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Trump racks up more endorsements and Biden courts Nikki Haley voters after she exits race: Highlights

Trump and Biden largely swept the contests, while Haley announced that she is ending her campaign, turning the presidential race into a 2020 rematch.

Here's the latest from the 2024 campaign trail

  • Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley dropped out of the 2024 presidential race after she lost all but one state in Super Tuesday's nomination contests.
  • Haley’s move cedes the Republican nomination to former President Donald Trump and effectively kicks off the general election.
  • Super Tuesday handed President Joe Biden blowout victories, as well, pushing him past the halfway point in the race to become the Democratic nominee. Biden has 1,818 delegates, with 1,968 needed for the Democratic nomination. Trump has 715 delegates, with 1,215 needed for the Republican nomination.

Katie Porter says she faced 'onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election'

Rep. Katie Porter, who failed to advance to the general election in the California Senate race on Super Tuesday, suggested on X tonight that she had battled an onslaught of billionaire spending "to rig this election."

"Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign and voted to shake up the status quo in Washington," Porter wrote. "Because of you, we had the establishment running scared — withstanding 3 to 1 in TV spending and an onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election."

Trump has frequently referred to the 2020 election he lost as "rigged," despite assurances from election officials that votes were secure and there was no widespread voter fraud.

Porter also took aim at “special interests” that she said reigned over politicians.

“As we’ve seen in this campaign, they spend millions to defeat someone who will dilute their influence and disrupt the status quo,” she wrote.

Porter lost the Democratic Senate primary to Rep. Adam Schiff, who is set to face Republican Steve Garvey in November.

Steve Scalise at Trump fundraiser: GOP will have 'coalescence real soon'

Republican Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota and Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana urged party unity as they attended the Trump fundraiser in Washington.

NBC News asked the lawmakers about their message to Haley supporters whom Trump will most likely need to court to win.

"Hey, it’s time to unite. It’s time to win next fall,” Emmer said. “We’ll all get together. Everybody understands we can’t have four more years of Joe Biden.”

Scalise said he thinks the GOP will have a "coalescence real soon."

“Primaries are always tough, but at the end of the day, she was running because she didn’t like Joe Biden’s policies, and everybody’s got to come home,” Scalise said about Haley. “Donald Trump’s proven how he can get our economy going quickly, how we can secure the border [and] become energy independent, and we need to get there again quickly."

Donald Trump Jr. headlines fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

Hours after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee for president, allies and friends of his held a fundraiser at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Washington — which, along with Vermont, was one of only two primaries he lost to Haley before she dropped out today.

The event, which was closed to the media, was headlined by remarks from his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and proceeds will go toward the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee.

An attendee who was in the room said Trump Jr. recounted going to a gas pump recently and being surprised at the price he had to pay. He then joked that if he, the son of a billionaire real estate mogul, thought it was expensive, he couldn’t imagine what everyone else thought.

Trump Jr. also ticked through the usual talking points about the importance of electing his father for the future of this country, according to the attendee. 

The room was filled with a mix of donors and elected officials, some of whom arrived in suits and cowboy hats. Many of the attendees appeared to be college-age.

Trump senior advisers to meet with Senate Republicans

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Brian Schwartz, CNBC

Brian Schwartz, CNBC, Jonathan Allen and Zoë Richards

Trump senior advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita are expected to meet with the Senate Republican Conference next week, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

LaCivita was previously engaged in talks with McConnell adviser and consigliere Josh Holmes to secure Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement. McConnell, R-Ky., endorsed Trump earlier today.

Wiles has functioned as Trump's de facto national campaign manager as he navigates a series of indictments heading into the general election.

'It's time to unite': Glenn Youngkin endorses Trump

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin endorsed Trump tonight, saying on X that "it's time to unite around strong leadership and policies that grow our great nation."

Image: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin during an interview, in Washington, DC., in 2023. Stephanie Scarbrough / AP file

"Voters in the Commonwealth and across the country have spoken loudly for President Donald J. Trump and I endorse him for President of the United States," he wrote. "His record on border security, restoring American leadership around the world, reducing taxes and lowering the cost of living for all Americans stands in stark contrast to the open borders, failed leadership on the global stage, rampant inflation and higher costs of today."

Youngkin has long championed party unity heading into the November election, saying Republicans must “come around a nominee with universal support” this election in remarks at Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention last month that Republicans must “come around a nominee with universal support.”

Prior to Haley dropping out this morning, the Virginia governor had indicated he would remain neutral until the primary was over. Youngkin did not use his well-organized and well-funded GOTV apparatus, “Secure Your Vote,” which he launched ahead of the 2023 statewide elections in Virginia, to help Trump or Haley. 

Ohio GOP Senate candidates tangle over Trump and 'trust'

The three Republicans competing in Ohio’s March 19 Senate primary met tonight for their final debate — an hourlong clash that repeatedly focused on Trump and how closely the candidates hew to conservative ideology.

“Who do you trust?” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose asked in the early minutes at Miami University in Oxford. “You’re going to hear a lot of talking points tonight from both of my opponents. They’re both desperate to convince you that they’re conservatives.”

