Tonight on Washington Week: Countdown to Super Tuesday and Obama Battles Senate Republicans over Supreme Court and Guantanamo
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump continues to gain momentum ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses on March 1. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are up for grabs next Tuesday. That has Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., working overtime trying to blunt Trump's march to the GOP nomination. For months the billionaire businessman has confounded the Republican establishment with his seemingly unstoppable and unflappable campaign to win the party's nomination. If Trump continues to win, Republicans are wondering what to expect from the TV reality star should he become the presumptive nominee.
For Democrats, the fight for delegates is just getting started. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are virtually tied in delegates from the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada (Clinton: 52, Sanders: 51). But Clinton easily outdistances Sanders when it comes to the all-important party superdelegates: elected officials and party leaders not tied to primary results. Meanwhile, more than 800 delegates are up for grabs in the cluster of primary elections and caucuses on Super Tuesday.
President Obama finds himself in a high-stakes political battle with Senate Republican leaders who have issued a blanket refusal to consider anyone he nominates to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The president is also facing similar pushback from GOP lawmakers over his latest plan to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison.
As Washington Week kicks off our 50th year on television, Gwen Ifill answered questions from viewers on Facebook. See her talk about politics, media, the Oscars and 50 years of Washington Week here.
Top photo: Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally in Nevada. [flickr / Gage Skidmore]
Middle photos: Hillary Clinton [flickr / Ted Eytan] and Bernie Sanders [flickr / Michael Vadon]
Bottom photo: President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speak at the White House. [White House photo]