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CONNECT THE WORLD

Super Tuesday Could Set Terms for Both Races in U.S.; Taking the Pulse of Hispanic Voters in Texas; Astronaut Mark Kelly Returns from Space; Despite Violations, Ceasefire in Syria Holding. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired March 1, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:17] ZAIN ASHER, HOST: The road to the White House is crossing all over the map in the biggest voting day of the election calendar so far.

Could this spell the end of the race for at least some candidates?

Also ahead, it is day four of a fragile truce in Syria, allowing badly needed aid to enter the country. But there are also some complaints of

sporadic violations.

And, Apple scores a big victory in New York just hours before there's some complaints of violation.

And Apple scores a big victory in New York just hours before it testifies before a congressional committee.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

ASHER: Hello, everyone, glad to be with you. I'm Zain Asher. As you know, it is make or break day in the race for the White House. Until now,

only a handful of states have gone to the polls to choose nominees for the next U.S. president. But on this Super Tuesday, the battlefield is a whole

lot bigger.

In fact, 12 states and one territory are holding contests. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are hoping to firm up their

status as the front-runners while their rivals are campaigning hard to knock the leading delegates off their pedestals.

These maps, take a look here, actually why show you why Super Tuesday so important on the road to nomination. This is the Democrat map, and that

shows that 859 delegates are up for grabs.

Meantime on the Republican side, it is 595 delegates that are in play.

The polls and the pundits are predicting Donald Trump will win Super Tuesday contests by a pretty wide margin, but there is fresh controversy

swirling around the frontrunner and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are hoping that will drag him down. Here is our Jim Acosta with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump, 49 percent, little lightweight Marco Rubio, 16 percent, lying Ted Cruz, 15

percent.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is poised for a sweeping Super Tuesday victory tonight amid a swirling campaign controversy over the

issue of race.

TRUMP: Are you from Mexico?

ACOSTA: Chaos erupted at this Virginia event as protesters disrupted the rally just moments before a violent encounter. A Secret Service agent

choke slammed a photographer to the ground. The incident came as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz blasted Trump in a last ditch effort to gain ground

before Super Tuesday.

RUBIO: We will not lose conservatism to a con artist.

CRUZ: If we nominate Donald Trump in all likelihood Hillary Clinton wins. We lose the future...

ACOSTA: Pouncing on the GOP frontrunner after he refused to disavow support from a former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in a CNN interview.

RUBIO: There is no place for bigotry, for hatred, for David Duke, or the Ku Klux Klan in the Republican Party or the conservative movement.

ACOSTA: Trump later rejected that support, blaming the matter on a bad earpiece. But 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney isn't buying it, tweeting that

Trump's response is disqualifying and disgusting as two Republican senators are voicing their concerns over Trump as the nominee. Even though Ohio

governor John Kasich is still in last place, he says he'll continue to refrain from mudslinging.

KASICH: I would rather not win than lower the bar. I don't think that you beat Donald Trump by attacking him personally.

ACOSTA: While Cruz optimistic about winning the 155 delegates in his home state of Texas tonight, failure could put hit campaign on thin ice.

CRUZ: Donald Trump will have a whole bunch of delegate, that we will have a whole bunch of delegates, and that there will be a big, big drop off

between us and everybody else in the field.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: OK. Let's talk about polling now. A new CNN/ORC poll shows that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would easily beat Donald Trump

in a hypothetical general election matchup. Clinton leads Trump, take a look here, 52 percent to 44 percent as the choice for president. This is

among registered voters. And the poll also finds that Sanders, Bernie Sanders would also defeat

Trump by actually an even wider margin, that's 55 percent to 43 percent.

OK, let's talk more about this.

CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston is joining me live from now from Washington. So, Mark, we know that Donald Trump is going to do well

today on this Super Tuesday. But the question is, where exactly is he vulnerable?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, that's a very good question right now. I think the conventional wisdom would have been he

would have been vulnerable in states like the south because he is not necessarily an outspoken

christian, although he has said in the past six months or so that he is a practicing christian.

But that conventional wisdom is really thrown out the window. Right now we don't see a weakness in Donald Trump when it comes to a particular

region of the country. Where do see a weakness, though, is that Donald Trump does not do as well

with college educated voters as he does with the blue-collar voters here in the United States, Zain.

There's a lot of anger right now, of course, about the economy and the direction of the country. In many ways that is what is fueling his

candidacy.

ASHER: But he is likely going to lose Texas to Ted Cruz, is that right?

PRESTON: Well, yeah. Well, but Cruz, that is Cruz's home state, so we shouldn't come as a big surprise. But when we're talking about winning

or losing, certainly on a day like today, just because Ted Cruz wins Texas doesn't mean he'll walk away with all of the delegates needed, you know,

for a victory for that state.

Ted Cruz may win Texas but he may only win three, four, five or six delegates more than Donald Trump does on the day.