Businessman Bernie Moreno, who has Trump’s endorsement, led off his remarks by cheering the end of Haley’s presidential campaign, which cedes the GOP nomination to the former president.

politics political politicians
From left: state Sen. Matt Dolan, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and luxury car salesman Bernie Moreno in Akron, Ohio, in October.Phil Masturzo / Beacon Journal/USA Today Network file

“Do you want a senator that’s going to have President Trump’s back, that has his endorsement?” Moreno asked, before he name-checked more moderate Republicans. “Or do you want the Nikki Haley-Liz Cheney-Mitt Romney wing of the party? That’s the choice.”

State Sen. Matt Dolan, the only candidate who hasn’t tried to merge his political identity with Trump’s, was also the only candidate not to mention Trump in his opening statement.

“I know some of you don’t always agree with what I’ve said, but I can guarantee you this: You know it’s always been about Ohio,” said Dolan, who often emphasizes that he supports Trump policies. “My opponents are reinventing themselves for their political interest.”

The winner of the primary will face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in November.

LaRose and Moreno were critics of Trump in 2016, before he was elected president. And both have come under scrutiny for shifting their policy positions and tone over the years. LaRose, once a proud No Labels moderate, now tacks much further right. Moreno needled him tonight for a call the centrist group had planned with him this week but canceled at the last minute.

Dolan’s more consistent ambivalence about Trump became a focal point later in the debate, when LaRose pressed him to endorse the former president’s 2024 campaign.

“Of course I’m going to support President Trump,” Dolan replied. “But here’s the thing: I am going to fight for Ohio. My commitment in this race has always been about you.”

During another round of Trump questions, Dolan sought a little distance.

“His personality? It’s not me. His political style? It’s not me,” Dolan said. “But his policies that make your life better, that make America stronger, that will make Ohio stronger? That is me.”

LaRose acknowledged that people “may find [Trump’s] personality abrasive.”

Moreno, who eight years ago called Trump a “maniac,” keyed in on their comments.

“Let me just say something that needs to be said that hasn’t been said,” Moreno said. “He’s a good man. President Trump’s a good man. This idea that I support his policies but not the personal — it’s a bunch of BS.”

Nicholas Barry, a Miami University student who watched the debate, said he thought Moreno touted the Trump endorsement too much.

“I would prefer him to be able to stand on his own two legs, rather than using MAGA as a crutch,” said Barry, 20, who added that he thought LaRose won the debate.

Another student, Matthew Lodge, 20, said he didn’t see a clear winner.

“There was, however, a clear loser,” Lodge said. “Republican moderates.”

RFK Jr. campaign to host karaoke event just steps away from the site of his father's assassination

Diana Paulsen

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign is hosting a "Sing for Independence" karaoke event at a venue across the street from the demolished Ambassador Hotel, where his father, Robert F. Kennedy Sr., was assassinated during his 1968 presidential campaign.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Delivers Address To Jewish Community In New York
Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in New York City, in 2023.Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images file

Asked for comment, the campaign said that the event was "simply an opportunity for the Kennedy24 Los Angeles team to connect with the local community" and that the venue was chosen "because of its diverse clientele and a long-standing tradition of celebrating a shared love of music."

Kennedy is not expected to appear at the event.

The date is also a coincidence, as Kennedy Sr. was assassinated the day after the California primary. The karaoke event is scheduled for tonight, the day after Californians voted in yesterday's Super Tuesday primaries.

‘A clarion call’: Democratic donors sound the alarm to Biden about strength of ‘uncommitted’

A network of major Democratic donors is raising the alarm about Biden’s performance in Michigan, calling the traction of “uncommitted” in last week’s Democratic presidential primary a “wake-up call” for the president in the critical battleground state.

President Joe Biden at the White House on Feb. 20.
President Joe Biden at the White House on Feb. 20.Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images file

In a memo to donors shared with NBC News by a recipient, Way to Win, the network of deep-pocketed progressives, urged members to “not try to argue ourselves out of the fact that Michigan is a major warning signal that something needs to change.” 

“Michigan’s 100,000+ uncommitted voters in 2024 are a siren, and a clarion call,” wrote Way to Win’s co-founders, Tory Gavito and Jenifer Fernandez Ancona. “The energy behind ‘uncommitted’ is not something that should be ignored, taken lightly, or dismissed as isolated to Michigan. Michigan 2024 is not an anomaly, just as Michigan 2016 was not.”

Read the full story here.

Bill Cassidy on whether he will endorse Trump: 'I plan on voting for a Republican'

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said simply that he plans to vote for a Republican when he was asked whether he will endorse Trump.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., at the Capitol on Aug. 4, 2022.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., at the U.S. Capitol in 2022.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call via AP file

"I plan on voting for a Republican," he told NBC News. "That’s kind of the only thing I’m saying about that right now."

Cassidy has been a critic of Trump. He has said he believes Trump should drop out of the race, and he voted to convict Trump after he was impeached for the second time in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Trump was acquitted after both impeachment trials.

Chuck Grassley urges Trump to 'put out a list' of SCOTUS picks

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, suggested on X this afternoon that Trump should "put out a list" of people he plans to appoint to the Supreme Court if he's elected, citing the former president's previous success after he made such a list ahead of the 2016 election.

politics political politician
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, at the U.S. Capitol in 2023.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file

Before the 2016 election, Trump released a list of potential picks to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia as Senate Republicans were blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the vacant seat, contending that it should remain open until after the election.

