Super Tuesday was a big night for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They each captured seven states in their respective Democratic and Republican races, extending leads over their remaining rivals.

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A survey shows Donald Trump with a big lead among Kentucky Republicans ahead of the March 5 presidential caucus.

The poll was conducted by the Western Kentucky University Social Science Research Center, and shows Trump with 35 percent support.  Marco Rubio was second with 22 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 15 percent .  John Kasich and Ben Carson are further behind. 

WKU Political Science Professor Joel Turner says Trump maintains a double-digit lead, despite having a lower favorability rating among Kentuckians.

"I think what that signifies to a lot of people is that it's not so much about Trump, like who he is, but what he represents.  He has tapped into that anger and frustration that people have toward government," Turner told WKU Public Radio.  "Our surveyed showed that some 90 percent either feel angry or frustrated at government as opposed to five percent who are relatively happy.  Trump symbolizes that for a lot of people."

The big day is finally here — after tonight's Super Tuesday results, there will be a much clearer picture of how both the Republican and Democratic races could shake out. Will Donald Trump continue his dominance? Can Marco Rubio catch up? Can Ted Cruz rebound? Will Hillary Clinton roll through the South? Can Bernie Sanders bounce back after a devastating South Carolina loss?

Tennessee voters are heading to the polls to make their choices in the state's Super Tuesday presidential primary.

The primary comes after several days of spirited campaigning around the state by all five candidates seeking the Republican nomination and by one of the two Democrats remaining in the race.

Sixty-seven delegates are up from grabs in the Democratic primary, while 58 Republican delegates will be split up among any candidates that reach a threshold of 20 percent of the vote.

While Tennessee Republicans have given the nod to religious conservatives in the last two presidential primaries, Donald Trump has drawn huge crowds and widespread support in this year's campaign.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander have endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson urged Kentucky Republicans on Monday to choose a “calm” alternative — himself — in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, drawing a contrast to frontrunner Donald Trump.

Carson spoke in Lexington in advance of the Kentucky Republican presidential caucus on Saturday. He said people who are fearful and angry about the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., and the Middle East need to check their emotions.

“Typically people who are frightened and angry do not make good decisions,” Carson said. “It’s very important that we calm down and actually start thinking logically.”

Carson hinted, but wouldn’t say explicitly, that Trump is catering to that fear and anger.

Polls show Trump with major leads in most of the 13 Republican primaries that will take place on Tuesday, though Sen. Ted Cruz has the lead in his home state of Texas.

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Kentucky Republicans are hoping for a big turnout for the party’s inaugural presidential caucus on Saturday, even though the event isn’t generating as much excitement locally with the absence of Sen. Rand Paul in the race for the White House.

Last year, Paul convinced his home state’s party to switch from a primary to a caucus format. At the time, Paul was simultaneously running for Senate and president — but state law barred him from appearing twice on the May primary ballot. Paul also argued that the earlier election date would make Kentucky more relevant in the presidential nomination process.

Scott Lasley, the Warren County Republican Party chairman who helped engineer the caucus, said the effort has been partially successful.

“We’re more important than we were, but it’d still be nice to be more important,” Lasley said.

The contest comes just four days after Super Tuesday, when 12 states hold primary elections, monopolizing the attention of the five candidates vying for the Republican nomination.

Trump, Carson To Campaign In Kentucky Ahead Of Super Tuesday

Feb 29, 2016
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Riding a new wave of momentum into what could be a decisive Super Tuesday for the GOP, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will spend at least some of this coming Tuesday in Louisville.

The real estate mogul is scheduled to hold a rally at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville at 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to his campaign’s website. The Republican Party of Kentucky confirmed he would be in the city in an email Saturday.

Trump isn’t the only Republican presidential candidate scheduled to come through Kentucky in the coming days. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson will campaign in Lexington on Monday, according to the RPK. He is scheduled to host a town hall meeting at the Lexington HIT Center at 10 a.m.

Carson, who led a crowded GOP field earlier this year, has seen his support drop in recent weeks, as the race has appeared to coalesce around Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Abbey Oldham, WKU Public Radio

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is actively working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of Donald Trump being the Republican presidential nominee.

An article published by The New York Times has the following details:

*McConnell has "laid out a plan that would have (GOP) lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election." Sources told the Times McConnell said Republicans would drop a Trump general election bid "like a hot rock."

*McConnell is still hopeful Florida Senator Marco Rubio will win the Republican presidential nomination.

*McConnell has assured Republican Senators facing re-election that he will support them if they feel like they need to "run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him."

*The Times article says McConnell "has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump's loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton."

*McConnell and other Republican Senators are becoming frustrated with Ohio Gov. John Kaisch's refusal to exit the race.

More than a dozen states vote Tuesday, and almost 1,500 delegates are at stake. It's the biggest day of the 2016 presidential election, and it could be pivotal.

Seven Southern states are voting Tuesday — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. That means on the Democratic side, black voters will play a pivotal role. (Six of those states, except Oklahoma, have significant black populations in Democratic primaries.) But for the GOP, those same Southern states mean a more socially conservative, more religious electorate.

With every state that voted in February, the contours of the 2016 presidential election changed. Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada all transformed the landscape in both parties.

On Saturday night, in South Carolina, the Earth moved once again. Hillary Clinton won, as expected, but the breadth and depth of her victory were breathtaking. She prevailed by more than 47 percentage points in the most populous state to vote thus far, winning by more than twice the margin of her loss to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire on Feb. 9.

Everyone's talking about "Super Tuesday," what it means and that it's such a big deal in this presidential campaign. But why? Here's a quick explainer. Think of it as a frequently asked questions for Super Tuesday:

What is Super Tuesday? It's when more states vote and more delegates are at stake than on any other single day in the presidential primary campaign.

It's big.

The five remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination meet tonight in Houston, Texas, the biggest city in the biggest state holding a primary on March 1, which is Super Tuesday, which is the biggest voting day so far in 2016 – and the biggest all year besides election day in November.

Whoever prevails tonight gets a long leg up toward being the biggest vote-getter on Tuesday. And whoever sits on top after Tuesday is going to be increasingly hard to deny.

In any ordinary year, Donald Trump's big win in South Carolina on Saturday night would all but anoint him the Republican presidential nominee. That's especially true after his big win in New Hampshire, where he won with support across various age and income groups in the party.

Donald Trump posted a decisive victory Saturday night in South Carolina, a conservative state that on its face should have been inhospitable to the New York billionaire, but was anything but when voters went to the polls.

And Hillary Clinton pulled off a badly needed win in Nevada, besting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with an older, more diverse electorate in the state's caucuses.

As we dive into the entrance and exit polling data, here's four takeaways from the results.

1. Evangelical voters have faith in Donald Trump

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says that the Senate shouldn’t confirm an appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama because it amounts to a “conflict of interest.”

The president has said he’ll nominate someone to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last week.

This spring, the Supreme Court will take up a case concerning the legality of Obama’s executive orders that granted legal status to about 5 million people who entered the U.S. without documentation as children.

Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, is crisscrossing Kentucky to drum up support for his reelection bid. On Friday, he stopped at Tonya’s Hometown Buffet in Lawrenceburg to speak to a crowd of about 50 supporters.

Citing the recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that halted Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Paul said that with the absence of Scalia, a sympathetic appointee would tip the scales in favor of the president’s immigration policies.