Super Tuesday 2020 | Minnesota Public Radio News

Super Tuesday 2020

Coverage of Super Tuesday from a Minnesota perspective

  • Opalina Peralta is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band. She voted for Bernie Sanders Tuesday morning in Bemidji. She plans to go to law school, and hopes he'll make college debt a thing of the past. Housing is another issue important to Peralta. "My rent is going up and my pay is not going up with it." One of her main hopes for Minnesota's future is that the homelessness rate goes down and more affordable housing is made available. "You know everyone needs to work, everybody wants a place to live and I really hope that we can go forward and have a place that we all love."
    Photo and reporting by John Enger
  • Brainerd Dispatch: Voter turnout low, but somewhat steady, area cities say about state's first presidential primary since 1992

    The paper reports a quiet day of voting in central Minnesota.
    "I like the primary. I think that more people are able to participate in a primary and I really appreciate that because I think more people should be involved in the political process. I do miss the caucus craziness a little bit, and feeling like you can make your voice heard a little bit more in the caucus, but the caucus is still happening. People can still be involved in those and I think some people missed out on that part" --  Aaron Pearson, of Pequot Lakes.
  • JUST IN: A county judge in Tennessee has ruled that five polling sites in Nashville must remain open until 10 PM CT tonight after tornadoes tore through the area overnight, causing voting delays and closures. Other sites will stay open until 8 PM. (NPR)
  • Gary Port is a 79-year-old Trump supporter. He cast his vote at Frohn town hall Tuesday morning. "We just need to get some honesty going, I don't know if we're all informed about what's really going on. All the Democrats are hard on Trump, and they haven't really explained why," Port said. He said the new primary system is an improvement. ~ John Enger | MPR News
    by Matt Mikus, MPR News edited by Sara Porter, MPR News 3/3/2020 11:34:20 PM
  • Tia Ronningen voted in Minneapolis on Super Tuesday. She shared her hopes for Minnesota's future. Video by Tom Baker for MPR News

  • Many Democratic voters made last-minute picks

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Democratic voters in Super Tuesday's presidential primaries made up their minds just before casting a ballot — a sign of fluidity in a race recently upended by Joe Biden's blowout in South Carolina.

    The share of late deciders ranged from about a quarter of voters in Texas to roughly half in Minnesota, according to AP VoteCast surveys of voters in several Super Tuesday contests. Moderate and conservative voters in each state were slightly more likely than their liberal counterparts to delay a decision to the last minute.

    The indecision shows voters grappling with their choices in a race that is changing quickly. Biden's big win in South Carolina on Saturday revived his struggling campaign and helped push three of his rivals toward the exit.

    Biden is now trying to consolidate moderate voters, block Sen. Bernie Sanders, box out Sen. Elizabeth Warren and overcome the hundreds of millions spent by billionaire Mike Bloomberg — who is on the ballot for the first time Tuesday. Further complicating the possible outcomes on Tuesday was that many people voted early.

    Here’s a snapshot of Democratic voters in Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia — who they are and what matters to them — based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast surveys, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago. Additional polling results will be added throughout the night.

    Moderates and conservatives

    Moderates and conservative accounted for the majority of Democratic voters in most of the seven states, just as they have in previous contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    Those primary voters also generally preferred a presidential candidate who would pursue practical centrist policies rather than one who would champion bold liberal policies.

    Still, roughly half of voters, or more, in each state indicated they wanted to see a candidate who would fundamentally change how the political system works in Washington over one who would return the political system to the way it was before President Donald Trump was elected.

    Looking toward November

    The Democratic contests do appear to be drawing some potential swing voters. About 20% of voters said Democrats haven't locked in their vote and are waiting to see who wins the nomination before deciding how they'll vote in November. That was true in six of the seven states AP survey. The share was smaller — about 1 in 10 — in Minnesota, a state Trump is trying to flip.

    Most of this group identified as moderates or conservatives, a sign that they might be open to Trump or consider not voting for any candidate in November.

