The presidential nomination saga continued Tuesday night, with voters headed to the polls in two states for the Democrats and in four for Republicans.
Mississippi and Michigan are holding nominating contests for both Democrats and Republicans, while Idaho and Hawaii are only having contests for the GOP.
Unlike the primaries and caucuses that were held last week on Super Tuesday and the next big set of them to be held March 15, there aren’t a game-changing set of delegates at stake Tuesday night. Candidates may see a shift in their odds, but the results of tonight will not decisively alter nomination prospects for anyone.
Heading into the race Tuesday, Donald Trump is expected to prevail in every state, with John Kasich waging a late run in Michigan. Hillary Clinton is similarly poised to win in both Democratic contests in Michigan and Mississippi.
We’ll be updating with live results throughout the night. All times are Eastern.
12:14 a.m.: Cruz pulls off an upset in Idaho.
Denying Trump a sweep, Cruz pulls off a victory in Idaho, a state with a largely rural electorate and a sizable number of Mormon voters.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) March 9, 2016
11:31 p.m.: Sanders wins Michigan
At 11:30 p.m., the Associated Press called the race in Michigan for Sanders. Because delegates are distributed proportionally, Sanders and Clinton will split the state’s many delegates fairly evenly. But Sanders’ edge still has symbolic importance, and proves that his populist message can consistently resonate strongly outside of the South. — Zeeshan Aleem
11:30 p.m.: Sanders maintains a narrow lead in Michigan.
With 85% of precincts reporting, Sanders is holding onto his lead over Clinton, edging her 50% to 48%. While Clinton hopes that votes in Wayne County will push her over the top, her best-case scenario at this point is a razor-thin victory — and even that prospect is looking increasingly iffy. — Luke Brinker
11 p.m.: Sanders makes a brief statement from Miami.
Looking tired but satisfied, Sanders made a brief public statement from Miami expressing excitement about his strong performance in Michigan.
“The political revolution we are talking about is strong in every part of the country, and we believe our strongest areas are yet to happen,” Sanders said. “Whether we win or lose tonight in Michigan, basically the delegates here are going to be split up because of proportional representation.” — Zeeshan Aleem
10:19 p.m.: Rubio is having a disastrous night.
The Florida senator is having the worst showing of the night. He looks likely to fail to reach the 15% threshold needed to pick up delegates in both Mississippi and Michigan, meaning he will find even further behind both Trump and Cruz in the delegate race. — Stefan Becket
10:01 p.m.: We have a close race in Michigan.
With more than half of the votes counted in Michigan, Sanders was holding onto a five-point lead over Clinton. But as votes started pouring in from Wayne County and the metropolitan Detroit precincts, Clinton jumped to within 1.6% percentage points, as of 10:04 p.m. Still, Michigan will be much closer than the Clinton campaign expected. —Stefan Becket
9:45 pm.: How people are voting in the Democratic primary in Michigan
Exit polls show Sanders leading Clinton among women 57% to 42%, and splitting men almost exactly evenly.
The usual generational gap between Sanders and Clinton surfaced in the Wolverine State. Sanders led among 18- to 29-year-olds 82% to 17%, and people between the ages of 30 and 44 preferred Sanders 56% to 43%. Clinton took the lead among older voters, winning voters between the age of 45 and 64, 54% to 42%, and voters over the age of 65 by a wider margin — 66% to 33%.
The racial breakdown of voters also fell along familiar lines, although the gap between Sanders and Clinton among black voters was less than it has been in most of the past contests. Sanders won white voters 59% to 39%, while Clinton beat Sanders among nonwhite voters 60% to 37%. Clinton’s lead among black women was about the same — 62% to 33%. That’s a big margin, but not nearly as big as Clinton usually wins among black voters. — Zeeshan Aleem
9:35 p.m.: Trump held a press conference in Jupiter, Florida, which he mostly used to promote his business ventures.
Trump held a triumphant presser after Michigan was called, and took the opportunity to go on a long, rambling stemwinder that featured several plugs for Trump-branded products.
Donald Trump continues to defend his products, including his steaks, bottled water and wine; offers to let press take home a bottle
— PolicyMic (@PolicyMic) March 9, 2016
The Republican frontrunner tried to strike a conciliatory note, keeping an eye on the general election as he moves closer and closer to the nomination, and he emphasized House Speaker Paul Ryan “could not have been nicer” in a recent phone call on the Republican agenda. He emphasized the importance of winning House and Senate seats, a nod to nervous down-ticket Republicans who are worried about Trump’s negative impact on their races.
