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News & Politics Thread (Part 5)

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    Paul Sheehan
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    Let’s continue the conversation here.

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    Atypical
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    BREAKING NEWS
    House impeaches Trump in historic vote

    by KYLE CHENEY and ANDREW DESIDERIO
    12/18/2019 05:15 AM EST
    Updated: 12/18/2019 08:43 PM EST

    Update: The House voted to impeach President Donald Trump, branding him as only the third president in U.S. history to face such a harsh punishment from Congress.

    Trump faced charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after a fast-paced inquiry into allegations he pressured Ukraine into investigating his political rivals.

    Original:

    The House is set to vote on Wednesday to impeach Donald Trump for abusing his power and obstructing congressional investigations, labeling the president a threat to national security and recommending his removal from office.

    With the votes, which are expected to fall largely along party lines, Trump will become just the third president to be impeached — after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. He likely will also become the first to campaign for reelection after facing the House’s ultimate punishment.

    It’s the culmination of Democrats’ yearlong string of Trump-focused investigations overseen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a skilled political tactician who remained reluctant to embrace impeachment until September, when allegations were unearthed about Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine.

    Even with the charges heading to the Senate for a trial likely to result in an acquittal, House Democrats have vowed to continue their impeachment probes — particularly those focused on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and potential obstruction of justice by the president.

    Leading up to Wednesday’s vote, nearly every moderate and swing-district Democrat declared his or her support for the impeachment articles — an indication that Democratic leaders were successful in holding their caucus together amid fears that several members would peel off. Republicans, meanwhile, are poised to vote uniformly against impeachment after weeks of a feverish whip operation by GOP leaders who “kept a close pulse on the entire conference,” according to a Republican source.

    The formal debate on the House floor kicked off just after noon and was slated to last six hours; the final votes are expected to take place between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The day opened with two procedural votes forced by Republicans; one was a motion to adjourn for the day while another was a resolution condemning House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Both were voted down.

    Trump will be taking the stage at a rally in Michigan around the same time.

    “Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing,” Trump wrote on Twitter early Wednesday morning, echoing a blistering letter he sent Tuesday to Pelosi haranguing the impeachment process.

    Democratic leaders cited Trump’s lack of remorse — and, indeed, his alleged ongoing pursuit of a scheme to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election — as evidence that he poses a continuing and unprecedented threat to U.S. national security while in office. That charge far exceeds the gravity of any previous presidential impeachment.

    “It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary,” Pelosi said on the floor of the House. “He gave us no choice.”

    The two articles of impeachment against Trump stem from his efforts to enlist Ukraine to announce investigations targeting former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats on discredited allegations. Trump made the request in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a summary of which the White House released in September, fueling the House’s impeachment investigation and prompting allegations that Trump was soliciting foreign help for his reelection.

    “This was tragically made necessary by the president’s misconduct, by the abuse of his office,” said Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry.

    “I think there may very well be members who have regrets after this day when they’re asked in the future why they did nothing to stand up to this unethical president who is betraying our national security,” he added.

    Democrats also accuse Trump of dispatching his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukrainian officials to launch the probes. They said Trump sought to further pressure Zelensky by ordering a freeze on $391 million in military aid meant for Ukraine and by refusing a White House visit for Zelensky intended to broadcast U.S. support for an ally at war with Russia.

    In directing the alleged scheme, Democrats said, Trump “betrayed” the country and violated his oath of office — a claim that forms the basis of the first article of impeachment: abuse of power. In a separate report issued earlier this week, the House Judiciary Committee went further, writing that Trump committed criminal bribery and wire fraud as part of a monthslong scheme to solicit foreign interference in a U.S. election.

    The two articles of impeachment were the product of weeks of agonizing debate inside the Democratic Caucus about which “high crimes and misdemeanors” to bring to the floor. A swath of the Democratic Caucus had hoped to include obstruction of justice as a third charge, based primarily on Mueller’s findings, but Pelosi and other House leaders viewed the Ukraine scandal as a simpler and more compelling narrative to explain to Americans.

    Lawmakers first learned of the Ukraine allegations when the White House intervened to block a whistleblower complaint from reaching the House Intelligence Committee in early September. Soon after, the committee launched an aggressive and fast-paced investigation that included depositions from 17 State Department, Pentagon and White House officials as well as a series of public hearings that unearthed a mountain of evidence supporting the allegations against Trump.

    While many Democrats have been eager to impeach Trump since his inauguration, the majority of House Democrats took their cues from Pelosi, who routinely and swiftly suppressed the energy for impeachment — spurred mostly by progressive activists — during the first months of the House Democratic majority.

    The expectation for a party-line vote underscores the deepening dysfunction that has gripped Washington in the Trump era — in addition to the unflinching loyalty that the president demands, and almost invariably receives, from congressional Republicans. Trump capitalized on his iron grip on the Republican Party’s base to demand that lawmakers describe his conduct as not just acceptable but “perfect.”

    Democrats, meanwhile, once contended that impeachment must be solidly bipartisan or else it would not be worth pursuing. In the face of a united Republican Party, though, Democrats have argued that their reversal on this pledge is a reflection of a GOP that refuses to bend despite overwhelming evidence of Trump’s misconduct.

    Republicans routinely accused Democrats of backing off this stance to satisfy their base’s most zealous impeachment supporters.

    When House Democrats impeached the president, Trump insisted his White House was winning a political war and maintaining business as usual.

    The White House wants to give the president’s staunchest House allies a public role in the upcoming Senate trial.

    Republicans have contended that Democrats’ pursuit of impeachment lowers the standard envisioned by the framers of the Constitution for deploying Congress’ weightiest weapon against a sitting president. They have harangued Democrats over what they say is an unfair process that did not provide Trump ample opportunities to defend himself. The president on Tuesday sent Pelosi a six-page letter recounting his complaints about the impeachment process, claiming “more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

    Trump’s GOP allies also argued that the evidence Democrats presented was thin and less convincing than it was in previous impeachment inquiries. They said the decision to pursue impeachment was based more on political considerations than facts and evidence.

    “The clock and the calendar are terrible masters,” said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “They do not care about facts. They do not care about time.”

    After the vote, the Senate will become the epicenter of the impeachment process, with a trial expected early next year to decide the fate of the Trump presidency — just the third time in U.S. history an elected president has been put on trial. Chief Justice John Roberts is slated to preside over the proceedings.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has telegraphed his close partnership with Trump’s White House legal team, vowing that the trial will be conducted to their liking. That pledge drew sharp attacks from Democrats, who pleaded for McConnell to adopt a more impartial posture.

