Liveblogging Super Tuesday

 

The first polls close at 7 P.M. Eastern time, and we'll have the results as the night goes on. As for delegates, Donald Trump leads the pack with 82 delegates of the 1,237 needed to win the Republican nomination. Ted Cruz is in second with 17 delegates, with Marco Rubio at 16. John Kasich has 6 delegates, and Ben Carson 4. 595 delegates are at stake tonight.

Polls give Trump a lead in almost all of the 11 states holding Republican contests this evening: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Alaska, and Minnesota.

Here we go!

1:35 P.M.

Results are still coming in from Alaska (30 percent reporting), where Trump is narrowly beating Cruz in the 30s, and Rubio comes in a distant third with 14.9 percent.

Delegate counts after tonight, as of 1:25 A.M.:

GOP: Trump -- 274. Cruz -- 149. Rubio -- 82. Kasich -- 25. Carson -- 8.

Dems: Clinton -- 1,001. Sanders -- 371.

Final Thoughts: Cruz and Rubio still have a shot to stop Trump and replace him. After tonight, Cruz looks stronger than Rubio to do so. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that later states -- which tend to be more moderate and award delegates on a winner-take-all basis -- will likely tilt Rubio over Cruz, so Rubio can still make a strong argument that the calendar favors him.

If Kasich had won Vermont tonight, he could also have made that argument. As it stands, two second-place finishes are no replacement for a win, even just one. Rubio's victory in Minnesota cements the idea that he is viable, although his Virginia loss only means he received one less delegate there than Trump. Unless Kasich can win Ohio and translate that into momentum going into April, he is finished.

Carson's campaign has passed its expiration date. The good doctor is beginning to toy with conspiracy theories as to why his campaign is struggling, and he should have enough self-knowledge to realize it's time to quit. The longer he stays in, the less of an inspiring figure he becomes.

Clinton is now even more heavily favored to win the Democrat nomination. She has 42 percent of the delegates she needs to become the nominee. I still hold out hope that Sanders will win more delegates from voting, so Clinton wins only due to super delegates, but his chances of even pulling off that symbolic victory are now slim. Hillary Clinton has cobbled together much of Obama's winning 2008 coalition, focused heavily on black voters. The Democratic race now looks the way it did in 2008, with Clinton in the role of Obama and Sanders in the role of Clinton.

 

12:21 P.M.

Delegates as of now:

Trump -- 258. Cruz -- 110. Rubio -- 70. Kasich -- 23. Carson -- 8.

In that vein, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says the GOP may rally around Cruz to beat Trump. This from the same man who said choosing between Trump and Cruz is like choosing between "being shot or being poisoned."

12:15 P.M.

By the way, Chris Christie is still trending on Twitter.

12:12 A.M.

There may still be hope in defeating Trump:

12:09 P.M.

Is Gingrich flirting with a Trump endorsement? This point is very valid: All eyes were on Trump because news seemed to hint that Florida Governor Rick Scott would endorse The Donald at this "news conference."

Also, Rubio is gaining ground on Trump. This race is not over.

12:02 A.M.

This just in: Trump wins Vermont, Kasich in second, Rubio third. Kasich has not won a single state thus far. Expect increasing calls for him to drop out.

This is depressing.

11:58 P.M.

We are looking at a very fractured Democratic Party -- black voters strongly favored Clinton, young voters heavily backed Sanders.

And FiveThirtyEight's Julia Azari on GOP geography:

As I look at this list of contenders and of states that have held contests so far, one thing that strikes me is that this suddenly no longer looks like the party of Nixon, Goldwater and Reagan — the party of the West. California is pretty much a lost cause for Republicans. And yet the interior west and several of the Plains states — the Dakotas, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Kansas — are incredibly strong for Republican presidential candidates. Some of those states vote fairly late, but it seems possible now that the contest could go on that long (or longer). With prominent Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse leading the #NeverTrump movement, I’ll be curious to see what happens as these states head to the polls.

11:56 P.M.

Tennessee may give Rubio delegates -- he has finally broken 20 percent there. Many Super Tuesday states will only award delegates to candidates who gain at least 20 percent of the vote.

Trump has gained so much free media...

11:51 P.M.

GOP states are voting based on their economic status.

With the Associated Press calling Arkansas for Trump, it now looks like Trump will win all four of the states I labeled “Southern strugglers” (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee), in most cases by large margins. Cruz has won both of the “energy boomers” that have reported so far (Texas and Oklahoma), with Alaska results still outstanding. The third group, wealthier states I labeled “educated elites,” are a bit more mixed: Trump won Massachusetts overwhelmingly and Virginia narrowly. In Vermont, he’s battling with Kasich (!), and he looks likely to lose Minnesota to either Rubio or Cruz.

And Trump's claim to have come in first or second in every state is disproven just a few minutes later.

11:47 P.M.

Yes, Kasich. Rubio is the spoiler for you. That's why you're in fourth most places and Rubio is in third.

Current results: