Full Super Tuesday coverage: Cruz wins Alaska, Trump and Clinton on collision course toward general election

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Donald Trump racks up Super Tuesday wins across the South and calls for party unity while Hillary Clinton marches toward the Democratic nomination.

  • Donald Trump notches half a dozen more victories on Super Tuesday
  • Marco Rubio wins his first state
  • Despite Sarah Palin’s Trump endorsement, Ted Cruz won the Alaska caucuses
  • Hillary Clinton builds up her Southern firewall: wins in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Virginia
  • Everything you need to know about how Super Tuesday delegates are awarded
  • Track results in real time with The Times

Cruz wins Alaska caucuses

With most of the precincts in, Sen. Ted Cruz has won the Alaska caucuses.

It is his third Super Tuesday win.

Track the results with us here.

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Cruz has narrow Alaska lead

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This is why the Alaska results won’t be in anytime soon

Slow counting and long lines are one reason we may not have a result in Alaska for another few hours.

You can track results here.

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Super Tuesday forces Marco Rubio to confront grim delegate outlook

Although he won in Minnesota, Marco Rubio’s failure to win anywhere else on Super Tuesday raises fresh questions about the Florida senator’s strategy to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

Rubio’s broad losses were not a surprise in the conservative South.

But his rationale for staying in the race was undermined when rival Ted Cruz picked up his home state of Texas and neighboring Oklahoma, giving Cruz a total of three states to Rubio’s one.

That has given Cruz a strong case to argue that he, rather than Rubio, is best positioned to take on front-runner Donald Trump.

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Donald Trump adds Vermont to his Super Tuesday triumphs

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Clinton wins Massachusetts

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In Virginia, a close delegate fight

For Republicans on Super Tuesday, only one state — Virginia — does not have a minimum statewide vote threshold candidates need to reach to win delegates.

And according to an early estimate by the state GOP, although Donald Trump was the overall winner, he netted only one more delegate than runner-up Marco Rubio:

  • Trump -- 17 delegates
  • Rubio -- 16
  • Ted Cruz -- 8
  • John Kasich -- 5
  • Ben Carson -- 3

The Virginia Republican Party also reported a record turnout for the presidential primary in the state, with more than 1 million votes cast — typical in a cycle in which Republican turnout has surpassed that of Democrats.

Track the delegate fight here.

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As Super Tuesday results roll in from farther west, Bernie Sanders adds a win

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How much did the GOP race change this week?

On a night when Marco Rubio is in need of good news, Virginia gave his campaign a good talking point: According to exit polls, voters who made up their mind the latest tended to break disproportionately his way.

Indeed, 43% of voters who decided in the last few days went to the Florida senator, compared with 17% who opted for Donald Trump.

In general, most voters settled on a candidate at least a month ago, if not earlier, and they tended to overwhelmingly back Trump, the night’s big winner.

But the outcome in other states was hardly uniform among those who decided more recently.

In Tennessee, for instance, 4 in 10 late deciders opted for Ted Cruz, while about a third went for Rubio.

In Alabama, Trump surpassed 50% among voters who decided in the last month or before, but those who decided in the last few few days split almost evenly for Trump, Rubio and Cruz.

In Arkansas, Trump dominated Republicans who decided more than a month ago, but fell to just 12% among those who were late deciders, with Rubio and Cruz again running neck-and-neck.

In Georgia and Oklahoma, Rubio and Cruz were essentially tied among voters who decided in the last few days.

The exception was Massachusetts, where Trump won no matter when the voters decided.

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Rubio wins first state

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Chris Christie faces backlash back home

Since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump last week, the two have campaigned around the country together.

On Tuesday night, Christie introduced Trump at a victory party in Palm Beach, Fla., after the billionaire businessman had put at least five more states into his victory column.

For the next half hour or so, while Trump conducted a free-wheeling news conference, Christie stood just behind him, staring at the side of Trump’s head with a mournful look that led to several jokes on Twitter.

But Christie, who dropped out of the race last month after coming in sixth in New Hampshire, faces more serious problems back home.

In a joint editorial, six New Jersey newspapers called on Christie -- who is serving his second term -- to resign.

“We’re disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him,” the editorial reads.

“And we’re fed up with his continuing travel out of state on New Jersey’s dime, stumping for Trump.”

In New Hampshire, the Union-Leader newspaper, which had endorsed Christie’s presidential bid, wrote an editorial saying it had been “wrong” to support Christie.

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Cruz backer: We want our kids to ‘have faith in government and America’

A crowd of several hundred cheered, applauded and chanted “Ted!” as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz joined his family on stage Tuesday night to celebrate his home-state primary win, Super Tuesday’s biggest delegate prize.

When Cruz jabbed at front-runner Donald Trump’s sometimes crude language, father of two David Lineman shouted in agreement, raising his fist.

“This is the only man I would have my kids model themselves on,” said Lineman, 52, of Houston, who works in computer security and has two children, ages 5 and 6.

“We want them to grow up and have faith in government and America,” he said.

After Cruz finished, Lineman and his wife were energized, despite Trump’s sweep of Southern Super Tuesday states, save for Cruz’s victories in Texas and neighboring Oklahoma.

His wife, a school counselor, called Trump “a used-car salesman” and “a con artist.” They have friends who couldn’t be persuaded not to vote for Trump.

