Polls open for the biggest day of the 2016 primary campaign as voters in 11 states hold nominating contests on Super Tuesday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Front-runner Donald Trump is in position to take firm control of the Republican presidential race when 11 states vote on Tuesday, an outcome likely to intensify concerns among party leaders that the brash billionaire has hijacked the party. In the Democratic race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can go a long way toward silencing concerns about her candidacy with big victories of her own over democratic socialist Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday. Trump was leading in nearly all the states that will hold primary contests or caucuses, most of them in the American South. The lone exception appeared to be Texas, where U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who represents that state, enjoyed a narrow lead and was in desperate need of a victory. Super Tuesday is the biggest single day of state-by-state presidential nominating contests for the Nov. 8 election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama. Trump, a New York real estate developer and former reality TV star, has defied all expectations with campaign pledges to build a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico and deport 11 million illegal immigrants. With a string of victories on Tuesday, he would advance toward sealing the nomination against opposition from Cruz, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. On the eve of voting, Cruz and Rubio called on Trump to ask the New York Times to release an audiotape of an interview he gave to the newspaper's editorial board on Jan. 5, which they believe will show Trump does not back his own immigration policy.. The Trump campaign had no immediate response.