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On the roster: Biden thumps Bernie – Sessions faces tough runoff for Senate – Trump, GOP want to ramp up borrowing for stimulus – Live más no más
BIDEN THUMPS BERNIE
Fox News: “Former Vice President Joe Biden surged to victory in Super Tuesday contests across the South and beyond, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., claimed gold with a sizable win in delegate-prize California – divvying up the map on the biggest primary day of the season and indicating a tight battle between the two that is likely to drag on for weeks or more. It emerged after midnight Wednesday that Biden had narrowly defeated Sanders in Texas, the second-biggest contest of the day. With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Biden was ahead of Sanders 33.3 percent to 29.3 percent, or 602,352 votes to 531,626 votes. The two candidates are likely to receive a similar share of the state’s 228 pledged delegates. Biden had courted Texans as establishment support suddenly built for his campaign… In a worrying sign for Sanders, who had expected to perform well in the state, Maine’s race call is still outstanding. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders and Biden are within two percentage points.”
Hohmann: Biden’s coalition could go the distance – WaPo: “Turnout grew not because of Biden’s ground game, which was essentially nonexistent in the 14 states and one U.S. territory that voted on Tuesday. In fact, he won big in several places where he spent little time and made no real investment in a field program. Momentum mattered more than money. … Turnout also did not appear to grow because of a surge in young voters that Sanders keeps promising will materialize any time now. … Instead, turnout appears to have spiked from 2016 to 2020 in key general election battlegrounds because antipathy toward President Trump continues to galvanize suburban moderates to get engaged in Democratic politics. … Biden romped in the suburbs, excelling with the constituencies that fueled the Democratic takeover of the House in 2018.”
Where were the Bernie Bros? – USA Today: “Young voters cheer Bernie Sanders’ anti-establishment message. … But their fiery passion did not translate into the robust turnout he needed on Super Tuesday to win a number of key states, notably in the South where a strong showing by Joe Biden has made the nomination contest a two-man race… Exit polls for several states Biden won, including Massachusetts, Texas and a number of southern states that helped catapult the former vice president into front-runner status, found that while more young voters went to the polls this election cycle, they did not show up at the rate they did in 2016. … Even Sanders’ home state of Vermont showed a lackluster turnout of young millennials and ‘Gen Zers.’ Only 11% of the state’s electorate was under 30 compared to 15% when he ran against Clinton, according to exit polls. And a similar trend played out in other Super Tuesday states such as Texas…”
Bloomy out, endorses surging Biden – WaPo: “Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York who had hoped to self-fund his way to the Democratic presidential nomination but was spurned by voters in Tuesday’s balloting, has dropped out of the race. Bloomberg endorsed Joe Biden, saying the former vice president had the best chance to win in November. ‘I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,’ Bloomberg said in a statement. … Biden, in turn, has signaled he will welcome Bloomberg’s financial support, drawing a sharp contrast with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose advisers have said they would reject any independent assistance from the billionaire.”
Wipeout Warren – Politico: “Elizabeth Warren had a plan for winning. It didn’t work: In 18 nomination contests, she hasn’t finished above third place — including in her home state. Now, she’s facing political and financial pressures to get out. On Wednesday, Warren began huddling with her team to ‘assess the path forward,’ according to an aide, after her dismal Super Tuesday performance. Allies who speak regularly with the campaign say the mood has been bleak. A small wave of last-minute endorsements from groups like EMILY’s List, along with late financial help from a super PAC, did not significantly move the needle. That’s left the Warren campaign to wonder whether a path forward exists. While the campaign had insisted it still saw an opening by going to the convention — she will likely collect at least several dozen delegates Tuesday — the results were far below their own publicly-released projections.”