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    “It simply isn’t our time”: Julián Castro ends presidential bid
    Castro’s exit leaves the Democratic primary field without a Latino candidate.
    by CAITLIN OPRYSKO and NOLAN D. MCCASKILL | 01/02/2020 09:18 AM EST | Updated: 01/02/2020 11:38 AM EST

    Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced Thursday he is ending his campaign for president.

    “I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time,” Castro said in a video, citing “the circumstances of this campaign season.”

    In a tweet announcing his decision, he added: “It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”

    Castro ending his bid leaves the Democratic primary field without a Latino candidate, and his exit comes one month before the Iowa caucuses.

    The Obama-era housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio launched his campaign last January but struggled to gain traction in the crowded Democratic field. His only notable congressional endorsements came from his brother, campaign chairman and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro, as well as freshman Texas Rep. Colin Allred, who worked for Castro at HUD and received early backing from Castro during his 2018 race.

    Castro often distinguished himself as the “first” candidate and sought to move the field left on a host of issues — including by visiting Flint, Mich., and Puerto Rico on the trail; releasing policies on immigration, indigenous communities and lead exposure; and supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump. He also made waves by calling for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings, a position he was later followed on by some others in the field. But Castro rarely received attention for jumping out in front.

    Still, Castro says in Thursday’s video, “I’m so proud of the campaign we’ve run together. We’ve shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this race, stood up for the most vulnerable people and given a voice to those who are often forgotten.”

    He grew his small operation — for a time, his communications shop was run solely by a senior aide — into a campaign that qualified for four nationally televised debates, and he outlasted senators, congressmen and current and former governors. But he was unable to seriously compete with the top tier of candidates, some of whom began the race with higher name identification, built-out email lists and well-stocked campaign treasuries from past elections.

    Castro did generate some shining moments on the Democratic debate stages, including challenging fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke on immigration in Miami, highlighting Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman who was killed inside her home by a white Texas police officer in October, and calling out police gun violence in Ohio.

    But those moments never translated into big movement in the Democratic primary polls for Castro. And his swing-and-miss at Joe Biden in Houston — when he asked the former vice president if he had forgotten what he had said two minutes ago — cost him some support. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of Texas pulled his endorsement from Castro after that, backing Biden instead.

    He failed to meet the polling threshold for the two most recent primary debates, and was likely to miss the next debate later this month as well.

    Castro made no immediate mention of throwing his support behind one of his former rivals, and did not outline his immediate plans. But “I’m not done fighting,” he vows in the video, adding that “I’ll keep working towards a nation where everyone counts, a nation where everyone can get a good job, good health care and a decent place to live.”

    Castro is the latest candidate of color to end their presidential campaign, following Sen. Kamala Harris’ exit last month, and his departure is sure to revive concerns about diversity in the Democratic primary — he was extremely vocal in criticizing the way minority candidates are covered and treated on the day that Harris dropped out.

    He also joined every other Democrat in the race in a letter to the DNC last month calling for the debate thresholds to be lowered to allow for more candidates of color on stage. And he’d previously gotten out in front of the field with a call for reshuffling the primary schedule so that it included more diverse states in the beginning of the calendar.

    “Ganaremos un día!” Castro says at the end of the video, which includes the English translation in a subtitle: “One day we’ll win!”

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    6 takeaways from the Democratic debate in Iowa

    Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) Caution ruled the night of the final Democratic presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses.

    There were some clashes on stage, but the generally careful approach from the four candidates that sit atop the Iowa polls — former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — suggested they all believe they have paths to victory and weren’t eager to change the race’s course so close to the first real test of 2020.

    The CNN/Des Moines Register debate’s most memorable moment might have come from Warren, who, in a direct pitch for her electability, made the case that a woman is best suited to beat Trump in 2020.

    Warren and Sanders, after trying to de-escalate their ongoing feud on stage during the debate, appeared to have a tense moment as candidates exited the stage. Businessman Tom Steyer was standing inches from the two during the exchange, but said afterward he had no idea what it was about, leaving everyone wondering what was said.

    Here are six takeaways from the debate:

    Warren’s pitch for a woman candidate

    Warren and Sanders remain at odds over whether he told her, during a private dinner in 2018 about the presidential election, that a woman couldn’t win — neither backed off their previous statements. But both of the populist politicians seemed intent on avoiding a debate stage crack-up.

    Instead of litigating the details of the conversation, Warren decided to use the question about it to notch a point for the female candidates of 2020 — and land a cheeky dig at the men.

    “This question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised and it’s time for us to attack it head-on,” Warren said. “I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at people’s winning record. So, can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage: Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.”

    Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the only other woman on stage, interjected, “So true. So true.”

    When asked directly about Sanders’ alleged comment, Warren offered a one-line response, again confirming what four sources told CNN about the meeting and saying she “disagreed” with the suggestion a woman couldn’t prevail in 2020. But that was as far as it went. She quickly added, “Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie.”

    Sanders, who has denied making the remark, asked voters to look back at his past rhetoric and remember that he only ran in 2016 because Warren, who had been the subject of a draft campaign by progressives, ultimately passed on challenging Hillary Clinton for the nomination.

    “I don’t want to waste a whole lot of time on this because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want,” Sanders said. “But anybody who knows me, knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be president to the United States. Go to YouTube today. They have some video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States.”

    The foreign policy debate

    Tuesday night brought the most substantive foreign policy debate of the Democratic race to date, with tensions flaring in the Middle East bringing the issue to the forefront.

    It started with Sanders attacking Biden’s 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.

    “Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush and Rumsfeld had to say. I thought they were lying. I didn’t believe them for a moment. I took to the floor. I did everything I could to prevent that war,” Sanders said.

    Biden acknowledged that his vote was a “mistake.” But he also said former President Barack Obama — who won the 2008 Democratic presidential primary in part because of his opposition to the Iraq war — put Biden in charge of ending that war.

    “I think my record overall, on every other thing we’ve done, has been — compares to anybody on this stage,” Biden said.

    It’s a test of whether the issue that helped propel then-Sen. Barack Obama past Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic race retains its political potency 12 years later.

    The foreign policy portion of the debate also allowed Buttigieg to highlight his military experience — he was a US Navy Reserve lieutenant who served in Afghanistan.

    “I’m ready to take on Donald Trump because when he gets to the tough talk and the chest-thumping, he’ll have to stand next to an American war veteran and explain how he pretended bone spurs made him ineligible to serve,” he said, referencing how Trump avoided the Vietnam War.

    The Democratic candidates also agreed that Congress needs to issue a new directive if the United States is going to continue launching new attacks under the auspices of nearly two-decade old votes.

