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2020 Super Tuesday live updates: Biden sweeps the South, wins most delegates

More than 1,300 delegates — or about a third of the total — were at play on Super Tuesday.
Image: Voters in 14 states will cast ballots in Democratic primaries on \"Super Tuesday,\" March 3, 2020.
Voters in 14 states cast ballots in Democratic primaries on "Super Tuesday," March 3, 2020.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Fourteen states and one territory held nominating contests for the Democratic Party's candidate for president on Tuesday, the most pivotal day on the presidential primary calendar.

When the polls closed on Super Tuesday and results came in, it became clear that former Vice President Joe Biden had swept the Southern states, winning the primaries in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, as well as Minnesota and Massachusetts, and had ended the night with the most delegates. Sen. Bernie Sanders came out on top in Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont, NBC News projected.

On Wednesday, NBC News declared Biden the apparent winner in Maine, though the race against Sanders in the state was a tight one.

More than 1,300 delegates — about a third of the total — were at play, more than on any other day in the primary season.

Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts on the latest news.

Texas progressives holding out hope for a Sanders win

851d ago / 11:44 PM UTC

HOUSTON — Progressive voters in Texas say they feel good about Sanders' chances despite Biden's win in South Carolina and Monday's endorsements from ex-candidates Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Beto O'Rourke.

"I don’t believe that’s going to have an actual impact," said Stevens Orozco, a teacher who is part of a wave of young progressive candidates running for Congress against Democratic incumbents. "At the grassroots level, all of the real excitement and momentum is for Bernie, and I absolutely believe he can still win Texas."

Orozco, 33, is challenging Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a 13-term Democrat who was elected to Congress when Orozco was 8. Although Jackson Lee, 70, is regarded as one of the most liberal members of Congress from Texas, Orozco spent Tuesday urging Democratic to vote for change.

Manny Edwards, a 20-year-old University of Houston student who was voting in his first presidential primary, said he and most of his friends were backing Sanders and other progressive candidates.

"Bernie is the only candidate who actually stands for something, and that's why he's going to win," said Edwards, noting that some of his family members lacked health insurance. "I don't think it's radical that everyone should be able to have health care."

Michael Saldana, 26, said he was annoyed by those who've argued that Sanders wouldn't fare well in the general election. After seeing friends' homes destroyed in Hurricane Harvey in 2017, he said he was supporting candidates who supported the aggressive efforts to combat climate change.

"I think Sanders can get it done," he said.

Robocalls in Texas push wrong day for Democratic primary

, and

851d ago / 11:44 PM UTC

Robocalls falsely telling Texas voters that the state's primaries were scheduled for Wednesday, and not Tuesday, were reported several times to the Texas secretary of state on Tuesday.

Stephen Chang, director of communications for Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, said the calls claimed that “R’s, D’s and I’s vote tomorrow.” 

Chang said authorities are being “proactive" in addressing the calls but did not specify what was being done. He said the Secretary of State’s Office first received reports of robocalls Tuesday afternoon. He could not provide an estimate of how many reports the office received or how many robocalls had been made.

Reports of the false robocall prompted a tweet from the office's verified Twitter account warning against misinformation about the call.

 

Claire Barnett, a Democratic candidate for Texas State House District 122, had just left her polling station  when she got the call telling her that the “Democratic primary is scheduled for tomorrow.”

“It was a local number in San Antonio. (The call) seemed designed to suppress the vote,” she said.  

Jonathan Coen, a Houston-area resident, said he received the robocall from the same number at 1:24 p.m. CT. Coen said his wife, who is hispanic, also received a call telling her to vote on a different day. 

“It was a woman’s voice recorded in Spanish, roughly [saying] ‘voting is important; the election is Wednesday,’” Coen said.

The phone call in Spanish came from a Houston-area number, he said. It is unclear whether the English call and Spanish call are connected, and the scope of the calls is not yet clear. — Kevin Collier contributed reporting.

