Super Tuesday: Clinton, Trump look to pull away from rivals

World Today

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at a polling station located in a Fiesta Mart supermarket in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Voters from Vermont to Colorado, Alaska to American Samoa and a host of states in between were heading to polling places and caucus sites on the busiest day of the 2016 primaries. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton see an opportunity to pull away from their rivals on Super Tuesday, as almost a dozen state contests across the country could accelerate their march toward the general election.

It’s the busiest day of the 2016 primary campaign, with a quarter of Americans having their say.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reports on how candidates are reaching young voters.

The contests come at a turbulent moment for Republicans as they grapple with the prospect of Trump becoming the party’s nominee. His main rivals, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are engaged in a frantic effort to stop the billionaire real estate magnate, but it was unclear whether they had made their move too late.

[flagallery gid=204]

Like Trump, Clinton has won three of the four early voting contests, including in South Carolina on Saturday. Her victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders there was due to support from black voters, putting her in position for a strong showing in several Southern states with large African-American electorates voting Tuesday.

Clinton is casting herself as a civil alternative to the insults and bullying that have consumed the Republican race, which she said Tuesday has “turned into a kind of one-upmanship on insulting, and I don’t think that’s appropriate in a presidential campaign.”

Super Tuesday explainer

Sanders, who has energized young voters with his call for a political revolution, was seeking to pick up victories in states including Minnesota and Vermont. But he faces tough questions about whether he can rally minorities, who are core Democratic voters.

Democrats will vote in 11 states and American Samoa on Super Tuesday, with 865 delegates up for grabs. It will take 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination at the party’s national convention in July.

Republicans will vote in 11 states, with 595 delegates at stake — nearly half the 1,237 delegates needed to gain the nomination at the party’s convention, also in July.

States holding voting contests in both parties Tuesday are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Republicans vote in Alaska and Democrats in Colorado.

Trump was seeking to sweep the South, which would be a massive blow for Cruz. The Texas senator, a favorite of the region’s social conservatives and evangelical Christians, expected the South to be his strength, but now is simply hoping for a victory in his home state.

Rubio is seeking to stay competitive in the delegate count Tuesday and hopes to pull off a win in his home state of Florida on March 15. The Florida senator has cast himself as Republicans’ best chance to win in a general election and has received a flood of endorsements from party officials after other more mainstream candidates dropped out.

An Associated Press survey of Republican senators and governors across the country showed just under half of respondents would not commit to backing Trump if he’s the nominee. Their reluctance foreshadowed a potentially extraordinary split in the party this fall.

Story by the Associated Press

Middle Eastern leaders observe U.S. politics during Colorado caucuses

Civic leaders from across the Middle East are in the U.S. state of Colorado observing first-hand the state’s caucuses on Super Tuesday.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.

Colorado is one of a dozen states holding caucuses or primaries on this Super Tuesday. These visitors hope to take some of what they’re learning about U.S. politics and elections back to their home countries.

The 12 visitors are civic leaders and hail from countries including Algeria, Egypt and Jordan. The three-week tour is aimed at observing U.S. democracy in action.

The first stop on Super Tuesday was Engaged Public, a Colorado public policy firm. The group learned about citizen initiatives, a means by which some U.S. residents can bypass their elected officials and make law that is directly voted on by the public.

This form of direct democracy is unheard of in many parts of the world.

These leaders were part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, and included a woman from Saudi Arabia who was among the first women in her country to run for public office. She lost that race, but she believes this experience could make her a better candidate next time.

The evening of Super Tuesday the visitors are expected to witness their first election caucus.

Political consultant Marjorie Clifton on Super Tuesday results

CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Marjorie Clifton, CEO of Clifton Consulting and a consultant to U.S. presidential campaigns.

York professor Rodney Loeppky on Super Tuesday results

CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Rodney Loeppky, an associate professor at York University about the early Super Tuesday retuls.