    Warren and Buttigieg clash on health care

    A short, but direct, debate between Warren and Buttigieg on health care highlighted not only their key differences in the race, but how the two candidates are likely to go after each other in the coming months.

    The flashpoint of the back-and-forth came after Warren said the “problem” with plans like Buttigieg’s is that while they are an improvement, they are a “small improvement.”

    “That’s why it costs so much less,” she said.

    Warren supports “Medicare for All,” a sweeping health care proposal that would begin transitioning the United States to a single-payer health care system. Buttigieg, instead, has proposed a “Medicare for all who want it” plan that would not force all Americans onto government health coverage but would offer a public option for people who choose to enroll.

    Buttigieg shot back — but did so with a subtle line that highlights the Buttigieg campaign’s belief that Warren’s candidacy is divisive and would turn certain voters off.

    “It’s just not true that the plan I’m proposing is small,” Buttigieg said of Warren. “We have to move past the Washington mentality that suggests that the bigness of plans only consists of how many trillions of dollars they put through the Treasury, that the boldness of a plan consists of how many Americans it can alienate.”

    At the same time, Warren’s overarching view on Buttigieg — that he is proposing middle of the road plans that fail to excite people or fully address an issue — was laid out during the exchange.

    “The numbers that the mayor is offering don’t add up,” she said. “You can’t cover that with a kind of money that the mayor is talking about.”

    Klobuchar takes on progressive rivals

    Klobuchar needed a star turn in Tuesday’s debate to catapult her out of fifth place in Iowa — the state on which her hopes for the nomination swing.

    She positioned herself as the moderate aggressor in the progressive-against-moderate dynamic that has defined several Democratic debates and was on display again Tuesday night in portions over child care, college tuition and more.

    Sanders and Warren have advocated making tuition at public universities free. But Klobuchar argued that tax money should be focused on connecting educational opportunities with jobs that need to be filled.

    “We’re not going to have a shortage of MBAs. We’re going to have a shortage of plumbers,” she said.

    Klobuchar sought to focus on issues where a harshly divided Congress could realistically make a difference. She shined a spotlight on Americans’ struggle to afford long-term care for the aging, and she touted her efforts to lower prescription drug costs.

    Klobuchar also criticized the Senate GOP for considering going ahead with Trump’s impeachment trial without any witnesses.

    “They may as well give the President a crown and a scepter. They may as well make him king,” she said.

    Biden’s strength with black voters unchallenged

    The former vice president has arguably the single most important asset of any Democratic 2020 candidate: Deep, consistent support from black voters — the constituency that will decide the South Carolina primary and tip a large share of the delegates on Super Tuesday.
    And on Tuesday night, it went unchallenged.

    The two leading black candidates to enter the 2020 race, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, aggressively challenged Biden’s record on race in early debates — but both have since dropped out.

    The candidates could have steered questions over climate change, child care, health care and more toward racial injustice. With a few exceptions — most notably, Warren in her closing statement — they didn’t do so.

    It’s set the Democratic race up for a scenario where Biden could be hard to beat if he turns in strong performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, because after those two states vote, the primary shifts to states with more diverse electorates.

    Buttigieg pressed on lack of black support

    Buttigieg was asked directly about his struggle to win over black voters and said that “the black voters that know me best are supporting me,” pointing to backers in South Bend.

    He went on to say that “of course there is a much longer way to go in my community and around the country” on issues of race, he will “be a president whose personal commitment is to continue doing this work.”

    “The biggest mistake we can make is take black votes for granted. I never will,” he said.

    Buttigieg later returned to the issue — unprompted — during his closing argument, when he said, “If you’re a voter of color, feeling taken for granted by politics as usual, join me.”

    Both moments highlight the existential threat to Buttigieg’s candidacy and the fact that the former mayor knows he needs to address the issue before the primary fight turns to more diverse states like Nevada and South Carolina.

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    BREAKING NEWS:

    Kobe Bryant dies at age 41 in California

    (CNN) Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, died Sunday morning in Los Angeles, two separate sources told CNN.

    TMZ reported Bryant was aboard a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, California.

    Five people were killed the crash on a hillside in Calabasas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. There were no survivors, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

    The sheriff’s department received reports of the downed aircraft just after 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m PT), officials said in a tweet.

    A helicopter crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California.

    A helicopter crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California.

    Flames have been extinguished, the department said.

    Calabasas is about 30 miles west of Los Angeles.

    CNN’s Chloe Melas contributed to report.

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    R.I.P. Kobe and Gianna.

    This made my heart drop.

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    This was so shocking. I don’t know what to think or say.

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    7 things to watch in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary

    by Eric Bradner, Gregory Krieg and Dan Merica, CNN

    Updated 8:42 AM ET, Tue February 11, 2020

    Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is hoping to declare the sort of decisive victory that could turn the entire Democratic presidential primary in his favor Tuesday in New Hampshire.

    Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg aims to stop him and force another close tally after their near-tie in the Iowa caucuses eight days ago.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is just looking to avoid disaster, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar looks to leapfrog him and emerge as a surprise contender as the campaign moves to Nevada. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, needs a strong showing in her neighboring state to generate the sense of momentum her campaign has lacked in recent weeks.

    Here are seven things to watch in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary:

    1. Sanders wants to make a statement

    Sanders didn’t get the result he wanted in Iowa, but New Hampshire — a rural state with an independent streak that handed him a 22-point victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 — is his wheelhouse.

    With so many candidates on the ballot, the margins will be much smaller this time around, but Sanders and his campaign do not want to leave here without having delivered a victory speech. In primetime. With supporters sending donations to match every applause line.

    Every recent poll of the state shows the senator from neighboring Vermont with a significant, if not runaway, lead over his nearest rival, Buttigieg.

    The pair have jousted over the last week following their narrow 1-2 finish in Iowa, where their respective campaigns claimed the top slot in an as-yet unresolved contest.

    But for Sanders, New Hampshire has to be different. There can’t be any doubt.

    A loss to Buttigieg, who is trying to establish himself as the moderate standard-bearer, would hang a dark cloud over Sanders’ campaign as the contest heads west for Nevada’s caucuses.

    Sanders figures to do well there, owing to his significant advantage with Latino voters, but anything less than a clear win in New Hampshire would upend the Democratic primary and potentially plant damaging doubts with some of his softer support: specifically, the voters who believe he is the best candidate to reclaim the white working class from President Donald Trump in November.

    2. Can Biden rebound?

    Biden’s campaign has long depended on turning a base of black voters into a win in South Carolina and a huge delegate haul on Super Tuesday.

    But after a fourth-place finish in Iowa, it’s not clear whether he can survive another weak showing and keep that base intact.

