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Wake Up To Politics - March 1, 2016

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Super Tuesday
255 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • SUPER TUESDAY: Clinton, Trump Expected to Cement Leads in SEC Primary The single biggest day of the presidential nomination calendar is today, as Democrats vote in 13 contests around the world, with 1,015 delegates at stake, and Republicans vote in 11 contests around the nation, with 595 delegates at stake.
  • Today’s slate of contests are expected to cement the leads of both parties’ frontrunners, Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and Donald Trump on the Republican side.
  • For Trump, it appears likely that he could sweep all the Super Tuesday contests (with the possible exception of Texas, Ted Cruz’s home state). Despite heightened opposition from GOP leaders in past days (including criticism from 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and a pledge never to vote for Trump by Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse), if he is the choice of voters from Massachusetts to Oklahoma tonight, the Trump juggernaut will be hard to stop.
  • While Trump’s popularity among evangelical conservatives almost guarantees him Alaska and six of the seven Southern states on the map (which dominate Super Tuesday, leading to the nickname “the SEC primary”), and his appeal to moderates should bring wins in Massachusetts and Vermont, polls show two states where he is vulnerable: Texas and Minnesota. If Trump manages to eke out a win in Texas, it could be game over for Ted Cruz, who represents the state in the U.S. Senate. Marco Rubio has identified Minnesota as his best chance for a victory; having not yet won a state, it will be important for him to at least take one. Meanwhile, there could be one or two more dropouts in the GOP race after today, with Ben Carson and John Kasich both expected to perform poorly and possibly end their campaigns.
  • Even if Trump is the winner in all but two (or less) states, the race between Cruz and Rubio for second place will still be crucial. Many Super Tuesday states allocate delegates proportionally (each candidate will take delegates equal to their share of the statewide vote total) – these contests will dictate whether it is Cruz or Rubio who comes in second place with overall Super Tuesday delegates, an important metric. The remainder of states have hybrid allocation methods, in which there is a threshold a candidate must meet to receive any delegates (usually 20%) and a threshold a candidate can exceed to take all the delegates (usually 50%).
  • On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is favored in all seven Southern states due to her success with African-American voters, while Bernie Sanders has a chance to win the remaining states (which trend more white and more liberal): Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and his home state of Vermont.
  • If Clinton can pull out landslide wins in the South, and even win some of Sanders’ targets (or contest them better than he contests the South, which will be key to the Democrats’ proportional allocation), this could be the day she kills all chances of Sanders winning the nomination. With wide superdelegate support, the lead Clinton takes in the delegate count after Super Tuesday may be impossible for anyone to catch up to.
  • But Sanders isn’t likely to go away. Buoyed by exceeding his goal to raise $40 million this month, Sanders is signaling plans to stay in the race until the end, hoping to pick off delegates from Clinton in the months ahead even if he’s blown out of the water tonight.
  • Super Tuesday is “super” for a reason: on no date this year will as many states vote or delegates be at stake, and the results tonight will have huge effects on the nomination races going forward. This is the day both primary races go national, and could be a turning point for both parties as the day when Clinton and Trump become unstoppable.