    Racial diversity

    Democratic candidates have been tasked with proving they can bring together a multiracial and multi-ethnic coalition in order to compete in November. Several states voting on Tuesday, including Alabama, Texas, California and Virginia, offer a chance to test their appeal.

    More than half of Alabama’s Democratic primary voters were African American, and all voters in this state gave an edge to Biden over Sanders and other candidates on who could best handle race-related issues as president.

    Biden also enjoys an advantage on racial issues over Sanders from voters in North Carolina and Virginia.

    In Texas, over half of Democratic primary voters were non-white, including about 30% who were Latino. Voters in the state thought Biden would be best able to handle immigration.

    Not quite happy with Bloomberg

    The former mayor of New York City — worth an estimated $60 billion — deployed his fortune on TV spots, social media memes and a whirlwind tour of the country. But a large share of Democratic voters seems unhappy with the possibility of him being the presidential nominee.

    About 60% of voters in Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts — his birthplace — said they would be dissatisfied if Bloomberg was the Democratic candidate. Roughly half in North Carolina and Virginia would also be displeased.

    Only in Alabama and Texas would a majority be satisfied by Bloomberg. These results suggest that Bloomberg is among the more divisive candidates still seeking the nomination.

    Across all seven states, the other three major candidates — Biden, Sanders and Warren — all see more positive than negative ratings from voters. Majorities said they would be satisfied if any of the three were the nominee.
    — Josh Boak and Hannah Fingerhut | Associated Press

  • Lauren Crabtree, 19, lives in Brainerd, working in food industry and hopes to move to larger city. Crabtree voted for Bernie Sanders and says raising minimum wage and creating better conditions for workers are her top issues. For Minnesota's future, she said she'd like to see people feel empowered to express more progressive ideas.
    Photo and reporting by Kirsti Marohn | MPR News
  • Health care top issue in Minnesota

    AP — Voters in Minnesota’s Democratic primary ranked health care as the most important issues facing the country, well above the economy, race relations, foreign policy and many other social issues.

    About 4 in 10 named health care, an issue that has intensely divided the field of Democratic candidates. Another 3 in 10 had climate change on their minds, according to a wide-ranging AP VoteCast survey of the Democratic primary electorate in Minnesota.

    Here’s a snapshot of Democratic voters in Minnesota — who they are and what matters to them — based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a survey of 1,186 voters, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

    Do they want a big change? 

    Somewhat more voters in Minnesota’s Democratic primary said they wanted a candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington, rather than one who would restore the political system to how it was before Donald Trump was elected in 2016.

    But change in Washington doesn’t look the same to everyone. About 6 in 10 voters said they preferred a candidate who will pursue practical, centrist policies to one pursuing bold liberal policies.

    What else do voters want

    Nearly 9 in 10 said it was very important that a nominee can beat Trump, and about 8 in 10 considered strong leadership highly important.

    Roughly 7 in 10 said it was very important that a candidate cares about people like them.

    Having “the right experience,” being willing to work across the aisle and having the best policy ideas were considered very significant for a Democratic nominee by about 6 in 10 voters.

    Largely unified against Trump

    A wide majority say they will definitely vote for the Democratic candidate against Trump in the general election. Still, about 1 in 10 say their decision will depend on which Democrat is on the ballot in November.

    Primary process skepticism 

    Voters are skeptical that the Democratic Party’s nomination process is fair. Close to 1 in 10 say they are very confident that the process for selecting a presidential nominee is fair. Roughly 3 in 10 have little to no confidence, while about half say they are somewhat confident.

    Debating health care

    The campaign has featured a contentious debate among candidates over the best way to tackle health care, an issue seen as the most important facing the country by roughly 4 in 10 voters.

    There is majority support for a government-run health care system for all Americans, with about 7 in 10 voters saying they are in favor. Roughly a third are opposed.

    But support for a public option, where every American could buy into a government-run insurance plan if they wanted to, is even higher. About 9 in 10 are in favor.