THE RULEBOOK: THE BUSINESS OF AMERICA…
“The assiduous merchant, the laborious husbandman, the active mechanic, and the industrious manufacturer, all orders of men, look forward with eager expectation and growing alacrity to this pleasing reward of their toils.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 12
TIME OUT: CUBICLE GOURMET
Every office dweller needs a good sauce to keep at work. This is writer Hilary Cadigan’s… Bon Appetit: “It appeared on the office free table with no explanation. A bottle of sauce with a piece of red velveteen over the top, tied with gold elastic. ‘Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce’ read the label, beside a storybook-esque illustration of a voluptuous red-headed lady sitting in a field of pink flowers. A blue ribbon denoted the years the sauce was deemed an ‘International Champion’ and/or a ‘National Award Winner’: 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001. How could I not be intrigued? … So back to my desk, where the bottle—a regular old 5-ouncer from Beggs’ expo swag bag—sat gathering dust beside my pencil cup and collection of unopened stress-reducing vitamins. There it remained until a couple weeks later, when someone delivered a batch full of burgers and French fries to our office without any ketchup. Lo! Not someone to suffer a naked French fry, I reached for the sauce. And that is when my office life, as I knew it, changed forever.”
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ESTIMATED DELEGATES FOR DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION
[Ed. note: 1,991 delegates needed to win]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 45.6 percent
Average disapproval: 51.8 percent
Net Score: -6.2 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 1.8 points
[Average includes: Fox News: 47% approve – 52% disapprove; IBD: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; Gallup: 47% approve – 51% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 47% approve – 50% disapprove.]
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SESSIONS FACES TOUGH RUNOFF FOR SENATE
AP: “President Donald Trump used a scolding tweet Wednesday to undermine his former attorney general’s attempt for a political comeback, hours after Jeff Sessions was forced into a Republican primary runoff for his old Senate seat in Alabama. Trump’s online outburst came as Sessions faces a March 31 matchup against former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, a political novice. For that contest in the GOP stronghold, Sessions will need as much support as possible from Trump-friendly voters. … Sessions hoped the sour relationship he endured with Trump as his first attorney general wouldn’t derail his Alabama comeback bid. In incomplete results, Sessions trailed Tuberville slightly and lagged behind the combined total for Tuberville and Rep. Bradley Byrne, his next nearest rival, by nearly 2-1, a clear danger sign for a household name like Sessions. Alabama requires a runoff if no candidate receives more than half the primary’s votes.”
Dems in N.C. and Texas look to moderate options – AP: “Voters in Alabama, North Carolina, Texas and California picked dozens of candidates for Election Day’s contests for control of Congress. The races were giving party leaders an initial look at whether 2020 voters were reacting to the combative era of Trump by showing a preference for centrist or ideological candidates. North Carolina Democrats chose establishment-backed moderate Cal Cunningham over a progressive challenger to battle GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, who was easily renominated. That set the stage for a pivotal November showdown that will help decide which party runs the Senate next year. In Texas, MJ Hegar, backed by national Democrats, advanced to a runoff for her party’s nod to oppose GOP Sen. John Cornyn, who cruised to renomination. Hegar’s runoff rival was unclear in incomplete returns early Wednesday.”
Cuellar feds off Cortez-backed challenger – Dallas Morning News: “Laredo Rep. Henry Cuellar, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, fended off a serious primary challenge from Jessica Cisneros, a 26-year-old immigration lawyer who brought the full force of the progressive left to South Texas. Cuellar, an eight-term incumbent, secured a narrow victory early Wednesday in one of most closely watched races across Texas, if not the country. That high profile was saying something, too, given the unusually competitive primary season that formed in the Lone Star State after six Republican congressmen decided to call it quits and Democrats targeted pickup opportunities in a number of other shifting districts.”
Pierce Bush loses primary for Houston seat – CBS News: “Republican Pierce Bush, a grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, failed to advance out of Tuesday’s primary in his bid for a Houston congressional seat, becoming the first member of his family to lose a race in Texas in more than 40 years. Aside from the recognition of coming from America’s most enduring Republican dynasty, Bush 34, was endorsed by the outgoing GOP incumbent, Rep. Pete Olson and raised more money than many of the other 14 candidates in the field. … Although Pierce Bush, 34, made clear from the outset of his run in December that he was an ally of Trump, he didn’t do so with zeal of rivals who promised fierce loyalty to the president if elected.”
