sanders’ camp could alienate voters he needs to win, if not the nomination then certainly in November.

In an interview with NPR Sunday — like the Sanders press conference, coming after the Buttigieg withdrawal but before the onslaught of Biden endorsements — campaign manager Faiz Shakir sought to define the “establishment” Sanders is blasting.

“It’s not the individual people,” he explained. “It’s the collective influence of money that plays a large role in the structure of things and politics.”

“Voters out in the world don’t see themselves as quote unquote establishment voters,” Shakir said. “They know the establishment means the power of money over the political process.”

Taking the stage before thousands of screaming supporters in St. Paul Monday night, Sanders abruptly shifted the tone he had stuck to all day, and made that exact distinction Shakir had tried to clarify.

“I want to open the door to Amy’s supporters, to Pete’s supporters,” Sanders said at the beginning of his speech. “I know there are political differences. But I also know that virtually all of Amy’s supporters and Pete’s supporters understand that we’ve got to move toward a government that believes in justice, not greed,” Sanders said.

“So to all of Amy and Pete’s political supporters, the door is open. Come on in!”

Tuesday’s results will tell us whether they took Sanders up on his offer, or instead followed their candidates’ leads to Biden’s camp.

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Trump Attacks Dems On Abortion

On the eve of Super Tuesday — when primary voters in 14 states including Virginia go to the polls — President Trump sought to resurrect a Republican attack of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, over his support for abortion rights.

Northam drew criticism from abortion rights opponents around the country early last year for remarks he made about a failed bill in the Virginia legislature that would have removed some restrictions on third-trimester abortions.

Northam, a physician, was asked for his thoughts on the bill. He noted that third trimester abortions are necessary in some cases, when a severe medical condition could make it impossible for a baby to survive outside of the womb.

“So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam said in a radio interview.

Those comments provoked an outcry from abortion rights opponents including Trump, who accused Northam of supporting infanticide.

At a rally in Charlotte, N.C., Trump repeated that attack on Northam, and accused Democratic presidential candidates of supporting “extreme, late-term abortion.”

The issue of later abortion has become a major rallying cry for Republicans opposed to abortion rights. Earlier today, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill that would penalize doctors who fail to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion. Similar bills have been proposed at the federal level and have been blocked by Democrats. Critics have argued such bills are largely symbolic and can interfere with medical decisions in emergency situations.

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New Energy Sweeps Over Biden Campaign

Gone are his rallies with little attendance, occasional cheers or anxious supporters. A new energy has swept over Joe Biden’s campaign since his decisive win in South Carolina. He’s also just secured endorsements from Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who recently suspended their own campaigns.

Earlier today in Houston on the campus of Texas Southern University, an HBCU, the former vice president sounded confident and gleeful. “Don’t jump, I need you,” Biden jokingly warned the crowd of over a hundred students, faculty and local residents as they cheered him on.

He reinstated his promise to fund HBCUs $70 billion over the next 10 years. This is his second visit to the TSU campus.

“I am very much alive because of you … tomorrow Texas is going to speak … I take nothing for granted, but I am asking you for your support,” Biden added.

Some of the students on campus, who did not even know the vice president was visiting again, told me they were already supporting Biden.

Justin Oyamdebelo, a TSU pharmacy student, said that he voted for Biden because he can defeat President Trump, but also because he served as vice president to Barack Obama. “I think that’s why he’s winning the South, because a lot of people look at it, he stood by Obama all those years,” he explained.

Ramon Pineda, 18, attended the event, even though he is not a student at the school. He will vote this year for the first time. A self-described moderate Republican, he said he wanted to see Biden in person. He is undecided whether in November he is going to cast his vote for Trump or Biden. But he said Biden’s message is pretty compelling.

“Even though he is of the opposite party, I like that he is firm in what he believes in,” he added. “If the president were to say something really atrocious. I would go with Joe Biden.”

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‘We Like To Troll’: Trump Jabs At Biden, Sanders

In what’s become a pre-primary tradition, President Trump spent Monday evening going after his potential Democratic rivals in a city where Democratic voters are about to cast their primary ballots.

“We like to troll; we like to go the night before one of their primaries,” Trump said to a crowd of supporters in Charlotte, N.C.

He focused most of his energy on the current top two contenders for the Democratic nomination – former Vice President Joe Biden, who is hoping to build on momentum from his South Carolina win, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has the delegate lead.

