Daily Archives: Mar 3, 2020

    14 states, 1 territory, more than 1,300 delegates. Welcome to Super Tuesday

    WASHINGTON – Super Tuesday is finally upon us.

    Fourteen states and one U.S. territory will be voting Tuesday, accounting for more than 30% of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

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    And what a wild few days it has been.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is looking to continue his momentum after a blowout win in South Carolina Saturday. Also working in his favor? Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former mayor Pete Buttigieg, both seen as competitors for more centrist voters, have dropped out since Saturday, and thrown their support behind the former vice president.

    Live Super Tuesday Results: Follow live results from all of the Super Tuesday contests

    But Biden faces an uphill battle against Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been the frontrunner thus far in the campaign. Sanders leads the national delegate race and also leads polling in several key states, including California and Texas — two of the largest states with the most delegates up for grabs. Sanders has campaigned heavily in those states since winning the Nevada caucuses.

    Biden, however, focused much of his campaign efforts in South Carolina. He is now playing catch up with Sanders and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who opted out of competing in the early voting states to focus on Super Tuesday states. But Bloomberg has yet to win a single national delegate and was attacked harshly by his fellow candidates in two recent debates.

    California primary: How the Golden State vote could make — or break — presidential hopefuls left standing

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren is also looking to make a splash, after slowly losing momentum over the past several weeks. She placed third in Iowa first-in-the-nation caucuses, but hasn’t placed in the top 3 since. But Warren has repeatedly said her campaign is built for the long haul and she might be looking to ride the race out until the convention in July.

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also remains in the race, though she has not won any delegates thus far and is polling in the low single digits.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 14 states, 1 territory, more than 1,300 delegates. Welcome to Super Tuesday.

     

      RALEIGH, N.C./FRESNO, Calif. – (Reuters) – John Verdejo moved to North Carolina by way of the Bronx, with only basketball great Michael Jordan and the folksy humor of the Andy Griffith television show as references, neither particularly relevant to a Puerto Rican family in the mid-1990s

      Two years ago he saw Raleigh elect its first Latino councilman, saw Latino voters help defeat Wake County’s tough-on-immigration Republican sheriff, and now feels that energy continuing into the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign.

      “I have never received more phone calls, requests for meetings – party meetings, candidate meetings,” from those courting Latinos, said Verdejo, a member of the state’s Democratic National Committee.

      The 14-state Super Tuesday Democratic contests may test just how forcefully a Latino vote that shaped recent local races in North Carolina and flipped California Congressional districts in 2018 stands to influence the race for the White House.

      This election will be the first in which Latinos form the largest minority voting group, at around 13.3% of eligible voters, according to recent estimates by the Pew Research Center. That is an 80% jump since 2000, and compares to a share of black voters that has been roughly level since then at around 12%, and a white share that has fallen 10 percentage points to an estimated 66% of the eligible electorate.

      More notable, perhaps, in a U.S. presidential system where state by state results determine the winner, Latino populations, which lean Democratic by about a two-to-one margin, could start making states like Texas, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina more competitive. U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican, won each of those in 2016.

      ‘WE DO HAVE A BIG SAY’

      It’s something Democratic candidates and activists have expected before, only to be disappointed by low registration and turnout. But they have reason to think this may be the year with Latino numbers growing so quickly, said Mark Lopez, Pew’s director of global migration and demography research.

      The 70,000 Latino votes cast in North Carolina in 2018, for example, was just 4% of the total statewide vote, but that was double the showing in 2014’s previous midterms. With a bulge of younger voters in the pipeline it may jump again.

      By the time Super Tuesday wraps up, states accounting for about half the Latino population of the United States will have voted, and they may already be influencing who the party selects.

      A Pew poll of registered Latino voters nationally showed the top priorities included a stronger government role in health care and a higher minimum wage, dovetailing with some of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ policy themes.

      That may have helped Sanders’ convincing win in the Nevada caucuses. It appears to be expanding his appeal in vote-rich California, which he lost in the 2016 Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton, who performed strongly in the south of the state.

      Latinos are helping recast California’s traditional political geography, said Mark Baldassare, director of the Public Policy Institute of California, which found that around 53% of likely Latino voters there preferred Sanders.

      “It is the economics, and it’s attitudes about the role of government, and it’s immigration,” Baldassare said. Galvanized by Trump’s election in 2016, Latinos turned out to vote in record numbers in 2018, and analysts expect more of the same this year.

      “We do have a big say in this election,” said Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana, a 29-year-old grad student at UC Davis who has already voted for Sanders, in part because of his vow to cancel student debt and his positions on immigration.

      In Santana’s hometown of Fresno in California’s farmbelt between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the city council turned majority Latino and majority Democratic in 2018, ending decades of dominance by white Republicans.

      The Central Valley’s heavily Latino population, long ignored by national political candidates, is being actively courted, with Sanders and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg establishing offices.

      For Latino voters, said city council president Miguel Angel Arias, “the economy is as strong a driver as immigration is.” Half of Fresno’s residents don’t own their own homes; more than half are on Medicaid. “The booming national economy hasn’t benefited a lot of Central Valley families, especially Latinos.”

      NUMBERS GOING UP

      Back in North Carolina, Verdejo – who as a DNC member is remaining neutral ahead of the convention – said Sanders’ apparent support there may foil expectations for the Vermont liberal to falter in the South as happened on Super Tuesday in 2016 when minority voters helped cement Clinton’s nomination.

      Coming off a big win on Saturday in South Carolina – where Latinos played little part – former vice president Joseph Biden is also battling hard for the Latinos and African Americans who backed Clinton and former President Barack Obama. He claimed support from more than 60% of black voters in South Carolina.

      Bloomberg appears on the ballot for the first time on Super Tuesday, while Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts needs a solid showing to remain viable in a thinning field that saw billionaire Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, a former Indiana mayor, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota drop out since Saturday.

      How it plays out in November’s presidential election is uncertain, with Trump’s reelection campaign leaning heavily on a low unemployment rate, including record low levels of joblessness for blacks and Latinos.

      And Latinos tend to have lower unemployment rates and higher median incomes than blacks, converging more steadily toward national averages. But their population also skews young, with a median age of 29 compared with a national average of 38.

      And while the vast majority are citizens, even those who are not are taking a more active role.

      “I feel that just anybody, everybody has to vote,” said Marthalicia Gonzales Felix, an undocumented student at Fresno State University who regularly helps fellow Latinos understand and fill out their ballots, including one who voted for Trump.

      However Latinos do vote, one thing is clear: the numbers will grow.

      “It does not matter if it’s a presidential election or dog catcher,” Verdejo said. “Our numbers keep going up.”

      Reporting by Howard Schneider and Ann Saphir; Editing by Dan Burns and Grant McCool

       

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