There are no vacancies on the Supreme Court. In 2022, Justice Stephen Breyer retired at age 83 after having served more than 27 years on the court, enabling Biden to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson. The oldest justice is Clarence Thomas, who is 75. He has served on the high court for over 32 years.

Ohio’s GOP Senate primary turns nasty as Trump’s candidate tries to fend off rivals

CLEVELAND — Trump endorsed Bernie Moreno in December, catapulting the businessman to contention in an Ohio Senate primary featuring two better-known Republicans.

With less than two weeks until the primary, the race has turned increasingly hostile as it remains in a competitive haze.  

Bernie Moreno
Bernie Moreno is acknowledged at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 2022.Joe Maiorana / AP file

There have been few independent polls to measure the three candidates running for the chance to unseat Democrat Sherrod Brown in what is expected to be one of the top Senate battles this fall. An internal poll from the Moreno campaign last week showed him with a double-digit lead over Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan, but it also found roughly a quarter of likely primary voters remained undecided. Other close observers believe the primary is much tighter.

“From everything I’ve seen in both public and private polls, along with talking to folks on the ground, the Senate race looks like it’s a dead heat,” said GOP strategist Scott Guthrie, a veteran of Ohio Senate campaigns who is not aligned with any candidate here this cycle. “I’ve seen polls with each of the candidates in the lead, and everyone is within the margin of error.” 

The three candidates are set to meet for their final debate tonight. And while a rally with Trump could help push Moreno across the finish line, a source close to Trump said an Ohio visit is “highly unlikely” before the March 19 primary but declined to elaborate.

Read the full story here.

Kim Reynolds, who previously backed Ron DeSantis, endorses Trump

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on X today that she would back Trump.

"Joe Biden has been a disaster for our country. Higher prices, inflation, an open border, crime, and the destruction of America’s image on the world stage," she said in the post. "I will do everything to defeat him and elect Donald J. Trump for President of the United States!"

She previously supported DeSantis and said she believed Trump could not win.

Biden called Dean Phillips today

Caroline Kenny

Nnamdi Egwuonwu and Caroline Kenny

Biden called Rep. Dean Phillips this afternoon after Phillips suspended his presidential campaign, said Katie Dolan, the former national press secretary for Phillips’ campaign.

It’s unclear what the two spoke about and how long the conversation was.

Phillips endorsed Biden seconds after he ended his own campaign and emphasized that his ultimate goal is defeating Trump.

Biden welcomed Phillips' support.

"Dean, thanks for the kind words. And welcome to the team. We need you with us," Biden wrote in response to a tweet from Phillips emphasizing Biden's "empathy and kindness."

'Thirsty for attention': Biden campaign responds to Trump's debate push

A Biden campaign spokesperson responded to Trump's call for a debate by suggesting the former president was "thirsty for attention and struggling to expand his appeal beyond the MAGA base," while urging Trump to tune in for Biden's State of the Union address tomorrow night.

"He might even learn a thing or two about bringing people together and actually delivering for the American people," Michael Tyler, the communications director for the Biden-Harris re-election campaign, said of the speech.

Tyler also said discussions about a debate would happen "at the appropriate time in this cycle." Biden has not said whether he plans to debate Trump.

Trump previously refused to debate other Republican presidential candidates.

Biden will deliver his final State of the Union address before the November elections at 9 ET tomorrow night.

Nikki Haley argued only she could beat Biden. Voters didn’t buy it.

For months, before groups both big and small, Haley would trot out a compelling statistic. 

She was in an admirable position, she’d say, because she could beat Biden by 17 points, citing a Wall Street Journal poll. And even in recent weeks, Haley would argue that Trump, on the other hand, would lose to Biden in the general election or, at the very least, that he was within the margin of error of losing. 

The electability argument became central to Haley’s theory of the case against Trump.

But aside from her inability to lay out a winning path in the primary campaign, Haley ran up against another problematic fact: Poll after poll has indicated Trump would beat Biden. 

As time wore on, evidence for Haley’s argument disintegrated. And though she at times still polled ahead of Trump in a general election matchup with Biden — a Marquette University poll found Haley would beat Biden by 16 points in Wisconsin among registered voters, while Trump was tied — she failed to gain traction among Republican voters. 

Read the full story here.

Biden automatically wins Florida after state Democratic Party vote

Charles Riemann

The Florida Democratic Party voted unanimously to place only Biden on the primary ballot scheduled for March 19. Under Florida law, uncontested races do not appear on the ballot; therefore, Biden became the automatic winner of the presidential primary and Florida’s 224 Democratic delegates can be allocated to him.

The NBC News Decision Desk has allocated the 224 delegates to Biden.  

The national delegate count on the Democratic side as of today is: Biden 1,818, Uncommitted 13, Palmer 3.  

Kennedy will be on ballot in Nevada, campaign announces

Diana Paulsen

Katherine Koretski and Diana Paulsen

Last night, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign announced it had collected the 15,000 signatures necessary for him to appear on the ballot in Nevada. His release noted that Biden's margin of victory in the state in 2020 was only 2.39 percentage points.

Actor Ben Savage trails 6 other candidates in California House race

Ben Savage, the actor best known for starring in the beloved coming-of-age sitcom "Boy Meets World," appears unlikely to meet Congress after he struggled in his California House race yesterday.

