Super Tuesday is upon us and the whole political world is wondering: Will Donald Trump bury in the Republican field in a pile of delegates? Will Hillary Clinton finally snuff out the Bern? As voters in 12 states head to the polls, keep one tab open for your friends at Daily Intelligencer. Our politics team will provide up-to-the-minute news and analysis as the returns start coming in. And feel free to join the discussion yourself! We’ll be publishing select public comments throughout the night.
Margaret H: On CNN, Vann Jones is trying to explain to Trump supporter Jeff Lord why not denouncing the KKK is uncool. What. Is. Happening.
Jonathan Chait: Whoa, @UpshotNYT model on Minnesota flipped, now has Rubio up by 10. Something went haywire. http
Margaret H: Took a second to realize Cruz means “dealmaker” as an insult.
Margaret H: Cruz asks every candidate not named Trump to “prayfully consider our coming together” to beat Trump.
Margaret H: Ted Cruz makes the case for Rubio, Carson, and Kasich to drop out tomorrow.
Margaret H: Who is this Jeb Bush impersonator at all of Ted Cruz’s speeches?
Margaret H: CNN analyst thinks Trump looked “calm and measured,” “presidential.” David Axelrod isn’t having it.
Jonathan Chait: Upshot projections have Trump winning Minnesota by 4, so they see him picking up a lot of outstanding votes.
Gabriel Sherman: Baier and Kelly say Trump sounded “Presidential”
Annie Lowrey: How much do Trump’s business practices hurt his income stagnation argument? “It’s the immigrants…that I hired because I had to!”
Margaret H: Trump says GOP has become “more dynamic” and “more diverse” in recent months. That’s one way to put it.
Gabriel Sherman: Trump refuses to say outright he disavows David Duke and white supremacists. He just says “I disavow.” It’s almost like he doesn’t want the full sounds bite out there.
Annie Lowrey: I am willing to predict so few things, but I am willing to predict this: Trump will not have a good relationship with Congress as president.
Margaret H: Trump is sure he’ll get along great with Paul Ryan, and “If I don’t he’s going to have to pay a big price, okay?”
Eric Levitz: Trump says Marco Rubio is a poor man’s Don Rickles
Ed Kilgore: Unverified early results from MN show Bernie leading HRC by pretty wide margin.
Annie Lowrey: $5 to the first person to trick Trump into saying: “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.”
Eric Levitz: “I’m gonna get Apple to start making iPhones on our land instead of in China”
Eric Levitz: Trump: I have a bigger heart than anybody. The Gulf States have more money than anybody. We are going to build a “safe zone.”
Margaret H: I thought he’d forgotten about his magical Syrian “safe zone.” Glad it’s making a comeback.
Jonathan Chait: Trump: Massachusetts’ number one problem is heroin. What about all the Massholes? Seems like a bigger problem to me.
Eric Levitz: Trump just referred to the F-bomb as “the ultimate word.”
Margaret H: Trump asked if he’s just going to move to the center in the general. No, but “there’s always going to be some negotiation.” So yes.
Eric Levitz: Trump: Rubio “has a right to be nasty, he didn’t win anything.”
Margaret H: Trump says he’s watching CNN, Fox, *and* MSNBC. “See, I’m becoming diplomatic.”
Marin Cogan: Trump with the praise for Planned Parenthood again!
Margaret H: “My question is for Governor Christie. Do you need police assistance right now? Blink once for yes, twice for no.”
Jonathan Chait: Trump: “Ted has a shot because at least he’s won a little bit.”
Gabriel Sherman: TRUMP: “I’m a unifier.”
Jonathan Chait: Trump ends his victory speech by taking questions from the media. Never seen this before.
Gabriel Sherman: Christie has sad eyes.
Margaret H: Nothing fires up Trump supporters like analysis of trade policy.
Jonathan Chait: Upshot delegate tracker has Trump down to the 250s, the low end of the expected range. Rubio up to 100.
Margaret H: Theory on Trump’s weird demeanor: he just realized he has a shot at being president, and he’s scared too.
Gabriel Sherman: I agree, Marin. Or is it that he’s trying to sound sane as prospect of him becoming nominee is looking more real
Eric Levitz: Trump is mostly plugging his company
Margaret H: Trump says “make America great again” is much better than Clinton’s “make America whole again.” Battle of the meaningless slogans.
Marin Cogan: Is it just me or does Trump not actually seem happy to have won these states? He only perked up (slightly) when trashing Rubio.
Jonathan Chait: Trump’s speech is so rambling and awful. What he offers is closer to reasons to vote against him than reasons to vote for him.
Eric Levitz: Making America great again is much better than making America whole again: Donald Trump, contra Clinton
Margaret H: Christie’s standing in Trump’s shot. He’s going to be riding home in the plane’s cargo hold.
Gabriel Sherman: We’re seeing now what a Trump-Hillary race will look like
Eric Levitz: Christie sounds like, in his head, he’s miles away from this podium.
Gabriel Sherman: Trump has been seeking Scott’s endorsement for the past week from what I’ve been hearing
Ed Kilgore: Rick Scott–my pick for Trump’s running-mate–to endorse The Donald. Somehow think Rubio not a lock for FL on 3/15.
Margaret H: Christie’s really working for that spot in the Trump administration, which is a particularly smart move right now. Article Link
Ed Kilgore: Clinton winning over 60% of Hispanic vote in Texas.
Eric Levitz: Rick Scott to endorse Trump per Fox. Marco Rubio will not remember 03/01/16 as the best night of his life.
Margaret H: So #nevertrump folks pin their hopes on Cruz? Better hope there isn’t some crazy development that disqualifies the Texas senator. Article Link
Jonathan Chait: Yup, Sanders-Clinton continues to be proxy fight for Democratic Party’s view of Obama. She’ll win that fight but he has pockets of strength:- not just on the left, but also on the right. Sanders could win West Virginia.
Eric Levitz: It appears that Oklahoma’s “conservative Dems” powered Sanders win tonight
Ed Kilgore: Weird little factoid: of 147 Georgia counties with results in, Trump leading in 144, Rubio in 3.
Ed Kilgore: Franklin Foer beat me to it, but yeah, been wanting to point out Oklahoma was a socialist hotbed way back in the day.
Annie Lowrey: Just to reiterate: Oklahoma is electing Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.
Marin Cogan: CNN didn’t even bother showing Rubio. I had to find out he was speaking from Twitter.
Ed Kilgore: Two most interesting Democratic exit polls questions will involve which white voters Bernie won in OK and how handily Clinton won Hispanics in Texas.
Gabriel Sherman: Megyn Kelly on Fox News debate: “the question is who will be on that stage in next 48 hours.”
Margaret H: Per Daily Dot: “‘There’s nothing technically illegal about Clinton, a private citizen, visiting a polling station. The line is if he is actively campaigning for Hillary. ‘President Clinton joined Mayor Walsh to thank poll workers in West Roxbury this morning,’ a spokesperson for the mayor insisted to Boston magazine. ‘They were not campaigning inside the polling location.’” Article Link
Gabriel Sherman: Fox cutting away from Rubio during speech. Bret Baier saus, “let’s be honest this is a tough night for Marco Rubio.”
Margaret H: Scandal brewing in Massachusetts over Bill Clinton campaigning for Hillary inside a polling station. Supposed to stay 150 feet away. Article Link
Gabriel Sherman: Rubio sounds desperate. Wow.
Eric Levitz: Rubio now reminding conservatives what they’re supposed to believe.
Ed Kilgore: At what point do Rubio’s defiant #NeverTrump statements start being interpreted as indie/3d party threat
Jonathan Chait: Only way this night could be worse for Rubio would be if he accidentally loops through some lines in his speech.
Gabriel Sherman: What happened to optimistic Rubio?
Margaret H: Clinton closes on Flint, but rather than just highlighting water crisis, she focuses on people coming together in recovery effort.
Eric Levitz: Rubio doubling down on #NeverTrump in Florida right now. Says the presidency will “never be held by a con artist.”
Margaret H: Clinton says she draws inspiration from Methodist faith. “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, for as long as you can.”
Gabriel Sherman: Just five days ago you began to unmask the frontrunner?!!?!
Jonathan Chait: CBS News projects Cruz wins Texas.
Margaret H: Clinton: “The rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower. Trying to divide America between us and them is wrong, and we’re not going to let it work.”
Marin Cogan: Hillary tweaking Trump on his message tonight, saying we don’t need to make America great because it’s already great–we need to “make America whole.” She’s also talking about “love and kindness.” This is in line with the strategy outlined in the NYT this week: Hillary stays above the fray (while Bill Clinton and Obama go after Trump with everything they’ve got.)
Margaret H: Clinton’s simultaneously adopting Sanders’ rhetoric and attacking Trump. “That work is not to make America great again. America never stopped being great.” “I believe what we need in America is more love and kindness.”
Gabriel Sherman: Hillary now running against Trump. Love and kindness, tear down walls, etc
Gabriel Sherman: Hillary’s new thing on the stump is promoting web donations. Seeking to counter perception she relies on Wall Street cash.
Ed Kilgore: Yes, I understand Bernie’s not trying to contest the nomination to the bitter end, but a candidate entering a convention making demands doesn’t exactly contribute to Message Discipline.
Margaret H: Clinton takes the stage in Florida, declares “what a super Tuesday!”
Jonathan Chait: Ed, I assume Sanders just wants to campaign everywhere and talk about inequality. Not going to contest the convention, like they’re discussing on the GOP side.
Ed Kilgore: Looks like Kasich won’t win Vermont, which could spare Rubio the indignity of joining Ben Carson as the only candidates skunked tonight.
Ed Kilgore: So now we’ve got at least two losing candidates, Rubio and Sanders, vowing to go to the convention no matter what. Is this the new normal?
Gabriel Sherman: When Rubio backers talk about delegates I’m reminded what Ricky Bobby said in Talladega Nights: second place is the first loser.
Annie Lowrey: Guys, it’s like a marathon. You can’t be too fast out of the gate. Or wait: Maybe it is nothing like a marathon. One or the other.
Ed Kilgore: Yep, Hewitt’s amazing. “Arkansas too close to call” doesn’t merit a “huh,” much less a “wow.” Everybody figured it would be close.
Eric Levitz: The Narrative is strong in Hugh Hewitt
Jonathan Chait: Rubio’s relatively close defeat in Virginia is causing lots of conservatives to turn their rage on Kasich, who they already disliked over his Medicaid expansion.
Ed Kilgore: At his best, Rubio beginning to resemble “Second-Place Mo” Udall, who finished second to Jimmy Carter about twenty times in ‘76 Dem primaries.
Annie Lowrey: Fun thing to think about: Had Rubio, Bush, Kasich, etc., never been in the running, where would Cruz and Trump’s numbers be now?
Jonathan Chait: Fox news calls Virginia for Trump.
Margaret H: CNN plugs “major projection”: Clinton wins Arkansas. Where her husband was governor for many years.
Ed Kilgore: Yep. If Rubio doesn’t win a single state AND winds up with fewer delegates than Cruz, hard to call him the “real winner,” though some will try.
Annie Lowrey: Who among the donor class and at the RNC, if anyone, talks to Rubio about dropping out after tonight?
Jonathan Chait: INBOX: Sanders campaign very excited about winning Vermont.
Jonathan Chait: Rubio’s quest for symbolic first *real* victory (i.e., finishing with more votes than any other candidate, as opposed to media-declared “victory”) likely to rest now on Minnesota. Virginia appears solid for Trump.
Ed Kilgore: The Upshot also has Clinton projected with very narrow leads in MA and OK. Terrible near-misses for Bernie if that’s how it turns out.