Now, Lineman said, they hope Cruz can “consolidate all the opposition to Trump.”

“He’s the only one can pull it all together. He’s really such a class guy,” Lineman said.

“We’re still holding out hope.”

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New York Daily News has its say

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Watch Donald Trump’s full Super Tuesday remarks

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Ted Cruz: I’m the only Republican left who can beat Donald Trump

Ted Cruz, speaking to raucous supporters at a suburban Houston country club, urged his rivals Tuesday night to drop out of the presidential race so he could confront Donald Trump one-on-one.

“The voters have spoken,” he said. “Tomorrow morning, we have a choice. So long as the field remains divided, Donald Trump’s path to the nomination remains more likely -- and that would be a disaster for Republicans, for conservatives and for the nation.”

Cruz, who won primaries in Texas and Oklahoma, pointed out that he is the only GOP candidate to win other than Trump, who snagged most of the states on Super Tuesday.

The other three Republican candidates - Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson - have yet to win any of the first 15 contests.

“Republicans, together, we have a choice,” Cruz said. “We are blessed with a deep, talented, honorable field. For the candidates who have not yet won a state, who have not racked up significant delegates, I ask you to prayerfully consider our coming together. Uniting.”

“For those who have supported other candidates, we welcome you on our team standing united as one. That is the only way to beat Donald Trump head-to-head. Our campaign beats Donald Trump resoundingly. But for that to happen, we must come together.”

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No endorsement, just vintage Donald Trump in prime-time news conference

With five Super Tuesday wins under his belt and more still possible, Donald Trump brushed off new concerns about a fractured Republican Party and said he was ready to take the fight to Hillary Clinton — if she’s even allowed to run.

“Believe me: I am a unifier,” Trump told reporters. “We are going to be a much finer party. We’re going to be a unified party. We’re going to be a much bigger party. Our party is expanding.”

Trump opted for a prime-time news conference in an opulent ballroom of the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., instead of a traditional election-night rally.

And over the course of more than 30 minutes, the billionaire GOP front-runner opined on rival Marco Rubio — “He’s nasty” — and brushed off the controversy over David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan — “I disavowed! How many times are you supposed to disavow?”

He reiterated his signature pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border: “This is going to be a very serious wall,” but insisted he still got along great with Latinos.

And as he has done for months, he railed against policies that he said have boosted foreign economies instead of this country’s — vowing to make Apple produce computers and iPhones here — all while insisting he had the temperament to lead the country.

“I’m going to get along with the world,” he said.

Trump was introduced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie but there was not, as had been reported and speculated, an endorsement from Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Even as Trump insisted he was growing, not fracturing, the party, he was hardly receptive to its leaders.

On House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, he said he was sure they would get along great. “And if I don’t, he’s going to have to pay a big price,” he said.

Ultimately, though, Trump said Republicans would realize he stood the best chance of beating Clinton.

“‘Make America great again’ is going to be much better than making America whole again,” he said, referring to the Democratic front-runner’s remarks earlier in the night.

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Trump wins Arkansas as Cruz speaks

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Meanwhile in Baltimore, Ben Carson speaks

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Donald Trump comes out swinging at Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio

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John Kasich looks ahead to Ohio in two weeks

For weeks, John Kasich’s campaign tamped down expectations for Super Tuesday, anticipating that a reset for his campaign would come in two weeks when his home state of Ohio holds its primary.

As expected, Kasich has not fared well on the night, though his campaign released a statement touting his showing in Vermont, where he was in second to front-runner Donald Trump with returns still being tallied.

“As the campaign moves to battleground states, the Kasich campaign strategy grows stronger,” his campaign said in a statement. “Kasich is the only candidate who can defeat Donald Trump in Ohio.”

As Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas nabbed wins in his home state as well as in Oklahoma on Tuesday, calls from Cruz for both Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio to exit the race -- so that he can challenge Trump -- appeared likely to amplify in the days ahead.

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Hillary Clinton targets Republicans in Super Tuesday speech

Hillary Clinton denounced Republicans for what she called divisive rhetoric as she celebrated her victories on Super Tuesday with a rally here in Florida.

“This country belongs to all of us, not just the people who look one way, worship one way or even think one way,” she said to cheering supporters.

With Republicans locked in an acrimonious primary battle, Clinton has tried to paint the opposing party as a source of intolerance and vulgarity.

“The stakes in this election have never been higher, and the rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower,” she said. “Trying to divide America between us and them is wrong.”

In a line that’s now standard in her stump speeches, Clinton took a shot at Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“America never stopped being great,” she said. “We have to make America whole.”

Clinton pledged to find ways to help “struggling Rust Belt communities and small Appalachian towns.”

“I know too many Americans have lost faith in our future,” she said.

She urged listeners to consider a vote for her as a vote for continuing President Obama’s legacy.

“We’ve got to finish the job,” Clinton said. “We’ve come too far to stop now.”

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This Texas voter is counting on a long fight to keep the nomination from Donald Trump

David Vaughn, 53, sipped a beer while wearing a cowboy hat, boots and Texas flag shirt as he awaited the appearance of Ted Cruz after hearing reports that Cruz had won Texas’ Republican primary on Super Tuesday.

