Joe Biden And Donald Trump Rack Up Super Tuesday Wins And Head Toward A November Rematch; Nikki Haley Victorious In Vermont

UPDATED, with latest results: Donald Trump and Joe Biden dominated a majority of Super Tuesday contests this evening, making it all the more certain that the November election will be a rematch.

Biden and Trump were projected to be the winners, by a wide margin, of party primaries in California, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Maine, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Alabama, Utah and Tennessee. Biden also was projected to win Vermont, and Trump won a caucus in Alaska.

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The lingering question was whether Nikki Haley would continue her bid for the Republican nomination as Trump’s last remaining rival. She was projected to win Vermont, denying Trump a sweep of all Super Tuesday contests. Referring to Trump’s speech earlier in the evening, her campaign said in a statement, “Unity is not achieved by simply claiming, ‘we’re united.'”

Otherwise, the former president scored lopsided margins of victory.

“It is pretty clear Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee,” CNN’s John King said earlier in the evening. “Let’s keep an open mind, but the math doesn’t lie.” Pundits began to focus on where Haley’s voters would go — to Trump or Biden — if she drops out.

In his speech at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said, “We’re gonna win this election because we have no choice. If we lose the election, we’re not gonna have a country left.”

With Trump the likely GOP nominee, some coverage turned to Trump’s choice of a running mate. In an interview with NBC News Now’s Tom Llamas, Trump adviser Jason Miller said “the list is actually growing and getting longer, because as President Trump is interacting with all the folks who could be potential VP picks, there are so many impressive prospects that are out there.” On NewsNation, anchors chatted about the prospect that Trump would select Haley, with Leland Vittert saying that “there is a very good chance that he is willing to have that conversation given how pragmatic he is.”

That said, pundits pointed to Haley’s showing as still significant — and a warning sign for Trump. On Fox News, commentator Karl Rove said that despite Trump’s dominance, “the high command of team Trump ought to be concerned about unifying the Republican party,” noting with a whiteboard the states where Haley was getting 25% or more of the vote.

“There’s still some work to be done to unify the Republican party, and that is going to depend a lot on his tone tonight and whether he stops doing things like calling her Birdbrain and threatening that if you give money to her campaign, you’re going to be permanently banned.”

Coverage also focused on just how much Trump has transformed the Republican party and what it says about American democracy. On CBS News, John Dickerson said, “It’s the first time a major American party in a democracy will nominate somebody who worked so hard to undermine democracy, ever since he lost in the 2020 election going all the way until this last weekend, and when he claimed he won that election which is a lie that disenfranchises 81 million people.”

He added, “This isn’t just a nomination of a person. It’s a nomination of a set of ideas which we’ve seen over eight years since Donald Trump has been on the scene that basically the rule of law and democracy, facts are valid only when they work for Donald Trump.”

Biden’s wins were expected, but there was a surprise in the results of a caucus in American Samoa. Jason Palmer, a long shot candidate, defeated Biden with 51 votes to the president’s 40. Analysts also were watching the share of the “uncommitted” vote in Democratic contests. During last week’s Michigan primary, just over 13% cast their vote that was in the party primary as a protest of the president’s policies on the Israel-Hamas war.

In all, 16 states and one territory held contests on Super Tuesday. Earlier in the evening, Iowa Democrats revealed the results of an all-mail in caucus, with Biden winning more than 90% of the vote.

As much as Trump and Biden were expected to dominate the evening, they were not expected to clinch their party’s respective nomination just yet. That could come later this month. Trump needs 1,215 delegates; Biden needs 1,968.

Even though the competitive landscape lacked the suspense of cycles past, networks devoted substantial resources to coverage of the results. Major news networks featured countdown clocks to the first polls closing at 7 p.m. ET. All three broadcast networks featured primetime specials devoted to the results. Earlier in the evening, CNN and MSNBC released some exit poll information from selected states, including North Carolina and Virginia, showing majorities of Republican voters still don’t believe the 2020 election was legitimate and that they would still support Trump even if he was convicted of a crime.

Some of the more suspenseful races were down ballot.

In California, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Republican Steve Garvey were the top two finishers in the race for state’s open U.S. Senate seat. They will advance to the November election.

Other races on the radar include Schiff’s 30th district congressional seat, where actor Ben Savage was among a field of 15 candidates seeking to advance to the general election. Democratic assemblywoman Laura Friedman and Republican Alex Balekian were leading in the most recent results.

In the race for Porter’s seat, State Sen. Dave Min, a Democrat, is running against attorney Joanna Weiss. The race has been notable because United Democracy Project, a campaign PAC of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has spent $4.6 million against Min, according to Semafor. On the Republican side, former assemblyman Scott Baugh was the most prominent candidate, having narrowly lost to Porter in 2022. Baugh and Min were leading in the most recent results.

In the 22nd district, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), one of two Republicans remaining in the House who voted to impeach Trump, led along with Democrat Rudy Salas, setting up the race for a rematch.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon faced a crowded field of challengers in his race for reelection. Gascon has been the target of two recall efforts.

In North Carolina, voters were selecting party candidates to face off in the open governor’s seat. Mark Robinson, the lieutenant governor, was projected to win the Republican nomination, despite a record of making antisemitic and anti-LGBT comments. The state’s attorney general, Josh Stein, won the Democratic primary.

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