    About 6 in 10 voters are in favor of either proposal, while about 3 in 10 say they favor a public option but oppose a single-payer system.

    Climate change, the economy and other issues

    Roughly 3 in 10 voters said climate change is the most important issue facing the nation. A wide majority — about 8 in 10 — expressed support for a tax on the use of carbon-based fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.

    Just about 1 in 10 called the economy the top issue. But a significant majority described the economic system in this country as unfair. That includes about 4 in 10 who said it’s very unfair.

    Small shares of voters considered race relations, immigration, gun policy or abortion most important.


    AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 1,186 voters in Minnesota was conducted for seven days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The survey is based on interviews with a random sample of registered voters drawn from the state voter file. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.

  • Shaun Laden voted in Minneapolis. He shared his hopes for Minnesota's future.

  • Late momentum boosts Biden in Virginia

    AP — Joe Biden's late momentum was real in Virginia, a state likely to be a top battleground in November. About 4 in 10 voters there said they made a late decision about whom to vote for in the primary. About half of them went for the former vice president, who has been called the winner in the state by AP.

    Biden's coalition there looks like it has elsewhere. He won about half of voters ages 45 and older, the majority of voters in the state. Black voters were far more likely to support Biden than any other candidate. Close to half of those who attend religious services at least monthly backed Biden.

    Biden won about half of moderates and conservatives — and even about 30% of liberals, chipping away at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' core supporters.

    Sanders continued his strength among young voters — winning about half of those under 30. Latino voters were slightly more likely to show support for Sanders than for Biden.

    Among white voters, 4 in 10 supported Biden, while about 2 in 10 went for Sanders and about 1 in 10 each supported former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    Health care stood out to about a third of voters in Virginia’s Democratic primary as the top issue facing the nation. Roughly 2 in 10 each had climate change and the economy on their minds.

    Roughly a third of voters in Virginia said they were behind a public option health insurance plan, but not “Medicare for All.” About half of voters favored both proposals.

  • Steven McKnight, 37, of Brainerd, owns a secondhand clothing store. He voted for Bernie Sanders, "For a lot of reasons. Medicare for all is a huge one, increased public education, infrastructure — taking care of folks in our country in a way that we haven't before." He wants his kids to live in a better world than his generation inherited. "I think we can do it."
    Photo and reporting by Kirsti Marohn | MPR News
  • Hey big spender

    NPR: Mike Bloomberg vastly outspending opponents on Super Tuesday ads. Today marks the first set of elections where former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is officially on the ballot — and in preparation, he’s shelled out an extraordinary amount of money to make his candidacy known.Since announcing his candidacy in late November, the multibillionaire has spent $500 million on ads around the country.In Super Tuesday states alone, Bloomberg has spent about a quarter of a billion dollars on ads — per data from Advertising Analytics through Feb. 27.He has spent the most money in California ($71 million,) Texas ($53 million,) and North Carolina ($15 million) — which are the three states offering the most delegates today.And compared to his competitors Bloomberg leads in ad spending by about $200 million. FULL STORY

  • Super Tuesday voting extended in Nashville due to storms

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ruled that Super Tuesday polls will stay open later in Nashville in the wake of deadly overnight tornadoes that delayed the start of voting in the city and rendered some of its polling places unusable.

    The Tennessee Democratic Party said Tuesday that it succeeded in a lawsuit against the Davidson County elections commission and Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office to extend voting hours in the tornado-stricken county. Four Democratic presidential campaigns are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

    “This is a victory for all voters and this decision will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in this historic election,” said Mary Mancini, state Democratic Party chairwoman.

    Some polling sites in Nashville’s Davidson County and Wilson County were moved, and sites across the two counties opened an hour late but initially were slated to close at the same time, Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. Gov. Bill Lee said the state has deployed generators to polling stations that have reported that they don’t have power.

    Hargett spokeswoman Julia Bruck said only the judge had the authority to make the decision to extend hours.