Jonathan Chait: Upshot’s delegate projections now have Trump clearing around 300, which is at the high end of the expected range for him. Cruz around 120, Rubio around 90. Totals are fluctuating a lot and it’s early.
Ed Kilgore: Getting back to my effort to figure out the Rubio Fail in Georgia, what appears to be early voting totals shows Rubio winning Fulton County (Atlanta itself with some suburbs to the north and south) but Trump winning all the other Atlanta area jurisdictions so far, some (e.g., Bartow County, exurban heart of the 11th CD, one of Rubio’s big targets) with close to 50%.
Gabriel Sherman: Bret Baier saying Trump leading a “hostile takeover” of the GOP
Annie Lowrey: There’s a lesson about open and closed primaries there.
Annie Lowrey: There’s a lesson to be learned about open and closed primaries here
Margaret H: Ted Cruz is 11 points ahead of Trump in Texas …. but only 1 percent of precincts reporting.
Ed Kilgore: Tell us more, Gabe. Rove Schadenfreude is the best.
Gabriel Sherman: Karl Rove is not having a good night. At. All.
Ed Kilgore: The Upshot also projecting Trump will get a bit less than a majority of delegates awarded tonight, which is a pretty important metric.
Ed Kilgore: According to The Upshot’s delegate estimates, Cruz on track to wind up with more delegates than Rubio on the night. Yet Rubio’s fans will all be screaming for Cruz to withdraw!
Gabriel Sherman: By holding a press conference Trump acting like presumptive nominee, not a candidate
Gabriel Sherman: Carl Cameron describes Trump HQ at Mar-a-Lago as the “East Room of the White House” meets the “Palace of Versailles”
Jonathan Chait: Upshot has Trump ahead in Virginia by 5 right now. (That is, projected to win by 5 based on current info.)
Jonathan Chait: The Upshot has the best live-tracker of every state. It projects outstanding votes based on where they’re still uncounted, and how the candidates have performed in those areas. Must follow on this or any election night: Article Link
Ed Kilgore: Kasich doing reasonably well in MA, but Trump’s kicking everyone’s butt with estimated 47%.
Eric Levitz: Link
Bjssp: Rubio’s strategy of losing everywhere (or almost everywhere) as the run-up to losing his home state is moving along beautifully.
Eric Levitz: Sanders with a very early edge in OK and MA, per NBC
Jonathan Chait: Wow, three states where Trump is called the winner right at the polls closing.
Eric Levitz: “You’re going to get bored of winning.”: Donald J. Trump
Ed Kilgore: I believe exits had Trump at 40% in Georgia, so delegate sweep unlikely. But so far I don’t see a scenario in which anyone else is threatening his lead.
Margaret H: Hillary will win Alabama and Tennessee, CNN projects.
Jonathan Chait: Big question in Georgia is whether Trump (who has won big there) can clear 50%, which would give him all the delegates. The media is focusing on the symbolism of Rubio winning Virginia or elsewhere, but it’s mainly a delegate fight now.
Ed Kilgore: One big question at the top of the hour: Will Kasich Surge extend to Massachusetts, where the very latest poll showed Trump with an actual majority of the vote?
Gabriel Sherman: Megyn Kelly talking about Hillary’s historic candidacy as likely first woman nominee.
Ed Kilgore: I’m puzzling over Rubio’s performance in Atlanta suburbs because he spent a ton of money there and his staff was signaling madly he’d do well. He was even running second in polls.
Ed Kilgore: Will be interesting to compare VA and GA suburbs, but only one precinct reporting in one Atlanta suburban county so far. In that one, Rubio running a poor third.
Eric Levitz: Sanders really needed to have Samoa
Margaret H: More proof Carson dreams of a simpler time, when real men wore top hats and America rallied around bear attack victims
Gabriel Sherman: On Fox, Krauthammer says it would take a “meltdown” by Trump to prevent him from getting nomination.
Eric Levitz: Bernie Sanders is extremely good at winning Vermont
Margaret H: I’m not sure what “Vermont values” are, but I’m pretty sure Ted Cruz is not a fan.