“I don’t know Sleepy Joe or Bernie, I don’t think they have that much press,” Trump said, touting his press coverage and crowd size.

“There’s never been a time when the Republican party has been so unified as it is now,” he added.

Trump claimed neither of his potential rivals have the energy or support he enjoys as an incumbent president.

“You hear about enthusiasm for crazy Bernie, and that’s true – he does have some enthusiasm – but much less than we have and a much smaller group of people, too,” Trump said. “And there’s not a lot of enthusiasm for Biden.”

Trump appeared to take aim at Biden’s age, alluding to several recent incidents where Biden has misspoken.

“I thought he gave up the presidency the other day because he said he’s running for the Senate,” Trump said, noting a recent gaffe by Biden.

“And today he just ‘Super Thursday.’ He’s looking forward to Thursday!” Trump said, referring to another misstatement by Biden during a campaign stop in Texas.

“He makes a lot of those mistakes; they’re a little scary,” Trump said.

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Major development

Buttigieg Endorses Biden

Less than a day after dropping out of the Democratic primary race, Pete Buttigieg endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. The endorsement just now in Dallas comes ahead of the single most important day of this voting cycle, Super Tuesday.

Amy Klobuchar, who suspended her campaign earlier today, said she would also endorse Biden. Read more here.

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At Charlotte Trump Rally, Little Concern Over Coronavirus

As President Trump continues to hold rallies in key states with Democratic primaries, several Trump supporters gathered in Charlotte, N.C., Monday seemed relatively unconcerned about being in a large crowd amidst the threat of coronavirus.

“I don’t think it’s nearly as serious as what the press has you to believe,” said Angie Balken, 57, of Concord, N.C.. “I do think it’s serious – take precautions – but it didn’t deter us [from coming] at all.”

The death toll and number of confirmed cases of the virus are steadily rising in the United States. Trump’s rhetoric about the coronavirus may have served to muddy the waters about its severity; he has accused Democrats of politicizing the virus, while both referring to concern about the response as the Democrats’ “new hoax” and asserting his administration has the threat under control.

Bruce Roesner, 72, of Banner Elk, N.C., called the concern “a lot of hype” and “scare tactics.” “I assume that the experts that are working for Trump and our government agencies know what they’re doing,” he said. “I think people need to be concerned about it, but not to the level that we’ve seen in the past week.”

His wife Barbara Roesner, 74, said the couple is taking “normal precautions” like handwashing but had no second thoughts about spending the evening in an arena packed with people.

The Roesners were not alone in their skepticism about the severity of the threat – and their faith in the administration’s ability to manage the virus – even as Democrats have criticized Trump’s response as slow and lacking in preparation.

“I feel as though they’re doing everything in their power to protect us as Americans,” said Gigi Mudd, 45, of Taylorsville, N.C. “And you can’t beat that. Even though there’s scare tactics out there, I’m not worried, because he knows what he’s doing and he’s taking care of us.”

Mary Gwaltney, 39, Jacksonville, NC, is studying to be a nurse. She said while coronavirus is “absolutely” a real concern, “I just don’t think it’s as bad as everybody is making it out to be.”

“I’d be more concerned about the flu,” said her friend Jessica Snow, a nurse from Portsmouth, Va.

Gwaltney said she sees the resulting economic volatility as a bigger worry.

“I’m definitely more concerned about the stock market, and what that’s doing with 410Ks and savings plans,” she said.

Susan Rush, 70, of Randleman, N.C., said she worries that fear of the virus might provoke an unnecessarily prolonged slump in the market.

“The way the Democrats are trying to play it up, it might make it last longer,” Rush said. “But … I think it’s just gonna be a shock effect and then it’ll settle down.”

Asked about Donald Trump Jr.’s comments that Democrats “seemingly hope” the virus “kills millions of people,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany called the president’s son “a very prized and treasured surrogate for this campaign.”

“We love him,” McEnany told Steve Harrison of NPR member station WFAE in Charlotte. “He’s spot on. He’s an excellent person and an excellent representative of this campaign. And like I said, what is bad news for America is unfortunately good news for Democrats.”

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Officials Tell Voters To Watch For Disinformation

Top administration national security and intelligence officials released a joint statement today warning voters in tomorrow’s primaries that foreign actors are still trying to influence U.S. elections and that they should be on the lookout for false or misleading information intended to disrupt voting.

The statement was one of several in recent months in which Trump administration officials have tried to show a unified front in combating foreign election interference.