  • For more state-by-state info (including how many delegates are at stake, how they are allocated, who’s leading in polling, and when polls close), I made a handy Super Tuesday guide! Look at it below, and keep it close tonight as results roll in
  • GOPDEM Total DelegatesAllocation SystemPollingPolls Close (ET)Total DelegatesAllocation SystemPollingPolls CloseAlabama Primary50HybridTrump 38
        Rubio 20.38pm60ProportionalClinton 65
        Sanders 278pmAlaska Caucuses28ProportionalTrump 28
        Cruz 2412am    American Samoa Caucuses    10ProportionalN/A4pmArkansas Primary40HybridCruz 27
        Trump/Rubio 238:30pm37ProportionalClinton 57
        Sanders 28.58:30pmColorado Caucuses    79ProportionalClinton 55
        Sanders 279pmDemocrats Abroad Primary    17ProportionalN/AMarch 8Georgia Primary76HybridTrump 37.1
        Rubio 21.97pm116ProportionalClinton 63.2
        Sanders 28.37pmMassachusetts Primary42ProportionalTrump 45.3
        Rubio 18.58pm116ProportionalClinton 48
        Sanders 44.78pmMinnesota Caucuses38ProportionalRubio 23
        Cruz 219pm93ProportionalClinton 59
        Sanders 259pmOklahoma Primary43HybridTrump 31.3
        Cruz 22.78pm42ProportionalClinton 44.3
        Sanders 408pmTennessee Primary58HybridTrump 40
        Cruz 228pm76ProportionalClinton 59
        Sanders 338pmTexas Primary155HybridCruz 36.6
        Trump 27.79pm252ProportionalClinton 62.3
        Sanders 329pmVermont Primary16HybridTrump 32
        Rubio 177pm26ProportionalSanders 84.5
        Clinton 9.57pmVirginia Primary49ProportionalTrump 36.8
        Rubio 22.37pm110ProportionalClinton 55.4
        Sanders 35.87pmSourceFHQFHQRCP averageAPFHQFHQRCP averageAP State-by-State Super Tuesday Guide
  • Today on the Trail Where are candidates spending their last hours of campaigning before Super Tuesday?
  • Some candidates will hold some last-minute rallies in states they believe are their best shots at victory: John Kasich in Arlington, Virginia and Marco Rubio in Andover, Minnesota.
  • With Super Tuesday sewn up, the frontrunners are already looking ahead: Hillary Clinton will hold an event in Miami, Florida and Donald Trump will hold rallies in Louisville, Kentucky and Columbus, Ohio.
  • Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in Vermont: despite his 75-point lead there (and no need to campaign further), this event will represent a homecoming of sorts. Many candidates are watching results from their home states, an opportunity to “recharge” for some of these candidates, as they take a second look at their campaigns on the other end of Super Tuesday (Carson in Maryland, Rubio in Florida, Cruz in Texas, and Sanders in Vermont). Marco Rubio is holding a “Florida Kick-Off Rally” in Miami, as he looks to his home state to boost his candidacy on March 15.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 11:30am, President Obama and Vice President Biden will sit down with a bipartisan group of Senate and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders in the Oval Office to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy brought on by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) are expected to attend, as are Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
  • With Obama expected to nominate a successor for Scalia in the coming weeks, this meeting is his chance to urge McConnell and Grassley to change their “no hearing, no vote” position. The Republicans are expected to maintain that a President should not be able to change the makeup of the Supreme Court in his last year in office, and may even use a 1992 speech by then-Sen. Joe Biden (who will be in the room) who signaled that then-President George H.W. Bush should not be able to name a Supreme Court justice in an election year.
  • Obama and Reid, meanwhile, will likely use a historical example of their own: President Ronald Reagan, a Republican hero, who had a Supreme Court justice confirmed by a Democratic-led Senate in 1988, an election year.
  • Democrats have particularly targeted Grassley in past days, with Reid attacking him in a Senate floor speech on Monday, in hopes that he will waver and allow a hearing and committee-level vote for Obama’s forthcoming nominee.
  • McConnell and Grassley may be unpersuadable, however, in which case this will be a rather short meeting.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today The upper chamber will resume consideration of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) today, before recessing in the afternoon for weekly caucus meetings.
  • CARA, a bipartisan bill penned by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to combat the opoid drug epidemic, advanced Monday with an 89-0 vote. 60 votes were needed for the legislation to pass the cloture vote. Democrats may still slow down debate of the bill with an amendment by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to attach $600 million in emergency funds to the bill. Without Shaheen’s amendment, the bill authorizes funding for the issue, but does not appropriate specific funds.
  • House: Today The lower chamber will consider twelve bills today. One, the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 2016 sponsored by Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) would improve transparency and accountability of federal advisory committees. The remaining eleven will rename Veterans Outpatient Clinics and Post Office facilities, including one for poet Maya Angelou.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question What was the first presidential election year with a calendar day referred to as Super Tuesday?
  • Email me with your answer to wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com to get your name in tomorrow’s Wake Up! The answer to Monday’s trivia question, with the names of the correct respondents, will also be in Wednesday’s newsletter.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light