    To fix his problems, Biden tried several messages in the closing days in New Hampshire. On Saturday, he lambasted Buttigieg’s limited experience as a small-city mayor in the most negative ad of the Democratic race to date. On Sunday, he scrapped those attacks in favor of a message focused on morality. And on Monday, he opened the day telling voters how he’d try to reclaim a strong economy from Trump.

    It felt as if his campaign might have been trying every option it had to see if any worked.

    Biden has already set expectations for a loss here. On Friday, he predicted — to a national audience, in his first answer of a debate — he’d “probably take a hit” in New Hampshire, too.

    But a strong second-place finish is much different than a distant fourth or fifth.

    Biden already lags behind several of his rivals in fundraising, and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presence in the race looms over Super Tuesday. Money drying up after another weak finish might be the most immediate threat to his campaign.

    3. How close can Buttigieg keep it?

    Buttigieg, fresh off the news that the Iowa Democratic Party has awarded him the most delegates from last week’s caucuses, has seen a substantial boost in New Hampshire.

    Polls in late 2019 found him barely in the double digits there — a CNN/University of New Hampshire survey in October put the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor at 10%. But after the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg saw a surge; the last CNN tracking poll now has the mayor at 22%.

    By comparison, Sanders has enjoyed a consistent lead in New Hampshire.

    So, the question for Buttigieg on Tuesday is simple: Can he turn in a second-place performance and how close can he keep things with Sanders?

    The two have turned up the attacks ahead of the primary — with Sanders knocking Buttigieg for taking money from wealthy donors and the former mayor responding by casting the Vermont senator as too extreme and unbending for most voters.

    Buttigieg has touted his Iowa results in New Hampshire, but he has also looked to flatter the New Hampshire voters by describing them as people who “famously think for” themselves.

    “I’m also mindful and humbled by the fact that New Hampshire is New Hampshire,” Buttigieg said in Merrimack. “And New Hampshire is not the kind of place to let Iowa or anybody else tell you what to do.”

    But he is hoping the state listens — even a little — to Iowa.

    4. Are the walls closing in on Warren?

    She’s been relentlessly on message, preaching electability and personal durability while spelling out her signature root-and-branch plans for reforming a corrupt federal government.

    But Warren underperformed in Iowa, a state where many believed she had the savviest field operation, and only just reached double digits in CNN’s final pre-primary poll of New Hampshire.

    The Massachusetts senator doesn’t need a miracle here; just a “strong enough” showing, as her one of most devoted backers, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told CNN this weekend, to give her a lift as the contest moves west.

    On the trail, Warren has told crowds to keep the faith — that she’s been in “unwinnable fights” before and overcome the odds.

    “I started out down 19 points, and I had never run for anything before. But every time I got knocked down, I got back up,” Warren said of her 2012 campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown. “And I got knocked down again and I got back up. Even on Election Day, people were saying, too close to call, not sure if we’re going to do this. I beat him by seven and a half points, there’s another unwinnable fight.”

    Her chances of pulling off that kind of comeback in the Granite State appear slim.

    But what she can’t afford — perhaps literally, given the fundraising implications — is to fall out of the top tier, which would mean being overtaken by both Biden and Klobuchar.

    5. Which moderates survive?

    Buttigieg and Biden will be closely watched — but both have paths forward in the Democratic race.

    The moderate candidate with the most riding on Tuesday’s primary is Klobuchar.

    She finished fifth, on Biden’s heels, in Iowa. If her strong debate performance Friday night, when she pointedly questioned Buttigieg’s experience, catapults her as high as third place in New Hampshire — possibly ahead of the former vice president and Warren — it would scramble the Democratic race.

    Klobuchar won the most votes when a little more than two dozen New Hampshire residents in three tiny townships — Dixville Notch in the state’s northern tip, nearby Millsfield, and Hart’s Location, further south and tucked in the White Mountains — cast their ballots shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

    Klobuchar’s path forward without a surprisingly strong finish in New Hampshire is murky: She has virtually no support among non-white voters who are set to play a much larger role in the Democratic race starting in Nevada, and her late rise hasn’t allowed her to build the kind of campaign organization in Super Tuesday states that other contenders have.

    At least two other candidates in the moderate category appear to be approaching the ends of their roads.

    Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who focused on New Hampshire with little to show for it in the polls, hasn’t qualified for a debate since last summer.

    And former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a late entrant to the primary, hoped his neighboring state would give him a boost and carry him to South Carolina — where his bet was that Biden would collapse and leave him an opening to win over black voters. But New Hampshire may underscore the difficult of getting into a race months after others began campaigning.

    6. Are these the last days of the Yang Gang?

    Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, along with Buttigieg, was arguably the biggest surprise of the 2020 primary.

    He rose from true obscurity — when he told his family he was planning to run for president, some replied with, “President of what?” — to garnering a devout and unique following online. His focus on a universal basic income has given his campaign the sort of animating cause that eluded some of his rivals.

    But that is largely where the success ended.

    Yang finished with 1% in Iowa and did not receive a national delegate. And his campaign had to lay off staff in the days following the caucuses there, signaling that, despite Yang’s online fundraising prowess, money could be tightening.

    Yang’s top operatives believe New Hampshire, with more independent voters participating in the Democratic primary, could be better suited to backing the businessman-turned-politician. But recent polling shows Yang in the low single digits here.

    “If we don’t show as well in New Hampshire, there will be some reassessment,” said a Yang aide, “especially if it ends up being the worst-case scenario.”

    7. Gabbard practically moved to New Hampshire. Will it matter?

    Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard all but moved to New Hampshire in late 2019 — renting a house to make it easier for her to hold events nearly every day in the Granite State.

    The strategy has made her one of the most omnipresent candidates in New Hampshire, with the congresswoman even inviting supporters to go snowboarding with her this winter.

    But that ubiquity has not shown up in polls. Gabbard had 5% in the latest CNN tracking poll of New Hampshire, far behind the top tier of candidates.

    She barely registered in Iowa, meaning any long-shot bid by the lawmaker is fully dependent on her finish in New Hampshire.

    “Being able to spend time here in New Hampshire, we’re able to campaign through old school, grassroots campaigning and be competitive,” Gabbard said, knocking the complex nature of the Iowa caucuses. “That’s why we made this decision.”

    On Tuesday, Gabbard will find out if that bet was worth it.

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    Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary, CNN projects
    From CNN’s Gregory Krieg

    Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the New Hampshire primary, CNN projects, clearing a key hurdle as the race moves to Nevada and South Carolina in the coming weeks.

    His victory tonight came a little more than a week after the Iowa caucuses were thrown into chaos by a failure of the state party’s vote-counting systems.