 

851d ago / 11:33 PM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Only about half of Massachusetts voters think Warren has best shot to beat Trump

851d ago / 11:31 PM UTC

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren faces a tough challenge in her home state tonight from neighboring Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the liberal lane. She's also contending with late-breaking momentum behind Joe Biden’s candidacy, particularly with moderate and conservative voters.

Warren struggled on the campaign trail to prove her viability in the general election. That issue dogs her even in her home state.

Among those voting for Warren in the Massachusetts primary so far tonight, only about half say she’s the candidate with the best chance to beat Trump in the general election, according to early NBC News Exit Poll results. About 9 in 10 of Biden voters see the former vice president as having the best shot, compared to 7 in 10 of Sanders supporters who say the same about their pick.

NBC News Exit Poll: Super Tuesday voters in Maine and Vermont cite health care as most important issue

851d ago / 11:30 PM UTC

Health care is a top issue for voters in Maine and Vermont, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll. 

Roughly half of Maine’s Democratic primary voters name health care as the most important issue in deciding their vote, along with 40 percent of Vermont’s primary voters. Climate change came in second in both states, followed by income inequality.

Maine and Vermont voter issues

Similar shares of those who voted for Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in Vermont and Maine said health care was the most important issue. But nearly twice as many of Sanders’ voters named income inequality as a top issue compared with Biden’s voters in the two states. 

Super Tuesday vermont maine candidates

Voter website outages not a sign of cyberattack, officials say

851d ago / 11:21 PM UTC

Reports that some voter information websites across the country are experiencing outages are not a sign of any sort of cyberattack, a senior government official said Tuesday afternoon.

In a press conference at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the agency's director, Chris Krebs, said issues accessing websites that inform voters how and where to cast their ballots were due to a surge of interest from voters.

The Texas Secretary of State’s website, for instance, was partially inaccessible for more than an hour Tuesday morning. Sites in California, Oklahoma and Minnesota also experienced minor issues. 

“You’ve probably seen some of the issues in voter lookup tools in California, voter lookup tools in Texas," Krebs said. "What we expect, and what you need to take away from this, is that these are intermittent IT issues that are resolved."

NBC News Exit Poll: Young and liberal, LGBTs are 10 percent of today’s electorate

851d ago / 11:16 PM UTC

One out of every 10 people voting in today’s presidential primaries identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states across the country.

Reflecting changing generational attitudes about sexuality and gender identity, LGBT Democratic voters are substantially younger than today’s electorate as a whole. A third of LGBT people voting on Super Tuesday are younger than 30 years old, while 65 percent of the LGBT voters today are under 45.

LGBT Super Tuesday voters are a strikingly liberal group: Exactly half of LGBT voters today call themselves "very liberal" and another 30 percent say they are “somewhat liberal.” Just 4 percent of LGBT Democratic voters say they are conservative.

NBC News Exit Poll: Liberals account for more than 6 in 10 Super Tuesday voters

851d ago / 11:16 PM UTC

Liberal voters are dominating the electorate in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primaries across the country, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states.

Sixty-two percent of voters in Tuesday's primaries consider themselves liberal. This includes a quarter of voters who describe themselves as “very liberal.”

Super Tuesday ideology liberal

That puts the Super Tuesday electorate ideologically on par with voters in three of the four Democratic presidential contests held thus far: Liberals accounted for more than 60 percent of voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Last Saturday’s primary in South Carolina featured a more moderate electorate: Liberals accounted for just half of those voters.

Some Los Angeles voters cast begrudging ballots for Biden

851d ago / 10:57 PM UTC

Joe Gallagher voted on Super Tuesday for former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary contest, but he's not thrilled about it.

"It's too bad because Bernie is the best candidate probably in 30 years," Gallagher, 65, told NBC News after he left a polling center in West Hollywood. "I really am embarrassed not to vote for him, but I felt like I had no choice." 

Gallagher said he did a lot of research into polling and decided about two months ago that Biden was the most electable Democrat running. 

His sentiment was shared by other voters around Los Angeles. 

"My objective and goal is to get Trump out of office," said Tara, 26, who strongly supports Elizabeth Warren. But on Tuesday morning, she too decided to vote for Biden.

Tara concluded after talking to friends that the race was quickly becoming one between Biden and Bernie Sanders, and she didn't want to get behind Sanders.

"It took much deliberation, and I'm not so happy," Tara said, "but I think, unfortunately, voting for Warren may be a wasted vote that I don't want to do, even though I love Warren." 

Still, voters like Naz, 41, are sticking with Sanders, a candidate he sees as an antidote to President Donald Trump's policies. 

"It's nice to see someone try to take this country to the very far left, since Trump has taken it to the far right, because I think America is too far in the middle," Naz explained. "I think Bernie will take it far left, which will balance out this country a bit."

851d ago / 10:52 PM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: In three states, half of Democratic voters say self-funded campaigns are unfair

851d ago / 10:42 PM UTC

Large shares of Democratic primary voters generally take a negative view of self-funded campaigns by billionaires like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll.

In the three states where Super Tuesday voters were asked about the issue, about half said it is unfair that candidates can spend unlimited amounts of their own money on their campaigns. This sentiment ranged from 49 percent of Democratic primary voters in Texas and Tennessee to 53 percent in North Carolina.

Among the remaining candidates, this issue is front and center for Bloomberg, who has invested $500 million of his own money into his campaign. About three in 10 voters who supported Bloomberg in these states said that candidates spending unlimited amounts of their own money on their campaigns is unfair.

Los Angeles voters see long lines at some polling centers

851d ago / 10:40 PM UTC

LOS ANGELES — Voters lined up around the block at several locations around the Beverly Grove and West Hollywood neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

The city has nearly 1,000 voting centers open around the county, and around a quarter of them were open for early voting in the days leading up to Super Tuesday. But for voters who showed up on primary day, many found lines longer than usual.

At one polling center on West Knoll Drive, where about 100 people waited in a line stretching down the block, voters told NBC News that they had waited for nearly 75 minutes to vote. Those casting ballots nearby at Rosewood Avenue Elementary School and Laurel Span School said they had waited 25 to 30 minutes, but several said there usually isn't any wait. 

Polling workers walked around outside of one location at a recreation center on North Vista Avenue in West Hollywood instructing people waiting in line that they could start filling out their election choices on LAvote.net, then use a QR code once they're inside to print a ballot with their picks already selected. That process is part of a new voting machine setup in Los Angeles County.

Bloomberg goes to Oz for voter outreach

851d ago / 10:28 PM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: 1 in 7 Super Tuesday voters won’t pledge to support the Democratic nominee

851d ago / 10:27 PM UTC

Fourteen percent of those voting in Democratic primaries across the country Tuesday aren’t committing to voting for the party’s nominee in November, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states. That’s about 1 in 7 voters. 

As they left the polls, voters were asked if they planned to vote for the Democratic nominee this fall “regardless of who it is.” Supporters of Mike Bloomberg were least likely to pledge to vote Democratic in November: 18 percent of his voters wouldn't commit to the party’s ticket.

The most loyal Democratic voters? Supporters of Elizabeth Warren. Ninety-one percent of her voters said they’d support the party’s nominee regardless of who it is.

Super Tuesday support nominee

Power outage hits LAX airport, nearby polling places

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851d ago / 10:26 PM UTC

Several terminals at Los Angeles International Airport and nearby polling stations lost electrical power on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Power started being restored about 20 minutes later. 

Click here for the full story. 

Gabbard lashes out after Fox contributor Rove calls Warren 'the only woman left'

851d ago / 10:20 PM UTC

These LA residents were into voting before it was cool

851d ago / 10:13 PM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Four in 10 Super Tuesday Democrats are voters of color

851d ago / 10:13 PM UTC

Roughly 4 in 10 voters in today’s Democratic presidential primaries are people of color, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states. Latinos make up nearly 1 in 5 Democrats (18 percent) voting today; African Americans account for another 14 percent of voters. Asian voters and those identifying as “other” each make up 3 percent.

These numbers mean that the Super Tuesday primary electorate is much more diverse than the two earliest Democratic contests held last month in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But as in each of the four previous Democratic caucuses and primaries, today’s voters are on the older side. More than half — 64 percent — of today’s Democratic voters are 45 or over, including the 29 percent of voters who are age 65 or over. Just 13 percent of those voting this Super Tuesday are younger than 30.

Results reported here reflect data combined from NBC News Exit Poll surveys conducted in 12 of the 14 states holding Democratic presidential primaries on Super Tuesday (Alabama, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia). Results are weighted to reflect differences in the sizes of state electorates.

 

Super Tuesday voting machine risks

851d ago / 10:11 PM UTC

While all fingers are crossed for a smooth electoral process, some Super Tuesday states are using machines with a higher likelihood of issues.

These can include new machines getting the kinks worked out for the first time in a primary, old machines known for glitches, and machines with no paper trail if something goes wrong. Without a paper trail, the only way to check is by running a test on the messed-up machine.

Thirty-nine counties in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas will use the ES&S iVotronic, a “first-generation” touchscreen device prone to having an issue where the voter touches one candidate but the screen registers a different candidate. In the past confused voters have uploaded videos of it happening, leading to viral claims of “vote flipping.”

Nearly half the counties In Tennessee will use the MicroVote Infinity, an ancient push-button machine with security issues and no paper trail.

Six counties across the country in California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah will use the Dominion AccuVote TSX, which has been thoroughly hacked by researchers and its source code posted online. Hackers have made it run video games like Pacman and DOOM. Some counties using it have a paper trail, some don’t. Counties that have it tend to use it as an accessibility device, not as the primary means of voting.

Other places and issues:

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles County is rolling out its Voting Solutions for All People VSAP which has already had a handful of issues in early voting. There were reports of centers closed for ballots getting jammed, workers not knowing security codes, and an insufficient number of poll workers. Two counties are using the AccuVote TSX, with a paper trail.

NORTH CAROLINA

More than half of North Carolinians are voting on new equipment. A few months ago a local Pennsylvania race was thrown into disarray when new equipment improperly configured by maker ES&S showed a judge as getting zero votes. They fixed the issue in the audit but it was a mess.

TEXAS

Nearly 40 percent of Texans are voting on touchscreens with no paper trail.

TENNESSE

Seventy percent of voters are using electronic voting machines with no paper trail.

UTAH

One county is using the AccvuoteTSX. They will have a paper trail.

Frustration for early voters whose candidates have dropped out of the race

851d ago / 10:06 PM UTC

The abrupt departures of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar from the Democratic presidential race on the eve of Super Tuesday primaries could be frustrating for the millions of people who have already voted in those 14 states and might have cast ballots for them.

Early voting began in January in many of the Super Tuesday states, and in large part, once a vote is cast, it is final, according to state election officials. 

In California, with more than 400 delegates are at stake, nearly 1.6 million Democrats had returned mail-in ballots as of Monday afternoon, according to a ballot tracker maintained by Political Data Inc. If an early ballot there was marked for a candidate no longer in the race, a voter can take in their ballot for a new one, and make a second choice. But once the ballot is submitted, that’s it.

In Colorado, Secretary of State Jena Griswold tweeted on Sunday that only those who had marked a ballot but not yet returned it could make a second selection, or get a new ballot.

At a Colorado event for Klobuchar on Monday, Amy Valore-Caplan, a 46-year-old writer in Denver, showed up to find out that the Minnesota senator, for whom she had waited until the last minute to cast her mail-in ballot, had dropped out.

Valore-Caplan said she knew Klobuchar’s candidacy was on the bubble, and actually hesitated Sunday, when she saw Buttigieg end his campaign. “I thought it was safe,” she said, of her decision to wait another day. “I was waiting to make sure she didn’t drop out.”

