Here's the deal:
- Bernie Sanders shocked Hillary Clinton, dealing her a big upset in the Michigan Democratic primary — the night's biggest contest.
- "The political revolution that we are talking about is strong in every part of the country," Sanders said at a surprise press conference, after it became apparent he would defy polls that showed him losing to Clinton.
- Sanders essentially made good on two promises with his win: He said he'd do better with black voters, and his campaign said there was a path for him to win in Michigan.
- On the Republican side, Donald Trump is at it again: He won Mississippi — continuing his streak across the South — as well as Michigan and Hawaii.
- There was he was leading up to Tuesday that Trump's momentum was slowing down, after being criticized sharply by his rivals and put up weaker-than-expected numbers in primaries this weekend. Instead, he won the two most important states convincingly.
- "I don't think I've ever had so many horrible, horrible things said about me in one week," Trump said during his victory speech, which also included — questionable — plugs for Trump-branded steaks.
- Hillary Clinton beat Sanders in Mississippi by a huge margin, continuing her commanding dominance of Southern states.
- Clinton called for "love and kindness instead of bluster and bigotry," and an end to "bigotry, bias, and prejudice" in her speech, which was delivered well before the Michigan results came in.
- Ted Cruz easily won the Idaho primary, and in his speech looked forward to the upcoming contests. He's telling voters he's the only person who can beat Trump for the GOP nomination.
- Marco Rubio, who launched attacks on Trump and tried to claim the mantle as the mainstream GOP candidate, fared poorly. He was blown out in Michigan and Mississippi.
- The big prize of the night was Michigan, which has 59 delegates for Republicans and 147 for Democrats. Mississippi was also important, with 39 delegates for the GOP and 36 for the Democrats.
Here's the delegate situation as of Wednesday:
Rubio Did Not Earn Any Delegates From Mini Super Tuesday
Marco Rubio walked away from Tuesday night's four-state contest with zero delegates, having fallen short of the required percentage thresholds in Mississippi, Michigan, Idaho, and Hawaii.
Mississippi and Michigan, which both held primaries on Tuesday, mandate that a candidate must win at least 15% of votes in order to earn a portion of delegate votes. The junior senator from Florida won 5% and 9% in those states, respectively. He trailed Trump, Cruz, and Kasich in both states.
Although Rubio placed third in Idaho, earning roughly 16% of votes, he did not meet that state's requisite of 20% for delegate votes.
In Hawaii, he again took the third-most votes with approximately 13%. Per the state's rules, however — which calculates the percentage won by the number of delegates in each district to determine allocation — Rubio did not earn enough to gain delegates.
Donald Trump Wins Hawaii Republican Caucus
Donald Trump won the Republican caucus in Hawaii, after already claiming the Michigan and Mississippi primaries Tuesday night.
Trump's win, called by the Associated Press, showed his continued success despite attacks by Republican party leaders who have said his chances of winning in a general election are slim.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Bernie Makes Good On Two Promises In Michigan
MIAMI — Bernie Sanders came here instead of giving a speech in Michigan, where public polling showed him down double-digits heading into primary voting Tuesday night.
Maybe he should have stuck around. Sanders won Michigan, a narrow but stunning victory that gives his campaign a new burst of energy in the Midwest — and shows it can beat the Clinton machine in a big state.
The Sanders campaign was prepared to call a narrow loss in Michigan a win, just as it did after the disappointments in Nevada and Massachusetts, two states where aides thought they would do better than they did. In the days leading up to the primary in Michigan, Sanders was lowering expectations as fast as he could, telling reporters he'd do his best but steering clear of the bombastic "momentum" language he used before Nevada where he came up short in the caucuses.
Ted Cruz Wins Idaho Republican Primary
Senator Ted Cruz won the Idaho Republican primary Tuesday, adding to his delegate total as he tries to make the case that he can still beat frontrunner Donald Trump.
With nearly 50% of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race, with the senator from Texas holding a commanding lead over Trump, 43.3% to 27.6%.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the night at a rally in North Carolina, Cruz called out the national media for feeding a narrative that a Trump victory in inevitable.
"One week from today is going to be North Carolina's chance to roar," he said.