Vaughn has been a Cruz fan “from the beginning” of the senator’s political career, he said, and was confident Cruz can stay in the race and strategically hunt down the votes he’ll need to wrest the GOP nomination from front-runner Donald Trump.

“Over the past couple of weeks, Trump has been sinking. I’ll be watching to see if he keeps sinking more” in the polls, Vaughn said.

But, he added: “The only hope of getting rid of Trump is if we end up with a brokered convention” where none of the candidates garner a majority.

He hopes to see Cruz expose more of Trump’s past in coming days.

“They just have to expose his record, his bad business deals, his bankruptcies,” he said. “... And they need to keep trying to pin him down on issues.”

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Ted Cruz adds a second Super Tuesday state, this time in Oklahoma

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The view from Clinton HQ

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Marco Rubio is optimistic that attacks on Donald Trump are working

Marco Rubio, who has yet to win a single state, said Tuesday that he was nonetheless optimistic that the Republican presidential race had turned his way.

“We are so excited to be home and we are so excited for what lies ahead for America,” he told cheering supporters in Miami. “We are so excited for what lies ahead for our campaign.”

Rubio, who recently started aggressively confronting GOP front-runner Donald Trump, argued that his attacks were working.

“Just five days ago, we began to unmask the true nature of the front-runner in this race,” he said. “Five days ago, we began to explain to the American people that Donald Trump is a con artist.”

Rubio, a Florida senator, said the results of these attacks would become clear when Florida votes on March 15.

“Two weeks from tonight right here in Florida, we are going to send a message loud and clear,” he said. “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.”

Rubio trails Trump by double digits in Florida polls.

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Ted Cruz wins Texas GOP primary over Donald Trump, giving him a crucial victory

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Republican presidential primary in Texas on Tuesday, a home-state victory that was crucial to his uphill struggle to overtake Donald Trump as front-runner for the party nomination.

Trump’s expected sweep of other Super Tuesday contests across the South nonetheless undercut Cruz’s strategy of carrying states where evangelical Christians dominate Republican primaries.

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At Ted Cruz’s party, supporters cheer his consistency

Several hundred Ted Cruz supporters packed the Redneck Country Club in the Houston suburb of Stafford late Tuesday owned by conservative radio host Michael Berry.

Berry appeared briefly and encouraged them that the night was still young and that Cruz, the “true conservative,” would soon appear to address them. They applauded and hollered.

Alex Weldy of Houston was among those cheering. She works in sales, was wearing a red, white and blue USA T-shirt and said she’s confident Cruz will prevail in Texas and stay in the race as a result. Cruz was declared the winner of the state minutes later.

“He’s consistent. He’s faithful to his voters,” she said as she stood among men in button-downs and cowboy hats sipping beers stashed in metal ice buckets. “Definitely he should stay in it. Cruz has the substance we need in America.”

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Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz win Texas

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Black voters throw overwhelming support to Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton was able to count on strong support from black voters in South Carolina on Saturday, and exit polls from Super Tuesday show that wasn’t a fluke.

In Virginia, one-quarter of Democratic primary voters were black, and 84% backed Clinton, according to CBS News. Just 16% supported her rival for the nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Clinton drew similar levels of support in Georgia and Alabama, where half of the Democratic electorate was black.

Clinton won white voters in Virginia and Alabama as well, albeit by much narrower margins. Sanders had more support among white voters in Georgia, according to exit polls.

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Georgia Super Tuesday voters are confused, resigned -- and marveling that so many back Trump

Super Tuesday’s Republicans voters said they were disgusted, resigned or -- if they backed Donald Trump -- increasingly excited about the political possibility ahead.

Johnny Runyan, a custom cabinet maker, and his wife, Heather, a hairstylist, have been so fed up with Republicans’ broken promises they said they were willing to take a leap with Trump.

“I would rather take my chances on something I’m not sure of,” said Runyan, 50, after voting in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. “It’s insane to keep doing the same thing over and over again.”

And others were so determined to stop Trump that they cast ballots for candidates solely with a strategy for doing so.

“Cruz, unfortunately,” said a resigned Robert Orem, a respiratory therapist from Marietta, who said he voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz because he sees him as the strongest possible firewall to Trump. “You vote for somebody else, Trump might win.”

That the nominating contest had devolved to a schoolyard brawl of daily insults left many voters soured.

“Confused. Disgusted,” math teacher Lynda McKee of Hiram, Ga., said of her feelings. “I’m voting for Marco Rubio. I can’t vote for Trump.”

But what if the billionaire becomes the party nominee? “If he ends up being the nominee, I will vote for him,” she said. “We can’t have four more years of Democrats.”

Many others said the same.

Enthusiasm barely describes what is happening among the Trump supporters.

Many say they had kept their views quiet at first but now marvel that so many people share their frustration with the GOP and hope that Trump will turn the country around.

“People are so excited,” said Trump volunteer Pam Ausman of Newnan, who retired from a career in sales and now splits her time between tutoring kids and working as a home healthcare aide.

She had never worked on a political campaign before this, but was making calls late into the night before Super Tuesday.

“I’ve never felt so proud,” she said.

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Donald Trump continues romp across the South with win in Virginia

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Joe Biden: ‘I want to thank Donald Trump’

The White House has said that President Obama is not one to stay up watching the presidential debates or primary coverage -- he’s more of a sports and briefing books kind of guy at the end of the day.

But Vice President Joe Biden was watching the Super Tuesday developments tonight, peeking at returns as he hosted a reception in honor of Black History Month on Tuesday night at his official residence in Washington.

Alluding to some of the racially charged moments in the Republican primary, Biden said that perhaps “it’s a good thing, to awaken the American people about the subtle and not-so-subtle deals going on.

“Watching what’s happening now, I think you’re going to see a real opportunity for us,” Biden said of Democrats.

“I want to thank Donald Trump. The stuff he’s doing, and others, the stuff [Ted] Cruz is doing. He’s making the American people look in the mirror. And the American people are honest. And they look in the mirror and see what’s looking back at them.”

Biden called this year’s election a pivotal moment in race relations, one “as consequential as walking across that bridge,” a reference to the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., 50 years ago.

“The American people are prepared, over the next decade,” he said, “to gradually to deal with institutional racism.”

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Voters casting ballots near Ted Cruz’s victory party turn their backs on him

A few miles away from Ted Cruz’s Super Tuesday party at the Redneck Country Club in the Houston suburb of Stafford, voters were still lining up at City Hall on Tuesday night to cast their ballots -- against him.

Jose Panganiban, 45, a United Airlines customer service staffer, said he voted for Donald Trump because Cruz is too much of a Washington insider.

“I like Trump. He tells you straight, to the point. He’s sincere,” Panganiban said as he sat in the lobby awaiting his wife.

He called Cruz “the same as the rest of the group” in Washington, a blow to Cruz’s message that he is committed to core conservative principles that will keep government in check.

“Trump has the guts to tell you everything. He’s going to do very well against Hillary [Clinton],” Panganiban said.

He said he loves Trumps’ comebacks and financial know-how.

“That’s what you want in a leader,” he said.

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Hillary Clinton wins the backing of Arkansas Democrats

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As Trump dominates Super Tuesday, his foes seek to coalesce

As Donald Trump dominated early results on Super Tuesday, a super PAC opposing him got a boost from wealthy donors and new employees.

Major GOP donors Meg Whitman, Todd Ricketts and Paul Singer urged dozens of fellow donors to fund Our Principles PAC during a conference call Tuesday afternoon, according to a report in the New York Times.

The group funded ads against Trump in Iowa earlier this year, the only state he has failed to win so far.

Tim Miller, Jeb Bush’s former spokesman, announced that he would work for the group.

“Donald’s general election campaign will fail worse than Trump Mortgage and Trump Steaks,” Miller said in an email, referring to two of Trump’s now-defunct business ventures.

“Hillary Clinton will destroy him even if she’s campaigning from jail,” Miller said. “Our Principles PAC will fight until the last delegate is counted to stop that from happening.”

The moves come as establishment Republicans who once dismissed the idea of Trump as their nominee have seen the businessman rack up victories and lead most polls despite a series of missteps.

The divisions were highlighted when Whitman, the former finance co-chair for Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, lashed out at the New Jersey governor for endorsing Trump.

“Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump is an astonishing display of political opportunism,” she said. “Donald Trump is unfit to be president. He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey.”

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In victory speech, Bernie Sanders vows to bring ‘Vermont values’ to the rest of the country

Even as results came in showing him losing to Hillary Clinton in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas, Bernie Sanders celebrated a win in his home state of Vermont, thanking a large crowd of supporters gathered there and pledging to bring “Vermont values” to the rest of the country.

“We want to win in every part of the country -- that goes without saying,” Sanders said to raucous cheers. “But it does say something and means so much to me that the people who know me best ... have voted so strongly to put us in the White House.”

Sanders made a strategic choice to deliver a victory speech early in the evening Tuesday, before a winner was declared in most of the states up for grabs.

Sanders offered his supporters a word of caution about how to interpret the results Tuesday.

“This is not a general election; it’s not winner-take-all,” he said. “By the end of tonight, we are going to win many hundreds of delegates.”

“After tonight, 15 states will have voted and 35 states remain,” he said. “Let me assure you that we are going to take our fight for economic justice, for social justice, for environmental sanity, for a world of peace to every one of those states.”

Sanders ended by thanking his supporters “for the love and the friendship you have given our family.”

“You have sustained me,” he said. “I am so proud to bring Vermont values all across this country.”

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Donald Trump wins Alabama, Massachusetts and Tennessee

Moments after the polls closed in another round of Super Tuesday primaries, Donald Trump was declared the victor in Alabama, Massachusetts and Tennessee, according to the Associated Press. The wins came on top of his victory earlier in the night in Georgia, fueling the businessman’s pursuit of the GOP nomination.

Rival Ted Cruz had long counted on many of the 11 states holding GOP primaries or caucuses on Tuesday as being “Cruz country.” But the Texas senator found himself scaling back those expectations and even defending his home turf this week, campaigning in Texas on Monday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who was competitive with Trump in Virginia in early returns — and Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are also still pursuing the nomination.

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Marco Rubio on the ‘long war’ against Trump

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Another round of wins for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

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Super Tuesday votes are counted more widely than you might think

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Donald Trump wins Georgia’s Republican primary

Donald Trump won the Georgia Republican primary on Super Tuesday, putting him closer to establishing himself as the party’s presumptive nominee, according to early projections.

Polls remained open in most of the other Super Tuesday states, including Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz was counting on a home-state victory to keep his candidacy viable.

