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Home | Tag Archives: Super Tuesday Texas

Tag Archives: Super Tuesday Texas

Democratic presidential candidates begin to crowd Texas for final pre-primary sprint

HOUSTON — The Democratic presidential candidates have begun flooding Texas for the final sprint before the state’s delegate-rich primary Tuesday.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg kicked off the packed homestretch schedule here Thursday morning, branding Super Tuesday as “our chance to nominate a candidate who will liberate us from the insanity of Donald Trump.” Addressing a crowd at a downtown concert venue, the former New York City mayor continued to pitch himself as uniquely able to take on Trump while dropping several reminders of the outsize attention he has paid to Texas while skipping the first few early voting states.

“It’s getting like this is my home away from home,” he said of Houston, later invoking the city nickname inspired by its NBA team. “We need Clutch City to come through.”

Early voting for the Texas primary ends Friday. It began Feb. 18.

Bloomberg has built the largest campaign in Texas — 19 offices and 160 staffers — and his latest tour here marked his sixth trip to the state since launching his campaign in late November, far more visits than any other candidate over the same period. But most of his rivals have far from ceded the state, which will award 228 delegates Tuesday, the second-largest delegate trove among the 14 states voting that day.

On Thursday evening, Elizabeth Warren was also in Texas, for a town hall event with Julián Castro, her opponent-turned-surrogate and the former U.S. housing secretary and mayor of the city. She will also return to Texas on Saturday evening for a town hall in Houston. The next day, Pete Buttigieg will headline an evening rally in Dallas, while Bloomberg will be back in the state for a nighttime rally in San Antonio. On Monday morning, Buttigieg, the former Indiana mayor, will head to Austin for a fundraiser, Tom Steyer will hold an afternoon town hall in Houston, and Joe Biden will spend the day in Dallas and Houston.

“This is the moment in history that we have been called to. This is the moment to choose hope over fear,” Warren said to a crowd of roughly 1,700 people. Warren called Castro “a man who fights with real persistence. … He is the best possible partner I could ask for in this fight.”

The Massachusetts senator, pitching her wealth tax, also knocked Bloomberg — whom she laced into during the Nevada Democratic presidential primary debate.

“There are some billionaires who’ve taken exception to [her plan], and gone on TV and cried. It was so sad, check it out on YouTube,” she quipped. “Others have run for president.”

The flurry of events comes as recent polls show a tight race in Texas between Biden, the former vice president, and Bernie Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont who barnstormed Texas last weekend. Looming large for some candidates, including Bloomberg, is the 15% threshold that they must cross statewide and in each of 31 state Senate districts to compete for delegates.

While polls make clear only a few contenders will hit the threshold statewide, the others still have an incentive to compete here for district-level delegates. By Thursday, all but a few of the candidates had announced plans for TV advertising in the state — some of them targeting smaller markets such as Odessa and Wichita Falls where they may be able to pick up a few delegates even if they are not viable statewide.

In addition to campaigning in Texas over the next few days, some candidates are sending surrogates throughout the state. Castro is scheduled to make four stops for Warren across South Texas on Saturday, followed by stops the next day in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth.

“When my campaign was done, it wasn’t a hard decision to support somebody who also believes in an America where everybody counts,” Castro said, introducing Warren in his hometown. He spoke onstage for a few minutes and later indulged in a few selfies with the presidential candidate.

Texas’ significant role in the nominating process this election cycle has given the candidates an opportunity to show off their knowledge of the issues here — as well as some of the culture. After saying Houston felt like his second home, Bloomberg joked that he considered “waiting a couple of more weeks to return, but the combination of rodeo and Lizzo is just pretty tempting.” He also “couldn’t wait that long for another box of Shipley’s,” he said. Warren, meanwhile, kept her remarks about the state brief, only joking that she “[loves] being here, and I love eating here.”

“I may have to cut this short so I can just eat again,” Warren said of San Antonio.

Early on in his remarks, Bloomberg turned more serious as he addressed Trump’s response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, saying the president was made aware of the threat months ago, “but he buried his head in the sand.” Trump announced Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the government’s response to the outbreak.

“These are not things you can jump into, you have to plan and you have to have a staff ready to go,” Bloomberg said, bringing up the public health cuts that Trump has proposed in his budgets. “He’s not leading, he’s reacting — and much, much too late.”

Bloomberg’s pitch found a receptive audience in attendees like June F. Nelson, a 76-year-old Houstonian who said she initially preferred Biden but was turned off by how he handled the Trump-fueled controversy around his son Hunter’s work in Ukraine. She is now fully behind Bloomberg.

“I like the idea that he’s a self-made man,” Nelson said. “I like the idea that he’s not making wild promises. What he says — I can believe that he’ll actually try and get it done. And I think he’s the only person in the campaign that can take on the president.”

Authors: PATRICK SVITEK AND ALEX SAMUELSThe Texas Tribune

Texas updates election reporting system to allow for tally of Super Tuesday delegates

Texas counties have started seeing updates to the state’s election reporting system that will allow them to break out the vote totals needed to determine how many delegates are won by presidential contenders on Super Tuesday. The refinements to the portal used by the state’s 254 counties to report results come after Texas Democrats raised the prospect of a delay in calculating delegates.

A majority of the Democratic Party’s 228 pledged delegates will be apportioned based on how the candidates do in each state Senate district. The election system update will allow local officials to report returns broken out at the district level on election night, so party officials can calculate delegate totals for the myriad Democratic hopefuls. Election day is March 3; early voting begins Feb. 18.

Last week, Texas Democrats said the Texas secretary of state’s office told them that data at that level would not be available on election night because that function was not yet “built out” in the state’s new reporting system. Any delay would have complicated the party’s ability to apply the complex formula it uses to distribute 149 Democratic delegates based on votes in each of 31 state Senate districts.

State officials refuted Democrats’ claims that the data needed to calculate that delegate distribution wouldn’t be available on election night and said the data would be “reported in the same fashion” as it was in the 2016 presidential primaries, when local officials used a different reporting system.

But until last week, the state’s revamped reporting system did not allow local election officials to log that data at the state Senate district level.

In a Thursday email to county election officials obtained by The Texas Tribune, an election official with the Texas secretary of state’s office informed counties that an update to the reporting system that would address that issue would be added “in the next few days.”

Several county officials confirmed to the Tribune on Tuesday that the system has since been updated. The secretary of state’s office offered no comment on the update.

Without that update, Texas Democrats feared a delay in distributing 149 district-delegates that are proportionally awarded to Democratic presidential candidates who garner more than 15% of the vote in each state Senate district. The number of delegates assigned in each district is based on how those districts voted for the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor. For the upcoming primary, that number ranges from two to 10 delegates in each Senate district.

Texas offers Democratic presidential hopefuls the second-largest prize on Super Tuesday, and its hefty delegate pool could prove decisive in a pitched race. With its Super Tuesday slot, Texas is set to award more delegates to Democratic presidential hopefuls on that day than all of the preceding primaries combined.

Author: ALEXA URA – The Texas Tribune

Disclosure: The Texas secretary of state has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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