Bernie Sanders Wins Michigan Democratic Primary
Bernie Sanders narrowly won Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, denying rival Hillary Clinton of what could have been a huge share of the momentum.
Pre-polling numbers had Clinton as the favorite, but Sanders' populist message found a receptive audience in Michigan, a big manufacturing state where the blue-collar voting block holds major sway.
The race was called by the Associated Press at about 11:30 p.m.
Earlier in the night, Sanders held a brief and unexpected news conference about the tight race in Michigan.
The Vermont senator thanked voters for their support and volunteers for going to door-to-door to spread his campaign message.
Even if he didn't win Michigan, he said, the "the delegates will basically be split up."
His recent wins in Maine, Nebraska, and Kansas clearly showed that his campaign had momentum, he added.
"The political revolution that we are talking about is strong in every part of the country… and we believe our strongest areas are yet to happen," Sanders said.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke and Jason Wells
Ted Cruz Says He's Still The One To Beat Trump Despite Early Results
Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday continued to argue he is the only Republican capable of beating Donald Trump, despite the business mogul's early victories in Mississippi and Michigan.
Even as contests were still be tabulated, Cruz focused his campaign rally in North Carolina on his previous victories over Trump — recalling last week's Super Tuesday victories in Oklahoma, Alaska, and his home state of Texas — and charged the media with prematurely creating a narrative of victory for the Republican frontrunner.
"I can understand if you're angry at Washington, that Donald can sound appealing because he is a loud, angry, often profane, and cursing voice that can be seen as a vessel for that anger," he said in an overture to Trump supporters. "But here's the simple, undeniable truth: If you're frustrated with the corruption of Washington, you don't solve that problem by voting for someone who has been enmeshed in the Washington corruption for 40 years."
But Cruz cited Trump's past support of several liberal Democrats, from President Jimmy Carter to Vice President Joe Biden.
He also made an appeal to voters who supported candidates who have since bowed out of the elections, such as Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.
"If you were supporting one of those good, honorable people, let me tell you: We welcome you to our team," he said, adding, "One week from today is going to be North Carolina's chance to roar."
Donald Trump’s Victory Speech Sounded Like An Infomercial
Donald Trump rang in another evening of "a lot of victories" in typical style Tuesday night that featured a meandering 42-minute news conference in which he hawked his various business ventures before promising to be the Republican party's great unifier.
"There's only one person who did well tonight: Donald Trump," he said, with the night's two biggest states, Mississippi and Michigan, already called in his favor.
Trump also claimed to have had a recent conversation with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who "could not have been nicer." Trump also called the conversation "very encouraging."
Much of the rest of the night was devoted to the various Republicans who have criticized Trump and his business ventures. And he brought props.
Trump And Clinton Gave Speeches At The Same Time And Networks Only Covered Trump
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gave primary election speeches at the exact same time. And that posed a mighty choice to cable news networks: Cover the bombastic businessman or the former secretary of state?
In the end, not one channel cut to Clinton's speech. (Trump's clocked in at 42 minutes long, by the way.)
Did Donald Trump’s Famous Steaks Really Make An Appearance Tuesday?
The packaging on the steaks at the Republican frontrunner's media event in Florida appeared to be for a different company.
Many media outlets have reported that Trump Steaks, established in 2007, have since been discontinued. So people were…skeptical.
Here are the photos that appear to show steak packaged with labeling for Bush Brothers Provision Company, which is based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
John Kasich Looks Ahead To Ohio In Primary Night Speech
Presidential candidate John Kasich thanked supporters from Cleveland following Tuesday's vote in Michigan and Mississippi. The Ohio governor spoke about his enthusiasm for his home state, which he said would be a game changer when he won it next week.
"When I landed in Cleveland today, I got down and my hands and knees and I almost kissed the ground," Kasich said to explain his excitement.
The Ohio governor emphasized that his positive values were what voters were looking for and said he was the only one capable of uniting the country.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Clinton: "We Are Better Than What We Are Being Offered By The Republicans"
Hillary Clinton took aim squarely at Republicans and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and divisive campaign rhetoric in speech in Ohio on Tuesday.
