Super Tuesday takeaways

President Joe Biden and Donald Trump well on their way to securing their nominations.



March 6, 2024 - 3:00 PM

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Wednesday agreed to hold two campaign debates Photo by Jim Watson/Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images/TNS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The picture of the presidential race has hardly been cloudy for some time, even if it is one that most voters say they don’t want to see.

On not-so-Super Tuesday, there were few surprises. It became ever clearer President Joe Biden was on a path to the Democratic nomination that only some kind of personal catastrophe could alter.

Donald Trump is headed to a third Republican nomination, and a rematch against Biden — if Trump can navigate the 91 criminal charges against him and avoid any other calamity.

Trump’s last major GOP challenger, Nikki Haley, suspended her campaign on Wednesday after being soundly defeated across the country on Super Tuesday.

Enthusiasm for Biden was not the story of Tuesday’s primary contests, with some Democrats even voting “uncommitted” rather than for the incumbent. For Trump, there were cautionary signs even with his string of victories.

Some key takeaways from Super Tuesday:

N.C. Governor’s race

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson easily won the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary. His incendiary rhetoric — he’s called Hillary Clinton a “heifer” and Michelle Obama a man — ensures a hotly contested general election in the crucial swing state that could spill over into the presidential race.

Robinson had no prior experience in public office before his 2020 election — and it shows.

He blasted the action hero movie “Black Panther” in 2018 as a “satanic Marxist production” made by a “secular Jew,” using a Yiddish slur for black people. He faced calls to resign in 2021 after likening gay and transgender people to “filth.”

His brash style earned plaudits from Trump, who on Sunday called Robinson “better than Martin Luther King” while offering his “complete and total endorsement.”

But it is also likely to motivate Democrats in the state to turn out in November to support state Attorney General Josh Stein — while raising oodles of advertising dollars to use Robinson’s own words against him.

California Senate race

Republican former baseball star Steve Garvey secured a U.S. Senate showdown with Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff on a shoestring budget and with a wispy campaign schedule, but he now faces a daunting question: What’s next?

Garvey, a perennial All-Star who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, expressed optimism about the campaign to come for the seat once occupied by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Still, heavily Democratic California hasn’t elected a GOP Senate candidate since 1988, a year after Garvey retired from baseball. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by a 2-to-1 margin, and Democrats hold every statewide office and dominate the Legislature and congressional delegation.