From CNN's MJ Lee
Super Tuesday marks a huge moment of truth for Michael Bloomberg’s unconventional, unprecedented presidential campaign — finally, and for the first time, Bloomberg will be on the ballot.
Remember: It has been exactly 100 days since Bloomberg launched his 2020 campaign.
The former New York City mayor decided to get into the 2020 race late, skip the four early nominating states all together, and pour hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money at a dizzying pace into this campaign. As Bloomberg has risen in the polls, the question that’s loomed over this race is whether a candidate really can have a real shot at the White House nomination even by ignoring so many traditions and norms of presidential campaigning.
The results of today’s races will begin to offer the first real answers to that question, in the form of voters casting their ballots.
What is the Bloomberg team’s overarching outlook on the state of the 2020 race right now? His team insists that after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the one thing that is undeniable — and what they believe supports the theory of the case for the Bloomberg candidacy — is that there is no clear frontrunner yet.
“The race is really unsettled,” one senior aide told CNN. “Through the first four states we’ve had a different result in each of those four first contests. So we definitely feel like there is no clear frontrunner who is capable of both winning and taking on Trump. The race feels open to us.”
Of course, that is their positive spin today, and what’s left unsaid here is one obvious reality: After tonight, a clearer frontrunner could very well emerge, particularly with Bernie Sanders poised to grab significant chunks of delegates in large states like California. It also ignores the phenomenal political momentum Joe Biden has gained since his decisive win in South Carolina, including the endorsements from Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke, and what could very well be intensifying pressure on Bloomberg to leave the race.
Why Super Tuesday is a moment of truth for Bloomberg campaign:
Some voters have waited in line for two hours in Nashville following severe storms and at least one tornado that rattled the community late Monday and early today.
CNN's Amara Walker spoke to Caroline Winroe, who has been waiting at the Cleveland Community Center to cast her vote.
"People are pleasant and polite. We have learned a lot about the neighbors, and asked where they live and whether the power is on or off, but there is a lot of devastation in East Nashville," Winroe said.
More on Nashville's storms: At least 22 people have died across central Tennessee as a result of the severe storms and tornado.
The storms left numerous homes and other buildings in ruins across several counties, and left tens of thousands of people without power and hundreds at least temporarily looking for another place to live.
In Nashville, 48 buildings collapsed, others were damaged and about 150 people have been taken to hospitals because of the storm, Mayor John Cooper said.
In Nashville's Germantown area alone, parts of apartment and other multi-story buildings were ripped open, with bricks, roofing material and glass strewn about, images from CNN affiliate WTVF show.
From CNN's Arlette Saenz
Joe Biden says his “hopes are high” going into Super Tuesday as the race shifts.
Biden had a decisive victory in South Carolina, followed by a show of unity as three of his former rivals endorsed his candidacy.
A Biden adviser argued their long term strategy of using South Carolina as his springboard is playing out in real time now — with that wave of endorsements and an influx of cash.
The campaign tonight is hoping to do well in Southern states — those with significant African American populations like Alabama. They also see some signs of hope in Virginia after high profile endorsements poured in.
An adviser said they believe they have a “chance of doing better everywhere” after these past three days.
But Biden has also been outspent and is outmanned on the ground in many of these Super Tuesday states.
Key point: So the question for Biden now is can he convert the biggest 72 hours of his campaign into actual results at the ballot box and momentum going forward?
Biden campaign comments on new developments:
From CNN's Leyla Santiago
While Sen. Elizabeth Warren has spent much of her time targeting billionaire Mike Bloomberg on the campaign trail, in the 24 hours leading up to Super Tuesday, Warren is also taking aim at Joe Biden as moderates coalesce around the former vice president.
“No matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment. Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment,” she said last night.
Some context: When talking to reporters this morning, Warren would not say Super Tuesday was do or die for her. But for weeks now, Warren’s campaign has pointed to her organization and efforts in Super Tuesday states as her path to the nomination. And in a statement released by her campaign manager, he touts the $29 million in fundraising in February to make the case for the campaign’s momentum.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
But the super PAC that poured millions of dollars in ad buys to back Warren in Super Tuesday states, has now confirmed it will not be spending on any of the contests taking place on March 10.
And as she tries to make the case for herself as a progressive and a woman in the race, supporters told CNN they believe tonight will be a make or break moment.
Warren shifts aim from Bloomberg to Biden:
From CNN's Ryan Nobles
Bernie Sanders' campaign is ready for a one-on-one matchup.
They have been preparing for a head-to-head between Sanders and Joe Biden since the the beginning of his campaign.
The campaign sent a memo to supporters telling them they are prepared for the challenge and that they have never been worried about the moderate lane consolidating. They knew the time would come and knew that Sanders would only win the nomination by beating an establishment candidate head-to-head.
But in a conversation with CNN, Sanders' campaign manager Faiz Shakir took it a step further. Shakir said that the campaign’s view is that Biden is the establishment candidate they feel best prepared to take on.
“Joe Biden represents a perfect foil for Bernie Sanders,” Shakir said. “The two men have lived through and played an active role in some of the most important policy decisions of the past three decades. In almost every case, Bernie Sanders has been right and Joe Biden has been wrong.”
Shakir pointed to Sanders and Biden’s role in key decisions in American history, such as the run up to the Iraq war, the battle over the future of social security, the bankruptcy bill and the crime bill. All examples of areas where the two differed. Shakir argued that the Democratic party in 2020 views where Sanders stood as the right side of history.
Sanders campaign prepares for Biden matchup:
From CNN’s Sarah Mucha
Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped at Buttercup restaurant in Oakland, California, today where he told reporters that his hopes are "high" in California and other Super Tuesday states.
"I think we’re gonna do well on Super Tuesday. I think we’ll qualify here and we’ll meet the threshold. And I think we’re gonna win a number of states as well," he said.
He acknowledged that while many people in California have already voted via absentee ballot, he still believes his campaign will do "fine."
Biden was joined at the local stop by Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, members of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's family, and the city's Mayor Libby Schaaf, who told reporters that while she has made a decision not to endorse in the primary, she was "so proud" the former vice president decided to kick off Super Tuesday in California.
Ordering a coconut custard pie, which he paid for in cash, Biden joked, "I work out every morning so I'm okay."
Fourteen states and one US territory are voting today. That means about one-third of all pledged delegates — 1,344 to be exact — are at stake tonight.
It takes 1,991 pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot of the convention.
So far, Bernie Sanders is in the lead with 60 pledged delegates from earlier primaries and caucuses, and Joe Biden has 53. Pete Buttigieg — who dropped out of the race on Sunday — has 26.
Every state handles the primary process differently. Learn more:
Fourteen US states and one territory are voting today — meaning more than one third of the Democratic delegates are at stake.
CNN's John Avlon broke down the top five things you should watch for tonight as results start coming in:
From CNN's Kate Sullivan
Delegates from 14 states and one US territory are at stake today.
About one-third of all pledged delegates will be decided. It takes 1,991 pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot of the convention.
Here's what you need to know: