Super Tuesday 2016: Live Updates and Analysis - Live Blogs & Updates - ABCNews

Super Tuesday 2016: Live Updates and Analysis

Today is a critical day as voters in a total of 12 states and 1 territory cast their ballots for who they believe should be their party's presidential nominee. Super Tuesday will be winnowing the presidential field -- possibly ending a campaign for some -- or helping a dark horse gain momentum. Keep checking back for updates as the ABC News political team reports on Super Tuesday.

    Video: Bernie Sanders Votes in Vermont Primary on Super Tuesday

    ABC NewsThe Democratic candidate and his wife Jane voted bright and early on Super Tuesday.

    How Many Delegates Do the Candidates Have so Far?

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER, PAOLA CHAVEZ, and ALANA ABRAMSON: There have been election events for both parties in four states--Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.

    On the GOP side, these are the current delegate counts:

    Donald Trump: 82

    Ted Cruz: 17

    Marco Rubio: 16

    John Kasich: 6

    Ben Carson: 4

    For the Democrats, without counting superdelegates, Hillary Clinton has 91 and Bernie Sanders has 65 delegates.

    History of “Super Tuesday”

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER and PAOLA CHAVEZ: The phrase “Super Tuesday” was first used in the 1980s when Alabama, Georgia and Florida all held their primaries on the same day.

    Four years later that number grew to 9. That presidential election year, former Minnesota Sen. Walter Mondale survived the loss of seven states to his main opponent, but nabbed the eventual nomination at the Democratic national convention.

    In 1988 the foundation for today’s Super Tuesday was created, Southern Super Tuesday, and included mostly Southern states. Up until 2004 these Southern primaries were held the week following Super Tuesday.

    Today, the day when the greatest number of states hold primary elections has been dubbed the “SEC Primary” since many of the states who vote are represented in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), a U.S. college athletics league.

    Who Can Vote Today?

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER and PAOLA CHAVEZ: Voting rules vary based on the state’s type of election. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia all have open primaries. This means that a registered voter in these states, regardless of their party registration, can cast their ballot for a candidate in either party. Oklahoma has a closed primary and American Samoa, Alaska, Colorado, and Minnesota all have closed caucuses. Voters in these states must vote for a candidate within their registered party. Massachusetts has a “modified closed” primary where registered Republicans and Democrats must vote in their own parties, but independents can choose to affiliate with either party once they get to the polls. Democrats living abroad may also vote in their “global presidential primary” beginning on Super Tuesday.

    Clinton on Trump's David Duke endorsement. "I'm going to continue to speak out against bigotry wherever I see it"


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    The Snapchat Scene on Super Tuesday

    ABC's CARLY ROMANAs the votes are rolling in and Super Tuesday sweeps the nation, Snapchat is responding with a series of themed geofilters. The majority of the filters feature a cloud in the bottom left-hand corner with the name of the state followed by the word "primary." Amid the uniformity, some filters have gotten a bit more creative. In what may be an appeal to liberal northeastern voters, the Bernie Sanders campaign has created a sponsored filter for Massachusetts that reads "MA for Bernie" and reminds voters that Sanders is "not the billionaire."  Beneath the allotted space for photos is a cartoon of Sanders beside a picture of a flame, a representation of his "feel the bern" slogan. Non-candidates have also joined in on today's social media festivities, with Newt Gingrich sporting an "I Voted" geofilter at a Super Tuesday rally.

    HRC on if Trump will be nominee: "Obviously he’s done very well, he could be on the path, maybe somebody else could intervene & rise above"

    The states participating in Super Tuesday voting today. 

    Super Tuesday Visits

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER, PAOLA CHAVEZ and ALANA ABRAMSON: Before the results rolled in during the South Carolina primary, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was already on to the Super Tuesday States – but he wasn’t the only one, Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich hit the trail for Georgia as supporters were casting their ballots in the Nevada caucus.

    So, just how many times did each candidate pay a Super Tuesday state a visit? Let’s take a look.

    Donald Trump: 27

    Ted Cruz: 35

    Marco Rubio: 18

    John Kasich: 18

    Ben Carson:26

    And on the other side of the aisle,

    Hillary Clinton:25

    Bernie Sanders: 24

    *does not include number of stops made in each state or visits for interviews/fundraising.