Savage was in seventh place with just 4% of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon, with about half of the expected votes counted. NBC News has not yet called the race in California’s 30th Congressional District.

Savage drew national attention last year when he entered the crowded race to replace Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who stepped aside to run for the Senate and advanced in that race, NBC News projected.

Savage's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democratic state Rep. Laura Friedman and Republican Alex Balekian, a physician, are leading the 15-candidate all-party primary, with 27% and 21%, respectively. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election in November.

Also ahead of Savage is Maebe A. Girl, a drag queen and activist who is on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.  

Savage raised $1.4 million for his campaign, most of which he self-funded, according to federal campaign finance records. After his child acting career, he graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science, according to his official biography, and he still works in the entertainment industry. 

Savage ran for the West Hollywood City Council in 2022 but did not win one of the three all-large seats on the ballot that year. 

Trump says he will debate Biden 'anytime'

In a post today on Truth Social, Trump said that "for the good of our country" he would debate Biden "ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYPLACE!" He included that the debates could be run "by the Corrupt DNC, or their Subsidiary, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)."

Last year, the Republican National Committee voted unanimously not to have its candidates participate in events run by the nonpartisan commission.

Trump declined to take part in Republican primary debates and has been critical of general election candidate matchups hosted by the long-standing Commission on Presidential Debates. But today, he said he would go toe-to-toe with Biden in CPD debates — or even debates hosted by the Democratic National Committee — if Biden will agree.

Read the full story here.

Texas AG Ken Paxton boasts of revenge — and readies for more

Diana Paulsen

Diana Paulsen and Jane C. Timm

Out of the 70 candidates on the ballot yesterday that Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton endorsed, 33 won their primaries outright, while 10 have advanced to a runoff.

Paxton helped defeat seven Republican state House members who voted to impeach him last year on corruption charges. He also boosted nine other GOP candidates for state House seats.

Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton in Austin on May 26, 2023.
Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton in Austin, Texas, in 2023.Eric Gay / AP file

His endorsed candidates unseated three Republican judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, who had angered Paxton by keeping his office from prosecuting voter fraud, and a handful of other incumbents.

“Texans have spoken loud and clear," Paxton wrote on X, the platform once known as Twitter. "The victory of Judges David Schenck, Gina Parker, and Lee Finley, endorsed by my office, marks a significant moment in our state’s legal history. It sends a powerful message that Texans demand judges who prioritize the Constitution and uphold the rule of law."

Paxton isn’t letting off the gas, in no small part because his top target — Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who led impeachment proceedings — is heading to May runoff election.

Paxton, along with Trump, endorsed one of Phelan’s opponents, Republican activist David Covey.

“Today’s election results have revealed that the battle for the soul of Texas is far from over,” Paxton wrote in a post on X early Wednesday, addressing the outcome of Phelan's race. “This runoff is not a defeat, but rather a call to arms for all who stand for the principles of the America First movement. Let this runoff be a rallying cry for all conservatives across Texas.”

The Texas runoff elections will occur on May 28, a little over a month after Paxton’s first court appearance on April 15 for charges of securities fraud.

McConnell says he will not endorse any candidate to replace him as Senate Republican leader

Diana Paulsen

Kate Santaliz and Diana Paulsen

Speaking to NBC News, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not be making an endorsement in the race to succeed him. When asked about the proposal by Sen. John Cornyn, a candidate for Republican leader, to limit how long a member can serve as the GOP leader, he called the proposal "totally inappropriate".

The battle is on for Nikki Haley’s supporters

Ali Vitali

Allan Smith and Ali Vitali

Nikki Haley’s campaign is over, but the fight to win over her supporters has just begun.

With former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden essentially set in stone as their parties’ respective presidential nominees, the Haley voting bloc — those who previously cast ballots for Trump and those who previously cast ballots for Biden — will now have to come to terms with a choice many wished they wouldn’t have to make. 

And Trump and Biden’s initial pitches to these voters couldn’t sound more different.

Read the full story here.

How does the length of this presidential primary compare to recent elections?

With the news that Haley is preparing to drop out, it appears that this cycle is among the earliest the general election field has been set in recent history, but not the earliest. 

Here’s a look at the dates by when the two party nominees have been effectively set since the 2000 election:

2020

April 8: Bernie Sanders dropped out, Biden the “apparent” nominee

Trump incumbent, no serious challenge

2016

May 4: NBC News projects Trump as the “presumptive nominee” as top competitors drop out

June 6: NBC News projects Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee

2012

April 10/25: Rick Santorum drops out on the 10th, leaving Romney the last major candidate left. The RNC names Romney presumptive nominee, per LA Times’ Mike Memoli’s contemporaneous reporting

2008

March 4: McCain declared the presumptive nominee by multiple outlets, visits the White House the following day to receive the endorsement of President Bush, who refers to him as “the nominee of the Republican Party.”

June 3: NBC News projects Barack Obama as the presumptive nominee

2004

March 2/3: John Kerry is seen as the apparent nominee after his Super Tuesday victories on the 2nd and John Edwards dropped out on the 3rd. 

2000

March 9: Bill Bradley dropped out, leaving Al Gore the final major candidate standing

March 9: John McCain dropped out the same day. While Alan Keyes was technically still running, he was not seen as a serious threat to George Bush winning the nomination.

