Candidates Gear Up For Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is likely to live up to its billing for Donald Trump.

The first day of multiple-state voting looms large in a wild presidential race after early states trimmed the field and the brash billionaire and his army of outsider voters are positioned to send panic through the Republican establishment by tightening his grip on the party's nomination.

A CNN/ORC national poll out Monday shows Donald Trump in a dominant lead, getting 49% of the Republican primary vote -- 30 percentage points ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. On the Democratic side, Clinton tops Sanders 55% to 38%.

The contests, across 12 states, herald several weeks of nationwide skirmishes that will be decisive in determining who gets to face off for the White House in the fall.

Republican leaders and operatives, meanwhile, are wondering whether the blitz against Trump by Rubio at CNN's debate in Houston on Thursday came too late to halt the billionaire businessman.

"I am not sure throwing the whole kitchen sink is going to make much difference in the trajectory of the race," said Ford O'Connell, a GOP strategist not currently working for any presidential candidate. "Political scientists are going to wonder for years why they didn't go after him a lot earlier."

Read more from Stephen Collinson at CNN

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