    “We do not have the ability to extend voting hours in Tennessee, and it’s important to note this order only applies to Davidson County,” Bruck said.

    Davidson County polls will stay open until 8 p.m. local time, and five polling sites will stay open until 10 p.m.: two available for all voters, and three set aside for voters in precincts who were rerouted due to the storms, the state party said.

    Hargett’s office said Davidson County won’t be able to report early voting results until after 10 p.m., while other counties can report their early voting results as their polls close.

    At least 25 people were killed by the twisters, which shredded dozens of buildings. One of tornadoes caused severe damage across downtown Nashville.

    “Of course we want people to exercise caution in areas like downtown Nashville where there’s damage in the streets and that sort of thing,” Lee said at a news conference Tuesday. “But we also want folks to exercise their rights and get out there and vote. It’s a very important day for that.”

    Nashville Mayor John Cooper said alternate sites were arranged for 15 polling places out of the 169 precincts in Nashville’s combined city-county area.

    The disaster has complicated voting in a presidential race reshaped by Joe Biden’s blowout South Carolina win and exits by Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. Democratic presidential campaigns have continued to make their Super Tuesday case in Tennessee through TV ads and appearances.

    The former vice president deployed his wife, Jill Biden, to Tennessee on Sunday for a meet-and-greet in Memphis and a fundraiser in Nashville, then she toured a Nashville middle school Monday morning.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, spent Wednesday making multiple stops in Nashville. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent actress Ashley Judd to make stops for her in Nashville on Monday. Judd’s scheduled appearances for Election Day were canceled due to the tornadoes.

    And billionaire Mike Bloomberg made three stops Friday in Tennessee, speaking in Memphis, Clarksville and Johnson City. The former New York City mayor has made four trips to Tennessee as a candidate — more than any of his rivals — and has hired the most staffers throughout the state. His multimillion-dollar ad campaign in Tennessee has been the easiest to spot on local TV airwaves.

    Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, held a rally Saturday in Nashville, only to see a dismal outcome in South Carolina and drop out of the presidential race Sunday. Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator, held a Nashville event Friday, then left the contest Monday.

    Tennessee’s 73 delegates also could prove vital for candidates needing to show momentum in the rapidly thinning race. Just seven other states will have more delegates than Tennessee on Super Tuesday.

    In a state where a Republican holds every major elected office, including seven of the nine congressional seats, the Democratic primary voting base has a history of being more moderate than that of other states.

    Even though Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Tom Steyer recently dropped out of contention, they’ll still see their share of votes: More than 169,400 Democratic primary votes in Tennessee were already cast ahead of Tuesday through early and absentee ballots. Early voting began Feb. 12.

    — Jonathan Mattise | Associated Press

  • Warren tells supporters 'I am in this fight'

    Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY | AFP via Getty Images
    An upbeat Elizabeth Warren is urging Democratic voters to cast ballots that will make them “proud” instead of listening to political pundits.

    At a rally in Detroit on Tuesday night, the Massachusetts senator says “prediction has been a terrible business” and is encouraging people to vote with their “heart.” Warren has had poor showings in recent contests dominated by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

    People are still voting in many Super Tuesday states across the country. Michigan’s primary is next week, and Warren has scheduled a return trip for Friday.

    An undeterred Warren says she will defeat President Donald Trump and is still running because she believes she will make the best president. She says: “You don’t get what you don’t fight for. I am in this fight.”

    — Associated Press

  • Cecilia Laden of Minneapolis shared what motivated her to come out and vote on Super Tuesday.

  • Biden racks up string of early wins

    NPR: "It’s still early as results from the states with the largest delegates hauls — Texas and California — aren’t in yet, but former Vice President Joe Biden is on a roll so far."

  • DHS says everything going according to plan, but be patient

    NPR: "A number of states reported election technology issues throughout the day Tuesday, but national security officials say those are isolated incidents. There is no evidence of any election interference aimed at voting systems, Department of Homeland Security officials told reporters at a briefing Tuesday afternoon."

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