The Stream: Super Tuesday Edition
The Stream is your source for news, photos and analysis from NPR's political team on the ground on Super Tuesday. For more coverage and analysis visit NPR Politics or elections.npr.org.
The Stream: Super Tuesday Edition
Hillary Clinton And Black Voters
Hillary Clinton needs the support of black voters to secure the Democratic nomination. Tonight, we got a glimpse of the support for Clinton in the African-American community. In Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, she beat Sanders by more than 50 percentage points among black voters.
Take Alabama as an example; more than half of the voters in the Democratic primary today were black. And among those black voters, exit polls show Clinton beat Sanders by 86 points.
She had strong victories, but the big question has always been whether Clinton can galvanize enough black support to propel her to victory in a general election. Black voters were a key force in President Obama's coalition in 2008 and again in 2012. And Democratic turnout in Southern states with large black populations appears to be much lower today than it was in 2008. — Asma Khalid
Jubilant Crowd For Cruz
Ted Cruz supporters here at the Redneck Country Club are jubilant after Cruz managed to capture two Super Tuesday states. It was massively important for the senator to have a strong showing tonight, since he campaigned heavily in so-called SEC states.
His supporters now say that it's clear he, and not Marco Rubio, is the alternative choice to Donald Trump. In his victory speech Cruz questioned Trump's conservative credentials and urged voters to support him as the only candidate who could bring conservative change to Washington. — Will Huntsberry
Ted Cruz: Trump Would Be A 'Disaster'
"So long as the field remains divided, Donald Trump's path to the nomination seems more likely, and that would be a disaster for Republicans, for conservatives, and for the nation."
"We are the only campaign that has beaten Donald Trump, once, twice, three times!"
"America should not have a president whose words would make you embarrassed if your children repeated them."
Trump's Broadened CoalitionAP
A couple of months ago, the conventional wisdom was that Donald Trump was banking on the support of white working-class voters. And tonight, he certainly did well with the noncollege population; he overwhelmingly won its support.
But early exit polls also suggest the businessman turned politician has built a much broader coalition. In Massachusetts, a majority of GOP primary voters had a college degree. And Trump seems to have won college grads overwhelmingly. Early exit polls show he had 45 percent to Ohio Gov. John Kasich's 21 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's 19 percent. The three of them were in a virtual tie among postgraduates. Keep in mind, of course, we don't have the margin of error for these polls.
In Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, it was a similar story. Trump won college grads. The picture is more complicated in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia and Arkansas. But the exit polls suggest even if Trump did not win college voters, he came close. The results debunk the idea that Trump has a ceiling limited to white working-class voters. — Asma Khalid
Kasich: Crazy Stuff And Precious Moments
"You know this campaign is pretty crazy stuff. But you know what, there have been so many precious moments. And moments that have changed my life."
"If we continue to spend money like drunken sailors ... if you don't have fiscal responsibility, you can't make it."
"I do not believe that economic growth is an end unto itself. Sometimes they call me a different kind of Republican, and I welcome that. You see, I don't believe that in the United States of America, the mentally ill ought to be living in prisons or sleeping under a bridge. I think it's time to put the resources towards helping them to get on their feet and get their God-given destiny."
Trump: 'I'm A Unifier'
In his Super Tuesday speech, Trump complimented Ted Cruz on his "excellent win" in Cruz's home state of Texas. He mocked Marco Rubio, again calling him a "lightweight" and saying that Rubio had a tough night despite attacking Trump. He vowed to take on the "little senator," as he put it, in his home state of Florida on March 15.
Trump also launched into a version of his stump speech here in an opulent room at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. The room in the exclusive club is full of reporters and invited guests — but no general public.
He also said he is a "unifier" who would bring the Republican Party together in opposition to Hillary Clinton.
— Sarah McCammon
Marco Rubio: On His First Day In Office
"On my first day in office, I'm going to cancel every single one of Barack Obama's unconstitutional executive orders."
