The Note: Second Super Tuesday Eve

VIDEO: Does Violence Impact Donald Trumps Chances in Ohio, Florida?
WATCH Does Violence Affect Donald Trump's Chances in Ohio, Florida?


--CRUZ ON THE DONALD TRUMP ‘DISASTER’: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said it will be a "disaster" for Republicans -- and the country -- if Donald Trump becomes the party's presidential nominee. "I think it’s a disaster for the country because if Donald is the nominee, it makes it much, much more likely that Hillary Clinton wins the general," Cruz said in an interview on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL notes the Texas senator said the answer to beating Trump isn't a brokered convention, but instead to "beat him at the ballot box."

--RUBIO DISMISSES FLORIDA POLLS: Sen. Marco Rubio remained adamant he will win his home state of Florida in tomorrow’s primary despite some of the latest polls showing him trailing Donald Trump by double-digits. "These polls do reflect how voters vote because they see them and they wake up and say, 'Oh, well, he has no chance.' But I can just tell you, they’ve been really wrong and I think in Florida especially, which is a closed primary," he said Sunday on ABC's "This Week,” ABC’s INES DE LA CUETARA notes.

--ROMNEY TO HIT THE TRAIL FOR KASICH: Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will campaign with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Ohio today. Romney, who has not formally endorsed any candidate in this year's race for the Republican presidential nomination, has recorded robocalls for Kasich and one of the governor's opponents, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., but has yet to make an appearance on the campaign trail on behalf of any candidate. He does not plan to endorse Kasich on Monday, Chris Schrimpf, a Kasich spokesman, and a person close to Romney told ABC’s BEN GITTLESON.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: The GOP debate in Detroit may forever be known as the “small hands” debate for childish reasons best only understood by adults. But it might go down in political history as the pledge-to-Trump debate – the last opportunity for Donald Trump’s rivals to declare, with finality, serious enough reservations about his candidacy to say they might not support him as the nominee. At that debate, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich all affirmed anew that they would support Trump if he wins the nomination – the effective inverse of the pledge Trump famously refused to take way back at the first debate. Now, only a week and a half later, with chaos and ugly protests marring the frontrunner’s close, and Trump continuing to encourage the actions, they may all wish they had their answers back. Trump needs only a split decision on Tuesday to stay on track to be the only Republican who can land within striking distance of clinching the nomination. All along, his opponents have been too divided among themselves – and too united in saying they’d ultimately support Trump if it comes to it – to take advantage of any dynamics that exploit voters’ unease with the frontrunner. If you think scuffles in and around Trump events will slow his momentum by themselves, you may not understand the phenomenon that is Donald Trump.


BY THE NUMBERS: THE ROOTS OF TRUMPISMO -- POPULISM AND PUSHBACK. A reality-TV-star billionaire businessman tears up the rules and vaults to the brink of the Republican nomination for president, begging the political question of the year: What is support for Donald Trump all about? The answer, according to statistical analysis of an array of possible explanations tested in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, reflects two related but ultimately distinct sets of attitudes: Anti-establishment populism and pushback against outside groups. One is rooted in economic discontent; the other, in a desire among some Americans for traditional authority. None of these alone explains Trump’s support in the GOP race, nor - especially - do core demographics such as political ideology, gender, age, education or religious belief. While he does better with less-educated adults, and lately, worse among women, evangelical white Protestants and strong conservatives, their explanatory power in Trump’s support is relatively muted, particularly in comparison with the group-based contours of the Democratic race. ABC’s CHAD KIEWIET DE JONGE has more:



MOMENT OF THE WEEKEND -- TRUMP SURROUNDED BY SECRET SERVICE AS MAN TRIES RUSHING STAGE. Secret Service agents surrounded Donald Trump during a rally in Ohio on Saturday as a man tried rushing the stage, only a day after he canceled an event over what his team said were safety concerns. Shortly after mocking a protester who was being escorted out of his event outside Dayton, four Secret Service agents jumped onto the stage and surrounded Trump. "I was ready for him, but it's much easier if the cops do it, don’t we agree?" Trump said to the cheering crowd. ABC’s EMILY SHAPIRO has more.

NOTED: TRUMP’S RIVALS BLAME HIM FOR CREATING ‘TOXIC ENVIRONMENT’ AT CAMPAIGN EVENTS. Following the violent confrontations between protesters and supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at campaign events in Chicago and St. Louis on Friday, Trump’s rivals -- Republican and Democrat alike -- laid much of the blame for the clashes at his feet. In a rare display of cross-party unity, ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW notes, Trump drew rebukes from all three of his remaining opponents for the GOP presidential nomination, the two Democratic contenders and even President Obama.