    This time around, the results were clear – and Sanders supporters at his headquarters in Manchester were free to celebrate without reservation.

    Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who rose in the polls here after battling Sanders to a virtual tie in Iowa, ultimately fell short in his efforts to knock Sanders off course.

    Sanders won the 2016 primary here by a much larger margin, but in 2020 faced a much wider and varied field.

    Buttigieg’s solid showing and a late surge from Sen. Amy Klobuchar highlighted both the strength and continued indecision of the party’s moderate wing, who have not yet coalesced around alternative to the front-running Sanders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, which appears to be caught in a no-man’s land between Democrats’ ideological bases, will now face more serious questions about her path to the nomination.

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    Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucuses, CNN projects
    Aby Maeve Reston, CNN
    Updated 10:52 PM ET, Sat February 22, 2020

    (CNN) Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will win the Nevada caucuses, according to a CNN projection, showing the power of his organization and amplifying his argument that he can broaden his appeal across the Democratic electorate based on the results from the most diverse state in Democrats’ nominating contest thus far.

    Though former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to have the lead in polls as late as January, Sanders made an enormous organizing push beginning in the middle of last year, putting some 250 paid staffers on the ground in the Silver State. His campaign also harnessed their grassroots fundraising machine to build roots within the state’s large Latino community, advertising in Spanish not only on television, radio and social media, but through ads on music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.

    Taking the stage in San Antonio, Sanders introduced his wife Jane as the next first lady of the United States. He touted the “multigenerational, multi-racial coalition” that his campaign built in Nevada, giving his campaign a fresh burst of momentum after his win in New Hampshire and his strong showing in Iowa.

    “In Nevada, and in New Hampshire and in Iowa — what we showed is that our volunteers are prepared to knock on hundreds and hundreds of thousands of doors,” Sanders said. “That no campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is another reason why we’re going to win this election.”

    “(President Donald) Trump and his friends think they are going to win this election,” Sanders continued. “They think they’re going to win this election by dividing our people up, based on the color of their skin, or where they were born, or their religion or their sexual orientation. We are going to win because we are doing exactly the opposite. We’re bringing our people together.”

    Early entrance polls in Nevada showed Sanders winning Latino voters by 54%, some 40 percentage points ahead of the next candidate, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Sanders also won among white voters; Biden led among black voters in those early snapshots of the electorate.

    The fervent support among younger voters for Sanders was evident in the Nevada results. Among the state’s voters under the age of 30 — who only made up 17% of the electorate — some 66% of them favored the Vermont senator. Biden led among caucusgoers over 65, with around a quarter supporting the former vice president. Around 1 in 5 went for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and 1 in 8 for Buttigieg, Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer each. Around 1 in 10 caucused for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    Sanders also won 44% of non-white voters, according to entrance polls, a blow to Biden — who had claimed that minority voters are the base that would power him to the Democratic nomination.

    Some wondered whether Sanders would face headwinds among the considerable number of union members in Nevada after tensions flared between the powerful Culinary Union — which represents 66,000 hotel and casino workers — and Sanders supporters, because of the Culinary Union’s opposition to Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan. The union decided not to endorse a candidate.

    The Culinary Union posted flyers throughout Las Vegas underscoring that Sanders’ plans would force them to give up the excellent health care benefits they fought for. That led to a backlash among some Sanders supporters online. In the end, it does not appear to have been a major factor in the election.

    Among Nevada voters, the overriding concern was supporting a candidate who could beat Trump. On the issues, health care was the top concern and 63% of voters said they supported a government run health care plan like the one Sanders has proposed.

    Sanders’ win was also particularly notable given the ideological split within the Nevada electorate: 30% described themselves as very liberal, 35% said they were somewhat liberal and 31% said they were moderate in entrance polls.

    Other Democrats fall short

    In an aggressive shift in his strategy, Buttigieg targeted Sanders at length during his speech in Nevada, asking voters to consider whether the senator would be the strongest nominee even though he said they “celebrate many of the same ideals.”

    “Before we rush to nominate Sen. Sanders in our one shot to take on this President, let us take a sober look at what is at stake for our party, for our values,” Buttigieg said. “There is so much on the line, and one thing we know for sure is that we absolutely must defeat Donald Trump and everything he represents.”

    Buttigieg pointed to Sanders’ embrace of Medicare for All as a major liability for Democrats heading into November, saying, “I believe we can defeat Trump and deliver for the American people by empowering the American people to make their own health care choices with Medicare for all who want it.”

    “Sen. Sanders believes in taking away that choice, removing people from having the option of a private plan and replacing it with a public plan whether you want it or not.”

    In Nevada, Buttigieg was under intense pressure to show he could appeal to minority voters as polls have consistently shown him with scant, if any, support from African Americans and Latinos.

    The Nevada results do not appear to have moved the needle much on that front. But Buttigieg, who placed first in Iowa and a close second in New Hampshire, thanked his Nevada supporters for “making this a great day for our campaign.”

    Biden, pointing to the diversity of Nevada as evidence that it would be a better fit for his campaign than Iowa and New Hampshire, had hoped for a comeback in the Silver State after his fourth and fifth place finishes in the first two states. But he still fell short — even after heavy campaigning in the past week — underscoring the uncertainty among Democratic voters over the former vice president’s stamina against Trump.

    Biden told CNN in an interview on Friday that he would consider a first or second place finish in Nevada to be a win.

    On Saturday, the former vice president, who seemed poised for a stronger finish than in Iowa and New Hampshire, offered his thanks to his labor supporters in Nevada. As he prepared to speak Saturday afternoon, a man in the audience yelled, “The Comeback Kid” — a phrase coined by Bill Clinton when he finished second in New Hampshire in 1992.

    “Well you got it!” Biden yelled back.

    “I don’t know the final results yet, but I feel really good,” said Biden, who took the stage at a time when he was a distant second to Sanders in very early results. “The press is ready to declare people dead quickly. But we’re alive, we’re coming back and we’re going to win.”

    Warren also made a vigorous push this week in Nevada, seeking a last-minute surge after she led the charge against former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Wednesday night’s Las Vegas debate. (Bloomberg is not competing in the state).

    Warren did not have the kind of finish her campaign hoped for after her strong debate performance, but she sought to project optimism about the upcoming contests when she appeared late Saturday in Seattle, offering her congratulations to Sanders and focusing her fire on Bloomberg.

    “Thank you for keeping me in the fight,” Warren said, noting that her campaign has raised $9 million over three days. “We have a lot of states to go. Right now I can feel the momentum, so let’s stay in this fight.”

    She zeroed in on Bloomberg and the hundreds of millions of dollars he has spent, describing him as “a threat that is coming our way.”

    “This election is not for sale. We are going to make this election about Democracy, about you,” she said.

    Warren’s strong debate performance helped her campaign cruise past its original fundraising goal, raising some $14 million over the past week. That money was a much-needed lifeline for the Warren campaign. The latest reports to the Federal Election Commission showed that she spent twice what she raised in January. Her campaign took out a $3 million line of credit to avoid running out of money.

    Steyer made an enormous investment in Nevada, ultimately plowing $15.5 million into television ads — far outpacing Sanders, who was a distant second in spending with about $2 million. Despite the exorbitant amount of money that Steyer spent in Nevada, it does not appear to have bought him much in the state.

    Klobuchar had hoped the momentum she’d built over the first two contests would continue in Nevada.

    Entrance polls showed that both Buttigieg and Klobuchar did well among late-deciding voters who made their decision over the past month. Sanders far outpaced the others among voters who decided earlier than a month ago.

    Appearing in her home state of Minnesota, which does not vote until Super Tuesday, Klobuchar was the first candidate to take the stage Saturday afternoon.

    She said that she had once again exceeded expectations, a claim that did not trend with the actual results that have been reported so far.

    “They’re counting the votes, but as usual, I think we have exceeded expectations,” Klobuchar said at her campaign headquarters in Minneapolis. “I always note that a lot of people didn’t even think that I would still be standing at this point.”

    Earlier Saturday, Klobuchar told reporters at her caucus kickoff event insider her Las Vegas office that her campaign will “be viable no matter what.”

    “We’re already running ads in Super Tuesday states,” she said. “We’re headed to South Carolina for the debate and there we go.”

    How Sanders won Nevada

    Sanders’ victory in Nevada was a credit not only to his organization and outreach in minority communities, but also the way he has transformed his 2016 upstart candidacy to the formidable operation of a front-runner.

    Four years ago, Sanders was viewed as the renegade candidate of the progressive fringe as he challenged Hillary Clinton, who defeated the Vermont senator in the Nevada caucuses but was drawn into a long and protracted race with a rival few had taken seriously.

    With the benefit of experience, reams of voter data and an unmatched ability to raise money from small-dollar donors, Sanders has built a very different campaign this time — one that increasingly seems to be convincing Democratic voters that he will be able to take on Trump.

    One of the most striking facets of the Nevada entrance polls was that Sanders won convincingly within an electorate where nearly two-thirds said beating Trump was more important than choosing a candidate who shared their views.

    It showed that Sanders is increasingly persuading Democrats that he can defeat Trump by galvanizing working class voters who feel left behind in the Trump economy and bringing new voters into the process.

    Changing the perception of Sanders has been a deliberate effort by his campaign since early 2019. Instead of simply holding rallies where he gave long, stem-winding speeches, he held more intimate events in the early states and spent much more time questioning voters about their economic struggles.

    At the same time, he continues to burnish his appeal as an outsider willing to take on the Washington establishment, including those in his own party.

    Sanders has fired up his supporters by promising to take on a lengthy list of powerful interests, from the pharmaceutical industry to the military industrial complex to the “crooks on Wall Street.”

    He has also cast his campaign as one that will drive revolutionary change in the area of economic justice, emphasizing polices like raising the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, forgiving student loan debt, providing free college, reforming what he calls a “broken and racist” criminal justice system, and making universal health care a human right.

    In minority communities, Sanders’ campaign also made a very deliberate effort to connect with voters by sharing his family’s immigrant story. Sanders often talks on the trail about how his father came to the United States at the age of 17 without any money and minimal English skills, but was able to make a living through determination and hard work.

    This story has been updated with additional developments Saturday.

    CNN’s Daniella Diaz, Kevin Conlon, Annie Grayer, Arlette Saenz, Jeff Simon, Grace Sparks, David Wright, Jasmine Wright and Vanessa Yurkevich contributed to this report.

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    Harvey Weinstein faces at least 5 years in prison after jurors convict him of a criminal sex act and rape

    (CNN) Harvey Weinstein was found guilty Monday of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree involving one woman and rape in the third degree involving another woman.

    The disgraced movie mogul faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of more than two decades in prison. He was handcuffed and taken into custody after the verdict.

    Supporters of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements said the decision marks a “new era of justice.”

    A New York jury acquitted Weinstein, 67, on the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault involving the two women, Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann.

    In doing so, jurors indicated that they did not find beyond a reasonable doubt that Weinstein had also raped actress Annabella Sciorra, another alleged victim whose testimony prosecutors used in an attempt to establish Weinstein’s predatory behavior.

    Jurors deliberated for more than 26 hours over five days before reaching a verdict Monday morning. A motion for a mistrial by the defense earlier Monday was denied.

    It’s not clear how many years in prison Weinstein faces, as sentencing will happen at a later date.

    For the charge of criminal sex act in the first degree, he faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 years in prison.

    How the charges in Harvey Weinstein's trial work

    For the charge of rape in the third degree, he essentially faces no minimum prison time and a maximum of four years.

    At least 13 officers came into the courtroom before the verdict was read and surrounded the room.

    When the verdict was read, jurors looked around the courtroom. They did not appear to look at Weinstein and may have been avoiding making eye contact with anyone.

    But Weinstein’s criminal cases aren’t over. He also faces charges of sexual assault and rape in separate incidents in Los Angeles.

    How the case unfolded

    Weinstein was charged with first-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

    The charges are based on Haley’s testimony that Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006 and Mann’s testimony that he raped her in 2013 during what she described as an abusive relationship.

    Four other women, including Sciorra, also testified that Weinstein sexually attacked them as prosecutors sought to show that he used his power in the movie industry to prey on young, inexperienced women.

    Sciorra’s testimony that he raped her in the winter of 1993-1994 is outside of the statute of limitations but could have been used to support the predatory sexual assault charges, which requires serious sex crimes against at least two victims.

    Weinstein’s defense attorneys argued that the sexual encounters were consensual. As evidence, they pointed out that both Haley and Mann had sex with Weinstein after the alleged attacks, and they continued to have friendly contact with him for years afterward.

    Weinstein has also denied allegations of non-consensual sexual activity related to the other women.

    The verdict “marks a new era of justice”

    The women’s testimonies highlighted questions around consent and power dynamics at the heart of the #MeToo movement — questions that have rarely, if ever, been tested in a courtroom.

    But Tina Tchen, president and CEO of the Time’s Up Foundation, said the verdict marks an important turning point.

    “This trial — and the jury’s decision today — marks a new era of justice, not just for the Silence Breakers, who spoke out at great personal risk, but for all survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault at work,” Tchen said in a statement.

    Once an acclaimed producer of movies such as “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction,” Weinstein was accused by multiple women of a wide range of sexual misconduct in stories published in October 2017 in The New York Times and The New Yorker.

    A wave of accusations against men abusing their power ensued in what are now known as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

    CNN’s Eric Levenson and Holly Yan contributed to this report.

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    Joe Biden revitalizes his campaign with win in South Carolina

    (CNN) Former Vice President Joe Biden Saturday surged to a strong victory in the South Carolina primary, revitalizing a stalled presidential bid and establishing himself as the main moderate rival to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination.

    The 77-year-old Biden notched his first-ever nominating contest win, more than three decades after he launched the first of his three campaigns for the White House.

    Biden drank the moment in as he took the stage in Columbia, South Carolina, to make victory remarks. He looked forward to the Super Tuesday states and the upcoming race against Sanders, alluding to the Vermonter’s history as an independent.

    “If Democrats want to nominate someone who will build on Obamacare, not scrap it; take on the NRA and gun manufacturers, not protect them; stand up and give the poor a fighting chance and the middle class get restored, not raise their taxes and keep the promises we make, then join us,” Biden said. “And if the Democrats want a nominee who’s a Democrat. A lifelong Democrat. A proud Democrat. An Obama-Biden Democrat, then join us.”

    The question now is whether Biden can use South Carolina as a launchpad, two days ahead of this week’s Super Tuesday contests in 15 states and territories in which Sanders, who finished in second, is hoping to build up an unassailable lead in the delegate count.

    The contest took place in a charged political atmosphere as Democrats assail President Donald Trump over his handling of the growing coronavirus crisis, as the stock market tumbles and fears of recession threaten to reshape the 2020 battlefield. It also marked the end of the road for businessman Tom Steyer, who sunk more than $20 million into South Carolina and appeared headed for a distant third place finish in the race.

    After anemic performances in the first three nominating clashes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, Biden bet everything on the Palmetto State and its diverse, more moderate electorate. A loss would likely have meant a humiliating end to a half-century-long presidential career, but his win will unleash a comeback narrative.

    Biden is likely to walk away with the lion’s share of 54 pledged delegates on offer on Saturday — which represent more than half of the 101 delegates previously doled out in the contest.

    Going into Saturday, Sanders led the delegate count, with Buttigieg, Biden, Warren and Klobuchar following. Biden’s win quickly shot him into second place after 14, just a portion, of South Carolina’s delegates were projected.

    A total of 1,991 pledged delegates are needed to win the nomination at the first convention ballot.

    He can now make the case that he is the only candidate who can inspire one of the most critical slices of the Democratic electorate — African American voters. And the win raises new questions about Sanders’ claim to have broadened his demographic appeal following his failed 2016 campaign.

    Minority voters — especially in cities like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Atlanta and Detroit — are critical to Democratic hopes of winning back swing states that Trump claimed in 2016 and putting new battlegrounds on the map.

    Exit polls suggest that the South Carolina electorate was far more moderate and African American than the states in which Sanders has prospered. The former vice president’s securing of last-minute endorsement of the state’s political icon Rep. James Clyburn last week also appears to have been crucial.

    On stage in Columbia, Biden paid tribute to that endorsement.

    “My buddy Jim Clyburn, you brought me back,” he said.

    Biden’s win was built on a base rooted in black voters, those over the age of 65 and moderates, according to preliminary results.

    Biden won around 3 in 5 black voters, dominating over Sanders, his closest competitor who got almost 1 in 5 of the group. Steyer came close to Sanders, with around 1 in 7 black voters.

    Almost 3 in 5 voters over the age of 65 supported Biden in his run in South Carolina, followed by Steyer and Sanders with slightly more than 1 in 10.

    Biden led among moderate voters with more than half of the group supporting him. However, Biden also won over voters who consider themselves very liberal, with around 2 in 5 of the group, surpassing Sanders with 3 in 10. Warren followed Sanders with around 1 in 7 very liberal voters.

    The former Delaware senator’s big win in South Carolina also poses a challenge to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who jumped into the race in the belief that Biden was a weak candidate.

    Bloomberg has splashed half a billion dollars on the race so far. Some party moderates fear he could siphon centrist votes away from Biden and open the door for Sanders.

    Biden’s victory represents the most significant triumph yet in a long political career that spanned highs — including his two wins on a ticket with President Barack Obama — and devastating personal losses, as he buried a wife and two of his children.

    Saturday’s result will underscore Biden’s resilience after an uninspiring campaign that has included a string of sub-par debate performances, but that has also opened a window into the former vice president’s humanity in interactions with voters who, like him, have suffered aching personal bereavements.

    “All of you who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind — this is your campaign,” Biden said to raucous cheers in Columbia.

    “We are very much alive.”

    Still, the former vice president may still have his work cut out in overhauling Sanders. While South Carolina may provide a preview of the several state contests on Tuesday, Alabama and North Carolina for instance, Sanders is favored in delegate-rich states like Texas and California.

    The former vice president’s victory will also spark intensifying questions about the viability of other candidates competing with him for the moderate lane in the Democratic primary.

    That includes Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Both candidates have failed to capitalize on encouraging performances earlier in the race.

    Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren may also emerge from Super Tuesday primaries with no clear path to the nomination — given that Sanders is beating her among the most progressive voters.

    Both Klobuchar and Warren are in danger of losing their home states to Sanders, who hopes to ride his coalition of young, liberal voters to multiple victories on Tuesday night. The Vermont senator has also made inroads with Hispanic voters over the last four years, as evidenced by his win in Nevada.

    Sanders has insisted that he should emerge as the nominee if he wins a plurality of the votes. But other candidates have not ruled out an effort to thwart him at the convention in July.

    Some party leaders are worried that Sanders and his “democratic socialism” is too extreme to win a general election. But depriving him of the nomination could convince his legions of liberal voters to stay home in November.

    Biden told reporters Saturday morning he was in good shape in South Carolina, striking a balance between underlining the importance of the race and controlling expectations.

    “I’m very optimistic, I’m optimistic not just about today, I’m optimistic about the whole process from here on out,” the former vice president said.

    “All I know is I think I’m going to do well here, and I think that’s going to put me in a position to do well in North Carolina and Alabama and other states in the Democratic primary,” Biden said. “I think I can do well but I don’t think it will even be over after Super Tuesday.”

    The writing was already on the wall for Sanders in South Carolina.

    The front-runner was campaigning Saturday in Massachusetts and Virginia, already looking to Super Tuesday.

    Trump, as is now his habit, flew to South Carolina on Friday night to goad the candidates and to underline his dominance in the state. He urged his supporters to vote for Sanders in the state’s open primary. The President wants to create as much chaos in the Democratic race as possible and his campaign team sees Sanders as their preferred opponent in November.

    Trump accused Democrats of seizing on the coronavirus, as examples of community transmission start to be discovered in the United States, as their latest “hoax” to damage him.

    A picture of the President, alongside the state’s two Republican senators, covered most of the front page of the “The State” newspaper Saturday, overshadowing they Democratic race.

    UPDATE: This story has been updated with additional developments throughout the night.

    CNN’s Grace Sparks contributed to this report.

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    What symptoms to be on the lookout for and how to protect yourself from coronavirus

    (CNN) As the United States recorded its first coronavirus death — and the number of infections grows worldwide — many people are wondering what symptoms to be on the lookout for and how to protect themselves.

    There are now 71 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the United States. Here’s what you should know to keep yourself safe:

    What are the symptoms

    Coronavirus makes people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. Its symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache and a fever that can last for a couple of days.

    For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like a pneumonia or bronchitis.

    How does it spread

    Transmission between humans happens when someone comes into contact with an infected person’s secretions, such as droplets in a cough.

    Depending on how virulent the virus is, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by coming into contact with something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Caregivers can sometimes be exposed by handling a patient’s waste, according to the CDC.

    The virus appears to mainly spread from person to person.

    “People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest),” the CDC says. “Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with … coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

    How is it treated

    There is no specific antiviral treatment, but research is underway.

    Most of the time, symptoms will go away on their own and experts advise seeking care early. If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, see your doctor. Doctors can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication. The CDC says a room humidifier or a hot shower can help with a sore throat or cough.

    People with coronavirus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. In some severe cases, treatment includes care to support vital organ functions, the CDC says.

    People who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

    How long is the incubation period

    Quarantine is usually set up for the incubation period — the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For coronavirus, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar illnesses.

    How can you can prevent it

    There is no vaccine to protect against it, at least not yet.

    The US National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine but it will be months until clinical trials get underway and more than a year until it might become available.

    Meanwhile, you may be able to reduce your risk of infection by avoiding people who are sick. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfect the objects and surfaces you touch.

    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    Awareness is also key. If you are sick and have reason to believe it may be coronavirus, you should let a health care provider know and seek treatment early.

    CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout, Jen Christensen, and Meera Senthilingam contributed to this report.

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    Steyer, Buttigieg, & Klobuchar are all officially out of the 2020 presidential race. Buttigieg & Klobuchar are both mulling over Biden endorsements.

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    Another veteran news stalwart fallen! Breaking news from Variety.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS DEPARTS “HARDBALL” AMID SCRUTINY
    by Brian Steinberg | Mar 2, 2020, 7:01 PM

    Chris Matthews is abruptly stepping down from MSNBC’s “Hardball” amid scrutiny of recent on-air remarks as well as speculation about behind-the-scenes behavior.

    The veteran anchor and political operative said on his program Monday night that he was leaving the cable-news outlet, putting an end to a long-running show that was featured on three different networks and part of the news landscape since 1994. Monday’s broadcast is Matthews’ last, and a rotating group of anchors is expected to lead the hour until MSNBC executives come up with more definitive plans.

    ”Let me start with my headline tonight: I’m retiring,” said Matthews, opening his first and final segment on the program. He added: “After conversations with MSNBC, I’ve decided tonight will be my last ‘Hardball.’ Let me tell you why: The younger generations out there are ready to take the reins.” He suggested younger people were bringing “better standards than we grew up with – fair standards” to the workplace, and acknowledged he had in the past addressed women in an outdated manner. “For making such comments in the past, I’m sorry,” he said.

    In less than two minutes, he signed off and handed over the hour to MSNBC anchor Steve Kornacki, who seemed taken aback by the assignment.

    Matthews had been under close watch by critics, apologizing last week after making an awkward comparison on air between Senator Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucuses and the Nazis’ World War II takeover of France. The remark prompted public outrage from Sanders aides, and fanned complaints about MSNBC’s coverage of his campaign. “I’m sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electoral result of which you were the well-deserved winner,” Matthews said in an on-air mea culpa to the politician.

    Adding to the recent spotlight: a female journalist last week wrote an account in GQ alleging Matthews made inappropriate remarks to her while she was getting ready to appear on this show. That resurfaced reports that Matthews had been reprimanded in 1999 after a similar incident that resulted in a settlement to an employee, as well as claims that Matthews treated female politicians less respectfully.

    Some of the recent attention sped up discussions that had been taking place between the anchor and MSNBC about when he would retire, according to a person familiar with the matter, resulting in a sooner-than-expected departure. Matthews is not expected to host any sort of special program looking back at his years on the air.

    “Hardball” occupies valuable real estate. At 7 p.m., it funnels viewers into MSNBC’s primetime lineup, where advertising costs more and the cable-news networks fight with one another for the medium’s biggest audiences. MSNBC has in recent months contemplated a shift of some of its late-afternoon programs, and the absence of “Hardball” on its schedule could help those plans gain traction. One option executives have considered is expanding Nicolle Wallace’s program “Deadline: White House” to two hours from one. Her show currently airs at 4 p.m. , followed by Chuck Todd’s “MTP Daily” and “The Beat with Ari Melber.” MSNBC has also been in recent discussions with former Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith, who is believed to want to return to the news business with a show that would rely heavily on no-nonsense reporting.

    He built a cable-news franchise in an era when there were fewer of them, and maintained it for more than two decades. “Hardball” relied on Matthews’ long years spent in Washington, where he worked his way up from being a staffer for various Democratic candidates to a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and chief of staff to Tip O’Neill, the durable Speaker of the House for a decade. The show relied on its host’s penchant for being pugnacious, though not enough on most nights to distract from discussions of the political cycle. “Let’s play Hardball,” Matthews would say each night to open the proceedings.

    “Hardball” got its start on the cable network once known as “America’s Talking” in 1994.” It was based on the host’s first book, “Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told by One Who Knows the Game,” which was released in 1988. “Hardball” would move to CNBC in 1997, and then to MSNBC in 1999, where it has stayed for more than 20 years. For a time, Matthews was parodied regular on “Saturday Night Live,” with cast member Darrell Hammond impersonating him frequently.

    Matthews had a definite love for the scrum, mixing it up with journalists and politicians, even as the recent news cycle swirling around President Donald Trump, stoked to new speeds by social media, has forced cable news into faster, more aggressive programming. “People are getting home. They are hearing about it. They want the full story,” the host told Variety in 2017. The feeling, he says, “is a great rush.”

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