The latest one comes after reports that President Trump was angered to learn that a top intelligence official told House lawmakers that Russia not only continued to interfere but that it preferred Trump to the other presidential candidates. After hearing the news, the president replaced his acting director of national intelligence and called the information a Democratic "hoax."

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also confirmed that he had received an intelligence briefing that Russia was attempting to assist his campaign. Sanders denounced Russia’s efforts and said Russian President Vladimir Putin should “stay out” of American elections.

The Department of Homeland Security has set up an operations center in northern Virginia to monitor the day’s voting for any signs of foreign or other interference. Representatives of federal, state and local agencies, as well as the political parties, and election tech and social media companies will be on site.

Here’s the full statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other officials:

"We continue to work with all 50 states, U.S. territories, local officials, political parties, and private sector partners to keep elections free from foreign interference.

“Americans must also remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions. They spread false information and propaganda about political processes and candidates on social media in hopes to cause confusion and create doubt in our system. We remain alert and ready to respond to any efforts to disrupt the 2020 elections. We continue to make it clear to foreign actors that any effort to undermine our democratic processes will be met with sharp consequences.

“The level of coordination and communication between the federal government and state, local, and private sector partners is stronger than it’s ever been. Our departments and agencies are working together in an unprecedented level of commitment and effort to protect our elections and to counter malign foreign influence, but voters have a role to play too.

“We encourage all voters going to the polls to check your voter registration and know ahead of time when to vote, where to vote, what’s on your ballot, and whether your state requires identification. Your state or local election official’s office is the most trusted source for election material. A well-informed and vigilant republic is the best defense against disinformation."

Also, signing the statement were: Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, U.S. Cyber Command Commander and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs.

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As Texas Becomes More Friendly To Democrats, GOP Steps Up Voter Drives

The 2020 presidential race comes at a pivotal time for Texas Republicans, who have long been accustomed to dominating Texas politics.

But when Beto O’Rourke lost his bid for Senate against Ted Cruz by a margin of 2.6 percentage points in 2018, it was a wake up call for the state GOP, who had never had to try very hard to register voters.

“The party had never been intentional about it,” said Texas GOP chairman James Dickey. “We started right away in December 2018 pushing the idea that for the first time in anyone’s memory, the Republican party of Texas needed to be intentional about doing voter registration efforts.”

Since then, Dickey said the GOP has registered almost 50,000 new voters through a campaign that targets likely Republican voters, done largely through the mail. He also pointed to the new Republican Super PAC, Engage Texas, as evidence of the party’s enthusiasm for registering voters.

“There is a feeling that Republicans in particular have taken some things for granted in the last 10 or 15 years,” said Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Engage Texas.

The group has raised nearly $12 million since it began in July 2019, according to the most recent FEC filings. And, Sullivan said, it has registered more than 100,000 Texas voters.

Engage Texas has 300 canvassers on the ground who ask voters about their views on immigration, abortion and guns, according to Sullivan. Once they gauge voter’s views, they ask if they’re registered to vote.

They go to community and church events, county fairs and Trump rallies.

“We’re looking for every stone to turn over to get conservative voters from all walks of life and all ages and ethnicities,” Sullivan said.

Read more here from Houston Public Media.

— Elizabeth Trovall, Houston Public Media reporter
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Coronavirus And Super Tuesday Voting: It’s Touchy

Elections can be very tactile. Touchscreen voting machines, paper ballots, large crowds.

With concern growing about the spread of the coronavirus, officials in a number of Super Tuesday states are taking extra precautions to assure voters that it’s safe to go to the polls. Millions of people are expected to cast ballots tomorrow in 14 states, including some where cases of the disease have already emerged.

John Gardner, the assistant registrar of voters in Solano County, Calif. — where two health care workers tested positive for COVID-19 — says they’ve added an extra curbside location where people can drop off their completed ballots, "so voters don’t have to get out of their cars if they don’t want to."

Gardner says they have also sent out additional supplies of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and gloves to every polling site in the county. Still, he’s seen no indication that the virus is discouraging either voters or pollworkers.

"We haven’t received very many calls from voters, or word of pollworkers declining to show up," he says. "That’s a good sign."

Read more about the impact of the coronavirus on Super Tuesday voting here.

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Harry Reid Endorses Biden

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’s endorsing Joe Biden for president, handing the former vice president another sign of support from a party veteran a day before the Super Tuesday contests.

