Super (predictable) Tuesday: Trump, Biden sweep early races


U.S. President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump began racking up early wins as states across the country held Super Tuesday primary elections, moving them closer to a historic rematch despite a lack of enthusiasm from many voters.

The results could ramp up pressure on Nikki Haley, Trump’s last major rival, to leave the race.

Super Tuesday features elections in 16 states and one territory — from Alaska and California to Vermont and Virginia.

Hundreds of delegates are at stake, the biggest haul of the race for either party.

Biden and Trump started off the night with projected wins in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Massachusetts. Biden was also projected to win Iowa and Vermont — a state with a rare tight race on the Republican side, with Trump and Haley running neck and neck as of 9 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press also projected Trump would win Colorado. A day earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state could not remove him from the presidential primary ballot in an attempt to hold the former president accountable for his actions leading to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

Donald Trump stands between two U.S. flags.
Republican presidential candidate and former president Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday, ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. (Alon Skuy/Getty Images)

While much of the focus is on the presidential race, there are also important down-ballot contests.

California voters will choose candidates who will compete to fill the Senate seat long held by Dianne Feinstein.

And the governor’s race took shape in North Carolina, where Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein will face off in a state that both parties are fiercely contesting ahead of November.

The spotlight, however, remains on the 81-year-old Biden and the 77-year-old Trump, who continue to dominate their parties despite both facing questions about their age and neither commanding broad popularity across the general electorate.

WATCH | Why convictions likely wouldn’t keep Trump from returning to the White House:

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Haley last remaining Republican challenger

The former president has nonetheless already vanquished more than a dozen major Republican challengers and now faces Haley, his former UN ambassador.

She has maintained strong fundraising and notched her first primary victory over the weekend in Washington, D.C., a Democrat-run city with few registered Republicans.

A woman stands on a stage, waving her right hand to a crowd of people holding signs.
Republican presidential candidate and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley waves to the crowd at a campaign rally in Spring, Texas, on Monday. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Trump scoffed that Haley had been “crowned queen of the swamp.” 

“We can do better than two 80-year-old candidates for president,” Haley said at a rally Monday in the Houston suburbs.

LISTEN | Debate over whether Biden is too old to be president gets heated:

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Rematch on the horizon

The earliest either can become his party’s presumptive nominee is March 12 for Trump and March 19 for Biden.

But in a departure from most previous Super Tuesdays, both nominations are effectively settled, with Biden and Trump looking ahead to a reprise of the 2020 general election.

“We have to beat Biden — he is the worst president in history,” Trump said Tuesday on Fox & Friends

Biden countered with a pair of radio interviews aimed at shoring up his support among Black voters, who helped anchor his 2020 coalition.

“If we lose this election, you’re going to be back with Donald Trump,” Biden said on the DeDe in the Morning radio show hosted by DeDe McGuire.

“The way he talks about, the way he acted, the way he has dealt with the African American community, I think, has been shameful.”

President Joe Biden speaks at a podium, with his hands slightly raised, in front of two flags hanging behind him.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Tuesday. Neither Biden nor his presumptive rival, Donald Trump, has gained broad public support ahead of the 2024 election. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Despite Biden’s and Trump’s domination of their parties, polls make it clear that the broader electorate does not want this year’s general election to be identical to the 2020 race.

A new AP-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research poll finds a majority of Americans don’t think either Biden or Trump has the necessary mental acuity for the job.

“Both of them failed, in my opinion, to unify this country,” said Brian Hadley, 66, of Raleigh, N.C.

LISTEN | Super Tuesday a little less super than usual with likely Biden, Trump rematch: 

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The final days before Tuesday demonstrated the unique nature of this year’s campaign.

Rather than barnstorming the states holding primaries, Biden and Trump held rival events last week along the U.S.-Mexico border, each seeking to gain an advantage in the increasingly fraught immigration debate.

After the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 on Monday to restore Trump to primary ballots following attempts, in Colorado and other states, to ban him for his role in helping spark the Capitol riot, Trump pointed to the 91 criminal counts against him to accuse Biden of weaponizing the courts.

“Fight your fight yourself,” Trump said. “Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent.”

State of the Union address this week

Biden delivers the State of the Union address Thursday, then will campaign in the key swing states of Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The president will defend policies responsible for “record job creation, the strongest economy in the world, increased wages and household wealth, and lower prescription drug and energy costs,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

LaBolt also drew a contrast with Trump’s priorities, which he described as “rewarding billionaires and corporations with tax breaks, taking away rights and freedoms, and undermining our democracy.”

Biden’s campaign called attention to Trump’s most provocative statements that evoked Adolf Hitler by declaring that immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of the U.S. and suggesting flippantly that he would serve as a dictator on his first day back in the White House.

Trump recently told a gala for Black conservatives that he believed African Americans empathized with his four criminal indictments.

That drew another rebuke from Democrats around the country for comparing personal legal struggles to the historical injustices Black people have faced in the U.S.

LISTEN | Why one Republican who doesn’t support Trump is happy he’s on the ballot:

U.S. Supreme Court says Trump can stay on Colorado ballot

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that former president Donald Trump cannot be removed from the ballot in Colorado or any other state. Colorado had barred Trump from its Republican primary, arguing he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but the justices said only U.S. Congress has that authority.

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