Trump allies on the RNC want to help pay his legal bills

Brian Schwartz, CNBC

A growing number of Republican National Committee members believe its campaign arm should help pay mounting legal bills for former President Donald Trump, a move that could strain the party’s ability to financially support other candidates in the 2024 election.

RNC Committeeman Solomon Yue, who is from Oregon, told CNBC he believes “more than a majority” of members are in favor of helping offset the bills from Trump’s lawyers in four pending criminal cases, and at least three other civil cases.

“I support the RNC paying President Trump’s legal bills,” Yue said.

Read the full story here.

Supreme Court to hear Trump's presidential immunity case April 25

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence HurleySupreme Court reporter

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Trump’s presidential immunity case on April 25, the court announced Wednesday. The announcement comes after the court said last week that it will decide the issue of whether Trump can claim immunity over the federal election interference charges against him.

Even if Trump loses at the high court, a trial might not start until well into election season and perhaps even after Election Day in November.

These are the Republican senators who haven't endorsed Trump

Now that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has endorsed Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has the support of 37 of the 49 Republican senators. Here are the GOP senators who have not formally backed him yet:

  • Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa
  • Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.
  • Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.
  • Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
  • Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah
  • Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
  • Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
  • Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine
  • Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
  • Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.

Dean Phillips ends presidential campaign

Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota has suspended his campaign for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, ending his long-shot bid for the White House.

“I’m going to suspend my campaign and I will be, right now, endorsing President Biden because the choices are so clear,” he said in a Minnesota radio interview on WCCO’s "The Chad Hartman Show."

Phillips, 55, launched his campaign in October, saying he had to run against the leader of his party because he argued Biden would lose to former President Donald Trump in the general election in November. 

“I will not sit still, I will not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying we’re going to be facing an emergency next November,” Phillips, who is not running for a fourth term, said in an interview with CBS News last fall. 

Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press” soon after, Phillips said, “Right now, if this election was held today, President Biden would lose, and it is an existential threat to the future of the United States of America. That will not happen under my watch.”

Read the full story here.

Sen. Mark Kelly endorses Rep. Ruben Gallego for Senate after Sinema announces retirement

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., endorsed Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego for Senate after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a former Democrat turned independent, announced Tuesday she would not be running for re-election.

 “I’ve worked very closely with Ruben," Kelly said. "He’s a veteran on Armed Services Committee. I’m on the Armed Services Committee. We have a lot of military installations in Arizona. Really smart guy, brings people together. And the other option is somebody who divides people,” Kelly said in an interview, referring to Republican Kari Lake.

“This is an individual that doesn’t stand up for democracy, wants to take away people’s rights, including the right of a woman to have an abortion. That doesn’t go over well in our state,” Kelly said.

NBC’s Hallie Jackson and Steve Kornacki join "TODAY" to break down the results on Super Tuesday after Donald Trump dominated the results.

DNC echoes Biden's calls to draw Haley's supporters to his campaign

Kyla Guilfoil

Nnamdi Egwuonwu and Kyla Guilfoil

The Democratic National Committee released a statement Wednesday calling for Haley's supporters to join Biden campaign after her exit from the presidential race.

"Trump has made it clear that he does not want Nikki Haley’s supporters — and her supporters know Trump failed the American people and that he would go even further to rip away our rights and tear down our democracy if given the chance," DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement.

"For them, there is only one candidate left in this race who’s proven he has what it takes to beat Donald Trump: Joe Biden," Harrison added.

Thune endorses Republican Kari Lake in Arizona Senate race

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who is running to replace Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as Senate Republican leader, has endorsed Kari Lake in the Arizona Senate race.

“The Senate race in Arizona is critical for securing a Republican majority in the Senate,” Thune said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “Kari Lake is the candidate in Arizona who will work to get the economy back on track and lower the cost of living for families, secure the border and enforce the law, and bring safety to our streets.”

“A vote for her opponent is a vote for Joe Biden’s dangerous agenda,” he added. “I am excited to endorse Kari Lake for Senate in Arizona.”

Thune’s endorsement of Lake comes after she told NBC News yesterday that “high profile” endorsements, including people vying for the Senate GOP leader post, were coming in a few days.

Biden campaign official says Trump 'can't expand beyond the hardcore MAGA voter base,' citing Haley's margins

Following last night's results, a Biden campaign official says Trump has “serious issues” to deal with ahead of the November general election, pointing to Haley's supporters who say the former president can't count on their votes.

The Biden campaign official said “upwards of 10% of voters remain undecided,” with those voters being “highly supportive” of the Biden administration’s policies, such as protecting abortion access, lowering prescription drug costs and the Affordable Care Act.

The official also pointed to polls showing support for Biden in diverse states with Black, Latino, white working class and suburban voters — a coalition that helped elect him to office in 2020.

The official said Trump’s “primary performances are a major warning sign for the GOP” based on the support Haley drew, adding that polling has shown a “significant share of moderate and Haley voters across the country” are saying that Trump can’t count on their votes in November.

The official also cited the Biden campaign’s “historic war chest,” with Biden outraising Trump as the former president faces a cash crunch amid a series of legal woes.

No Labels says it takes Haley 'at her word that she isn’t interested' in an independent bid for president

No Labels congratulated Haley on “running a great campaign and appealing to the large swath of commonsense voters” and said the group will “take her at her word that she isn’t interested in pursuing another route to the presidency.”