Bernie Sanders votes in Vermont

851d ago / 10:06 PM UTC
Image: BESTPIX - Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Votes In Vermont Primary On Super Tuesday
Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders greet poll workers before voting in their state's primary election at the Robert Miller Community Center March 03, 2020 in Burlington, Vt.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

NBC News Exit Poll: 3 in 10 Super Tuesday voters say they picked a candidate in just the last few days

851d ago / 10:02 PM UTC

Many voters in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primaries across the country waited until just recently to choose a candidate, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states. 

About 1 in 10 voters said they waited until Tuesday to decide on their choice, and another 19 percent of voters decided in just “the last few days.”

The share of voters making late decisions is of particular interest this year, as two candidates — Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar — dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden in the 48 hours before polls opened across the country.            

Super Tuesday decision time

Results reflect data combined from NBC News Exit Poll surveys conducted in 12 of the 14 states holding Democratic presidential primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday (Alabama, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia). Results are weighted to reflect differences in the sizes of state electorates.

NBC News Exit Poll: Voters split on if they prefer return to Obama era versus more liberal policies

851d ago / 10:02 PM UTC

Former President Barack Obama may be deeply popular with rank and file Democrats, but Super Tuesday voters today are divided over whether they’d like to see a return to the former president’s policies — or if they instead prefer policies that are even more liberal.

According to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states, 44 percent of Democratic voters across the country would like the next president to return to Obama’s policies. That’s just slightly ahead of the 38 percent of voters who prefer more liberal policies. Reflecting the liberal tilt of the Democratic primary electorate, just 11 percent want to change to more conservative policies.

Results reported here reflect data combined from NBC News Exit Poll surveys conducted in 12 of the 14 states holding Democratic presidential primaries on Super Tuesday (Alabama, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia). Results are weighted to reflect differences in the sizes of state electorates.

Bloomberg campaign denies report he's being pushed to drop out

851d ago / 9:46 PM UTC

Biden now giving Sanders a run for his money — on Google

851d ago / 9:40 PM UTC

Biden is making a comeback on Sanders — in terms of Google searches.

While Sanders has generally been the most-Googled candidate in 2020 — and particularly over the last couple weeks — Biden has come roaring back in the last few days, according to data from Google Trends.

Google Trends

Volunteers outraged after voters face hours-long lines in Houston

851d ago / 9:40 PM UTC

HOUSTON — Local Democratic Party volunteers here were outraged after some voters in a predominantly black and Latino community in north Houston had to wait up to three hours to cast ballots Tuesday morning.

Election workers said technical problems with some of the voting machines assigned to Democratic primary voters led to the delays at the Fallbrook Church voting site. Residents casting ballots in the Republican primary were not affected. 

Karen Griffin, a 63-year-old retired college administrator, waited two and a half hours to cast a ballot for Joe Biden, who she said was best suited to beat Trump.

"I don’t think it’s right that someone should have to wait that long to participate in our democratic process," Griffin said after voting at around noon.

The Rev. Stan Hillard, 67, spent a few minutes in line Tuesday afternoon before leaving in search of another voting location. In Harris County, voters can vote at any polling location, but Hillard said he wasn’t sure where he needed to go.

"It’s inconvenient, but this is too important," said Hillard, who said he planned to vote for Biden in the hopes that he would defeat Trump and "restore this country’s moral integrity."

Rosalind Caesar, 44, a Democratic Party precinct chair, spent Tuesday morning helping voters who didn’t have time to wait to find different voting locations.

"I think it’s more than a little ironic that in this heavily Democratic precinct, it’s only the machines for the Democratic primary that aren’t working," said Caesar, noting that some voters might not have time to find another location. "The county needs to get someone out here to fix this."

In Texas, polls are open until 7 p.m.

'Delegate math': Inside the Biden campaign's Super Tuesday strategy

and

851d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

OAKLAND, Calif. — Joe Biden never expected a coronation, and his campaign prepared accordingly. 

Despite his status as a former vice president and widely-admired party elder, his campaign knew the crowded field and ideological diversity of the party would pose headwinds for him and suggested a long, bruising battle for the nomination. The fact that Biden was never a prolific fundraiser also meant what resources the campaign had would need to be invested with great precision.

So the Biden campaign’s approach to Super Tuesday perhaps best illustrates what became a mantra of his top strategists: if Andrew Yang was the “math” candidate, Biden would be the delegate math candidate.

While much of the focus Tuesday will be on the statewide results in the more than dozen Super Tuesday contests, the Biden team will be looking just as closely for the results district-by-district — especially in the South. Of the more than 1,300 delegates at stake Tuesday, 875 will be awarded not based on the statewide tally but from the results in individual congressional districts (or, in the case of Texas, state senate districts).

For the full look at Biden’s delegate strategy, read here.

Trump on Democratic candidates: 'Whoever it is, I don't care'

851d ago / 8:29 PM UTC

Ahead of more than a dozen primary contests Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he doesn't care who  secures the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. 

"Whoever it is, I don't care. I really don't care. Whoever it is, we will take them on," Trump told reporters outside of the White House, touting a rebuilt military and a strong economy. 

Trump said he would "very gladly" debate "any of them" in the general election and is ready "to take on anybody."

 

The president said that there's "no question" that the Democratic establishment is trying to take the nomination away from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

"Look, a lot's going to be learned tonight. We'll see how well Biden does; we'll see how well Sanders does. I would have said two, three days ago, Biden was not looking too good. Now he's looking better," he said. "Probably by 9 or 10 o'clock tonight, we're going to have some big answers."

851d ago / 8:03 PM UTC

Paper ballots, transportation issues in Tennessee after tornado

and

851d ago / 7:51 PM UTC

At least one polling station in a Tennessee county began using paper primary ballots Tuesday after a tornado ripped through the central part of the state, killing at least 22 people. 

The polling place in Wilson County's St. Stephen Catholic Church, east of Nashville, began using paper ballots because it lost electricity, said Lauren Breeze, a member of the county's election commission. 

As a result of the tornado damage, a number of people had to enter two shelters that opened in Wilson County, including 35 to 40 people at Victory Baptist Church and at least 13 people at the Highland Heights Church of Christ. Neither shelter was offering transportation to polling sites, Breeze said.

In addition, two high schools in the county that were originally supposed to be polling locations were closed because of storm damage. Voters who were assigned to those sites have been redirected to other locations.

Homeland Security hasn't seen signs of election meddling — so far

851d ago / 7:09 PM UTC

The Department of Homeland Security is “at a heightened state of operational readiness” as Super Tuesday voting gets underway, a senior official said Tuesday.

In a press call Tuesday morning, a senior official at DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told reporters that the agency’s two election war rooms in Arlington, Virginia — one classified and one unclassified, and filled with representatives from multiple levels of government — had been on alert for potential issues “since early January,” but hadn’t seen anything concerning yet. Per the terms of the call, the senior official requested to not be identified by name.

CISA has sought to take a clearer leadership role in election security since January 2017, when DHS classified U.S. elections as critical infrastructure after the Russian government interfered in the 2016 campaign.

While declining to share specifics, the government was monitoring  “low-level” of activity targeting the major threats to elections, cyberactivity on election-related infrastructure and dis- or misinformation campaigns. But that’s a constant, the official said.

Constant scanning of internet-connected networks is a reality, and influence operations are “a 365-day threat,” the official said. "There’s a low level of constant activity, but at the moment we’re not seeing any appreciable increase or spike in activity." 

Super Tuesday spending wars: Bloomberg drops almost $200 million on airwaves

851d ago / 6:53 PM UTC

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's deep pockets have translated into an overwhelming spending edge on the airwaves in Super Tuesday states. 

In the 14 states that hold their presidential nominating contests on Tuesday, Bloomberg has spent $198.4 million on television and radio ads, according to ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics. That's more than six times the spending of the rest of the field combined and their affiliated super PACs. 

Total Super Tuesday TV and radio ad spending

  • Bloomberg: $198.4 million
  • Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders: $15.7 million
  • Persist PAC (A super PAC supporting Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren): $9 million
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden: $2.1 million
  • Warren: $2 million
  • Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: $338,000
  • Unite the Country (Pro-Biden super PAC): $163,000

Bloomberg is the top spender in each one of the 14 states, dropping more than half his total between California and Texas, the two biggest delegate prizes of Tuesday's slate. 

