Catch up quickly here:
- Hillary Clinton swept Tuesday’s primary contests, winning all five states after Bernie Sanders conceded Missouri on Thursday.
- Trump had a very slight lead in Missouri, with the state’s Republican party announced a tentative tally awarding him 37 delegates. The tally gives Cruz 15 delegates.
- In all, five big states — Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri — voted.
- For the Republicans: Donald Trump declared winner in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois. An elated John Kasich took his home state of Ohio for his first primary win, denying Trump a major win that would have cleared him out of the race.
- Trump appeared on stage Tuesday — and praised — his embattled campaign manager, who is accused of manhandling a Breitbart reporter.
- Sanders’ loss in Illinois comes after perhaps the best week of his campaign — and he still fell flat.
- Here’s BuzzFeed News’s full recap of the evening — it’s what you need to know all in one place.
Here’s the current delegate situation:
Sanders concedes Missouri to Clinton, giving her a five-state sweep
Bernie Sanders on Thursday conceded the Missouri primary to rival Hillary Clinton, saying he would not invoke his right to a recount of the extremely close results.
Clinton ended the five-state Tuesday primary ahead of Sanders by 1,531 votes in Missouri.
Under state law, Sanders could have sought a recount because the margin was less than 0.5%. However, in an interview with the Associated Press, Sanders said he would “prefer to save the taxpayers of Missouri some money.”
“Whether we win by 200 votes or lose by 500, it’s not going to impact the delegate selection,” the senator told the AP.
Both Democratic candidates had been slated to get 32 delegates each. However, the AP reported that Clinton will get an extra two delegates for winning the statewide vote.
Trump Wins 37 Delegates in Missouri Primary, Cruz Takes 15
The Missouri Republican Party has announced a tentative delegate tally from Tuesday’s primary, awarding GOP frontrunner Donald Trump 37 delegates.
Ted Cruz won 15 delegates, according to the tentative tally.
Trump and Cruz were neck and neck Tuesday night when Missouri’s primary ended. The race still had not officially been called Wednesday, and results showed Trump with less than a .2% lead over Cruz.
Trump’s Campaign Manager Will Also Be One Of His Delegates At The Convention
According to a list the presidential hopeful gave to New Hampshire’s secretary of state, Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, will also serve as one of his delegates at the Republican National Convention.
The New York Times reported that Lewandowski’s name was one of 11 delegates and alternatives submitted on Feb. 26.
Fox News Channel Cancels March 21 Debate In Utah
After two candidates on Wednesday announced they would not be participating in the March 21 debate hosted by Fox News in Salt Lake City, the network decided to cancel the event altogether.
Local NBC affiliate KSL 5 reported that Fox News notified the Utah venue Wednesday morning local time.
The Republican National Committee later confirmed the decision to NBC.
According to Utah’s GOP chairman James Evans, more than 50,000 people had already signed up for debate tickets.
The Republican National Committee added this debate to the last in February. When Trump announced earlier today that he would not participate, he noted that the somewhat last-minute scheduling had caught him off guard.
Shortly after the republican frontrunner announced he would drop out, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s office said he would not participate either.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Salt Palace Convention Center.
Kasich Aide Says He Will Not Go To Fox News Debate If Trump Doesn’t
John Weaver, a top strategist for presidential candidate John Kasich, said Wednesday that the Ohio governor would not participate in Fox News’ debate on March 21 in Utah due to Trump’s having backed out.
Weaver tweeted that it was “no surprise” that Trump would want to avoid “contrast,” and added that if the real estate developer followed through on his announcement, that Kasich would visit Utah on Friday.
If Trump changed his mind, however, Weaver said Kasich would attend the debate.
Trump Delegates With Foreign-Sounding Names Receive Fewer Votes From Trump Supporters
Voting patterns from yesterday’s primary in Illinois suggest that Trump delegates with foreign-sounding names earned less ballots from Trump supporters than their counterparts.
In Illinois, voters are instructed to elect three delegates to the Republican National Convention, and each delegate is tied to a particular candidate.
One editor noticed early Wednesday morning a possible relationship between the Trump delegates’ last names and voter support.
As the Washington Post reported, Trump’s three delegates in the sixth district are Paul Minch, Barbara Kois, and Nabi Fakroddin. Minch earned the most votes at 35,435, and Kois trailed closely behind with 35,120, a drop-off of about 315 votes.
Fakroddin, however, placed sixth, winning 30,639 votes. Because of Fakroddin’s low numbers, Trump only walked away with two of his three delegates’ votes in that district. Kasich picked up the third.
A similar thing happened in the 13th district.
Raja Sadiq, a potential Trump delegate, again placed sixth behind two others — Doug Hartmann, who won, and Toni Gauen, who placed fifth. Compared to Hartmann, Sadiq earled about 8,000 fewer votes.
“It’s not clear if Sadiq and Fakroddin would have suffered the same fate had they been delegates for candidates who hadn’t espoused a harshly anti-Muslim position,” the Post reported, acknowledging the difficulty in comparing this trend with other candidates because none of them appeared to have foreign-sounding last names.
Trump Will Not Attend Fox News Debate On March 21 In Utah
Trump announced during a phone interview on Fox News on Wednesday morning that he would not participate in the network’s debate on March 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate, was going to be it,” the Republican frontrunner said. “I think we’ve had enough debates.”
He appeared to suggest that he was not prepared for another debate to be scheduled at all, according to The Hill.
“How many times can the same people ask you the same question?” Trump asked.
This is not the first time Trump has turned down an invitation to a debate hosted by Fox News. In January, months after a controversial comment he made about Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Trump refused to attend a debate because of Kelly’s involvement.
In recent months, the two appeared to have eased the tensions between them. But on Tuesday, Trump called Kelly “Crazy Megyn” on Twitter.
The real estate developer also predicted that riots could ensure if he lost the nomination at the Republican National Convention in July.
Trump said during a CNN interview on Wednesday that if he wound up being 10 or 20 votes short of the nomination, “and somebody else is at 500 or 400 cause we’re way ahead of everybody, I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically.”
“I think you’d have riots,” he added, according to Bloomberg.
Missouri Race Is Too Close To Call
The Republican and Democratic races in Missouri were neck and neck as of early Wednesday morning. With 100% of the precincts reporting the margins were less than 1% for both parties — which means that the losing candidate can ask for a recount, according to the AP.
As of 1:30 a.m. in the Democratic race, Clinton was at 49.6% or 310,363 votes and Sanders had 49.4% or 308,808 votes, according to the state’s official count.
For the Republicans it was a virtual dead heat between Trump and Cruz. Trump pulled in 381,720 votes (40.8%), while Cruz had 380,084 votes (40.7%).
Sanders’ Momentum Runs Out
After an upset win in Michigan, everything seemed to be coming up Bernie but as the results came in Tuesday, it was apparent that the momentum fell short.
In the weeks following Michigan, the campaign was looking forward to races in states where Sanders felt more confident, he was competing for the black vote and capitalizing on some Clinton stumbles. But in the end, Clinton bested him in Florida, Ohio, Illinois and North Caroline, with results in Missouri too close to call as of early Wednesday.
Read more from BuzzFeed News’ Evan McMorris-Santoro about the Sanders campaign’s loss of momentum on Tuesday here.
Kasich Celebrates With Confetti Storm
Kasich was practically buried in a blizzard of confetti after his big win Tuesday night because he allegedly complained about the lack of confetti when he pulled in second in New Hampshire last month, a campaign staffer told BuzzFeed News.
Check out more about Kasich and his confetti storm here.
Cruz Remains Hopeful Despite Losses To Trump
Cruz painted the Republican contest as a two man race between him and Trump in a speech to supporters, despite the fact he had yet to win any of the five states holding primaries on Tuesday night.
“Tonight was a good night,” he optimistically told his backers in Houston. “Tonight we continued to gain delegates and continue our march to 1,237.”
