I’m Christina Bellantoni, the Essential Politics host today. Let’s get started.
There were a lot of timelines being thrown around Tuesday night, before even one-third of the Nevada caucus results were tallied.
Donald Trump got it started, proclaiming, “It’s going to be an amazing two months. We might not even need the two months.”
He was both verbalizing the reality — if he indeed keeps “winning, winning, winning,” he could be the nominee in three weeks — and putting into words a fear that has been percolating in some Republican circles — that he’s unstoppable.
In his own speech, before knowing if he’d claimed the runner-up or third place slot, Sen. Ted Cruz had a prediction of his own: “One week from today will be the most important night of this campaign.”
What this means is that the campaigns are looking at the calendar, and the 12 contests Tuesday with piles of delegates at stake. Cruz made clear his strategy is to remind voters he’s the only hopeful who has beaten Trump, which makes his home state of Texas a must-win in six days.
The Super Tuesday contests span from Massachusetts to Alaska, and we’ll be helping you keep track of what’s at stake and who’s on top.
In the meantime, check out the full results from the Nevada caucuses and catch up on what you missed as the candidates bid Nevada farewell.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR RUBIO?
With a finish far behind Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio never appeared before supporters to give a speech. Fox News reported he had “gone to bed.”
Lisa Mascaro details how Republican leaders have launched a full-scale scramble to unify the party around the charismatic young senator as the GOP’s only hope for stopping Trump. Just one problem: Rubio’s no-win primary season.
WHY A LOS ANGELES CONGRESSWOMAN IS TALKING ABOUT AFRICA
Sarah Wire reports on how Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) uses breakfast meetings with African immigrants and ambassadors to shape U.S. policy toward the continent.
Bass said it’s best when the people have a voice in the policy that affects them. “In community organizing, you believe that the best policy is made by having those people that are most affected by the policy at the table. It’s not rocket science. If you do policy in a vacuum it can have unintended consequences,” she said.
But it’s the diversity of her own district that has inspired her to focus on Africa.
FAMILY LEAVE CHANGES AHEAD
Melanie Mason reports on how presidential campaign rhetoric has put a measure to make the state program for family leave more lucrative for workers on the fast track in the Legislature.
ARGUING OVER GITMO
Republicans made clear they don’t support President Obama’s attempt to finally meet his 2008 campaign pledge and close the Guantanamo Bay prison. Obama sent Congress a plan Tuesday to transfer up to 60 terrorism suspects to a yet unnamed U.S. prison.
— On our editorial pages, Jonah Goldberg suggests a Cruz-Rubio ticket to stop Trump.
— Matt Pearce looks at the fight over transgender bathrooms in North Carolina.
— Listen to Spike Lee’s Bernie Sanders endorsement.
— House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer dropped in on California last week, stumping for a handful of California Democrats facing competitive races, reports Christine Mai-Duc. They included three Democratic members and several challengers. Hoyer attended fundraisers for Michael Eggman, an almond farmer hoping to unseat Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), and Jimmy Panetta, who’s running for the seat that will be vacated by the retirement of Rep. Sam Farr.
— Eight years after Obama was nominated, the president’s race is still front and center. Colleen Shalby breaks it down in light of the latest remarks from presidential hopeful Ben Carson.
— Evan Halper details the latest in Hillary Clinton’s email problems, as a federal judge ruled that aides to the former secretary of State should be questioned in a lawsuit that alleges the private server set up in her home may have been intended to dodge federal transparency laws.
Miss yesterday’s newsletter? Here you go. Did someone forward you this? Sign up here to get Essential Politics in your inbox daily. And keep an eye on our politics page throughout the day for the latest and greatest. And are you following us on Twitter at @latimespolitics?
Please send thoughts, concerns and news tips to email@example.com.