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US Super Tuesday elections: All the latest updates


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US Super Tuesday elections: All the latest...

Voters in 14 US states and one US territory will head to the polls on Tuesday in the largest day of voting in the United States primary season. 

More than two-thirds of the delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination – 1,357 out of the 1,991 needed – at the party’s convention in July are up for grabs. California and Texas are the day’s biggest prizes, with 415 and 228 delegates, respectively. 

More:

Super Tuesday comes amid a number of fast-moving developments for the Democratic Party: Former Vice President Joe Biden received endorsements from former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar, who dropped out of the race just ahead of the big election day. 

Despite Senator Bernie Sanders’s loss to Biden in South Carolina, he remains a frontrunner. His fellow progressive candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, is looking to make up for lost ground on Tuesday. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy will be tested for the first time on Tuesday as he participates in his first voting contests. The fifth Democrat still standing, Tulsi Gabbard, is polling just over 1 percent in national polls.

I’m Joseph and I’ll be taking over the blog from Laurin-Whitney for the next few hours. Here are all the latest updates as voters in 14 states and one US territory head to the polls:

18:45 GMT – No noticeable uptick in cyber attacks: Gov’t official

The national agency that oversees election security has not detected any notable uptick in either misinformation by foreign nations or targeted attacks on voting equipment during the first hours of voting during Super Tuesday.

Misinformation campaigns by Russian operatives and others are ongoing but there hasn’t been “any appreciable increase in activity,” as voters go to the polls for Super Tuesday, senior officials with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told reporters, according to Reuters news agency. 

Super Tuesday Maine

Louise Wilcox checks her ballots after coming out of a booth while voting in the primary election in Maine [Robert F. Bukaty/The Associated Press]

18:20 GMT – Election Protection coalition calls for extension of Tennessee primary

Election Protection, a national coalition that works to ensure election integrity, has called on Tennessee officials to extend the state’s primary after severe storms and tornadoes caused widespread destruction. 

In a letter to the Tennessee’s governor and secretary of state, the group said that “the storm has made it difficult, if not impossible, for many people to vote in today’s primary election”. 

The group also noted that the severe weather, which has killed at 22 people, has forced at least 24 polling stations to relocate. 

18:00 GMT – Coronavirus fears loom over Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday has begun amid a backdrop of an escalating political and economic crisis over the global outbreak of the coronavirus, which has infected some 90,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000, mostly in China.

In Travis County, Texas, voting got off to a slow start because many election workers did not show up, with some citing coronavirus fears, Reuters news agency reported, citing the county clerk’s office. The election office said it began implementing emergency procedures, with elections staff and others employees filling in as poll workers.

super tuesday

Wearing a mask as a precaution against passing or receiving germs, Joseph Dorocak casts his ballot on the eve of Super Tuesday at a voting center in Sacramento [Rich Pedroncelli/The Associated Press]

One California county sought to address concerns over the coronavirus by sending bottles of hand sanitizer to polling places and asking poll workers to post fliers from the public health department on how to avoid spreading the virus, according to Reuters. 

Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released guidance for polling stations instructing workers to frequently wash their hands and disinfect the machine and told those with symptoms to stay home.

17:45 GMT – Immigrant and Refugee rights group releases candidate score card

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) has released an immigration policy score card for each of the candidates.

The Texas-based non-profit judged each candidate based on 36 policy points falling under three categories “equality and inclusion for all people”, “build bridges not walls”, and “we were here because you were there”, which looks at foreign policy. 

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders scored the highest with “B-“, while Joe Biden was given a “C+” while Mike Bloomberg and Donald Trump were each given an “F”.

17:30 GMT – Report highlights difficulty of voting for transgender Americans

About 378,000 of an estimated 965,350 transgender adults who will be eligible to vote in the US 2020 general election could face barriers because they do not have an ID that correctly reflects their name or gender, according to a report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law published in February. 

Of those, nearly 81 transgender adults live in the eight states with the strictest forms of voter ID laws and risk disenfranchisement: Super Tuesday states Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia, as well as Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, and Wisconsin.