It was the second election night in a row where Trump held a press conference as opposed to a traditional campaign rally. On Super Tuesday, he stood on stage with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gazing blankly behind him. Tuesday night, he said Christie was “here someplace.”
Toward the end of the press conference, Trump hit his familiar points about “Lyin’ Ted” and “Little Marco,” making sure to hit his rivals when they were down. Eventually he winded his way back to discussing his luxurious properties throughout Florida, stressing the critical importance of the Doral golf tournament.
Trump then began to take questions from the press. — Stefan Becket
9:15 p.m.: No surprises here, but Trump takes Michigan, the biggest prize of the night.
Trump is projected by the Associated Press to win the Michigan primary, confirming pre-election trends. Keep an eye on how well Kasich does — a strong second-place showing bodes well for his chances in Ohio on March 15.
Thank you Michigan! #Trump2016
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2016
On the Democratic side, the race is too close to call. — Stefan Becket
8:51 p.m.: The party’s just getting started at Trump HQ.
Trump wines, water, and steaks on display at the Trump press conference tonight. pic.twitter.com/iDYpo57XHZ
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) March 9, 2016
8:44 p.m.: Michigan is a tight race on the Democratic side, and turnout in Flint is strong.
With about 10% of votes counted, Sanders is narrowly leading Clinton, 50.1% to 48.2%. Two particularly interesting data points so far:
According to reporters on the ground, voter turnout is huge in Flint.
The turnout in Flint is the highest it's been in at least 20 years, City Clerk Inez Brown tells @MSNBC.
— tonydokoupil (@tonydokoupil) March 8, 2016
And Sanders has an early lead in Oakland County in Michigan, a particularly diverse and financially well-off area in the state. That’s notable because those are exactly the kinds of demographic trends that typically predict strong support for Clinton:
Sanders has an early edge in Oakland County–a diverse and affluent area outside of Detroit. Would be a surprise; we'll see whether it holds
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) March 9, 2016
— Zeeshan Aleem
8:41 p.m.: Trump wins in Mississippi.
The Associated Press called the race for Trump in Mississippi about 40 minutes after polls closed in the Magnolia State, his first victory in the four states holding contests Tuesday.
The electorate in Mississippi was much more conservative than those voting in Michigan, with more than 8 in 10 identifying as evangelical and half as “very conservative.” Cruz has tended to outperform in more conservative electorates, but will apparently fall short tonight in Mississippi. — Stefan Becket
8:23 p.m.: How Clinton won Mississippi
Clinton continued her streak of absolutely dominating among black voters, beating Sanders 89% to 11% in Mississippi, according to CNN’s on-air analysis of exit polls. Black voters made up a majority of the Democratic electorate on Tuesday in the state.
According to ABC News’ exit poll analysis, Clinton also performed extremely well with white voters, winning “record or near-record support from whites.”
Overall, Clinton was trusted to handle race relations better than Sanders by a wide margin:
According to ABC, Democratic voters consistently found Clinton to be a better ideological fit for them. About 75% said Clinton’s views on the issues are “about right,” while fewer than 50% felt the same way about Sanders. Almost 30% felt Sanders was too liberal, but fewer than 1 in 10 held that view of Clinton. Voters felt that Clinton’s policy ideas were realistic at nearly double the rate that they felt about Sanders.
The takeaway? Clinton continues to be a much stronger fit than Sanders for Southern Democrats, both by overwhelmingly winning black voters and matching their more moderate ideological leanings.
8:17 p.m.: Next polls close at 9 p.m.
We’re holding firm until the top of the hour, when polls in Michigan. The Wolverine State is the biggest prize of the night, with 130 pledged delegates at stake on the Democratic side and 59 on the GOP side. Here are the latest poll averages on both sides in Michigan:
8 p.m.: Clinton wins Mississippi.
Boom! Our first results of the night has Clinton prevailing in Mississippi, according to the Associated Press. Hardly a surprise, but we’ll be watching both her margin among African-American voters and turnout among those voters. Both are expected to be very high, which is great news for the Clinton campaign. — Stefan Becket