Clinton claimed victory in Mississippi but is still neck-and-neck with Bernie Sanders in a closer-than-expected race in Michigan.
"We are better than what we are being offered by the Republicans," Clinton said.
"America is great, we don't have to make it great again. We have to make it whole," she added, repeating a line she has recently coined to contrast her message with Trump's.
Clinton had harsh words for corporations that had moved their business out of Ohio, and Nabisco from Chicago. "If they walk out of America, they're going to pay a price," she said. "They're going to give back the tax breaks. We can take that money, and we can make it work."
Throughout the speech Clinton called for "love and kindness instead of bluster and bigotry," and an end to "bigotry, bias, and prejudice." Clinton made specific calls for equal pay for equal work for women, paid family leave, and the ability to graduate from college debt-free. She also brought up the country's racial divide. "Race still plays a role in who makes it in america and who gets left behind," she said.
Late in her speech Clinton began talking about Tamir Rice, the Cleveland teenager killed by a police shooting, and a member of the crowd shouted another name. "There are a lot of names we could be reciting," Clinton responded. "We have to invest in every community and help everybody succeed."
Clinton ended her speech by soliciting campaign donations, stressing that any amount helps. "I want to be president for the struggling and the striving," she said.
Clinton and Trump Both Gave Speeches At the Same Time. Here's How They Played on Cable TV:
From BuzzFeed News' Clinton reporter, Ruby Cramer:
Donald Trump Wins Michigan and Mississippi Republican Primaries
Donald Trump won the Michigan primary Tuesday, sweeping the two biggest Republican contests of the night after winning Mississippi.
Trump's win in Michigan made it even more difficult for his rivals to eat into his momentum. It also meant Trump's message played well with varying electorates in the North and South.
Trump's success also was a bad sign for Republican party leaders who have tried to derail his campaign with negative attacks and warnings that his general election chances are poor.
Speaking to supporters in Florida, Trump cited all the "horrible, horrible lies" that had been slung his way on the campaign trail in recent days.
He called on party leaders to do what more and more voters appeared to be doing: Getting behind Trump.
Trump also described a phone call he said he had with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan as "encouraging."
"It's a movement," Trump said. "Many people have called it a movement."
Sanders Hits Clinton On Iraq War, Wall Street As Polls Close
Speaking in Miami, Bernie Sanders hit rival Hillary Clinton on several topics as polls started to close Tuesday.
Sanders called for his rival Hillary Clinton to release transcripts for speeches she gave to Wall Street, and contrasted her high speaking fees to the average $27 donations says his campaign has attracted from more than 1 million Americans.
"I voted against the war," Sanders said, referencing the Iraq War and emphasizing his commitment to the U.S.
He noted that Clinton had "heard the same arguments and she voted for the war."
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced Sanders before a large crowd. A veteran who resigned from the Democratic National Committee to endorse Sanders, she said the Vermont senator had her vote because he won't start a reckless war and instead "invest in rebuilding our nation here at home."
Sanders also talked about climate change and how he would implement a rail system to replace cars.
Sanders concluded by encouraging people to vote next week in Florida's primary.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Hillary Clinton Wins Mississippi’s Democratic Primary
Hillary Clinton won Mississippi's Democratic primary on Tuesday, defeating Bernie Sanders in yet another Southern state.
Clinton's win — called by the Associated Press and other media outlets citing exiting polls — extends her success in states with large black voting populations, where she remains more popular than her rival, Bernie Sanders.
The contest was expected to be closer in Michigan, where Sanders' populist message has been resonating in a state known for its blue collar manufacturing voting base.
Wins in both states, however, would expand her already solid delegate lead over Sanders and narrow his path to a nomination.
If You Go To Trump's Primary Night Rally, You Will Consume Alleged Trump Steak
The fancy array was seen at Trump's golf club in Jupiter, Florida, where he will hold a press conference later on tonight.
An Associated Press reporter tweeted an additional photo of the beef cuts, citing an aide who said they were from the presidential candidate's now-defunct Trump Steaks. There were no labels on the meat to confirm where they came from.
The Wall Street Journal has more info on Trump products here.