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted about the potential problem on Tuesday, and urged any voters facing issues to call the non-partisan Election Protection Hotline. 

17:00 GMT – Analysis: Virginia the state to watch on Super Tuesday

Jonathan Last, a conservative US pundit and prominent never-Trumper, has some good analysis over at the Bulwark about what state is worth watching particularly close today – Virginia.

Why? “…because it has a mix of lots of different types of Democratic voters: African-Americans, college-educated suburbanites, union workers, and rural voters. There are no dense urban cores and not a lot of heavy industry, but it might be a pretty good bellwether,” Last writes. 

He continues: “I suspect we are on the way to a protracted battle for the soul of the Democratic party that pits two very different coalitions against one another: African-Americans, union workers, and college-educated suburbanites versus progressives, young Hispanics, and populist outsiders.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden is currently projected to win an average of 52 out of the state’s 99 pledged delegates. 

16:45 GMT – Bloomberg acknowledges only path to victory is convention fight

Mike Bloomberg is acknowledging that his only path to the nomination is through a convention fight, while suggesting he may not win any states on Super Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at a field office in Miami, the business mogul and former mayor of New York City said, “I don’t know whether you’re gonna win any” when he was asked which of the 14 states voting Tuesday he believed he could win, according to the Associated Press news agency. 

Bloomberg added, “You don’t have to win states, you have to win delegates.” He suggested that no one will get a majority of delegates and “then you go to a convention, and we’ll see what happens.”

Bloomberg was then asked if he wanted a contested convention and he said, “I don’t think that I can win any other way.”

16:30 GMT – Tennessee not the only state facing severe Super Tuesday weather

In rural central Alabama, the National Weather Service had issued tornado warnings for at least five counties as polls began to open. 

In Bibb County, southwest of Birmingham, as seven poll workers were getting ready to open up the Lawley Senior Activity Center, cellphone alerts began going off with a tornado warning about 6:45 AM, volunteer Gwen Thompson told the Associated Press news agency. 

The storm knocked out electricity, she said, but the precinct’s two electronic voting machines had battery backups and a few people had cast ballots less than an hour later.

“We’re voting by flashlight,” Thompson said.

In Tennessee, tornadoes had killed 19 people early Tuesday, and forced many polling stations to relocate. 

tennessee tornado

A man walks through storm debris following a deadly tornado in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday [Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press]

16:15 GMT – Time for Warren’s political obituary? 

The New York Times already appears to be writing Elizabeth Warren’s political obituary this morning:

Now, as voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday, Ms. Warren’s campaign has all but admitted her pathway to winning the Democratic nomination outright has vanished. She enters March seeking to accumulate delegates for a potential contested convention and is most realistically hunting for them in more educated enclaves, like Seattle and Denver, where she recently held rallies and is investing heavily in advertising.”

“In many ways, the arc of the Warren candidacy is the story of her cornering an upscale demographic early, only to become confined to it, and then lose her grip on it,” the newspaper says.

The Times calls that upscale demographic the “wine track” of Democratic politics: white, affluent and college-educated voters, especially women.

Warren voted in her home state of Massachusetts in the last hour and didn’t sound like someone who is giving up just yet. But polls there have her trailing Sanders by 4 points. If she can’t win her own state, odds are that she’s not going to do terribly well nationally.

16:00 GMT – Bernie Sanders casts vote in Vermont 

Bernie Sanders, the frontrunner heading into Super Tuesday, has cast his vote in his home city of Burlington, Vermont. 

“To beat Donald Trump, we are going to need to have the largest voter turnout in the history of this country. We need energy. We need excitement. I think our campaign is that campaign,” he said. 

Polls indicate an all-but-sure majority for Sanders in the state, where he is forecasted to take an average of 12 of the 16 pledged delegates. 

15:45 GMT – Elizabeth Warren casts vote in Massachusetts

Elizabeth Warren has cast her ballot in her hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

In a video posted to her Instagram page, Warren speaks to a group of children before casting her ballot. As she leaves, a crowd of supports chants “welcome home”. 