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For Republicans, a brief bit of early intrigue

As the polls closed in several states on Super Tuesday, the headline on the Republican side was the lack of a headline.

While some television networks immediately projected Donald Trump as the winner in Georgia, the Associated Press did not join in that projection, and races in Vermont and Virginia were being characterized as too close to call.

NBC said Vermont was shaping up as a three-way race among Trump, John Kasich and Marco Rubio. In Virginia, it is just Trump and Rubio battling it out.

The Virginia race is of note in part because the state’s largest concentration of voters just might be one of the most politically savvy - just across from Washington in the northern Virginia suburbs. Virginia also has open primaries, meaning some Democrats could have opted to cast a ballot in the Republican primary in a bid to stop Trump.

Stay tuned.

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Most GOP voters want to ban Muslims, exit polls show

Donald Trump continues to ride a deep wave of anger and anti-immigrant sentiment among Republican primary voters, according to Super Tuesday exit polls.

ABC News, analyzing the survey data, reports that 6 in 10 GOP primary voters support Trump’s call to ban noncitizen Muslims from entering the country.

In Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee, the percentage of Republican voters supporting the Muslim ban tops 75%.

That’s in line with prior poll results: Republican primary voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina backed the ban by 65% and 74%, respectively.

Similarly, a solid bloc of Republican voters favors Trump’s call to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, instead of allowing a pathway to legal status – about 40% in Virginia, Texas and Georgia, and more than 50% in Alabama, the surveys found.

Except in Texas and Vermont, at least half the Republican voters believe the next president should be from outside the political establishment – another dynamic that has helped Trump in earlier primaries.

In Texas, the polls might contain good news for Sen. Ted Cruz, who badly needs a win in his home state.

Only about 40% of GOP voters there are looking for an outsider, and two-thirds say they would be satisfied with Cruz as the nominee, the highest total of any state where there have been exit polls.

At the same time, two-thirds of Republican primary voters in Texas are supporters of Trump’s signature idea – building a wall along the length of the southwest border.

Another not-surprising finding of the poll: In this divisive campaign year, more Republican voters identify themselves as conservative than ever before – reaching nearly 8 in 10 voters in Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Republicans who call themselves evangelicals composed 70% to 80% of primary voters turning out Tuesday, the polls indicated.

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Hillary Clinton notches victories in early Super Tuesday results

Hillary Clinton kicked off Super Tuesday with primary victories in Georgia and Virginia, states where she was expected to do well with minority voters, while rival Bernie Sanders won his home state of Vermont.

Clinton is hoping that a solid start to the night will be the first step toward building a potentially insurmountable lead over rival Sanders in the battle over delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination for president.

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Follow along: Live results from Super Tuesday contests

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At Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday party, not everyone is a convert

Hillary Clinton hopes Super Tuesday allows her to put more distance between herself and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who has given her a tougher-than-expected battle for the Democratic nomination.

But judging by the people waiting to get into Clinton’s own Super Tuesday event here in Florida, she still has some work to do to win over younger voters, regardless of how well she does tonight.

A group of friends outside included two on the fence and one who had already cast an absentee ballot for Sanders.

Chelsea Clark, 25, said Sanders won her vote because he was taking a stronger line on reducing the influence of money in politics.

“It’s very central because it affects everything else,” she said.

Cathy Guinovart, a 20-year-old marine biology student at Florida International University, said she wanted to hear more specifics from Clinton on climate change.

Her father worked as a fisherman in the Florida Keys during the BP oil spill, which delivered a devastating blow to the industry. Now Guinovart is listening for a tough stance on offshore drilling.

“We need to look into the details,” she said.

Eric Trope, 25, is looking for something similar.

“I’d love to see her go a little bit more to the left,” he said.

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Early exit polls bode well for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Cable networks have started releasing a few exit poll results, without revealing specifics on who voters actually chose on their ballots.

Signs, so far, point to a good night for the front-runners in each party.

The key question in both parties: Do voters favor a candidate with experience versus one from outside the establishment.

Democrats, by an 80% to 16% margin, chose experience as a priority over outsider status in Super Tuesday states, according to MSNBC. That’s a big boost for Hillary Clinton, who is running on her long resume against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution.

On the flip side, Republican respondents in Super Tuesday states, by a narrower 50% to 40% margin, said they favor an outsider candidate over one with experience. That’s good news for Donald Trump, who is galvanizing voters fed up with traditional politics.

A few more exit poll numbers that are good for Trump involve angry voters, his core constituency. In Texas, where Trump is in a tough fight with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 50% of voters said they were angry, compared with 41% who said they are simply dissatisfied, according to CNN.

Similar numbers were found in Georgia (47% angry/45% dissatisfied).

The anger index was slightly lower in Virginia (36%/50%) and Vermont (37%/53%).

Also on the GOP side: 22% of voters made up their minds in the last few days in Super Tuesday states. That could also bode well for Trump, because many of his voters have been committed for several weeks or months.

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Trump leads Facebook discussion in all Super Tuesday states except Vermont

According to Facebook, over the last month, Donald Trump has been dominating the conversation on the site in all Super Tuesday states except Vermont. There, as you might expect, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been leading the discussion.