So, in many ways victories today are symbolic. When you look at the whole map, it's part of that whole equation. The mathematics are a whole

different game.

[11:06:01] ASHER: Yeah, with Marco Rubio in particular, I mean, as you know, Mark, he hasn't really had a win yet. You know, if that pattern

continues through Super Tuesday, what is it going to take for him to actually be able to stay in the race?

PRESTON: Well, you know, the irony of that is, you're absolutely right. He hasn't won a contest. Ted Cruz has won and Donald Trump has

won. But the Republican establishment right now is trying to get behind Marco Rubio and they're starting to put a lot of money behind Marco Rubio.

Here in the United States, Republicans, the Republican establishment, certainly here in Washington, D.C. where I'm sitting, they don't like Ted

Cruz. So, they're not going to get behind him. In many ways, they think that Donald Trump would be a better candidate for them then Ted Cruz.

What happens to Marco Rubio is that he continues on because he'll have the money to do so. But the big day for Marco Rubio will be March 15 in

Florida when he has to face his home state. Ted Cruz wins Texas today, Ted Cruz goes on. If Ted Cruz loses Texas today, there will be an argument for

him to get out, same thing with Marco Rubio on March 15.

If Marco Rubio loses Florida on March 15, then there will be a push to get him out of the race.

PRESTON: So, since you brought up the establishment, I do have one question for you. There is some talk that Donald Trump becomes the

nominee, that the party, the Republican Party that has been around since mid-1800s could actually end up

splintering.

In all your experience in politics, do you think that could actually be the case?

PRESTON: Well, there are certain going to be folks within the Republican Party that won't back Donald Trump, will not support Donald

Trump, will not vote for Donald Trump, and in fact will sit on the sidelines and not vote at all in this election.

I think you will see that happen.

You perhaps will also see a Republican candidate, somebody who probably has run in this past election cycle unsuccessfully that may run on

a different ticket, may run on a different political party ticket to try to consolidate some support.

But in the end, if you are a Republican and you want to prevent Hillary Clinton, who we expect to be the Democratic nominee, from getting

the White House and keeping another four years of Democratic rule here in the United States, then you have got to get behind Donald Trump.

ASHER: All right.

I do want to where the candidates are spending most of their time today going into Super Tuesday. They obviously can't be everywhere at

once. So, what can we learn about where the candidates are actually choosing to spend their time campaigning? Is it really about the math and

just about the delegates?

PRESTON: You know, at this point, too, it's very hard to persuade people on the day of the election to try to go vote for you. So, you might

have seen -- like, for instance, Bernie Sanders was in Massachusetts last night holding his last get out the vote rally, he ended up in Vermont

today, his home state, which is also voting.

Oftentimes, what you're going to see with these candidates is that they're going to look ahead, they're going to play the skip ahead game.

And this is something that Donald Trump has successfully done. Donald Trump, while people were focusing in on Iowa, in New Hampshire,

predominately, he was skipping ahead, he was jumping to states like Alabama and Mississippi and people were wondering, well why is he doing that?

Well, it turned out to be a very good strategy because now on March 1, Donald Trump has built support in those states that are going to help him

win today very likely in those states.

So, when you're looking at the candidate's schedule, you're always going to look out ahead, because they are looking for a victory in the

future.

ASHER: Right.

I do want to talk about the Democrats a little bit more because Hillary Clinton has obviously been through this before, 2008 didn't go so

well for her. But she has been through a Super Tuesday before. What can she learn this time --

what can she learn from what happened last time and put into practice this time?

PRESTON: Well, you know, one thing that she did learn, and this is probably about three or four months ago, is that she finally embraced

Barack Obama fully with a big bear hug. Up to that point in her campaign, she had been careful running her own campaign. But in many ways for

Hillary Clinton to be successful and to get Democrats to back her candidacy, is that she had to say that she was going to continue the

policies put in place by Barack Obama.

Now, in some ways that was derailed by Bernie Sanders coming on strong and really being a voice the left here in the U.S., the left thinking that

Barack Obama has not done enough that he said he would do.

Hillary Clinton has now embraced the left in many ways as well. She - - Bernie Sanders has pushed her to the left.

So what we've seen certainly in the past is that they were a little bit more cocky, certainly in 2008. And they thought it was a given. And I

think they learned their lesson from their defeat to Barack Obama. And you're seeing the Hillary Clinton campaign really put their nose to the

grind stone and they're trying to get out as many supporters as possible and embracing all angles of the

Democratic Party.

[11:10:25] ASHER: All right, and Mark Preston, we shall see. Thank you so much. Appreciate the analysis.

PRESTON: Thanks, Zain.

ASHER: I want to take you now to the fragile cease-fire in Syria. Russia is actually reporting so far 15 violations in the past 24 hours, but

denies that its forces are actually to blame.

Now take a look at this video posted on social media. It's said to show attacks in Hamaa Province. Russia says that it has not targeted

moderate rebels since the cessation of hostilities took effect several days ago.