    Hillary Clinton Takes Questions from Traveling Press for First Time in 88 Days

    ABC's LIZ KREUTZFor the first time in 88 days, Hillary Clinton took questions from her traveling press corps during a coffee shop stop in Minnesota this afternoon. 

    Her decision to take questions came after growing pressure from reporters and the RNC who have recently been tweeting and writing stories about the lack of access to her. 

    Clinton regularly ignores reporters on the rope line and also travels in a separate charter than her press corps. "I don’t know, we’re working hard everywhere and I know it’s hard and I think uh, all we could do is hope people turn out for the primaries and caucuses and we wanna do as well as we can," Clinton said when asked how she thinks she's do today.

    On if Bernie Sanders has a path forward after Super Tuesday, Clinton said: "I’m not gonna comment on that let’s see what voters decide and all these states that are lined up today and we’ll take stalk after it’s over but I gotta keep going, I got a lot of work to do between now and next Tuesday and Tuesday I’m back." 

    It’s a Family Affair

    ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ: Former President Bill Clinton paid the Bay State a surprise visit today for his wife, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

    While in Newton, Clinton told reporters he was focused on Super Tuesday and that he hasn’t given a Trump-Clinton face-off ‘one thought’.

    Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Massachusetts tweeted a photo thanking the former president for coming out.

    In other cities around the Bay State massive crowds gathered to greet Clinton. The Boston Herald reports Clinton will be making four stops in Massachusetts.

    Trump Pips Hillary in Pre-K Super Tuesday Caucus

    Credit: Kassie D. Ingle  

    We have an early Super Tuesday result in from a Pre-K classroom in rural Oklahoma. Not wanting their parents to have all the fun, these toddlers decided to exercise their democratic rights too. The kids watched campaign commercials and then took a secret ballot. Trump came out victorious in this vital constituency, pipping Hillary by four votes to three. Every candidate got at least one vote, even Ben Carson. 

    "We watched candidate commercials, and then they cast their vote with a red star sticker, next to the photo they liked best," Kassie D. Ingle, the teacher of the class, explained to ABC News. "I asked one why she voted the way she did, she just said "because I wanted to"!   They even went behind a screen to vote, so they would not be influenced by a friend's vote.

    Credit: Kassie D. Ingle 

    Ted Cruz: Super Tuesday Is “Single Best Opportunity to Beat Donald Trump”

    ABC’s BYRON PITTS, JOSH HASKELL and JESSICA HOPPER: A smiling Ted Cruz walked into his local polling place joined by his wife and two young daughters. He expressed optimism about his chances in Texas and described the stakes of Super Tuesday as the “single best opportunity to beat Donald Trump.” Wearing jeans, Cruz waited in line with his wife Heidi and two daughters Caroline and Catherine at West Gray Community Center. Cruz walked into the voting room holding the hand of his daughter. While he voted, his girls stood with him. At times, he picked them up.  When he finished voting, he posed with selfies with some at the polling location. Talking to reporters before he voted, Cruz said he would do “very, very well” in Texas. "It’s going to be Texans who make their decision but there is no doubt that any candidate who cannot win his home state has real problems,” Cruz said. The Texas senator said that Trump is benefiting from a splintered vote and said the time for unity against Trump was now.

    Marco Rubio Has a Message for "Con-ald" Trump

    ABC's INES DE LA CUETARA: Marco Rubio while campaigning in Anderson, Minnesota today said he had a message for "Con-ald" Trump calling on him to drop out.

    "I laugh when I read that after tonight Trump says I should drop out. I have a message for Mr. Trump. Donald. Con-ald Trump. I will campaign in all 50 states. I will get in my pickup truck and drive around the country if I have to before I allow the party of Reagan fall into the hands of a con man," he said.

    He started off his speech by telling the crowd that “tonight you have an important decision to make...Tonight you can begin to ask what kind of country we are going to be.”

    "It starts tonight in just a few hours and I need your help," he said.

    Rubio asked Minnesota to caucus for him and to convince their friends to do so, too, because "friends don't let friends vote for Donald Trump."

    Bernie Sanders has dominated in the youth vote heading into Super Tuesday. 

    I've met several voters who changed minds from Trump to Rubio this weekend. Attacks seem to be working...but they also call antics childish.

