Presidential primaries, US Senate race in CA, results – NBC New York

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are poised to move much closer to winning their parties’ nominations Tuesday during the biggest day of the primary campaign, despite many voters preferring something other than a November rematch from four years ago.

Super Tuesday elections are being held in 16 states and one territory — from Alaska and California to Vermont and Virginia. Hundreds of delegates are at stake, the biggest haul for either party on any single day.

While much of the focus is on the presidential race, there are also important down-ballot contests. California voters, for example, will choose candidates who will compete to fill the Senate seat long held by Dianne Feinstein.

Here is the latest news on Super Tuesday:

Massachusetts protest vote

A week after President Joe Biden faced a protest vote in Michigan over his handling of the war in Gaza, grass-roots organizers are hoping to send the same message of disapproval in the Massachusetts primary.

A group called Vote Ceasefire is urging Democrats to write in “ceasefire” or “no preference” on their ballots today.

“We have the opportunity to use the Democratic structure, the power of the voting booth to send a message to Biden and the old guard of the Democratic Party that we demand a ceasefire,” a Vote Ceasefire organizer Merrie Najimy told NBC10 Boston.

Democratic ballots in Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee also allow for uncommitted votes. Iowa is announcing the results of its caucus today; the others are holding their Democratic primaries.

In Michigan, a key swing state that held its primary on Feb. 27, uncommitted votes made up 13% of the total. Biden won with 81% of the vote. In 2020, Biden beat Trump in the state by only 154,000 votes.

NBC News noted that 13% was not far from the norm. In 2012, the year President Barack Obama ran for re-election, the uncommitted vote was at 11%.

Listen to Michigan, the organizer of the protest vote, says on its website that it rejects Biden’s funding of “war and genocide in Gaza.”

The CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Jeremy Burton, told NBC10 Boston, “The Biden administration is rightly concerned with the long-term security of the State of Israel.”

NASA astronauts perform civic duty

Aboard the International Space Station, two NASA astronauts performed their civic duty.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara confirmed they had cast their celestial ballots in posts on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Being in space didn’t stop (O’Hara) and I from voting. Go vote today!” Moghbeli wrote.

According to NASA’s website, after an astronaut fills out an electronic absentee ballot aboard the space station, the encrypted document goes through a tracking and data relay satellite to a ground antenna at the White Sands Complex in New Mexico.

From there, the ballot is sent to the Mission Control Center in Houston and forwarded to the county clerk’s office.

Everything to know about Super Tuesday

More than one-third of the total delegates available in both the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries will be awarded on Super Tuesday.

On the Republican side, 854 of 2,429 will be at stake. Democrats will award 1,420 delegates. 

Trump has so far earned 247 delegates and needs 968 more to hit his so-called “magic number” of 1,215.

For Biden, he currently has 206 delegates and need 1,762 to hit his magic number of 1,968.

Click here to find out everything you need to know about Super Tuesday.

‘Happy warriors’

A Nikki Haley campaign aide calls themselves “a bunch of happy warriors today,” NBC News reported. As volunteers and staff participate in GOTV efforts, HQ staff are “playing music and having fun.” 

Songs of choice are almost too on the nose, per this official, including “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves” and “Started From the Bottom.”

US Senate race in California

California has to elect a United States senator to fill the seat Dianne Feinstein held for more than 30 years.

When she died last September, she left some awfully big shoes to fill, and no shortage of candidates hoping to fill them.

The first step in that process comes on Tuesday, with what’s sometimes called a “jungle primary:” a primary election in which the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of their party affiliation, advance to a runoff election in November. That means there’s a chance we could have a runoff with two candidates from the same party.

Click here to find out more about the Senate race.

For Iowa Democrats, a break from tradition

For Democrats in Iowa, this year’s Super Tuesday is a break from five decades of tradition in how the state gets its say in helping determine the presidential nominee.

For 2024, the state party had to reapproach its caucuses. They’re the one-night spectacle in which community members publicly signal their support for a candidate.

This year, Iowa Democrats have quietly filled in the bubble for President Joe Biden or one of his long-shot competitors and slipped the forms into the mailbox. More than 19,000 ballots were requested, according to the party, and roughly 13,000 had been received as of Tuesday morning.

National Democrats reshuffled the primary calendar to prioritize more diverse states than Iowa. The change pushed Iowa from its leadoff position and back to Super Tuesday.

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