--PROFOUNDLY POLARIZED ELECTORATES BOOST TRUMP, CLINTON: Profoundly polarized Democratic and Republican electorates called the tune on Super Tuesday, with demand for a plain-speaking outsider again lifting Donald Trump in the GOPrace, while Democrats motivated by the opposite priority – political experience – boosted Hillary Clinton. Combined results across the nine primaries held Tuesday night underscore the strength of each of these candidates’ support, even as neither ran the table. And – even beyond the fact that 79 percent of Republican voters were conservatives, while 60 percent of Democrats were liberals – the contrasts could not be starker. In the Republican melee, Trump’s signature issues and attributes carried the day, with relatively little differentiation across population groups. The Democratic contest, by contrast, was to a great extent a demographic battle: Clinton and Sanders ran nearly evenly among whites, for instance, while she won blacks and Hispanics by 5-1 and 2-1 margins, respectively. More from ABC’s GARY LANGER, GREGORY HOLYK, JULIE PHELAN, CHAD KIEWIET DE JONGE, MARGARET TYSON, SOFI SINOZICH and ALLY BRODSKY: http://abcn.ws/1VPUSKj
--THE GOP RESULTS ALSO MADE CLEAR THE ROOTS OF TED CRUZ’S SUPPORT including strong conservatives, values voters and home- or neighboring-state fans – and left open the question of where Marco Rubio goes from here. Questions loom large for Sanders, too, since, overall, he lost mainline Democrats by a wide 41 percentage points. Even with Trump’s victories, the results found a challenge for the GOP frontrunner: Among those who did not support him, three-quarters also said they’d be dissatisfied with him as the nominee, raising the issue of whether the party would come together under a Trump banner. http://abcn.ws/1VPUSKj
--MORE SUPER TUESDAY DEMOCRATIC EXIT POLL ANALYSIS. The ABC ANALYSIS DESK has more on Democratic preliminary exit poll results. http://abcn.ws/1T6kRiy REPUBLICAN EXIT POLL ANALYSIS. And on the Republican preliminary exit poll results. http://abcn.ws/24zaFCZ
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: The Republican Party isn’t all that divided, actually. After Tuesday night, the GOP looks remarkably united -- behind someone who happens to divide. If you judge the party by its voters, as opposed to its leaders, the Republican Party belongs to Donald Trump. With at least five wins Tuesday, and running against a still-divided opposition, Trump is taking control the old-fashioned way: by getting more votes than the others. Republican voters want an outsider who “tells it like it is” and will build a border wall and ban Muslims from entering the country. They may not have known they wanted those things until Trump landed on the scene -– but that’s the point of a candidacy that is shaking a major party’s foundations. Super Tuesday provided convincing evidence that Trump’s appeal extends across Cracker Barrel territory and well into Whole Foods land, to borrow a phrase used by FiveThirtyEight.com. Two states where Trump romped -- rolling up some of his biggest margins yet -- tell that story. http://abcn.ws/1QKkmEj
DISAVOW OF THE DAY with ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW: Democrats and Republicans including Hillary Clinton, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney took turns castigating the leading GOP candidate Donald Trump for his response—or perceived lack thereof---to an endorsement from David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. Congresswoman Pelosi called it a “breathtaking low point for our country.” Senator Rubio called it “a real outrage.” And Mitt Romney, the former Republican nominee, tweeted that Trump’s response was “disqualifying and disgusting.” During Trump’s press conference at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida Tuesday night, however, Trump denied accusations that he did not disavow. "I said I disavow,” said Trump. “Now, everybody knew I did that but the press refused to look at that. It was right after. And I disavowed then, I disavowed today on ABC with George Stephanopoulos. I disavowed again. I mean, how many times are you supposed to disavow? But I disavow."
YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI, JENNIFER HANSLER and PAOLA CHAVEZ
CLINTON SAYS ‘MAKE AMERICA WHOLE’ AFTER SUPER TUESDAY VICTORIES. A victorious Hillary Clinton took to the stage in Miami, Florida to thank her supporters for a series of projected wins throughout the country, saying "we have to make America whole." "Thank you, thank you all so much! What a super Tuesday!" she exclaimed. Clinton is projected to win the Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia Democratic primaries. She won the Democratic caucus in American Samoa, according to the Democratic Party there. Clinton congratulated her Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, who was projected to win Oklahoma and Vermont “on his strong showing and campaigning.” As Clinton talked of the future of her campaign, she also acknowledged the future possibility of a run against Donald Trump, speaking out against the GOP frontrunner, ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER and LIZ KREUTZ report. “This country belongs to all of us, not just those at the top,” she told supporters. “Not just to people who look one way, worship one way, or even think one way.” http://abcn.ws/1QK5iXf
TRUMP SAYS GOP HAS ‘BECOME MORE DYNAMIC’ AND CALLS HIMSELF ‘UNIFIER.’ Donald Trump took to the stage at a Super Tuesday watch party at his Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, Tuesday night. The Republican presidential candidate said, "I am a unifier. I would love to see the Republican party and everybody get together and unify. And there is no one who is going to beat us." ABC News projects Trump will win the Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Arkansas GOP primaries, based on exit poll data and vote analysis, ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN reports. Trump said of the Republican party, "I think we're going to be more inclusive...more unified, and I think we're going to be a much bigger party. [The GOP] has become more dynamic. It's become more diverse. We're taking from the Democrats. I mean, look at South Carolina." http://abcn.ws/1TmnQ6S
NOTED: TWITTER MOCKS CHRISTIE DURING TRUMP’S SUPER TUESDAY SPEECH. Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday speech had all the optics of a picture-perfect election event: a gilded room, a podium with his name in front a row of American flags. Then former presidential candidate and now-Trump supporter Chris Christie took the stage. “He's shown himself to be a fighter,” Christie said of the GOP frontrunner. “A leader who speaks plainly to the American people.” But when Trump took to the podium and Christie took a prominent position just behind the GOP frontrunner, the chatter on social media quickly turned, ABC’s JENNIFER HANSLER and PAOLA CHAVEZ have more. http://abcn.ws/1QKmYC3
SANDERS SAYS ‘IT’S GOOD TO BE HOME’ AFTER PROJECTED VERMONT WIN. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders thanked his home state for a projected Super Tuesday victory there Tuesday night. “It is good to be home,” the Vermont senator said. “I have been all over the country, but the truth is it is great and great to come home.” ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and JENNIFER HANSLER report that the tone of the night seemed to be one of victory not only for his projected Vermont win, but for his campaign coming so far. http://abcn.ws/1Tm8LCc
CRUZ CALLS ON GOP CANDIDATES TO UNIFY BEHIND HIM. Celebrating projected wins in Texas and Oklahoma on Super Tuesday, Ted Cruz appeared to suggest that those candidates who haven't fared as well re-think their campaigns, ABC’s JEFF NAFT writes. “We are blessed with a deep, talented, honorable field,” Cruz said on Tuesday night in Texas. “For the candidates who have not yet won a state, who have not racked up significant delegates, I ask you to prayerfully consider our coming together. Uniting. We welcome you on our team united as one.” Turning his attention to the GOP frontrunner, Cruz said: “That is the only way to beat Donald Trump. Our campaign beats Donald Trump resoundingly. For that to happen we must come together.” http://abcn.ws/1QKkmEj
RUBIO LOOKS AHEAD TO FLORIDA PRIMARY. Early Tuesday evening, facing the possibility of a win-less Super Tuesday, Marco Rubio told supporters that he was looking ahead to the primary that is likely to make or break his bid for the Republican nomination: Florida on March 15. "Two weeks from tonight, right here in Florida, we are going to send a message loud and clear," Rubio said at an event in Miami. "We are going to send a message that the party of Lincoln and Reagan and the presidency of the United States will never be held by a con artist." ABC’s MICHAEL FALCONE and HAYLEY WALKER have more. http://abcn.ws/21GmeWL
CARSON ‘NOT READY TO QUIT,’ GIVES 15-MINUTE SPEECH ON PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. With Ben Carson projected to win no states on Super Tuesday, many were left wondering whether the former neurosurgeon would end his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. He didn’t. “I am not ready to quit,” he told supporters in Baltimore Tuesday night. Instead, he turned his attention to a far different topic: the Pledge of Allegiance. “You think about the pledge,” he said. “The pledge that we all learned in kindergarten.” And with that the candidate launched into a 15-minute soliloquy, annotating each phrase. ABC’s HAYLEY WALKER has more. http://abcn.ws/1TmxDK7
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
CLINTON TAKES TRAVELING PRESS QUESTIONS FOR FIRST TIME IN 88 DAYS. For the first time in 88 days, Hillary Clinton took questions from her traveling press corps during a coffee shop stop in Minnesota Tuesday afternoon, ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ notes. Clinton's decision to take questions comes after growing pressure from reporters who have recently been tweeting and writing stories about the lack of access to the Democratic presidential candidate. http://abcn.ws/1pn2rxJ
@BuzzFeedBen: A prominent Republican emails this morning: "There will never be another GOP president."
@matthewjdowd: "Christie at trump press conference looked like the sleeper agent in The Manchurian Candidate. don't show him the queen of diamonds" @GMA
@aseitzwald: An improbable number of things probably have to go right for Sanders and wrong for Clinton at this point. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/hillary-clinton-hauls-delegates-bernie-sanders-expense-super-tuesday-n529941?cid=sm_tw&hootPostID=a74766266b7fe298c6a906366f85d090 …
@zbyronwolf: Serious question - If the media and the establishment were wrong about Trump becoming nominee, why are they not wrong about him vs. Clinton?