    How Republican Candidates are Polling in Texas

    ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ: Texas’ very own, Sen. Ted Cruz is leading the GOP pack, according to a NBC/WSJ/Marist poll released Sunday. The Texas senator has garnered 39 percent support, compared to Donald Trump’s 26 percent, Marco Rubio’s 16 percent, Ben Carson’s 8 percent and John Kasich’s 6 percent support.

    How Democratic Candidates are Polling in Texas

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER: Among Democratic voters in the Lone Star state. Hillary Clinton has a sizeable lead over Bernie Sanders. In the latest NBC/WSJ/Marist poll, 59 percent of likely primary voters were with her -- a 21 point lead over Sanders.

    Burlington Brewery Backs Bernie with New Beer  

    ABC's MARYALICE PARKS: A brewery in downtown Burlington launched new beer today on Super Tuesday inspired by their own presidential hopeful, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. According to one of the co-owners of Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, the “slightly sour” and “forward-thinking" ale has been a huge hit. Wilson told ABC News that they brewed 900 gallons and sold about half of the cans in the first hour after long lines formed outside.

    Wilson said making the beer was a way of “celebrating a Vermonter going for the presidency.”

     “Such a big deal in today’s day and age. What it takes to actually get there. It is really fun to see one of our own doing such a great job, and really representing Vermont so well. He is really making us all proud,” Wilson continued. 

    How Democratic Candidates are Polling in Tennessee

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER: Hillary Clinton has a 26 point lead over Bernie Sanders in the Volunteer State. In an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll released Sunday, Clinton has 60 percent support among likely Democratic voters; Sanders has 34 percent.

    How Republican Candidates are Polling in Tennessee

    ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZDonald Trump holds a nearly 20 point lead in Tennessee, according to a poll released Sunday. Following the real estate mogul is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, with 22 percent support, Marco Rubio with 19 percent, Ben Carson with 9 percent and John Kasich with 6 percent.

    Signs Of Record GOP Turnout in Virginia

    ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS: An indication of what is expected to be a record-setting GOP turnout in today's Virginia primary.

    Arlington County has had to order more Republican ballots after some precincts have seen quadruple the level of Republican voters expected, according to the Arlington County Department of Voter Registration and Elections.

    In 2008, the last time Virginia had a dual party primary, a precinct that had 70 Republican voters has had 250 today, according to 2 PM counts.

    Overall based on these early figures, there is increase from 7 percent GOP participation in '08 to 10 percent this year, according to an Arlington County representative.

    The VA Republican Party is touting the high GOP turnout in Arlington County in particular since the DC suburb is not exactly a bastion of Republican support.

    Republican voters are angry at the government. A look at the first four contests before Super Tuesday.

    Marco Rubio Talks Super Tuesday, Lists States He Thinks He'll Do Well In

    ABC's INES DE LA CUETARA: Speaking to reporters after his rally in Andover, Minnesota, Marco Rubio said this might not be such a great night for Donald Trump.

    "We’re gonna have a lot of delegates after tonight and you’re gonna see very clearly after tonight that Donald Trump has no chance of ever getting the delegates he needs to be the nominee," he said. 

    He also said it might also be a rough night for Cruz. 

    "This was supposed to be Ted Cruz’s day. This was the day where he said he was going to bring an end to the campaign, Super Tuesday, he was going to sweep the South. don’t think that’s going to happen -- it’s pretty clear now, and so I think he has big problems as he faces that," he said. 

    "If you can’t sweep up Super Tuesday where else in this country are you going to get a big showing? Because it only gets worse from here for him. It only gets better for us and I feel good about it," he went on. 

    But said that Cruz "has a right to stay in this as long as he wants to," even if he loses Texas.

    Finally gave some specifics about what states he hoped to do well in. 

    "We feel great about Minnesota we feel great about Virginia we feel great about a bunch of them," he said, adding he was confident they would get a lot of delegates. 

    Asked if he thought he could finish ahead of Ted Cruz in a majority of the states tonight, he said "we'll see."

    "I certainly think we’re going to do a lot better than we’re expected to do tonight," he said. 

    Although Florida doesn't hold its primary until March 15, Rubio feels confident he'll win his homestate.

    Video: Vermont Brewery Celebrates Super Tuesday With Bernie Beer

    ABC NewsSupports of Bernie Sanders celebrate the Vermont senator by launching a new beer - "Bernie Weiss" -at Zero Gravity brewery in Burlington, Vt. on Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
    According to campaign @BernieSanders spent day doing radio intvs, walking on Church street, getting soup w/ his son & thanking volunteers

    What Happened Last Time?

    ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER and PAOLA CHAVEZ: In 2008 -- the last election without an incumbent candidate -- Super Tuesday was a decisive victory for John McCain, who would go on to become the GOP nominee. In the Democratic race, Super Tuesday did not provide a clear victory to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Although Obama won more states overall, Clinton won states with higher numbers of delegates.

    How Other Republican Nominees Have Fared in the Past

    ABC’s JEFF NAFT: In the 2008 Republican presidential primary, Arizona Sen. John McCain won 602 delegates from nine states, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 201 delegates  won seven states, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won 152 delegates from five states.  Sen. McCain won over half of the needed 1,191 delegates to be the GOP nominee on Super Tuesday.

    In the 2012 Republican presidential primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won 238 delegates from six states, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won 85 delegates from three states, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich won 79 delegates by winning his home state of Georgia. Gov. Romney won over 20 percent of the needed 1,144 delegates to be the GOP on Super Tuesday.

    In Texasfewer than half of GOP voters – about four in 10 – are looking for a political outsider, fewer than anywhere else.  Read more here.

    Video: Hillary Clinton Repeatedly Ignores Press...And It's Hilarious

    ABC NewsThe Democratic presidential candidate regularly ignores reporters out on the campaign trail.

    How Other Democratic Nominees Have Fared in the Past

    ABC’s JEFF NAFT: In the 2004 Democratic presidential primary, then-Sen. John Kerry won nine out of the ten states. Kerry’s main competition following Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s departure from the presidential race was North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who narrowly lost the Iowa caucuses to Sen. Kerry. Gov. Dean dropped out of the race after his below expectations third place finish in Iowa and second place finish New Hampshire. On Super Tuesday, Sen. Edwards did not win a single state and only won 207 delegates and Sen. Kerry received 844 delegates, which was just under 40 percent of the needed 2162 delegates needed to be the Democratic nominee.

    In the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, then-Sen. Barack Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton were locked in a fierce battle for delegates, which were crucial to winning the nomination. On Super Tuesday, Sen. Obama won 13 states and received 847 delegates and Sen. Clinton won 10 states and received 834 delegates. On a normal Super Tuesday, after the front-runner won a majority of the states’ contests, the front-runner would become their party’s presumptive nominee. Instead, Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton won nearly the same amount of states and delegates. Due to their virtual tie, both candidates continued their campaigns to win their party’s nomination.

    More voters in Oklahoma think Sanders is honest and trustworthy than say the same about Clinton (seven in 10 vs. half).  Read more here.

    Long Lines Snarl Voters

    ABC's JENNIFER HANSLER: Voters in a number of states were faced with long lines at their polling stations. While some only waited minutes to cast their ballots, others reported waiting hours as lines stretched out of buildings and around blocks. Others reported technical glitches and broken voting machines at their election locations.

    Analysis: Super Tuesday Bringing Super Meltdown to Republican Party

    ABC’s RICK KLEIN: How the party gets from here is perhaps more complicated. Trump may still get blocked via the front door, though options for denying him a majority of delegates are limited, given the still-divided nature of his opposition. Trump has repeatedly threatened to go third-party himself if the GOP establishment tries to steal the nomination from him. Whether it’s Trump or someone else going that route, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where that doesn’t result in the election of a Democrat to the White House – Hillary Clinton, most likely. Trump himself has shown a repeated capacity for defying expectations. He should not be underestimated in his appeal to working-class voters, and building new and unexpected coalitions of voters. Republican Party leaders have boasted of the turnout records they’re setting in early-voting states – evidence, they say, that the GOP can grow and is growing, even while Democratic turnout falls well short of 2008 levels. The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, has made clear that the only bet that matters this year is on the White House. “We're cooked as a party for quite a while as a party if we don't win in 2016,” Priebus said in October, back when most in the party assumed Trump would collapse by now. Read more.

    NEWABC News projects Hillary Clinton will win Georgia Democratic Primary and the Virginia Democratic Primary, based on exit poll data.

    ABC News projects Bernie Sanders will win Vermont Democratic Primary, based on exit poll data. Read more.

    NEWABC News projects Donald Trump will win Georgia GOP Primary, based
    on exit poll data and vote analysis.
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