Warren has eight delegates heading into Super Tuesday, far behind Bernie Sanders 60 and Joe Biden’s 54. She has vowed to stay in the race until the party’s national convention in July.

15:30 GMT – Sanders maintains demographic edge in key states: Report

Bernie Sanders may have the establishment apparatus of the Democratic Party lined up against him, but an analysis of voter preferences by congressional district concluded that he maintains a demographic edge over Joe Biden in key states like California and Texas with huge delegate counts.

The analysis of census data by the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, provided to CNN, concludes that because Sanders performs well among Hispanic voters and white voters without college degrees, he has a strong chance of earning delegates in congressional districts where those voters compose at least a quarter of the eligible electorate. 

Meanwhile, there are fewer Super Tuesday districts where Black voters and white voters with college degrees, who have been more resistant to Sanders, are prevalent, according to the analysis.

CAlifornia Voting

People vote on the deck of the Echo Park Deep Pool in Los Angeles, California [Mario Anzuoni/Reuters]

This is critical because, unlike the November general election, in which electoral college votes go to whichever candidate wins a state’s popular vote, many of the delegates in today’s primary elections will be distributed proportionally.

It’s not just about winning states, it’s about how much you win by and how much of the vote you get in both states and congressional districts. There are no winner-take-all states.

15:15 GMT – Polls have opened in California

Polls have opened in the California, a state with 415 delegates up for grabs, the most of any Super Tuesday states. 

Sanders is expected to win the majority, an average of 32 percent of the vote, according to polling by FiveThirtyEight. That equates to about 164 delegates, according to their forecasts. 

California voters who had already mailed in their ballot for a candidate who has since quit the race will be out of luck, as there is no provision in the state’s election law for a redo. 

15:00 GMT – Super Tuesday first contest to show latino influence

Super Tuesday is expected to be the first primary where the influence of the Latino vote will be felt, according to a report by Reuters news agency. 

Accounting for 13.3 percent of eligible voters, Latinos will be the largest minority voting group in the general election, according to the Pew Research Center.

That is an 80 percent jump since 2000, and compares to a share of black voters that has been roughly level since then at around 12 percent, and a white share that has fallen 10 percentage points to an estimated 66 percent of the eligible electorate.

Latinas for Warren

Supporters listen as US Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks at a rally at East Los Angeles College in Los Angeles [Lucy Nicholson/Reuters]

The Latino vote helped shaped recent local races in North Carolina and flipped California Congressional districts in 2018, according to Reuters, both Super Tuesday states.

With Latino populations leaning Democratic by about a two-to-one margin, Super Tuesday states like Texas and North Carolina could become increasingly competitive for democrats, along with Florida and Arizona, whose primaries are later in March. 

14:20 GMT – How will Biden’s victory in South Carolina affect the race? 

The short turnaround between Saturday’s primary in South Carolina, which Biden ran away with, and today’s voting means there hasn’t been much in the way of polling to gauge what impact, if any, that outcome had on voters. This morning, we got one from Data for Progress, a progressive thing-tank.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers just after the Nevada caucuses, which Sanders dominated, and South Carolina:

Post-Nevada:

  • Colorado: Sanders over Biden by 24 points
  • North Carolina: Sanders over Biden by 2 points.
  • Texas: Sanders over Biden by 9 points
  • Virginia: Sanders over Biden by 9 points

Post South Carolina:

  • Colorado: Sanders over Biden by 14 points
  • North Carolina: Biden over Sanders by 9 points
  • Texas: Biden over Sanders by 2 points
  • Virginia: Biden over Sanders by 15 Points.

Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight, one of the top American political prognosticators, has adjusted his projections and now predicts Biden winning the delegate race against Sanders, but failing to secure enough to win the nomination outright.

Sanders remains firmly in the lead in FiveThirtyEight average of national polls.

A brokered convention remains the odds-on favourite.

13:39 GMT – Trump kicks off Super Tuesday with tweets aimed at Bloomberg 

Trump kicked off his Twitter game on Tuesday with tweets aimed at Michael Bloomberg. 