“No Labels is going to do exactly what we’ve been planning to do for months which is to gather our community to discuss the path forward,” the group said in a statement. "This Friday we will convene our 800 delegates from all 50 states to allow them to share their thoughts and decide where our 2024 project should go from here. We will have more to say when that meeting concludes on Friday.”

Prior to dropping out of the race, Haley had shot down the possibility of a third-party bid with No Labels, telling reporters last week that the group isn’t aligned with her conservative goals. “If I were to do No Labels, that would require a Democrat. I can’t do what I wanted to express with the Democrats,” she said.

No Labels has said it could put forward a third-party ticket with a Republican and an independent, rather than a Democrat. No Labels delegates are scheduled to meet virtually on Friday to discuss whether to run a third-party ticket in the 2024 presidential election.

RNC sets Friday vote for new leadership slate

The RNC’s 168-member body is set to formally vote on its new chair and co-chair in Houston late Friday morning.

There are no current challengers to Michael Whatley, a former Trump adviser, for the position of RNC chair or Lara Trump, Trump's daughter-in-law, for co-chair (the party’s No. 2 spot). 

Both Whatley and Trump are expected to make brief remarks. Ronna McDaniel and Drew McKissick will also both formally step aside from their roles.  

At that point, the new chair and co-chair can effectively bring in Chris LaCivita as the party’s chief operating officer, a role he’ll play while continuing to serve as Trump’s co-campaign manager. 

RNC committeeman Henry Barbour confirms to NBC News that his draft resolution to bar the RNC from spending its funds on Trump-related legal expenses will not come up for a vote.

The resolution failed to get the support of a majority of members from at least 10 states.

LaCivita has already said that no funds will be used for legal purposes.

Sen. Susan Collins: 'I certainly am not endorsing anyone'

Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine and sometime Trump critic, said she was "disappointed" that Haley decided to end her campaign, adding that she would not be issuing an endorsement.

Pressed on whether she was ruling out endorsing a candidate later this year, Collins told NBC News, "You never say never because you don’t know what’s going to happen. But I certainly am not endorsing anyone.”

Another occasional Trump critic, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, said when asked about Haley dropping out of the race, “I wish that she hadn’t,” while walking onto the Senate floor.

Collins and Murkowski were among the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on impeachment charges after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. 

Joni Ernst's endorsement gives Trump all the Senate GOP leadership's support

Frank Thorp Vproducer and off-air reporter

Kyla Guilfoil

Frank Thorp V and Kyla Guilfoil

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, became the last of the Senate GOP leadership to endorse Trump for president, announcing it in a tweet this morning.

"We must beat Joe Biden and get this country back on track. Donald Trump has my support," Ernst wrote in a post on X.

Ernst joins Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., John Thune, R-S.D., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., in pledging their support for the former president.

Liz Cheney: 'We have eight months to save our republic & ensure Donald Trump is never anywhere near the Oval Office again'

Former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., an outspoken Trump critic, urged voters to “save our republic” and “ensure” Trump isn’t re-elected in a post to X after Haley suspended her campaign this morning.

“The GOP has chosen. They will nominate a man who attempted to overturn an election and seize power,” she wrote. “We have eight months to save our republic & ensure Donald Trump is never anywhere near the Oval Office again. Join me in the fight for our nation’s freedom.”

Cheney’s post includes a link to “The Great Task,” a leadership PAC led by her.

Cheney emerged as a vocal critic of Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack and served as vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee. She was removed as House GOP conference chair amid her repeated criticisms of Trump.

Haley's supporters more likely to say they won't blindly vote for the GOP nominee

Haley’s supporters are more likely to say they not will blindly support the GOP nominee, according to NBC News exit polls conducted yesterday in Virginia, North Carolina and California.

In each state, roughly one-third of primary voters said they would not vote for the Republican nominee regardless of who it is, and many were Haley supporters.

In Virginia, 69% of those voters backed Haley, while 79% of those voters in North Carolina supported Haley. But in California, a majority of the voters who responded “no” to that question (56%) supported Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released a statement endorsing Donald Trump after Nikki Haley suspended her presidential campaign. NBC News’ Mark Murray explains how important is it for McConnell, a Republican leader who has been critical of Trump, to give an endorsement to the presumptive GOP nominee.

McConnell and Trump fell out after Jan. 6 attack

Frank Thorp Vproducer and off-air reporter

McConnell and Trump have long had a frosty relationship that turned even icier after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. McConnell voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial related to the Capitol riot, but he gave a speech laying blame for the mob’s attack directly on Trump.

“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”

 The two men did not speak for at least three years.

McConnell has also publicly and repeatedly broken with Trump and his supporters on sending additional aid to Ukraine, and Trump has made racist attacks about McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Biden says Haley showed 'courage' in running, invites her supporters to join his campaign

Kyla Guilfoil

Monica Alba and Kyla Guilfoil

Biden said Haley had "courage" to run for president, adding in a statement Wednesday that Haley's supporters can find "a place for them in my campaign."

“It takes a lot of courage to run for President — that’s especially true in today’s Republican Party, where so few dare to speak the truth about Donald Trump," Biden said.

"Nikki Haley was willing to speak the truth about Trump: about the chaos that always follows him, about his inability to see right from wrong, about his cowering before Vladimir Putin," the president added.

Biden went on to say that Trump has "made it clear he doesn't want Nikki Haley's supporters," but that there's "a place for them" in Biden's campaign.

"I know there is a lot we won’t agree on. But on the fundamental issues of preserving American democracy, on standing up for the rule of law, on treating each other with decency and dignity and respect, on preserving NATO and standing up to America’s adversaries, I hope and believe we can find common ground," Biden said in his statement.

Biden said that "we all know this is no ordinary election," adding that it's a "good thing" Democrats, Republicans and Independents disagree on "many issues and hold strong convictions."

"That’s what America stands for. But I also know this: what unites Democrats and Republicans and Independents is a love for America," the president said.

Elon Musk says he will not donate to any presidential candidate

Kyla Guilfoil

Elon Musk said in a tweet Wednesday that he would not be donating to the presidential candidates in this year's race.

"Just to be super clear, I am not donating money to either candidate for US President," Musk said in a post to X.

Musk's tweet comes after he met with Trump in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

Musk had previously endorsed Florida Gov. Ron Desantis in the GOP primary race. DeSantis suspended his campaign in January.

Poll: Biden leads Trump among Gen Z voters

Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

A new poll released today by Voters of Tomorrow and Generation Lab founds that Biden leads Trump 42% to 29% in a head-to-head matchup among Gen Z voters, or voters ages 18-to-29 nationwide. 

An additional 10% of those surveyed said they weren’t sure whom they’d vote for in November, while 19% said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate.

In a congressional ballot test, 48% of Gen Z voters said they’d vote for a candidate from the Democratic Party if an election for Congress were held today, white 26% said they’d vote for a candidate from the Republican Party.

The poll found that young voters are particularly skeptical of Trump because of his legal troubles. 

In a head-to-head matchup, 42% of Gen Z voters preferred Biden to Trump, while 29% favored the former president, according to a new poll.
In a head-to-head matchup, 42% of Gen Z voters preferred Biden to Trump, while 29% favored the former president, according to a new poll.Voters of Tomorrow
The survey found that 64% of Gen Z voters said that they view Trump negatively after a jury found him liable of sexual assault and defamation in a civil case. Fifty-nine percent said they viewed him much more negatively because he faces a trial later this year on charges he tried to unlawfully overturn the 2020 election.
The survey found that 64% of Gen Z voters said that they view Trump negatively after a jury found him liable of sexual assault and defamation in a civil case. Fifty-nine percent said they viewed him much more negatively because he faces a trial later this year on charges he tried to unlawfully overturn the 2020 election.Voters of Tomorrow

Over half of those surveyed — 64% — said that the fact that Trump “was recently found liable of sexual assault and defamation and ordered to pay over $80 million to the victim by a jury” makes them view him more negatively.

And 59% said they view Trump much more negatively because he faces trial later this year for "attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.” 

Pollsters also surveyed sentiment about the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Fifty-eight percent of young voters polled said they support a cease-fire there, while 12% said they didn’t and 31% said they weren’t sure.

Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said they consider themselves likely to vote in November, while an additional 13% said they were “somewhat likely” to vote in November.


The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. It was conducted from Feb. 3 to Feb. 14 with a representative sample of 992 18-to-29-year-olds nationwide, 485 of whom are registered voters.

Trump trolls Haley in social media post

Kyla Guilfoil

Jake Traylor and Kyla Guilfoil

Following reports that Haley was suspending her presidential campaign, Trump posted on his Truth Social website that he hoped "she stays in the ‘race’ and fights it out until the end!”

He said, “Nikki Haley got TROUNCED last night, in record setting fashion, despite the fact that Democrats, for reasons unknown, are allowed to vote in Vermont, and various other Republican Primaries."

Trump added that "at this point," he "hopes she stays in the 'race' and fights it out until the end!"

The former president went on to call for Haley's supporters to join in support of his campaign.

"I’d like to thank my family, friends, and the Great Republican Party for helping me to produce, by far, the most successful Super Tuesday in HISTORY, and would further like to invite all of the Haley supporters to join the greatest movement in the history of our Nation," Trump wrote.

McConnell endorses Trump

Frank Thorp Vproducer and off-air reporter

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed Trump this morning.

“It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States," he said in a statement. "It should come as no surprise that as nominee, he will have my support."

Haley says she has 'no regrets,' but doesn't endorse Trump

In a speech announcing she is dropping out of the presidential race, Haley said she was "filled with the gratitude for the outpouring of support we’ve received from all across our great country, but the time has now come to suspend my campaign."

"I said I wanted Americans to have their voices heard — I have done that. I have no regrets," she said. "And although I will no longer be a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in.”

Haley didn’t announce an endorsement during her remarks. Instead, she encouraged Trump, who is close to having the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination, to earn the support of Republicans and independent voters who had backed her.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him, and I hope he does that,” she said. “At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people. This is now his time for choosing.”

Haley also said being a private citizen was “privilege enough in itself” and that she looks forward to “enjoying in all likelihood” that Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee.

“I congratulate him and wish him well. I wish anyone well who would be America’s president,” she said. “Our country is too precious to let our differences divide us.”

Clinton says Biden and Trump are 'effectively the same age' and president is the 'clear choice'

Kyla Guilfoil

Hillary Clinton addressed concerns about Biden's age in a tweet this morning, giving her support to Biden by saying that he and Trump are "effectively the same age."