Facebook also found that, as of midnight, the most-discussed topics in those 12 states were:

1. Racism & Discrimination

2. Christianity

3. Guns

4. Immigration

5. Benghazi

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Marco Rubio pushes past Super Tuesday’s Southern states to must-win Florida

Marco Rubio never expected big wins in the Southern states, taking his final Super Tuesday push north to Minnesota before turning his focus on Florida, whose primary isn’t for another two weeks.

After a weekend of crude wisecracking in pursuit of Donald Trump’s widening lead, Rubio has largely ditched the jokes about spray tans and wet trousers for a more somber closing argument against Trump.

“Donald Trump has been bullying people for a year, insulting people,” Rubio told reporters in Minneapolis.

“Bullies need to be stood up to, and I was proud and happy to do it. But it’s not going to change my campaign or what we’re about.”

Rubio has become a stronger, more determined candidate as he fights for his own — and his party’s — future.

But it’s unclear whether he can move voters at this stage.

His voice almost gone, Rubio relied on surrogates during his five-stop Super Tuesday blitz — Nikki Haley, the South Carolina governor, helped him here, and former Sen. Tom Coburn stepped up in Oklahoma.

Rubio will spend election might in Miami in his must-win home state of Florida, which holds its primary March 15. For now, Trump leads in polls there.

Wednesday puts Rubio in Michigan to try to peel more moderate conservatives away from John Kasich, the Ohio governor, who also must win his own state in two weeks.

Rubio told supporters in a fundraising email Tuesday he has no plans to drop out.

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How do voters feel Super Tuesday? Confused, disgusted and ready to take a chance for change

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Can we all get along?

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Clinton backers in Texas say they’re focused on her ability to get elected

Houston lawyer Keith Hampton, 61, voted for Hillary Clinton in Texas’ primary on Tuesday, as did his 25-year-old daughter in Dallas – but he said his 30 year-old son, a chef in La Jolla, is voting for Bernie Sanders.

“He says he’s going to get better benefits, raise the minimum age and address student loans,” Hampton said as he stood near two Sanders signs outside his polling place at a church in the heart of Houston’s liberal Montrose neighborhood.

But Hampton’s reasoning was simple: “Hillary can win. I don’t think Bernie can.”

He said he is especially concerned about defeating Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he considers “dangerous” and “against science.”

“I almost crossed over to vote in the Republican primary against Ted Cruz,” he said.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump, he predicted, “is going to go to the middle so fast once it gets to the general” election.

Jimmy Grossman, 39, works in corporate sales and said he also voted for Clinton because “I don’t believe much of what Bernie says.”

Grossman said he has always liked the Clintons. He listened to an interview with Sanders recently and thought, “How are they going to accomplish this? It’s funny young people are so influenced by this.”

“We need a woman,” he said.

Thomas Walsh said the Clintons are still seen here as “traditional Southern liberal people.”

Walsh, 42, who works at a nearby museum, said he was leaning toward Sanders until his girlfriend stuck a Hillary bumper sticker on her car. Then he flipped.

“I just don’t think Sanders is going to win the primary,” he said after voting for Clinton on Tuesday, adding that Clinton will do better in the general election, when “you’re fighting for the middle ground.”

“It’s such an oddity voting as a Democrat in Texas,” and he said that situation can dull voters’ enthusiasm but that he saw strong turnout Tuesday, with lines stretching up the church stairs.

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Ben Carson calls for ‘civility’ in GOP presidential race

Ben Carson wants to be a peacemaker.

So on Tuesday, as the political world focused on a string of states holding presidential primaries and caucuses, Carson, who has not won any early nominating contests and is a long shot for the Republican nomination, called on all four remaining candidates in the GOP field to join him in a meeting.

About what? Civility ahead of the next debate, scheduled for Thursday.

“The American people deserve so much more from the candidates who are seeking the most powerful position in the free world,” Carson said in statement.

“A house divided cannot stand,” Carson said. “It is imperative the Republican Party exhibit unity by the candidates coming together with a pledge to talk about the many serious problems facing our country, instead of personally attacking each other.”

His statement makes it appear that Carson, despite his underdog status and difficulty in rallying support, will remain in the contest until at least Thursday’s debate.

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Harry Reid: Republicans waiting to ‘see what President Trump will do’

A White House meeting between President Obama and Senate leaders Tuesday morning yielded no breakthrough in the impasse over a Supreme Court vacancy, with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid suggesting that Republicans appeared content to “see what President Trump will do, I guess.”

Republican leaders have vowed not to give any consideration to whomever Obama might nominate – a position Reid said they reiterated in person to the president in the Oval Office.

Reid, speaking to reporters outside the West Wing after the meeting, said the Republicans refused even to offer suggestions to the president when he offered to hear them out. It’s emblematic, the Nevada Democrat said, of how the GOP “is changing before our eyes.”

“Donald Trump, Cruz, Rubio, they’re all of the same kettle,” he said of the three top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. “They’re all agreeing with Trump in one way or another.”

As for Democrats, Reid said they will “continue beating the drums” in hopes that Republicans might change course. And if not, he said, the public will render its verdict in November.

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Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump’s endorsement from David Duke

The Democratic presidential candidate had a rare conversation with reporters traveling with her in Minnesota on Super Tuesday.