"Just five days ago, we began to unmask the true nature of the front-runner so far in this race. Five days ago, we began to explain to the American people that Donald Trump is a con artist. And in just five days, we have seen the impact it is having all across the country."
"Two weeks from tonight, right here in Florida, we are going to send a message loud and clear. We are going to send a message that the party of Lincoln and Reagan and the presidency of the United States will never be held by a con artist."
Hillary Clinton: Love And Kindness
"I believe what we need in America today is more love and kindness. ... Instead of building walls, we're going to break down barriers."
"This country belongs to all of us, not just those at the top."
"Now this campaign moves on to the Crescent City, the Motor City and beyond."
Rubio Sees Crowd, But Little Reason To Cheer
Sizable crowd at @marcorubio rally in Florida, but early #SuperTuesday returns haven't given much reason to cheer. pic.twitter.com/tyX4ASCzZA— BrakktonBooker, NPR (@brakktonbooker) March 2, 2016
Department Of Perplexing
In the department of the perplexing, there are @HillaryClinton and @realDonaldTrump impersonators at Clinton's party pic.twitter.com/Nq3C8dD63e— Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) March 2, 2016
— Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) March 2, 2016
Bernie Sanders 'Don't Need No SuperPAC'
In Essex Junction, Vt., the Champlain Valley Expo Center filled up with Bernie Sanders supporters there to watch Super Tuesday results come in. Before Sanders spoke, cheering fans in the bleachers chanted, "Bernie Sanders has our back. We don't need no superPAC." They kind of have a point. Sanders just announced that his campaign raised $42 million in February alone, with mostly small donations and no superPAC of his own. Sanders' team says it raised $6 million just on Monday.
That means regardless of the outcome tonight, Sanders can afford to keep going. And that's the message his campaign has been sending over the past few days. Sanders told the traveling press Monday that by the end of Super Tuesday, only 15 states will have had democratic nominating contests and that he thinks all states deserve the chance to "pick the candidate of their choice." — Sam Sanders
Voting In Texas
This Is Where Trump Will Speak
This is the room where Trump will speak tonight, expected around 9 p.m. ET. Press is setting up now and doing mic checks — it's a tight squeeze and a little chaotic already, and we still have more than two hours to go before Trump is scheduled to speak.
Reax At Clinton HQ
This is what happened at the Clinton party when CNN announced her wins at 8 p.m. pic.twitter.com/nlsk9XUTzZ
— Tamara Keith
Bernie Sanders Spoke In Vermont
"This campaign is about ... transforming America."
"This country should not be having more people in jail than any other country. That's wrong."
"What a political revolution is about is bringing people together."
Cruz's Redneck Country Club
If you thought the chandelier at Trump's rally was nice, you haven't been to the Redneck Country Club in Stratford, Texas, just outside Houston. Ted Cruz will hold a rally here tonight and hopes to pull out a big victory against Donald Trump. — Will Huntsberry
Team Clinton Confident Of Mid-March Win
As supporters file into the Stage One Ice Palace in Miami to the tunes of a live band, the Clinton campaign is expressing confidence it is well on the way to a big night. Campaign press secretary Brian Fallon tells NPR that campaign workers believe Clinton can build up a big enough delegate lead by mid-March to put the nomination out of reach of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
As for expectations for tonight, Fallon says Sanders really only tried to compete in five states and Clinton should be able to keep most of those contests close enough to limit his delegate haul. Meanwhile, in the Southern states where Sanders didn't spend considerable time or money, Fallon says, Clinton should be able to notch decisive victories, adding to her delegate lead in a big way.
Fallon says Sanders did raise more money than Clinton in February, though he didn't provide the exact numbers. That means Sanders will have the strength to keep fighting on and no doubt win at least a few more states in the weeks ahead. Fallon says Clinton will keep fighting for every vote (a common refrain for the Clinton campaign for months now). But Fallon called on Sanders to elevate the dialogue and go back to focusing on issues. That is to say, since the Nevada caucuses Sanders has started calling on Clinton to release the transcripts from her Wall Street speeches. Those sorts of attacks could damage Clinton, and Fallon says it would be better for the Democratic Party if Sanders turned less negative.
It seems unlikely Sanders will appreciate Fallon's advice. — Tamara Keith
Rubio Will Be At A Miami Equestrian Center
The Rubio event is billed as a big "Florida Kickoff Rally." That title includes a big hint as to where Rubio will be spending most of his time between now and March 15, when Florida holds its big, 99-delegate, winner-take-all GOP primary.
Tonight's Super Tuesday election night bash will take place here at the Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center, which is part of a massive sports/recreational complex in Miami. — Don Gonyea
Bernie Sanders' Playlist Tonight
The Bernie playlist tonight. Toots, Bowie, and Pearl Jam on deck. pic.twitter.com/HGENaKWrjt— Nick Fountain (@nickfountain) March 1, 2016
Does Minnesota Matter?
This was supposed to be the year that Minnesota mattered in presidential politics.
The Democratic and Republican parties wedged their usually sleepy caucuses into Super Tuesday and made the votes binding in the eventual selection of convention delegates.
So far, it's been a tale of two parties.
Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both made plays, dumping a healthy amount into TV advertising and ground-level organizing. A pair of dueling ads feature well-known local surrogates, Sen. Al Franken making a pitch for Clinton and Rep. Keith Ellison urging people to caucus for Sanders.
Both candidates have made multiple stops, including back-to-back appearances at a major party dinner. Sanders devoted crucial hours last month to a rally in far northern Minnesota, hoping to sway voters in a struggling mining region with his message of economic justice.
Clinton was blown out in 2008 by then-Sen. Barack Obama, so her campaign built up sooner and scooped up high-profile endorsements to fend off another insurgent candidate.
There has been virtually no pre-caucus polling and some Democratic insiders predict a tight race.
On the Republican side, there was light foot traffic among the hopefuls and not a penny put into broadcast ads. Only Marco Rubio paid a visit since the nomination voting began.
Candidates with deep ties to social conservatives usually perform well. But in a state that delivered Jesse Ventura to the governor's mansion, no one was counting out Donald Trump.
Come fall, Minnesota may be back to flyover territory. No Republican nominee has won the state since 1972, and the party hasn't notched any kind of statewide win in a decade. — Brian Bakst, Minnesota Public Radio
Bernie Sanders And Vermont
As far as the Democratic primary goes, there isn't much suspense about who will take Vermont on Super Tuesday. The state's native son (by way of Brooklyn, that is), Sen. Bernie Sanders, is expected to cruise to an easy victory over challenger Hillary Clinton. A recent Vermont Public Radio poll predicts as much, with 78 percent of likely voters favoring the senator and just 13 percent supporting the former secretary of state. Local theatrics for the candidates are similarly lopsided: While Clinton's Vermont supporters have been noticeably soft-spoken, area Bernie paraphernalia is now running the gamut from cookies and skis to graffiti and even tattoos.
On the GOP ticket, it looks like Donald Trump's high-profile visit to the Green Mountain State in January may pay off — the same VPR poll found that Trump is leading his party's field with roughly 33 percent of the vote, more than twice that of Marco Rubio (14.6 percent) and John Kasich (14.1 percent).
But the primaries are one thing, and the national conventions are another, and Vermont's delegations in both parties are among the smallest in the country. Nevertheless, with some Democratic superdelegates — including Gov. Peter Shumlin and Sanders' fellow senator, Patrick Leahy — pledging to back Hillary Clinton, some of their constituents are feeling, well, Berned. — Angela Evancie, Vermont Public Radio
Tennessee And Anti-Islamic Sentiment
Tennessee, like the rest of the country, is being reshaped by immigration.