“President Donald Trump has done unspeakable damage to our country, our institutions and the rule of law. Democrats need a candidate who can assemble the largest, most diverse coalition possible to defeat Trump and lead our country following the trauma of Trump’s presidency. That candidate is Joe Biden,” the Nevada Democrat said in a statement.

“Joe Biden’s strength of character and deep experience stand in the starkest contrast to Trump’s amorality, corruption and utter incompetence. Biden will be a much-needed stabilizing force following Trump’s disastrous term, offering a positive and progressive alternative to Trump’s dark vision of racism, xenophobia and policies built on cruelty and exclusion. I believe Biden is best able to defeat Donald Trump and enact the policies we all care about.”

Reid, 80, had remained mum on his plans for several weeks, even during his own state’s caucus. Sen. Bernie Sanders handily won the Nevada caucuses last month so his push for Biden now has more to do with the effort by some party leaders to unite behind an alternative to Sanders. Reid suggested in an interview with NPR before the Nevada caucus that he may lobby former President Barack Obama to get involved if the party was headed to a brokered convention in Milwaukee this summer. He also told the Washington Post that he didn’t think Sanders should get the nomination if he was short of a majority of delegates needed headed into the Democratic convention.

The endorsement comes on the heels of the news that two Democratic candidates – former South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announcing plans to suspend their campaigns.

Klobuchar’s campaign told NPR she would endorse Biden during an appearance for him in Dallas tonight.

Reid remains influential in the Democratic party, and is very involved in his state’s party operations. His public nod could draw others to follow and decided against backing other candidates such as Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“Our party was fortunate to have a tremendous field of talented candidates this year, many of whom are my close friends,” Reid said. “I have the deepest respect and admiration for Senators Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar and Mayor Bloomberg. They’re among the brightest leaders in our party, and they’ve made invaluable contributions to this race and our country.”

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Buttigieg And Klobuchar Leave 33 Delegates On The Table

In less than 24 hours, former South Bend Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar both decided to end their presidential campaigns.

Buttigieg, who dropped out Sunday night, won 26 delegates in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. He also raked in the third-highest count behind former Vice President Joe Biden at 54 and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 60.

Klobuchar — who plans to end her campaign Monday evening and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden — had accrued seven delegates overall from her performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, but she was unable to secure any delegates in Nevada or South Carolina.

With Buttigieg and Klobuchar suspending their campaigns, their delegates can do several things:

  • Remain uncommitted to a new candidate. Most of Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s delegates were won on the district level and can still support them on the first ballot vote at the Democratic National Convention. That said, according to Frontloading HQ’s Josh Putnam, if the two candidates formally end their campaigns, their delegates won on a state-wide level will l be reassigned proportionally at the state conventions to other candidates still running that attained above 15% there.

  • Support a new candidate. Since Klobuchar plans to endorse Biden, she can encourage her delegates to vote for him at the DNC convention. This is with the caveat that those delegates will technically remain "unbound" and can vote for whoever they want (with slight variation on when depending on the specific state rules.) If Buttigieg ends up endorsing a candidate, the same procedure would follow.

Either way, keep in mind that a total of 33 delegates is very small considering a candidate needs to win over 1,991 delegates to clinch the nomination. By the time the convention comes around there could already be a clear nominee. On the other hand, if the race narrows down to two candidates, even small additions to the delegate counts could give a candidate a needed edge.

Also, now that Klobuchar will lend her support to Biden, the question becomes what will Buttigieg decide.

When looking at Buttigieg voters, they don’t all share the same second-choice candidate. Polls show support going to a range, including Biden, Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. That means a Buttigieg endorsement could be more valuable than his current delegate count.

This post has been updated.

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Major development

Klobuchar To Suspend Her Campaign

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will suspend her campaign and endorse Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, following a disappointing finish in South Carolina.

Klobuchar’s candidacy experienced a wave of momentum following stronger than expected finishes in both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

The Minnesota senator campaigned on being a more moderate Democrat than others in the field and being able to work with both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate.

Her decision to drop out and endorse Biden comes just one day after former South Bend Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg also ended his campaign. He stressed the need to narrow the current candidate field as the race continues. Read more here.

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What To Know About Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is the biggest day of the Democratic primary campaign, with 14 states holding nominating contests. Check out our detailed guide for what to watch for and what you should know about each of the Super Tuesday states.

— NPR Staff
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The History Of Super Tuesday

When 14 states and an American territory go to the ballot box tomorrow, it will be the most packed Super Tuesday since Feb. 5, 2008, when 24 states voted in the Democratic primary.