BuzzFeed News Homepage Editor Gavon Laessig is broadcasting live on the "electoral boogaloo" on Facebook:
Voters In Mississippi Angrier Than In Michigan, Early Exit Polls Show
The electorate in Mississippi and Michigan differs pretty widely, according to early exit polls released Tuesday. On the Republican side, the polls suggest that voters in Mississippi are more likely to be evangelical Christians and angrier at the federal government.
Around 40% of Mississippi voters told exit pollsters they were angry, versus about 30% in Michigan. ABC News reported that so far this primary season, those type of voters have been going to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump 42% of the time, and his rival Ted Cruz 32% of the time.
Among Democrats, the polls report that turnout will be higher than in 2008 for Mississippi, and lower than 2008 for Michigan, according to an ABC News analysis. But Michigan's democratic primary allows independents to vote, and more of them appear to have turned out on Tuesday than eight years ago.
The early exits show that African-Americans account for around 60% of Democratic primary voters in Mississippi, which if holds true, will be a record for the state, ABC News reported. That would also be a similar proportion to what the polls logged in South Carolina, which voted heavily for Hillary Clinton.
In the Michigan Democratic primary, the early exit polls say African-Americans make up 20% of the people who voted.
Marco Rubio Says GOP Will Fracture If Trump Is The Nominee
Marco Rubio, in an interview with a local Idaho radio station this week, said he believes the Republican party will fracture if Trump is the nominee.
"If I look at some of the other candidates in the race, with all due respect, they can not bring our party together," Rubio told NewsTalk 670 KBOI. "If you can't bring our party together, not only will we be fractured, we'll lose. If the frontrunner in this race right now is our nominee, we're going to lose because a significant percentage of the Republican Party is not gonna vote for him in the general election."
Rubio said the campaign was going to be a long haul and he was the only one who could unite the party and beat Clinton.
"This is gonna be a long slog given the way that this campaign has worked out and very unusual but I'll be frank, we need to nominate someone that can win," he said. "If we nominate someone who can not beat Hillary Clinton we're gonna wind up with Hillary Clinton as president of the United States. And I'm the only one running that can beat her. I'm the one that gives us the best chance to beat her because I can unify not just the Republican Party and the conservative movement, I can unify this country."
Kasich: Giving Nomination To Candidate With Most Delegates Like Giving An "A" For An 87%
John Kasich said on Tuesday that calls for the Republican with the most delegates heading into the convention to be the nominee were like saying that a student who got an 87 or 88 on a test should get an "A."
"If you don't have enough delegates, how do you get picked?" Kasich said. "And you run around saying, 'Well, I have to get picked, I had more than everybody else.' Well, more than anybody else doesn't mean you got it. You know, there's a certain rule. It's like being in school and you know that a 90 is an A and you get to 88 and everybody else is below you. You know, we don't grade on a curve when it comes to conventions or who should be the nominee. Just because I'm higher than everybody else doesn't mean I get an 'A.'"
Kasich, who argued that giving the nomination to a candidate with fewer delegates than the frontrunner at a contested convention doesn't necessarily have to fracture the party, went on at length in making the analogy.
"If I have an 87 on my test, how do I get an A with that?" he said. "What are we, changing the rules? If I get a 90 I get an A. If I get an 87, I get a B. How else would you do it? Well, would you say, oh well, I'm really mad because I didn't get an A, even though I got an 87. I think this is the best way to describe it on this radio show. The rules are the rules and we have to live by the rules. "
Donald Trump Has Made Some Bad TV Ad Buy Deals In Ohio
Donald Trump, running for president on his ability to make deals, is getting fleeced by local television stations across Ohio, according to data analyzed by BuzzFeed News.
In several television markets in the Buckeye State, Trump — the only candidate, he says, with the business acumen necessary to make Mexico pay for a wall on the southern border of the United States — has paid a significantly higher rate than the other federal candidates purchasing advertising time on the same station and in the same time slot.
For instance on the ABC-affiliate in Cleveland, Trump is paying a rate around three times higher than Bernie Sanders for orders placed on the same day and for the same three time slots: the 6 p.m. news, ABC's World News, and Good Morning America. Trump is paying $1,500 to Sanders's $400 for 6 p.m., $2,000 to Sanders's $600 for ABC's World News, and $1,400 to Sanders's $550 for Good Morning America.
"For a self proclaimed 'master negotiator,' that's quite an inefficient way to spend resources," said Nick Everhart, a national GOP media consultant and buyer based in Ohio.
Huckabee: Trump Only Candidate Who Is "Not A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary Of The Corporate Interests"
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has said he's not endorsing, praised Trump last weekend in a radio interview.
Asked whom the strongest candidate was on Talk of The Town radio on WUTQ last weekend, Huckabee, whose daughter works for the Trump campaign, said Trump.
"Well, the voters are clearly going with Donald Trump and I think part of the reason is he's the only person left on that stage that is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of the corporate interests. He's self-funding so he's not gonna be owned by the donors."
"One the things that screwed up politics so bad in this country is that the donor class feeds political class at the expense of the working class," continued Huckabee. "Whoever is putting the dollar bills in the g-strings of the lap dancer gets the dance."
Huckabee added he'd never been to a strip club but said he'd "heard about them."
"Most of the candidates will be funded by the same interests and when they get elected they will do what their donors tell them to do," he said.
Rafael Cruz, the father of Ted Cruz, said on Monday that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president, Hillary Clinton will probably win the general election and the country will be destroyed.
"As a matter of fact, the polls show that Ted beats Hillary and on the other hand, Donald Trump loses Hillary by eight or 10 points," Cruz said on the Idaho radio station KID 590. "So I think if Donald Trump is the nominee, in all probability Hillary will be our next president and this country will be destroyed."
In the interview, Cruz echoed many of his son's points about Trump, saying the businessman was liable to change his positions at a minute's notice.
"With Donald Trump you don't know what he's going to do," Cruz said. "I don't think he even knows what he's going to do because he says, 'Well, I can change, I change all the time, I change in a minute, I change to anything I want to change.'" —Christopher Massie
Rubio On CNN Story: "They Just Made It Up"
Marco Rubio said Tuesday that CNN made up a report that some Rubio advisers think he should drop out of the presidential race before the Florida primary.
In the same interview with Fox News radio Kilmeade and Friends:
- Rubio said no one currently has a path to the majority of the delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination
- Rubio said a vote in Florida for Kasich or Cruz is a vote for Trump
- Rubio said that because Trump is the frontrunner there's not pressure for him or others to drop out and rally around the frontrunner (and "it's not gonna happen for Ted either")
Hillary Clinton Wants To End Tipping As We Know It
The United States has two so-called minimum wages, and one is more minimum than the other. Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for the elimination of the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers — such as waiters, car washers, and manicurists — which remains as low as $2.13 an hour in more than a dozen states. By contrast, the federal minimum wage for non-tipped workers is $7.25.—Cora Lewis
"It is time we end the so-called tipped minimum wage," Clinton said Wednesday at a rally at the Javits Center with New York state governor Andrew Cuomo. "We are the only industrialized country in the world that requires tipped workers to take their income in tips instead of wages."
The federal tipped wage is a calcified piece of labor law — frozen at $2.13 for more than two decades — little-known outside of the restaurant industry, but acutely known by servers at chain restaurants, including large ones like IHOP, Applebee's, and Olive Garden. Clinton called the lower wage floor, which varies by state, "shameful." Advocates and law-makers have pointed to its roots in slavery.
Better Business Bureau Denies Sending Donald Trump Fax During Fox Debate
And here's more coverage of Trump University:
Rep. Peter King, a Rubio-backer, says the Florida senator has to win his home state in order to continue in the presidential race, but advised the candidate not to drop out before the contest.
"I would say he should stay in through Florida," King told L.I. in the A.M on Tuesday morning. "If you're in this long to drop out in the final week would just show that you didn't really have the courage or guts to carry it forward."
King said he thought there was a real good chance Rubio wins Florida, but said the senator "has to win Florida" to go forward.
"To drop out, once you drop out, it's hard to ever come back, especially like this when you're in striking distance within your own state. When it looks as if the leader, Donald Trump though, is not going to get a majority of delegates, to me, he'd be making a big mistake by dropping out now but he does have to win Florida."