Jonathan Chait: Various reports of Democrats crossing over to stop Trump. So when President Rubio abolishes international climate accords and Obamacare and fill the SCOTUS seat the Republicans blockaded, we will have achieved Peak Liberal Weeniedom.
Ed Kilgore: Only recent poll in Vermont had Trump at 32%, Kasich fourth at 10%. Quite a surge if he’s now neck-and-neck with Trump there.
Marin Cogan: A very hoarse Bernie in Vermont just now: “This campaign is not just about electing a president, it is about transforming America.” That’s the kind of message–delivered early on a night his opponent is expected to do very well–that will help carry him through to the convention, if that is his ultimate intention.
Ed Kilgore: Incredibly low expectations mean Kasich win or near-win in Vermont may be all he needs to claim “victory” tonight and move on to Michigan. If he’s doing this well in Vermont, he may do well in Massachusetts, too, of course.
Jonathan Chait: Am seeing disagreement between election nerds over who wins Virginia. Delegate-wise, unimportant, but winning here (a rich state with high levels of college grads, friendly turf) seems to be a focal point for Rubio messaging.
Eric Levitz: John Kasich is looking competitive in Vermont. If he can pull off a win there, and another in Ohio later this month, then all he’ll need is for Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz to become stricken with debilitating illnesses, and he’ll have this thing in the bag.
Ed Kilgore: Those VA hillbillies’ distant cousins, by the way, are in Oklahoma. We’ll see what happens there a bit later.
Ed Kilgore: One of the hypotheses being tested tonight is this idea Bernie will do well with exactly those blue-collar moderate-to-conservative whites HRC was winning massively late in 2008. Early Virginia numbers not looking good for the Hillbilly Bern theory.
Eric Levitz: If Sanders starts losing rural whites, it’s going to be very long night for all who feel the Bern
Eric Levitz: Donald Trump: Evangelical tested, non-evangelical approved Link
Eric Levitz: Still waiting to read a comprehensive analysis of why Sanders has failed so totally with African Americans
Ed Kilgore: Yeah, Clinton’s 3-1 margin among black voters in Nevada ballooning to 5-1 in the South.
Eric Levitz: Georgia Exits show Sanders winning 53% of white voters…but only 17% of black ones.
Ed Kilgore: Such a drag when we have to wait for actual returns. (Just kidding).
Jonathan Chait: So far close in Virginia, would mean Trump underperforming there
Ed Kilgore: “Control of the platform” is the great fool’s gold of American politics.
Eric Levitz: Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver just told CNN that the Vermont senator is going all the way to the convention, regardless of tonight’s outcome. Earlier today, Politico reported that Sanders is working on a “fall back” plan to trade his delegates for control of the Democratic platform.
Ed Kilgore: Fascinating contrast between GA & VA exits. Rubio universally expected to finish second in GA, but is apparently running third, yet is challenging Trump for lead in a state where his support was iffier.
Eric Levitz: The Republican race in Virginia is currently a toss-up. One of Rubio’s better states tonight. A lot of Establishment votes in those DC suburbs.
Ed Kilgore:Clinton was up about 2-1 in most Georgia polls.
Eric Levitz: Shocking result out of Vermont
Ed Kilgore: Huh. And I was all ready to offer Former Georgian’s Expert Analysis of Early Returns from the 11th Congressional District!
Eric Levitz: Well that was fast
Ed Kilgore: Remember: It was 61% in South Carolina.
Jebediah Reed: All eyes are on late-deciding suburban voters in GOP race, says Robert Costa of the Washington Post
Eric Levitz: Unless Bernie Sanders has made a last-minute breakthrough with black voters in the past 48 hours, the South is gonna be rough on the socialist senator tonight.
Eric Levitz: Donald Trump supporters: Still more afraid of Muslims than of constitutional violations
Eric Levitz: Donald Trump goes into tonight’s voting as the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination, according to the internet’s gambling addicts.
Ed Kilgore: This is what we all expected before today’s bout of Trump-o-mania based on late national polls.