The Texas senator said he was eager and willing to welcome supporters of Rubio after the Florida senator ended his presidential bid Tuesday night, saying now was the time for the party to unite behind him.
“Starting tomorrow morning, there is a clear choice, a clear and direct choice,” he said, “And for everyone who wants to see a bright tomorrow we welcome you to our teams, we welcome you with open and welcoming arms.”
Cruz said he was ready to take up the anti-Trump mantle because he is the only candidate who has beaten the real estate mogul “over and over again.”
He attempted to woo voters to his camp by painting Trump as a wolf in Republican’s clothing, and himself as the true conservative fighting for the party’s core values.
“Going forward, do you want a candidate who supports your values, or do you want a candidate who has opposed your values for decades?” he asked.
He also blamed the media for giving Trump what he called an unfair amount of attention, accusing them of a conspiracy to boost Trump to ensure a Clinton victory in the general election.
“Trump is the one person Hillary Clinton can beat,” he said.
As of this writing, Trump and Cruz are in close battle for the Missouri primary, the only of Tuesday’s primaries that is outstanding for the Republicans.
Sanders: “You do not have to accept the status quo. We can do better.”
On Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders rallied his supporters in Phoenix after sustaining primary losses to Hillary Clinton.
“You do not have to accept the status quo. We can do better,” Sanders said. “Don’t let people tell you that you can’t think big.”
The senator from Vermont went down a list of issues, including financial inequality, immigration reform, and the criminal justice system, that he pledged to change if he’s elected president. Sanders reaffirmed his commitment to increasing social security and ending huge tax breaks for the wealthy. Senior citizens and disabled vets should not have to make ends meet with $11,000 or $12,000 a year, he said.
“We will be judged as a nation not by how many millionaires and billionaires we have but by how we treat the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us,” Sanders said. He singled out the Walton family, who own a majority of the Walmart company.
Sanders also said he would use the president’s executive power to move comprehensive immigration reform forward if it stalls in Congress. “They are tired of living in the shadows, they are tired of living in fear and being exploited,” Sanders said.
Sanders also took on Clinton by highlighting her vote in favor of the Iraq War and money she received from Super PACs and Wall Street firms.
He ended his speech by calling people of all races and backgrounds to unite. “If we stand together there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” Sanders said.
“Good Job, Corey,” Trump Tells Embattled Campaign Manager After Tuesday Victories
Speaking from his Palm Beach, Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, Trump crowed about his victory in the state — with his embattled campaign manager Corey Lewandowski at his right and his son Eric Trump at his left.
Trump and Lewandowski have pulled off a near sweep of today’s primaries and caucuses — winning Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and the Northern Mariana Islands, while Ohio’s governor John Kasich won his home state.
“Good job Corey,” Trump said, “and Hope (spokesperson Hope Hicks) and our whole squad.”
Otherwise Trump gave a version of his standard stump speech, lambasting trade deals, crowing over his poll numbers, and promising to win for America.
“More importantly than anything else we’re going to start winning again, this country doesn’t win anymore, we don’t win with our military, we don’t win with trade.”
Kasich’s Big Win Over Trump Increases Chances Of Contested Convention
Kasich secured a win in the Ohio primary Tuesday night and took 66 delegates with him. The Ohio governor defeated Trump for his first primary win. The win will make it harder for Trump to secure the Republican nomination and increases the chances of a chaotic contested convention in July, BuzzFeed News’ Tarini Parti reported.
“With a narrowing field, Gov. Kasich is the candidate best positioned to go toe-to-toe in the remaining states,” Kasich’s chief campaign strategist John Weaver said.
Read the full report here.
- US intelligence officials issued repeated warnings to European allies about attacks by Russian state-backed hackers, but it was too little, too late.
- Rudy Giuliani is no longer being considered for a position in the Trump administration. Trump says the former NYC mayor withdrew his name.
- Fire investigators have ruled out a refrigerator as the cause of a warehouse fire that killed 36 people in Oakland, California.
- People are in love with a dog who rides around in a decked out dog car spreading Christmas cheer to hospital patients 🐶🎄