"When you’re lucky to live into your seventies or eighties, the difference of a few years doesn’t matter all that much," she wrote in a post on her X account. "Joe Biden and Donald Trump are effectively the same age. Let’s use that as a baseline."

Clinton went on to write that there is now a "clear choice" for the 2024 presidential election, one being "the most effective presidents of our lifetimes, in Joe Biden."

"Or someone who tried to overthrow our democracy, has been indicted 91 times, and says he wants to be a 'day one' dictator if elected again," she said, referring to Trump.

"I’m choosing Biden. How about you?" Clinton added.

Haley's thinking as she prepares to drop out

NBC News spoke with sources familiar with the Haley campaign as she prepares to drop out of her presidential campaign in remarks later this morning.

Asked how Haley is doing this morning, a source said she is a “happy warrior” and “has been that the whole time.”

“Last night we were all together watching the returns come in, we were listening to music and having a good time. Our spirits are as high as they can be,” the source said.

Another source directly familiar with the gathering last night told NBC News that the scene at the campaign headquarters involved dinner and music, with a vibe that was “actually upbeat” despite the circumstances. 

“Everyone feels they’ve fought for a righteous cause,” the source said. 

Although advisers repeat that Haley is a “happy warrior,” people who have known her for years have said she rarely shows her true feelings — which explains, for example, why she became angry with herself for getting choked up a few weeks ago while talking about her husband, Michael, who is on military deployment overseas.

Asked why people in Haley’s circle are “upbeat,” a source said the team “loves each other” and noted that Haley beat 12 other candidates before she became the last woman standing with Trump in the GOP presidential primary race.

“We ran a hard campaign, we ran a smart campaign, we ran a lean campaign, and we are proud of what we did,” the source said.

The source also said when asked about a Haley endorsement that it’s up to Trump “to appeal to those 30-40% that are independent, moderate Republicans, people who feel like the party is pushing them out.”            

Regarding her political future, the source said Haley is “young” and has proven she can bring people together while “the other guys can’t,” and is uncertain what the future holds right now.

“But she is going to stay involved and continue talking about the issues that matter to her,” the source said. “But as far as a future run, that’s way out of the picture right now.”

As for Haley’s speech this morning, the sources said she will appear by herself at the podium and won’t be flanked by family or aides.             

Utah GOP chair details technical difficulties as results were delayed

In a phone call with NBC News, Utah GOP Chair Robert Axson discussed why the state’s caucus results were delayed yesterday.

He said there were digital server capacity issues, noting that although caucusgoers were encouraged to preregister for the caucuses online, many didn’t. Some of those who did didn’t have their confirmation emails handy. That meant many Utahns registered for the caucuses at the same time, causing the server to become “overloaded.”

Axson said there was some miscommunication as well, with some voters not understanding how the caucuses worked and how to preregister for it. He said the state GOP might have been responsible for the lack of communication.

He also outlined the logistical hurdles of counting votes in 29 counties in a decentralized manner. 

“All of the counting happened in the precinct level," Axson said. "So each of these precincts and their attendees got to see the counting of that balloting right in there, or right in their precinct, and that worked well. Then that has to be aggregated up to the county, so 29 respective counties here in Utah, and then that gets shared up to the state, and there were some various delays for a plethora of reasons throughout," but those weren't problematic "in the sense of some flaw or anything.”

“I mean, some of them are as simple as somebody decided to go home and they forgot to press 'submit,'” he added. “And so we had to get that reported and verified against the photographic evidence of the reports from there.”

Trump wins Utah Republican caucus

NBC News projects that Trump has won the Utah Republican caucus, with 65% of the votes that have been counted so far.

See the latest results here.

Haley will drop out of the 2024 presidential race after only winning one state Super Tuesday. NBC News’ Ali Vitali reports on what Haley’s exit means for the election, which will now be a rematch between Biden and Trump.

Haley to end presidential campaign, ceding GOP nomination to Trump

Ali Vitali, Sarah Dean and Greg Hyatt

Haley will drop out of the 2024 presidential race today after losing every state but one — Vermont — in Super Tuesday’s primary contests, a source familiar with Haley’s plans confirmed to NBC News.

The former South Carolina governor's move cedes the Republican nomination to Trump and effectively kicks off the general election, with Trump and Biden taking unofficial command of their parties early in primary season after a string of victories.

The “ball is in his court,” a source close to the Haley campaign said, referring to the former president.

Haley won’t announce an endorsement today, two people told NBC News. Instead she will encourage Trump, who is close to having the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination, to earn the support of Republicans and independent voters who backed her, one of the sources said.

Read the full story here.

Five Super Tuesday takeaways on a big night for Biden and Trump

Primaries and caucuses in 16 states and American Samoa have brought further clarity to a presidential race that has been on a glide path to a rematch of the 2020 election. 

But the Super Tuesday contests also have offered the first clues about down-ballot races that will help determine control of statehouses and Congress in November.

Biden and Trump remain on track to face off again in the fall. Biden continued to outperform marginal opposition for the Democratic nomination. And Haley, a former United Nations ambassador, continued to struggle to win over Republican voters — even in states that on paper seemed more favorable to her.

Here’s what we have learned so far.