Statistically the state remains one of the least diverse in the South. Nearly 4 in 5 Tennesseans is a white non-Hispanic. But that has made the recent wave of immigration all the more jarring.
The most remarkable change has been the emergence of a sizable Muslim community. Thousands of Kurds resettled in Nashville after the first Gulf War; the city is sometimes described as having the largest Kurdish community outside the Middle East. Arabs and Somalis have also moved into the state in significant numbers. And even in the smallest Tennessee towns, it's not unusual to meet doctors who've come to the country on J-1 visas.
The sudden introduction of families who might dress, eat and pray differently from most other Tennesseans has created friction. Many evangelical and conservative voters view them with suspicion, and candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz speak directly to their concerns. Those fears have only deepened in the wake of last year's shooting deaths of five servicemen in Chattanooga at the hands of a Tennessee-raised Muslim man.
One of the biggest questions is whether these worries will fade in time or represent a permanent fault line in the state's politics.
Either way, anti-Islamic rhetoric is likely to be a feature of the 2016 campaign in Tennessee. — Chas Sisk, Nashville Public Radio
Press Conference In ParadiseRachel Lushinsky/NPR
What Super Tuesday Voters Are Talking About On Facebook
Voters in Super Tuesday states haven't been talking too much about the economy today.
That's according to Facebook, which shared big-picture data about online conversations taking place in the 13 states voting or caucusing.
According to Facebook, "racism and discrimination" is the top discussion topic in Super Tuesday states, followed by "Christianity," "guns," "immigration" and "Benghazi." All in all, nine different topics led "jobs," which came in at No. 10.
These data are from midnight to noon ET.
Here's the full list from Facebook:
1. Racism & Discrimination
7. Islam and Muslims
9. Crime & Criminal Justice
— Scott Detrow
Ryan Confronts Trump On Duke EndorsementAP
House Speaker Paul Ryan has, for the most part, steered clear of the presidential race this year.
On the morning of Super Tuesday, though, Ryan confronted Republican front-runner Donald Trump over a weekend interview in which Trump failed to fully disavow an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
NPR's Susan Davis reports from Capitol Hill:
"Ryan... called out GOP candidate Donald Trump for insufficiently rebuking David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, and his white supremacist politics.
" 'This is the kind of moment where we should be having a serious debate about the policies to restore the American idea. Instead, the conversation over the last few days has been about white supremacist groups,' he told reporters Tuesday after the weekly House GOP meeting.
"Ryan has, for the most part, stayed out of presidential politics.
" 'If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or any cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people's prejudices.' "
Trump has since blamed his answer to CNN on a faulty earpiece.
Florida Isn't Voting Tuesday, But It Is Still Front And CenterDon Gonyea/NPR
With 13 states going to the polls, Super Tuesday is the biggest day on the primary calendar.
But political campaigns are about forward progress, and that's why three candidates — Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — will be holding their events in Florida tonight.
Florida is a top-tier prize in the next important date on the primary calendar, March 15.
NPR's Don Gonyea is on the ground in Miami and sends this image.
— Scott Detrow
Bernie Sanders Feeling The Bern In VermontJacquelyn Martin/AP
Vermont is one of the 11 states holding Democratic primaries or caucuses today, so that means Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got to cast a ballot this morning.
"After a lot of deliberation I know that Bernie Sanders here in Vermont got at least one vote," Sanders told reporters, according to the New York Times. "I was working on my wife. So I probably got two. So we are feeling pretty good."
Sanders has good reason to be "feeling pretty good" about Vermont. He has represented the state in Congress since 1991 and before that served as mayor of Burlington for nearly a decade.
Plus, Sanders won neighboring New Hampshire by more than 20 points last month.
Vermont will be among the first wave of states reporting results tonight. Its polls close at 7.
— Scott Detrow
Gearing UpStewart F. House/Getty Images