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The Morning Grind / Political Hot Topics

Kerry's sweeping victory

Appeals to all: Kerry supporters in California celebrate his 'Super Tuesday' victories.
Appeals to all: Kerry supporters in California celebrate his 'Super Tuesday' victories.

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Watch CNN-USA now: Soledad O'Brien, Bill Hemmer and Jack Cafferty lead the "American Morning" team's coverage of President Bush's campaign efforts in the West and John Kerry's stumping ahead of Tuesday's primaries in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
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CNN's Bill Schneider on exit polls' indications that most Democrats believe Kerry's experience would give him the best chance to defeat President Bush.
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GOP strategist Ralph Reed sizes up the Democratic competition.
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John Edwards vows to continue fighting for American values.
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 Tuesday, March 9: Primaries in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas

 Sunday, March 14: Nevada county caucuses

 Tuesday, March 16: Illinois primary

 Saturday, March 20: Wyoming and Alaska Democratic caucuses

When is your primary? For more key dates in the 2004 election season, see our special America Votes 2004 Election Calendar
Morning Grind
John F. Kerry

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Check out the links below to hot political stories around the country this morning.

WIDE APPEAL: John Kerry relied on a broad cross section of the Democratic electorate for his sweeping victory yesterday, with surveys of voters showing that he ran remarkably strongly with virtually every category of Democratic voter coast to coast. Among independents and Republicans who voted in Georgia, where the race was closer than elsewhere, Kerry was less popular than John Edwards But he pulled even with Edwards among independents in Ohio. And in California, 2 in 10 voters were independents, and almost twice as many voted for Kerry as for Edwards.

The New York Times: Cross-section of Democrats shows Kerry's wide appeal

NICE GUYS FINISH SECOND: John Edwards, whose 2004 presidential ambitions died last night, ran as a nice man, about whom many Democrats had no end of nice things to say. He was called charismatic, likable, polished and, to his frustration, "vice presidential." Yet for all the positive things people said about this candidate and the positive message he ran on, he could not persuade most Democratic voters that he was the party's most plausible nominee against President Bush this fall.

The Washington Post: Being likable wasn't enough

DEAN'S VICTORY: Nearly two weeks after dropping out of the Democratic presidential primaries, Howard Dean won his first state contest yesterday: the primary in Vermont, where he has lived for 25 years and was governor for nearly 12. Dr. Dean, who has never lost an election in the Green Mountain State, extended his streak with a double-digit percentile defeat of John Kerry. John Edwards did not qualify for the ballot.

The New York Times: Out of the running, Dean wins a primary: Vermont's

STILL AHEAD: For a politically polarized nation, a campaign pitting President Bush against John Kerry presents the starkest of choices -- and almost certainly a close election. Kerry put a firm grip on the Democratic nomination by winning all the top prizes in the 10-state voting marathon, driving his final serious challenger, John Edwards, out of the race and setting the stage for a down-and-dirty battle.

The Washington Post: Tight race for a divided nation

EMPOWERED KERRY: On the verge of completing a remarkable political comeback, John Kerry is planning a nonstop, eight-month general election campaign that relies heavily on the candidate's Vietnam War record and the financial firepower of outside Democratic groups early on, according to strategists inside and out of the Kerry campaign. Kerry, who only two months ago was flat lining politically, is poised to emerge from the presidential nominating process not only victorious but also in stronger shape than few Democrats -- or Republicans -- ever imagined.

The Washington Post: Kerry expected to emerge from battle stronger than ever

HAITI MATTERS: John Kerry yesterday called for an investigation into statements by former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide that he was kidnapped at gunpoint and removed from power by U.S. troops over the weekend. White House spokesman Scott McClellan suggested that Mr. Kerry's call for an inquiry was politically motivated and said it was irresponsible to give credence to the word of Mr. Aristide.

The Washington Times: Kerry calls for probe of Aristide claims

NOMINATION SECURED: Last night, the 60-year-old junior senator from Massachusetts -- who had survived the bloody rivers of Vietnam, emerged from the Kennedy shadows to stake his own claim in Bay State politics, been passed over for the vice presidency in 1992 and 2000, and beat prostate cancer -- made good on his own belief in himself as he became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.

The Boston Globe: Kerry kept eye toward a win

CASH-STRAPPED: As Democrats turn their gaze from their primary campaign to the general election, the outlook -- financially, at least -- appears bleak. The most recent official figures show that President Bush had $104.4 million in his campaign treasury as of January 31, while the Democratic nominee-apparent, John Kerry, had a mere $2.1 million.

The Boston Globe: In money race, Bush carries big advantage

DONE DEAL: John Kerry buried John Edwards on Tuesday in a California-to-New York landslide, sweeping nine of 10 states across the country and effectively clinching the Democratic presidential nomination six weeks after the balloting began. Edwards will quit the field today in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, party strategists said, bringing a close to one of the quickest and least contentious Democratic primary contests in decades. The general election that follows is expected to be as close as it is bitterly fought.

The Los Angeles Times: Kerry wins 9 of 10 states, lauds rival

EDWARDS' JOURNEY: John Edwards has reached the end of the road on the presidential campaign trail -- traveling farther than many thought possible, but stopping far short of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. On the grueling road from Des Moines to Atlanta, Edwards impressed voters as a fresh face, an optimistic voice and a promising figure in national Democratic politics. But on the flip side, many voters viewed Edwards, a youthful looking freshman senator, as not sufficiently seasoned to become the nation's commander in chief in a time of national anxiety about terrorism and a sputtering economy.

News & Observer: He came out of nowhere

ASTA LA VISTA, DEFICIT: Voters put their trust in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to salvage the state's finances, agreeing to borrow billions of dollars in a win that rewrote California political history. Tasting victory again just five months after a recall election brought him to power, the Republican governor said the borrowing plan would make California "the golden state that it once was."

The Associated Press: California voters approve $15B bailout plan

BUSH CALLS KERRY: President Bush telephoned John Kerry on Tuesday night to congratulate him on wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination, and said he looked forward to a "spirited contest."

The Associated Press: Bush congratulates Kerry in phone call

SECRET NAME: With the end of John Edwards' presidential campaign, one tightly guarded secret sprang out: his Secret Service code name. The name was, for the annals of history, Speedway.

News & Observer: Edwards' code name comes to light

Compiled by Heather Riley

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