What remains to be seen is whether Super Tuesday’s original mission — to elect a more moderate candidate — will bear out in 2020.

The modern-day Super Tuesday was born in 1988, as reported by NPR’s Domenico Montanaro, when a dozen southern states banded together to consolidate their power as an answer to the nomination four years prior of Walter Mondale, a Minnesota senator who went on to be handily defeated in the general election.

The plan backfired, as then-Tennessee Sen. Al Gore and the Rev. Jesse Jackson split most of the Southern states. That allowed Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis to become the nominee after winning the North, as well as Florida and Texas.

This year, much of former Vice President Joe Biden’s hopes, and the hopes of his moderate allies, similarly rest on tomorrow’s results, when states like North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee cast ballots. The impact of those Southern states may be diluted somewhat this year, however, as this is the first year that both delegate-rich California and Texas will vote on the same Super Tuesday.

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Where Will Buttigieg Supporters Go?

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s exit from the race could be a major boost for former Vice President Joe Biden, who is scrambling to catch up to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 14 states that will vote tomorrow, including the two biggest delegate prizes on the map: California and Texas. The departure could also help Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Biden, Buttigieg and other candidates have split the more moderate vote over the first four contests, often combining for a larger vote share than the more progressive Sanders.

Buttigieg indicated in his speech last night that he’s stepping aside in order to avoid continuing splitting that vote. But the Sanders campaign is pushing back on the idea that Buttigieg’s exit hurts Sanders more than anyone else.

“His supporters are going to be more up for grabs,” Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, told NPR. “I think people are far more complicated in their ideology than pundits like to suggest.”

A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed Sanders was the second choice of 9% of Buttigieg supporters, while 19% said Biden was their second-favorite candidate. Warren, who is staying in the race despite failing to finish higher than third place in any early contest, was the next pick of 26% of Buttigieg supporters.

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Super Tuesday Awaits

The Democratic presidential primary will look very different after tomorrow, maybe the most important day of the entire nominating process.

Voters in 14 states and one territory, American Samoa, will head to the polls to hand out the largest delegate swath of any single day of the election season. More than a third of the total pledged Democratic delegates are up for grabs.

Put another way: For all the attention paid to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Super Tuesday will hand out three times as many delegates as those four states combined.

It’s a big deal.

And the reason rests heavily with two huge states voting tomorrow: California, which will give out 415 delegates, and Texas, which will hand out 228.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been polling well in both places, but those surveys were conducted before former Vice President Joe Biden’s strong showing in South Carolina on Saturday (and before former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg suspended his campaign).

Biden garnered almost half of all the votes cast in South Carolina, and said yesterday that his campaign received an influx of fundraising as results came in.

“Just days ago, the press and the pundits had declared this candidacy dead,” Biden thundered to a crowd in Columbia, S.C., Saturday night. “Now, thanks to all of you — the heart of the Democratic Party — we just won and we’ve won big because of you, and we are very much alive."

Sanders also touted his fundraising numbers yesterday, saying his campaign raised $46.5 million in February.

Demographics could play a role in how tomorrow plays out.

Half of the states voting have significant shares of African American voters, including Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee, and three have Latino populations that make up more than 20% of their electorates. Biden won 60% of black voters in South Carolina, according to exit polls, whereas Sanders’ win in Nevada was boosted by strong support from Latino voters.

Another thing to watch: the timing of results. As KQED’s Marisa Lagos reported, several Super Tuesday states rely heavily on mail-in ballots that take longer to count.

"We in California believe a complete and accurate count is always better than a fast count," state Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks told Lagos. "And so I think everyone has to walk into Election Day understanding that there will be a significant portion of the vote that is not available, that is not accessible, that cannot be counted on election night."

In 2018, it took weeks to call some congressional races in California and Arizona.

In many of the states voting, news organizations like The Associated Press will be able to use exit poll data to make projections before the official results come in, but the exact number of delegates each candidate receives may not be known until days later.

And that’s not a bad thing, voting experts say.

"I think it’s important for us to understand that democracy takes time, and to criticize the process for not being fast enough is vastly and fundamentally different in my view from criticizing the process for not being accurate or not being secure," said Kathleen Hale, director of the Institute for Election Administration Research and Practice at Auburn University. "The integrity of elections and the accuracy of them and public trust in them to me trumps a hard and fast reporting deadline every time."

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