“Mini Mike Bloomberg can never recover from his incompetent debate performances,” Trump tweeted, using his self-declared nickname for the former New York City mayor. 

“Also as mayor he was very bad under pressure – a chocker!” Trump added without elaborating. 

13:00 GMT – When will polls close? 

The 14 states voting on Tuesday cover nearly all time zones in the US. Here’s a look at when polling stations close across the US.

Closing at 7:00pm EST (00:00 GMT) 

  • Vermont and Virginia

Closing at 7:30pm EST (00:30 GMT) 

  • North Carolina

Closing at 8:00pm EST (01:00 GMT) 

  • Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas

Closing at 8:30pm EST (01:30 GMT) 

Closing at 9pm EST (02:00 GMT) 

  • Colorado, Minnesota, El Paso, Texas

Closing at 10pm EST (03:00 GMT) 

Closing at 11pm EST (04:00 GMT)

  • California

12:52 GMT – Tornadoes kill 7, affect polling stations in Tennessee

Tornadoes that ripped through parts of Tennessee, early on Tuesday, killing at least seven people, have closed some polling stations in the state. 

The city government of Nashville said voters whose polling stations were hit by the twister can vote at two Election Commission office locations instead. 

Polling across Davidson County, where Nashville is located, are also opening an hour late due to the tornado. The tornados also affected the counties of Putnam and Benton. 

Tennessee tornado

A resident makes her way down a street amid downed trees and heavy debris in Nashville, Tennessee [Brett Carlsen/Getty Images/AFP] 

12:41 GMT – #IVoted: Voters share voting experiences online

Voters in the East Coast Super Tuesday states and those abroad are taking to social media to share their voting experiences online.

12:07 GMT – How many delegates are up for grabs in each state? 

More than 1,300 delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday. Here’s the breakdown based on state: 

  • California: 415
  • Texas: 228
  • North Carolina: 110
  • Virginia: 99
  • Massachusetts: 91
  • Minnesota: 75
  • Colorado: 67
  • Tennessee: 64
  • Alaska: 31
  • Utah: 29
  • Maine: 24
  • Vermont: 16
  • Democrats abroad: 13
  • American Samoa: 6






How the US chooses its presidential candidates (07:43)

11:46 GMT – Polls open in most East Coast Super Tuesday states

Polls have opened in a number of East Coast states, including Virginia, North Carolina and Maine. Some polling locations have also opened in Vermont and Massachusetts. 

11:45 GMT – What’s is the delegate count so far? 

Of the remaining candidates, here’s a look at how many delegates each candidate has heading into Super Tuesday: 

  • Bernie Sanders – 60
  • Joe Biden – 54
  • Elizabeth Warren – 8
  • Michael Bloomberg – 0
  • Tulsi Gabbard – 0

*A candidate needs 1,991 to win

11:40 GMT – Who are the candidates? 

Last year Democrats saw a diverse field of more than 25 candidates. Today there are only five. 

  • Joe Biden: The 77-year-old served as vice president under former President Barack Obama. Before that he served nearly four decades in Congress. He got a boost on Saturday in a major victory in South Carolina. Read more about Biden here
  • Michael Bloomberg: The 78-year-old is the former mayor of New York City (2002-2013). The billionaire enter the race late and the Super Tuesday contests are the first he is competing in. Read more about Bloomberg here
  • Tulsi Gabbard: Many are surprised that the 38-year-old US representative from Hawaii is still in the race. She’s been polling at just over 1 percent. Read more about her here
  • Bernie Sanders: The 78-year-old senator from Vermont says he’s mounting a grassroots effort to beat Trump. The self-described Democratic socialist remains a frontrunner after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, as well as the popular vote in Iowa. Read more about Sanders here
  • Elizabeth Warren: The 70-year-old senator from Massachusetts is looking to regain the momentum she had last year, but poor performances in the early voting contests may prove too difficult to overcome. Read more about Warren here

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Voters in 14 states and one US territory head to the polls in the largest day of voting of the primary season.

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