The Race for the White House Tightens

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

It was a big weekend in politics, and it will be an even more important week ahead.

Tonight is a big event for the Dems with the Fox News Town Hall with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Detroit.

The two big prizes Tuesday are Michigan and Mississippi where both the GOP and the Democrats hold their primaries.

Republicans hold a primary in Idaho and a caucus in Hawaii.

Dems also have their primary in Minnesota (Rubio’s one win last week for the GOP).

The gloves came off between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders last night at a debate in Flint, Michigan. Clinton accused Sanders of abandoning the auto industry with votes against the auto bailout and the import-export bank. Sanders blamed both Hillary and Bill Clinton for helping start the destruction of U.S. manufacturing with their votes in favor of free trade. Sanders says Clinton’s friends on Wall Street destroyed the economy. Not surprisingly there was no talk of anyone’s genitals.

W James Antle III writes today in the Washington Examiner, “But after Super Tuesday, Sanders is probably the only person in the nation's capital who believes Clinton's nomination is anything but inevitable, barring a turn for the worse in the controversy over her private email server.”

Over the weekend, Trump won contests in Louisiana and Kentucky. Cruz won in Kansas and Maine. Rubio won Puerto Rico.

Sanders won Kansas, Nebraska and Maine, but Clinton won delegate-rich Louisiana.

New polling to digest today. In the Battleground state of Michigan, Donald Trump leading among the GOP in a new CBS News/You Gov poll with 39%, Ted Cruz gets 24%, Marco Rubio gets 16% and John Kasich gets 15%. On the Dem side, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by double digits in Michigan.

Also new WSJ/NBC News/Marist polls show Hillary Clinton getting 57% in Michigan to Sanders’ 40%.

That same polling of Michigan has Trump leading with 41%, Ted Cruz with 22%, Marco Rubio with 17% and John Kasich with 13%

Interestingly another poll has Kasich with a huge surge in Michigan though it may be an outlier. The ARG poll has him in the lead in Michigan. 

There are several live events for us to monitor for news today on the political campaign trail.

1000EST -- OH Gov Kasich holds a town hall meeting. Monroe County Community College, Monroe, MI. LIVE via LiveU

1200EST -- Donald Trump holds a rally. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, Concord, NC. LIVE

1330EST -- OH Gov Kasich holds a town hall meeting. University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. LIVE via LiveU

TBA EST -- Hillary Clinton attends an event in Grand Rapids, MI. LIVE via LiveU

1030EST -- Sen Sanders holds a rally. Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo, MI. LIVE via LiveU

The Washington Post takes a skeptical look at the chances for Marco Rubio today. Ed O'Keefe, Robert Costa, and Paul Kane writing:

Party leaders, donors and other supporters of Rubio portray a political operation that continues to come up short in its message, in its attention to the fundamentals of campaigning and in its use of a promising politician. The failures have all but doomed Rubio's chances of securing the GOP nomination, leaving him far behind Trump and Cruz in both delegates and states won.

Many Rubio backers say they still believe Trump would be a political disaster but are worried that the freshman senator is not doing enough to make an effective case against the billionaire. Even with a strong win Sunday in Puerto Rico, Rubio has lost 18 of 20 nominating contests so far, and he faces grim odds in many of the states to come.

All of Rubio's hopes now ride on his ability to win his home state's 99 delegates. But even if he prevails in Florida's winner-take-all contest, it will be difficult for him to secure enough delegates before the party convention in July, meaning he would have to try to win the nomination in an unpredictable floor fight.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times today examining a possible Trump strategy for the general election with Trump taking the Rust Belt. Aaron Zitner and Dante Chinni write today in the Wall Street Journal:

For now, Mr. Trump leads the GOP race in convention delegates and states won, largely built on a cadre of supporters -- mostly white and without college degrees -- who are angry about economic stagnation and are drawn to his aggressive immigration proposals, among other stances.

Some demographers and political analysts say Mr. Trump, if he wins the nomination, may boost voting rates among white, working-class residents in states where their turnout was low in 2008 and 2012. These include Pennsylvania and upper Midwest states such as Michigan, although a Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday showed Mr. Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton in that state by 17 percentage points in a potential general-election matchup.

Some two million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2008, census data show. Turnout among white, non-Hispanic voters fell from 67% nationally in President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election bid to 66% and 64% in the following two cycles.

Mr. Trump would face some tricky electoral math, however. In the course of motivating white, working-class voters with his controversial proposals,he also could prompt Hispanics, African-Americans and other minorities, as well as women, to vote in higher rates than might have been the case with President Barack Obama no longer on the ticket. Moreover, minorities are growing as a share of eligible voters.

North Korea is warning that it could conduct a “pre-emptive” nuclear attack on the United States and South Korea. Specifically Washington and Seoul as the U.S. and South Korea are preparing for massive war games.

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) says Navy SEALs don’t have enough combat rifles.

The Coast Guard has ended a search for a man who fell overboard from a cruise ship near Florida’s Key Largo.

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died this weekend at the age of 94 of congestive heart failure. We’ve got Fox team coverage as we learn she will be buried next to her husband at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

Football star Peyton Manning will retire today in a ceremony in Englewood, Colorado at 1pm ET. Jim Gray will discuss his amazing career including two Superbowl wins for two different teams. Manning is 40 later this month.

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Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.