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Super Tuesday recap: Trump and Biden dominate but each see a surprising loss

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(WASHINGTON) — Super Tuesday — the biggest election day of the year until November — was a largely predictable affair, save for a couple minor surprises throughout the night.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump continue to dominate the race for the White House after voters in 16 states and the territory of American Samoa headed to the polls.

Several significant down-ballot races also started to shape up after Tuesday’s primaries.

Here’s a recap of the major action:

Where Trump is projected to win

Trump continued to trounce former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, his only remaining serious GOP opponent.

So far, ABC News projects that Trump will beat Haley in 14 GOP Super Tuesday contests. That includes the delegate-rich states of California and Texas as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Alaska and Virginia.

Haley is projected to have managed to eke out a win Tuesday in Vermont, in what would be only her second victory against Trump after winning the District of Columbia’s primary over the weekend.

Her campaign said in a statement that Tuesday’s results, in which she was attracting more than 30% of the partial vote totals in some states, show that “there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns” about Trump.

Where Biden is projected to win

Biden, who continues to face long shot challengers Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson in his bid for reelection, also dominated on Super Tuesday.

ABC News projects that he will win in 15 states — the delegate-heavy California and Texas as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

But Biden saw his first loss in the nominating race so far on Tuesday after little-known candidate Jason Palmer won the Democratic presidential caucuses for American Samoa, the local Democratic Party chair confirmed to ABC News.

With 99% of the expected vote reporting, Palmer led with 56% of the vote, followed by Biden with 44%, though the overall vote total was fewer than 100 ballots between both candidates and Biden’s campaign sought to shrug off the outcome as unique.

Separately, the “uncommitted” option in the Democratic races, which was used as an anti-Biden choice in Michigan’s primary to protest his stance on the Israel-Hamas war, continued to attract some ballots in other states — perhaps most notably in Minnesota, with more than 45,000.

Biden, Trump gear up for general election

With Biden and Trump closer to clinching their respective nominations, the two took aim at each other on Tuesday, making clear that they see the general election as already underway.

Biden said in a statement that Super Tuesday’s results “leave the American people with a clear choice: Are we going to keep moving forward or will we allow Donald Trump to drag us backwards into the chaos, division, and darkness that defined his term in office?”

He argued that a Trump White House risks progress in job growth, wage increases and “taking on Big Pharma and the gun lobby” — and threatens “fundamental freedoms” like women’s health-care autonomy around abortion access and other issues.

Biden said Tuesday’s results showed that millions of voters “are ready to fight back against Donald Trump’s extreme plan to take us backwards.”

During an address from Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night, Trump said Super Tuesday was “conclusive” and an “amazing night.”

He called Biden the “worst president in American history” while addressing campaign topics like high inflation and high crossings at the southern border.

Trump did not mention Haley.

Nominees named in key local races

Several key down-ballot races are also coming into focus after Super Tuesday.

In California’s battle to fill the seat left vacant by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ABC News projects that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and Republican Steve Garvey, a former Major League Baseball player, will advance to the general election in November.

In North Carolina, ABC News projects that Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican, and Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, will face off in the nation’s marquee gubernatorial contest later this year.

In Texas, ABC News projects that Democratic Rep. Colin Allred will vie to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, who is seeking a third term.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee — who jumped back into the House race after losing a campaign for Houston mayor — will also win the Democratic primary for her reelection bid, ABC News projects.

Voters weighed in on two House races in Alabama following court-ordered redistricting of the state’s congressional map to increase the power of Black voters. In an incumbent-on-incumbent contest that took place in the 1st District between Republican Reps. Jerry Carl and Barry Moore, ABC News projects that Moore will win.

A primary was also held in the newly created 2nd Congressional District, where 11 Democrats ran for the party’s nomination. ABC News projects that Shomari Figures will advance to a runoff alongside Anthony Daniels.

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