It may be the strangest vote of the day: die-hard Democrats in Michigan crossing over to vote for Rick Santorum in the Republican primary. "I hate him and I voted for him," said Jenn May, a voter in Flint, Michigan, told CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. Why? "Santorum getting the Republican bid is basically a guarantee that Obama will be reelected," May said.
By John Avlon
It’s the biggest one-day delegate haul to date; 59 delegates may not sound like a lot on the road to 1,144, but Tuesday’s contests represent the most delegates at stake since the GOP nomination fight began in Iowa. This distinction will be held for precisely one week, until Super Tuesday on March 6 when 10 states, with 437 delegates up for grabs, vote.
Three dynamics that could drive the vote:
The U.S. military presence in Afghanistan–nearly 100,000 troops–does not come cheap, carrying a staggering pricetag for American taxpayers of two billion dollars a week.
The investment in Afghanistan, Erin Burnett reports, includes an estimated $86 billion spent on "reconstruction" and $51 billion on training Afghan security forces.
By this summer, the U.S. will draw down its military force to 68,000 troops. But experts contacted by Erin Burnett OutFront say an "advisory" force of at least 25,000 Americans would be required to "protect" the investment in Afghanistan's security.
Keeping an "advisory" force of that size in Afghanistan for an indefinite period of time, Burnett reports, would still cost taxpayers somewhere between 20 and 30 billion a year.
Is it worth it?
Tonight on OutFront at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, a debate on America's continued investment in Afghanistan.
Gas prices rose for the 20th straight day.
Analysts attribute the surge at the pump to rising oil prices, stemming from fears of shortages resulting from tensions in the Middle East over Iran's nuclear program.
An 11-page document from the International Atomic Energy Agency released Friday reveals the IAEA has doubts about what the Iranian government is telling the world about its nuclear efforts.
We read the study, and while it does not say Iran is making a bomb, it does say that it's rapidly expanding its nuclear activity, tripling its uranium enrichment since late last year.