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Nancy Pelosi seeks to tie House GOP to Donald Trump

On Tuesday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) tried to link House Republicans to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, declining over the weekend to condemn a former Ku Klux Klan leader supporting him.

“The leading Republican presidential candidate’s refusal to disavow the KKK was a breathtaking low-point for our country. Yet while Donald Trump’s radical agenda does not reflect the values of the American people, it is a perfect reflection of many in the House Republican Conference,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The reality is, Donald Trump is just being more candid about the agenda of discrimination House Republicans have been advancing for years.”

Trump refused to renounce the support of David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, during a CNN interview Sunday. Trump later said he couldn’t hear host Jake Tapper because of a faulty earpiece.

Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., weighed in on the controversy as well, though he didn’t mention Trump by name.

“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 cause that is built on bigotry,” he said.

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In Cruz’s home state, worries over Trump: ‘I’ll just pray and I won’t vote. That’s how scared I am of this Trump thing’

Outside a polling place at a middle school in the Houston suburb of Katy on Tuesday, Rhonda Trevino, a stay-at-home mother of three, said she doesn’t trust Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

She liked his proposal to build a wall at the border. So did her husband, a Mexican immigrant who came to the U.S. legally and now works as a software programmer.

But she had heard reports Tuesday that the New York Times has tapes of Trump reversing himself on immigration.

“If you look at his past, he’s a liberal Democrat. … Is it a big hoax? Has he fooled us all?” said Trevino, 46. “I’m so sad about Trump because I had my doubts.”

Trevino was among a handful of Republican voters who offered a variety of views on the state’s primary, reflecting the competitive nature of what is shaping up to be one of Super Tuesday’s closer races as Trump and Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, fight for supremacy in the Lone Star State.

If Trump gets the nomination, Trevino said, “I’ll just pray and I won’t vote. That’s how scared I am of this Trump thing.”

She said she voted for Cruz, who, she noted, attended a Christian school just up the road. She described herself as a Bible Belt “tea drinker,” and said Cruz “is the tea party.”

“He has two books he lives by: the Bible and the Constitution,” she said, noting that at a Cruz event she attended the night before, small copies of the Constitution were distributed.

“We’ve seen him and we know what he’s done. He fights the system. He’s a Christian,” she said.

Mike Patrick, 59, also voted for Cruz because of his “conservative values,” but said support for Trump is strong here too. He said a friend told him he sees Trump as a businessman who will surround himself with skilled advisors.

“There’s a feeling that he’s his own man because of not taking donations,” said Patrick, who works for a home builder.

“My personal problem with him is he just seems like a bully. He takes it too far. And I’m really concerned about his ability on foreign policy. I don’t know that he’ll be able to play in the sandbox with others.”

But another voter, Shelly Wells, said she still had faith in Trump as she emerged from the polling place Tuesday.

“He can get things done,” said Wells, 59, an accountant with Schlumberger, an oilfield services company.

Wells, who was wearing gold cross earrings, said the country is “ready for a big change from Obama” and that Trump was the man for the job.

“He’s the man who can get the job done and change this back to America instead of a third-world country,” Wells said.

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Ted Cruz’s hopes for sweeping the South now limited to Texas standoff

They called it “Cruz Country.”

The day after the first Republican presidential debate months ago, Ted Cruz embarked on an ambitious bus tour of the Southern states where voters Tuesday could decide the direction of the GOP primary campaign.

Home to conservative and religious voters receptive to his message, the South -- including his home state of Texas -- was supposed to give Cruz a breakthrough moment.

Now Texas alone offers his main firewall against debilitating losses.

Donald Trump’s ascent has derailed all the candidates’ best laid plans.

But the billionaire’s ability to capture Cruz’s audience of conservative and evangelical Christian voters has been particularly damaging.

The Texas senator’s best chance for a win Tuesday is in his home state, where he has invested most of his effort in recent days. However, polls show Trump’s gains there have narrowed his lead.

Cruz, who was voting in Houston on Tuesday morning, has repeatedly said Tuesday night would be the “most important” of the campaign.

“The South is going to be our stronghold,” said Cruz supporter Bruce Garraway, a deacon and father of two, at a Cruz rally last weekend in the Atlanta area. A statewide prayer call was organized Monday.

Cruz’s well-funded campaign and deep support from activists nationwide may keep him going for some time to come. His backers are not expected to easily shift to Trump or rival Marco Rubio.

But if he doesn’t win at home, his prospects for continuing in the race will dim.

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Donald Trump gets the backing of NASCAR’s CEO

Seven months after NASCAR relocated an event because it was scheduled to take place at a resort owned by Donald Trump, the CEO of the racing organization and several drivers endorsed the controversial Republican presidential candidate Monday at a rally in Valdosta, Ga.

“I’ve known Donald for over 20 years,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said during the rally. “I’m going to tell you one thing about him. You know about his winning in business and success. I’m here to tell you he wins with his family.

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Voter voices on Super Tuesday: ‘I’ve never felt so proud,’ says one Trump volunteer

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Advice from John Kasich: Don’t attack Trump personally

John Kasich, who has yet to win any of the Republican presidential nominating contests, has a theory for beating front-runner Donald Trump.

“I don’t think you beat Donald Trump by attacking him personally,” Kasich told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night. “I think it’s a matter of telling people what your record is, what you have accomplished.”

Kasich, Ohio’s governor, hopes that formula works in two weeks when Republicans in his home state cast ballots. If he doesn’t win there, Kasich has said he’ll end his campaign.

In recent days, the Republican primary has become a battle mostly between Trump and Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, with each lobbying personal insults at one another.

With several states holding Super Tuesday contests, many in the deeply conservative South, Kasich’s top strategist, John Weaver said Monday the campaign does not expect to do well and is looking ahead to Ohio.

“For us, Super Tuesday is March 15 when Ohio has a say,” Weaver said.

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Kasich trailing Trump 31%-26% in Ohio, but Kasich says he’s confident he will pull out a victory in the state.

Even if he wins the 66 delegates in Ohio’s winner-take-all contest, Kasich would still trail Trump by a wide margin.

Kasich will visit Virginia and Mississippi on Tuesday.

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Sanders casts ballot in chilly Vermont

Bernie Sanders braved 12-degree weather to cast his ballot in the Vermont primary early Tuesday.

Dressed in a heavy winter jacket and accompanied by his wife, Jane, Sanders was met at his Burlington polling station with a little Vermont humor.

“Nice warm day,” said a woman working at the polling center, according to a pool report. “Nice Vermont day.”

After casting his ballot, Sanders posed for selfies with several voters.

“I will tell you after a lot of thought, I voted for me for president,” Sanders told one man.

“Congratulations Bernie,” the man said. Good luck out there.”

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Hillary Clinton stakes out territory in Florida on Super Tuesday

Since winning South Carolina, Hillary Clinton has barnstormed across states where Democrats will cast primary ballots on Super Tuesday, touching down in Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

But she’ll finish Super Tuesday in Florida, which doesn’t hold its primaries until March 15. Rallying here shows Clinton looking deeper into the primary calendar and toward a general election where Florida is once again expected to be a key swing state.

“The decision to be here tomorrow night ... is a strong reinforcement of the fact that she wants to make sure she continues the strength of the relationship and attention to the state,” said former Rep. Ron Klein, a Florida Democrat and Clinton supporter.

Clinton’s campaign is hoping that she wins enough states on Super Tuesday to put her on a clear path to the Democratic nomination.

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Black students removed from Trump rally in Georgia

Security officials ejected about 30 black students from a Donald Trump rally on campus Monday in Valdosta, Ga., though the students told reporters that they were sitting silently in the stands and were ticketed for the event.

“We didn’t plan to do anything,” Tahjila Davis, a student at the university, told The Des Moines Register. “They said, ‘This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.’ But I paid my tuition to be here.”

Trump’s campaign has ejected protesters in the past from rallies. Earlier Monday, a Secret Service agent grabbed a news photographer by the throat and threw him to the ground after he stepped outside the media pen at a Trump rally in Virginia.

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Watch Bernie Sanders cast his own vote in Vermont

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Bernie Sanders’ campaign raises more than $42 million in February

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigns in Chicago.
(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Bernie Sanders’ campaign raised more than $42 million in February, $6 million of which he pulled in on Monday alone, his campaign announced Tuesday.

The campaign started Monday with $36 million for the month and had set a $40-million goal that morning. In February, roughly 1.4 million people donated an average of $30, according to the campaign, which boasted of its network of small donors contributing online.

Sanders has long touted his backing from individual donors as he takes on the campaign financing system that he sees as favoring the wealthy. The announcement also came at a time when his campaign is facing a daunting path to success on Super Tuesday over front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Still, giving a few dollars a week can change the way candidates finance their campaigns, Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver said, urging voters to support the campaign.

“Not only are we going to smash Secretary Clinton’s personal goal of raising $50 million in the first quarter of 2016, our supporters are putting Bernie on the path to win the nomination,” Weaver said in a statement.

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Quiz: How much you remember from last week in politics?

From candidate zingers to conspiracy theories, this election has been nothing if not eventful.

Prepare yourself for Super Tuesday by seeing how much you remember from the last week in politics with our headline quiz.

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5 things to watch for on Super Tuesday

For most folks, this is just another Tuesday. But in the world of politics, this is Super Tuesday, the biggest day of balloting so far in the 2016 presidential race.

Voters in a dozen states will turn out for primaries and caucuses, allotting a generous share of the delegates who will decide which candidates carry the Democratic and Republican banners into the fall campaign.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Democratic and GOP front-runners, respectively, are poised for big nights. They start out with a considerable advantage, each having won three of the first four contests.

The polls start closing at 4 p.m. PST, and results will roll in East to West throughout the night and, depending on how the counting goes, into early Wednesday.

Here are five things to watch for.

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A complete breakdown of how Super Tuesday delegates are awarded

Super Tuesday offers the opportunity for presidential candidates to leverage momentum from the early-nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada into a more valuable currency: delegates.

For Republicans, about a quarter of the 2,472 convention delegates will be decided on this single night. On the Democratic side, more than 1,000 delegates are at stake as Hillary Clinton looks to build an insurmountable advantage over Bernie Sanders.

How does it all work? Warning: Math lies ahead.

In general, both parties award delegates similarly. In each state, one chunk of delegates will be divided among the candidates based on the popular vote, and another based on the results in individual congressional districts.

Some state Republican parties have established minimum thresholds a candidate needs either statewide or in a congressional district to be awarded delegates. Some set a trigger point at which one candidate wins them all.

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