Race to replace Katie Hill heads to a runoff – LAT: “Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith of Santa Clarita and Republican defense contractor Mike Garcia were in a tight race Tuesday night to succeed Rep. Katie Hill in one of California’s most competitive congressional districts, according to partial election returns. Former Rep. Steve Knight, the Republican who was ousted in 2018 by Hill, a Democrat, was running third and on the verge of losing his shot at recapturing his seat representing the northern suburbs of Los Angeles. The primary appeared likely to yield two runoffs between Smith and Garcia, a former Navy pilot — one in May to fill Hill’s seat for the rest of the year and another in November for the full two-year term that starts in January.”
TRUMP, GOP WANT TO RAMP UP BORROWING FOR STIMULUS
Politico: “Eight months from a general election, President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers are considering an urgent effort to rescue the U.S. economy from a coronavirus panic. Trump advisers and GOP lawmakers have spent the past few days pushing the White House to develop a package of economic stimulus measures, designed to prop up the economy amid growing fears about the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. Trump and his aides have been battering the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates … only to get an emergency rate cut Tuesday and then watch investors get spooked by the signal. And they’re watching a flood of announcements from multinational U.S. companies signaling trouble that could strangle the American economy for months to come. The frenzied push to boost the economy is colliding with Republican orthodoxy opposing short-term stimulus during the last recession. But it’s a reflection of what some Republicans recognize as an existential threat to Trump’s reelection: a potential downturn in the economy and financial markets in the run-up to a close and heated presidential election.”
Congress reaches $8 billion bipartisan deal on coronavirus emergency funding – NBC News
Pergram: Trump administration facing challenge as FISA comes up for renewal – Fox News
“Yes, customer service? I just received a package that I very much did not order. How can I return it, free of charge?” – Andrew Bates, a Biden communications staffer, on James Comey’s endorsement of Biden.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Isn’t one of the problems with early voting the fact that Tuesday’s Democratic primary results will reflect a lot of votes for 3 candidates who pulled out one day ahead of time after telling their supporters they were in it all the way to the convention. Many of the votes cast for these 3 non-candidates will already be on the books in many Super Tuesday States by election day. Seems like a lot of wasted votes. I bet those voters wish they had a do-over voting capability.” – Glenn Fuller, Laurel, Md.
[Ed. note: There are so many arguments against early voting, but this may be the most convincing one – especially for primaries. As much as I would rather us just jettison the whole concept of primary elections, the idea that voters would be making choices about who to pick as a nominee nearly A MONTH before the election and FOUR MONTHS before the convention is just asinine. I strongly believe that Americans should embrace Election Day as a national holiday on par with Labor Day and Memorial Day so that voters could got participate in community. For primaries, that’s not possible. But how about 1) limiting the window to one week and 2) introducing ranked-choice voting so that early voters still have a say. In our Fox News Voter Analysis, 36 percent of voters across the eight Super Tuesday states said they made their decision in the last few days. That seems like something worth protecting.]
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LIVE MÁS NO MÁS
UPI: “Penn State University students and community members gathered at the site of a shuttered Taco Bell for a vigil mourning the loss of the fast food restaurant. The Taco Bell location on E. College Ave in State College unexpectedly closed its doors permanently last week, leading Penn State student Prajesh Patel to organize the Sunday night vigil. The vigil, which was advertised on Facebook, brought out dozens of attendees, including former employees, to pay their respects to the closed eatery. ‘Taco Bell was our home away from home, and added spice to our life,’ Patel, who attended the vigil in a taco costume, told the assembled crowd. The nearest Taco Bell to the closed location is about 2 miles away.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“What drive people away today from the classic liberal democratic model are considerations not economic but cultural. The hunger is not for bread but for ethnic, tribal and nationalist validation. For respect, recognition and purpose.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a column that is excerpted from his 2017 essay “The Authoritarian Temptation,” published on Nov. 8, 2019. The essay is published in his posthumous book, “The Point of It All.”
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.