California TV and radio spending

  • Bloomberg: $71 million
  • Sanders: $7.1 million
  • Persist PAC: $3.6 million
  • Biden: $629,000
  • Gabbard: $74,000
  • Unite the Country: $18,000

Texas TV and radio spending

  • Bloomberg: $52 million
  • Sanders: $3.9 million
  • Persist PAC: $2 million
  • Warren: $790,000
  • Biden: $463,000
  • Gabbard: $46,000
  • Unite the Country: $29,000

And he's responsible for at least three-quarters of all money spent on TV and radio ads in 13 of the 14 states (he's spent six out of every 10 dollars dropped on the Virginia airwaves). 

Biden's team says 'thanks, but no thanks' to Comey's endorsement

851d ago / 6:46 PM UTC

Bates, Biden's rapid response director, then quickly clarified his tweet.

Coronavirus fears keep some poll workers away

and

851d ago / 6:37 PM UTC

Election officials in Travis County, home of Austin, Texas, are implementing emergency procedures to fill in for poll workers who didn’t show up to their stations Tuesday because they fear contracting the coronavirus.

Some poll workers were relocated to some of the county’s most severely understaffed polling centers.

"It's been in the news, just because they’ve been seeing it in the news, and reading about what they find to be scary stats relating to it," said Victoria Hinojosa with the County Clerk's Office. "A lot of them are older so their health is always a concern."

Image: Super Tuesday
Residents cast their ballots during the presidential primary in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 3, 2020.Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images

 

“Most locations are up and running now, and we’re continuing to work on resolutions to get everywhere fully staffed,” Hinojosa said.

In Sacramento, California, around a dozen of the nearly 700 election clerks opted out over coronavirus fears. 

"To better equip our Vote Centers for any spread of germs, we’ve sent out sanitation supplies to our vote centers including hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes for the voting booths, tissues and gloves that people using the touchscreens can use," said a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters.

Analysis: Warren is the undercard

851d ago / 6:01 PM UTC

Obviously, everyone's watching to see where Sanders and Biden finish in terms of delegates — an answer that might not be fully detailed for days or weeks.

But the undercard is Elizabeth Warren's delegate count. The departures of Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg make it more likely that the Massachusetts senator will make the 15 percent threshold in states and congressional districts across the country. If Sanders and Biden are running close to each other, two or three hundred delegates apiece in the baskets of Warren and Mike Bloomberg over the course of the primary season could easily prevent either Sanders or Biden from winning a majority of delegates outright.

 

Since Bloomberg is running to the right of Biden, his delegates would be very unlikely to move toward Sanders in any scenario.

But Warren's delegates could conceivably go either way — or split — which might end up giving her a ton of leverage heading into the Democratic convention this summer. That's why her delegate count tonight, driven primarily by whether she makes threshold statewide in California and Texas, is a big dynamic to watch.

851d ago / 5:38 PM UTC

 

7 things to watch on Super Tuesday

851d ago / 5:32 PM UTC

The Democratic contest is rapidly becoming a two-person race between establishment-friendly moderate Joe Biden and progressive populist Bernie Sanders. Super Tuesday will determine which one has the edge — and whether any wild cards remain in the hunt.

It's the biggest day on the primary calendar, with one-third of Democratic delegates up for grabs in 14 states — Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont — as well as the territory of American Samoa and the votes of those living abroad.

There are several things to watch for on a critical day of voting as the race narrows to four major candidates — Biden, Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg.

Click here for the full analysis 

Warren heads to the polls

851d ago / 5:19 PM UTC
Image: Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren leaves the voting booth at the Graham & Parks School during the Primary Election on March 3, 2020 in Cambridge, Mass.Scott Eisen / Getty Images

 

Bloomberg: Biden's 'taking votes away from me'

851d ago / 5:13 PM UTC

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said Tuesday that former Vice President Joe Biden was taking away votes that he could be receiving in the Democratic presidential race. 