TRUMP TIES MAN ARRESTED AT RALLY TO ISIS WITH APPARENTLY DOCTORED VIDEO. Donald Trump apparently used a doctored video to allege the suspect accused of rushing on the stage at his rally in Ohio had ties to ISIS. Thomas Dimassimo was arrested and charged Saturday with disorderly conduct and inducing panic after the incident. He had hopped over a guardrail and was grabbed by Secret Service agents before he could reach the stage Trump was speaking from. "Then one of my people said, wow. They found his name, and it was probably ISIS or ISIS-related. Do you believe it?" Trump told supporters at a later rally in Kansas City, Missouri. Trump also tweeted a video appearing to show Dimassimo, 22, dragging an American flag across a sidewalk, saying he had "ties to ISIS." The video Trump tweeted has since been removed from YouTube, ABC’s EMILY SHAPIRO reports. It’s unclear who doctored or uploaded the video.

SANDERS ACCUSES DONALD TRUMP OF ‘LYING AGAIN,’ DEFENDS HIS SUPPORTERS. Bernie Sanders defended his supporters Sunday from Donald Trump, and accused Trump of lying when he blamed Sanders for recent protests at his campaign events. “I think anybody who understands Mr. Trump's campaign knows that he tells the truth very, very rarely,” Sanders said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." "I'm afraid that on this occasion, he's lying again." Trump was forced to cancel a rally in Chicago on Friday over safety concerns as violent confrontations broke out between his supporters and protesters, some of whom were seen holding Sanders campaign signs, according to ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL.

KASICH WON’T SAY WHETHER TRUMP IS FIT TO BE PRESIDENT. Ohio Gov. John Kasich refused to say whether presidential nominee rival Donald Trump was fit to be president a day after criticizing the party's frontrunner over recent violence at his rallies. "You’re not going to get me to answer a yes-or-no question," Kasich said. "I hope he’s going to change his rhetoric and bring people together." Kasich criticized Trump on Saturday for creating a "toxic environment" that has led to violence at some of his rallies. He had previously pledged to support Trump if the real estate mogul were to win the nomination, but said Sunday that "nothing's 100 percent,” ABC’s BEN GITTLESON writes.

BILL CLINTON TALKS TRUMP PROTESTS WITH NELSON MANDELA STORY. Saturday in Akron, Ohio, President Bill Clinton waded into his campaign speech with a nod to the protests in Chicago, which shut down a planned Donald Trump rally, ABC’s MATTHEW CLAIBORNE notes. “Forget about Donald Trump,” said the former president. “Every single day of our lives if we are not careful, we give away just a little smidgen of our mind and our heart when we look down on other people, feel hostile, think that our differences are more important than our common humanity.” The president continued, “And last night I’ve been trying to think of what to say about all that pushing and shoving and near violence and who is responsible.” Rather than casting blame on a particular group or individual, the president made his case by sharing a story about his longtime friend, the late Nelson Mandela.

CLINTON QUESTIONS SANDERS’ HEALTH CARE WORK IN 90’S, DESPITE VIDEO SHOWING THEM TOGETHER. Hillary Clinton on Saturday suggested that Bernie Sanders was not involved with her fight for universal healthcare in the 1990’s -- despite video footage from the time that appears to show otherwise. “I always get a little chuckle when I hear my opponent talking about doing it,” she said at a rally Saturday in St. Louis, Missouri, referring to universal healthcare. “Well, I don’t know where he was when I was trying to healthcare in ’93 and ’94 standing up against the insurance companies, standing up against the drug companies.” The remark raised eyebrows after a Sanders staffer immediately tweeted out video from 1993 of the Vermont senator standing directly behind the then-first lady during a press conference about healthcare, ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ reports. In the video, Clinton thanks Sanders for being there. “I’m grateful that congressman Sanders would join us today from Vermont,” she said.



--RUBIO WINS REPUBLICAN CAUCUSES IN WASHINGTON D.C. Marco Rubio won the Republican caucuses in Washington D.C., according to the Associated Press. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Rubio garnered 37 percent of the vote, John Kasich got 36 percent, Donald Trump 14 percent and Ted Cruz 12 percent.

--CLINTON WINS DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES IN NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS. Hillary Clinton won the Northern Mariana Islands' Democratic caucuses, according to the commonwealth's Democratic Party. Clinton won four delegates in addition to a previously pledged superdelegate. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won two delegates. Four other superdelegates have yet to endorse either of the candidates. The Northern Mariana Islands holds its Republican caucuses Tuesday.



@sissenberg: OCEAN’S ’16. Stealing a nomination from Donald Trump—here’s how the biggest heist in American politics will go down. 

@dlippman: A takedown of Trump's tall tales -- I found 60+ untruths in a week of Trump: w/ @Dsamuelsohn and @iarnsdorf 

@mikememoli: What happens to Trump Inc. if the Donald becomes president? @dleelatimes & @JimPuzzanghera …

@dcexaminer: JUST IN: Ben Carson says "there is a real possibility of escalation" of Trump rally violence 

@INJO: Exodus At Breitbart: @MichelleFields And @benshapiro Resign Over Alleged Trump Campaign Manager Assault …