Congressman Backing Trump Says It's Time For Him To Show His "Presidential Side"
Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino, who is supporting Donald Trump for president, says it's time for his preferred candidate to show his "presidential side."
Speaking on Newsmax TV, the Congressman said that he planned to express this opinion to Trump in a meeting in the next week.
"And I'm gonna say this to Mr. Trump," Marino said. "'You have won the face to face debates. You can slice and dice. You're the human Veg-O-Matic when it comes to shutting people down. But now, show them your presidential side. Show them how much you support veterans and what you're gonna do for serious security of the border and creating jobs. Right, he's gotta stand up now and I'm gonna be meeting with him shortly, in the next week, and I'm gonna convey that to him." —Chris Massie
Rick Santorum: Trump Could Lose In Brokered Convention Even With Most Delegates
Rick Santorum says he believes that Donald Trump could lose in a brokered convention if he doesn't have the majority of the delegates before the RNC convenes in Cleveland.
"If Donald Trump is able to go out and get the delegates on the first ballot the rules are in place, he's gonna win the nomination," the former senator and presidential candidate told WMAL this weekend.
"If he doesn't, then he has a claim to say, 'well I won more than everybody else.' Well, yeah, but I can tell lots of situations where you have those types of elections and they end up at a convention and the person who finished with 48% didn't get the nomination. That happens all the time," he continued.
"It happened in Iowa at a congressional district just two years ago. So he needs to win it outright to make sure that he wins it," Santorum said. "If he doesn't win it outright then I would just say that he's certainly the favorite going in but I don't think there's anybody who would say that he's a lock just because he has more than everybody else."
— Andrew Kaczynski
What If Trump Was The Nominee And No One Went On Spanish-Language TV To Defend Him?
Hispanics love Donald Trump and he has employed thousands of them, Donald Trump will tell you.
But who will say it for him on Univision and Telemundo, the two networks that broadcast news to millions of Latinos every single night?
For Trump to prove that he can compete with Hispanic voters — against someone like Hillary Clinton who has drawn wide support from them in 2008 and again this cycle — he will need members of the community to do the tough work of sitting across Univision and Telemundo anchors and defending rhetoric that has targeted Mexicans and immigrants, as well as his plans to build a wall along the Mexican border and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.
And even finding those people could prove challenging.
NCLR President Turns Aim On Trump: “Hate Won’t Make America Great Again.”
National Council of La Raza (NCLR) president Janet Murguia will call out Donald Trump for "xenophobia, race-baiting and religious bigotry" in a speech in Washington D.C. Tuesday and exhort Hispanics to become citizens and register to vote, according to prepared remarks obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Guess What?! Bloomberg Isn't Running for President.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg put an end to the speculation that he might jump in to the 2016 race for the White House, penning a column Monday for Bloomberg View, condemning Donald Trump and saying that he loves "our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future — and so I will not enter the race for president of the United States."
If She Wins, Clinton Says, She Hopes Bernie Will Help Persuade His Voters To Back Her
DETROIT — Eight years ago, after conceding defeat in the long and bitter fight for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton had to meet with hundreds of her supporters, selected as delegates, to urge them, "Do not vote for me."—Ruby Cramer
"'I want you to vote for President Obama,'" Clinton told the group, recalling the moment on Monday afternoon. "It was an incredibly emotional meeting."
This time around, Clinton hopes that Bernie Sanders would do the same with his supporters for her campaign, should she win the Democratic primary.
"I would hope to be able to enlist Bernie in helping me reach out to his supporters if I am so fortunate to be the nominee," Clinton said, during a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, campaigning on the eve of the state's crucial primary contest.
Clinton made the comments during a town hall-style meeting with about 35 employees of a Michigan tech-software firm, Atomic Object, when a supporter at the event asked a question about how he could eventually persuade friends who back Sanders to come to the other side and rally around Clinton's campaign.
Major GOP Donors Are Turning Their Hopes Toward A Contested Convention
WASHINGTON — Major GOP donors praying for anyone but Donald Trump to emerge as their party's standard bearer have started to turn their hopes toward a contested convention, a wonky political dream that could finally come true.—Tarini Parti
As donors come to the realization that their non-Trump candidates have little chance of winning the nomination in the upcoming contests, chatter of a contested GOP convention has been dominating fundraising circles in recent days, and donors are beginning to re-evaluate how they can best spend their resources to increase the chances of a contested convention.
David Beightol, a former major Romney bundler and Bush backer, recently attended a briefing session Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign manager Terry Sullivan held in Washington, D.C. Although some donors were disappointed that Sullivan didn't make the case for Rubio to actually win primaries in upcoming states, Beightol said he and other donors, who realize that a contested convention at this point is the only way to stop Trump, were won over.
"It's inevitable that there's going to be a brokered convention at this point," Beightol said, adding that he might soon start donating and fundraising for Rubio's campaign because it's been doing the math and preparing for the scenario.
There were a number of former Bush bundlers at the meeting who hadn't decided on their next choice in the crowd.
Rubio Hopes Much-Needed Puerto Rico “Blowout” Leads To Florida Momentum
Runners racing to bring results from individual polling sites to the Marco Rubio campaign headquarters in San Juan had good news for Rubio's campaign manager Jose Fuentes on the island: The Cuban-American Florida senator was cleaning up in Puerto Rico.—Adrian Carrasquillo
"It's going to be a blowout," he told BuzzFeed News, before the race was officially called for Rubio. He had 73% of the vote with 61% of precincts reporting.
While that good result for the campaign could mean Rubio will get all of the island's 23 delegates — even though Puerto Ricans can't vote for president in the general election — the voting comes a day after Rubio was defeated in four states by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, with a fourth place finish in Maine, where Cruz unexpectedly won.
But Rubio supporters moved quickly to turn the page from Saturday and cast the Puerto Rico win as a result that bodes well not just for the critical March 15 Florida primary, but for the race moving forward.
And here's some additional coverage of the Rubio campaign:
Clinton And Sanders Got Into A Feisty Debate Sunday Night
Here's what you missed:
- Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders got into a heated, feisty debate on Sunday night in Flint, Michigan just days before that state will vote in its Democratic primary.
- Most of the two-hour session on CNN focused on the water poisoning of Flint and domestic issues and economic inequality, which gave Sanders a chance to trumpet his bread-and-butter lines and positions from the campaign trail.
- Sanders, though, did get testy a few times when Clinton tried to talk while he was answering. His snaps got picked up widely on social media, especially when he said, "excuse me, I'm talking."
- Read BuzzFeed News's coverage of the water crisis here.
- Clinton for the first time, according to the moderators, called for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign over the water crisis. Sanders has taken that position before.
- Clinton also hit Sanders hard for his opposing a 2009 bill that, in part, aimed to save the auto industry — which has its roots in Michigan and especially Detroit.
- Both candidates stumbled when asked about their support of the Violent Crime Control act of 1994, which was signed by President Bill Clinton and has been blamed for the mass incarceration of black people.
- Sanders, when asked, also gave his most lengthy comments to date on his Jewish faith.
- The two did agree on one thing: They both said they'd be better off running the country than the Republicans.
And here's some coverage of Sanders' testy moments:
Rubio Wins Puerto Rico, After Cruz And Trump Claimed Two States On Saturday
Here are the key points:
- The Republican race for president is far from over: Ted Cruz delivered crushing wins in the Kansas and Maine Republican caucuses on Saturday, while Donald Trump won big in Louisiana and Kentucky.
- In his victory speech, Trump called for Marco Rubio to drop out of the race. Rubio put on another poor performance Saturday, winning no states. "I want Ted one-on-one," Trump said. Rubio, he said, is "coming in virtually last in every race."
- But on Sunday, Rubio enjoyed a small victory, winning the Republican primary in Puerto Rico.
- Cruz's large-margin victories came as a surprise. "The howl that comes from Washington D.C. is utter terror at what we the people are doing together," Cruz said during his address. "We're seeing conservatives coming together."
- Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, defeated Hillary Clinton in the Maine, Kansas and Nebraska Democratic caucuses. Clinton defeated him easily in Louisiana. These results were expected.
- The way the preliminary counts are working out, it looks like there won't be much overall impact in the delegate counts for Democrats or Republicans.
- For a quick rundown of Saturday evening, click here.