"Joe's taking votes away from me, and I think that is true," Bloomberg told reporters in Miami, who said  that he's also taking votes away from Biden as the two moderate candidates left in the race. 

 

"Well it goes in both directions. Have you asked Joe whether he's going to drop out?"

Bloomberg predicted that none of the Democratic presidential candidates will receive a majority of the delegates needed to secure the party's nomination, resulting in a contested convention. 

Asked if he wants a contested convention, Bloomberg conceded that that might his only chance of victory. 

"I don't think that I can win any other ways. But [a] contested convention is a democratic process."

Deadly Tennessee tornado alters polling locations for voters

851d ago / 4:59 PM UTC

The tornado that tore through central Tennessee early Tuesday morning and killed at least 19 people has prompted the state's Division of Elections to alter some polling times and locations for voters who want to cast ballots in today's primary. 

Nashville was among the hardest hit areas, and government officials announced that all polling locations in the region would open an hour late, at 8 a.m., but will still close at 7 p.m. The government also tweeted guidance redirecting voters to other polling locations if their original voting place was affected by the tornado. 

The website for Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said that the state's Division of Elections is open Tuesday and can be reached at 1-877-850-4959. The other divisions of Hargett's office are closed as a result of the tornado. 

Hargett tweeted Tuesday that he's working with election officials to ensure that polling locations in counties experiencing damage are open for the required 10 hours.

Can Latinos seal the deal for Sanders on Super Tuesday?

851d ago / 4:46 PM UTC

AUSTIN, Texas — As soon as California moved its primary to Super Tuesday, it was clear Latinos would be crucial in choosing the Democrats’ presidential nominee.

Bernie Sanders is heading into the 14-state primary contest on Tuesday having dominated the Latino vote in the first three states to vote, including Nevada, giving him the early lead in the delegate race.

Now there is potential for Latino voters in California and Texas, which rank first and second in the number of Latinos eligible to vote, to bolster and widen that lead.

“What we saw in Nevada, Bernie was the first candidate to be able to expand his coalition," said Oscar Ramirez, a Democratic strategist with Fulcrum Public Affairs. "He won the majority of Latino votes there. He was the first candidate to be able to grow beyond his base."

But Ramirez added that the Latino electorate varies by state, “and Nevada is very different from Texas.”

Read more here.

Sanders jokes he got 'at least two votes in Vermont'

851d ago / 4:32 PM UTC
Image: Bernie Sanders Jane O'Meara Sanders
Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders vote in the Vermont primary at their polling place in Burlington, Vermont, on March 3, 2020.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

 

851d ago / 4:23 PM UTC

Campaign's next phase: Go big to win, or hang on for dear life

851d ago / 4:22 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — The Democratic presidential primary is about to super-scale, moving from a series of single-state battles for momentum to a national multifront war for delegates, putting extra pressure on underdog campaigns that can't raise huge amounts of money or field large armies of supporters in dozens of places at once.

Half the states in the country will vote this month, making the person-to-person politics of the small early states no match for the more-is-more style of campaigning needed to win mega-states like California, Texas, Florida and Illinois, which all vote this month.

The scale of the coming contests is enormous. About 10 times as many delegates are at stake on Super Tuesday as were up for grabs in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina combined, and nearly three times as many people have already voted early in California alone as voted in all four early states.

"There are a bunch of candidates who need to ask themselves why they're in this race," said Lilly Adams, a former top aide to Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential campaign. "Are they in it today to be introduced as a presidential candidate at events, or are they in it to win? If they are the former, not the latter, then they should get out."

Read more here.

Everything you need to know about Super Tuesday

851d ago / 4:21 PM UTC

The Democratic presidential candidates are in crunch mode as they prepare for the most important day in the primary race so far: Super Tuesday.

More than a million voters across over a dozen states have already voted early or by mail-in ballot, but the rest will head to the polls Tuesday to make their choice.

Here’s what you need to know.