The Syrian government and opposition are blaming each other for violating the deal, but the United Nations says overall the truce is

holding.

I'm joined now by Matthew Chance who is covering this story live now from Moscow. So Matthew, Russia says the cease-fire has been violated but

other people are actually pointing this finger at Russia. How are the violations being investigated?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty clear,

Zain, at this point, that all the sides that are fighting inside Syria appear to be breaking the cessation of hostilities to a certain extent. I

mean, the rebels are saying that they are seeing Russian and Syrian government airstrikes still on their positions, even the moderate rebels,

as they are called by the West.

The Russians, as you mentioned, have reported that in the past 24 hours alone there have been 15 instances of violations of the cessation of

hostilities, particularly around the area of Damascus, the Syrian capital. So yes, all sides apparently, you know, kind of breaking the cessation of

hostilities to a certain extent.

But if you look at the broader picture, the level of violence in Syria has dropped off massively in the course of the past four days since the

cessation of hostilities has been in force. And so there may be sort of incidents around the country in which all sides accuse the other of being

involved. But in general both the Russians, UN and the various other factions on the ground admit that the cessation of hostilities is working

for the most part.

And certainly it's the biggest lull in violence in Syria in five years of conflict there.

ASHER: And Matthew, just to skip ahead slightly, we know the cease- fire is expected to last a few weeks. What does Russia hope to happen after the end of that period?

CHANCE: Well, the hope is it will last for a few weeks, and the hope is it will last even longer than that.

But certainly in the coming weeks -- I think March 9 is a date that's been floated at the moment by the United Nations -- is that peace talks

will resume between the Russians, the United States, the various other allies,

representatives of the various rebel groups inside Syria as well of course with the exception of

Islamic State and the al Nusra Front, will sit down again in Geneva to try and hammer out a more formal cease-fire.

I mean, at the moment we've been talking about this cessation of hostilities, that's a much more informal agreement to stop shooting at each

other, to stop artillery strikes, to allow for humanitarian aid to get through to the most deprived areas in Syria.

What the parties want to do next is to try and extend that into a more permanent basis, to actually sign a cease-fire. And I think there's

general agreement between the Russians and the various other factions that that's what

needs to be done. The differences are going to start to appear when we work towards a political solution in Syria and that's where the various

interests of Russia and the Syrian government and the United States and the rebels begin to diverge. The Russians, for instance, are still backing

Bashar al Assad as the prosecuted of Syria. And that's something which has been an anathema to the various rebel groups on the ground.

ASHER: All right, Matthew Chance live for us there, thank you so much.

I want to turn now to Nic Robertson who is joining us live now from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

So, Nic, we've heard obviously from Matthew and n the previous reports that there have been a number of violations to this truce. How big a

concern are the violations or are they par for the course to be expected?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think everyone expected them. That was certainly what was outlined by international

diplomats going into this. But what we're hearing from the opposition is that they have got concerns about the way the monitoring is working or

rather not working.

They monitor, they have got a group of field commanders who are in Jordan at a center in the capital, Amman there. And They monitor and

record what they -- the violations that they hear about that get called in from their field

commanders in the field. So that's one way the monitoring goes on, then they fill in and document everything that they are hearing about. But

there is no independent outside monitoring, and that is a cause for concern. And they have pointed to that.

The other concern for the opposition at this time is they say the map that is being used by Russia at this time and the United States, who head

this military task force that was called for by the international Syria support group, it has broad representation but it's headed by the United

States and Russia, that the map that is being used to determine where ISIS is and where al Qaeda is on

the ground is a map that has flaws. The opposition says this is a map that the Russians have provided, and the United States knows and UN knows better

than this, this is how their spokesman put it to me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALEM MESLET, SPOKESMAN, HIGH NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE: It's a big problem. And it is a disaster to accept the map that was given by the

Russians. I believe it's the duty of the States and the United Nations to be careful when dealing with this map, because it is not a true map. We

need them to go back to what they have, the documents they have about Syria. They will find the right map for the places where the fighters are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: And of course the reason that that's important to the opposition is there are 97 groups in the Syrian opposition that have signed

up to the cease-fire and they say if their locations are not properly represented on the map, then they may be hit by the government, by the

Russians when they think they are striking or intentionally striking ISIS or al Qaeda.

Right now the opposition say say they are being hit in just this way. They are not returning fire but they need the maps to be made more

accurate.

ASHER: So some parts of the monitoring and the maps are flawed as you mentioned.

But if one particular party is, indeed, found guilty of violating the cease-fire, what consequences are there? What sort of repercussions are

there, Nic?

ROBERTSON: At the moment there aren't. And again, that's another issue for

the opposition. They say there needs to be, you know, there needs to be that clear monitoring and then somebody can be held to account and fingers

can be pointed and said you did wrong on that day, this was s how it was wrong, to make sure that it doesn't happen. The opposition feels they say

with their experience of President Bashar al-Assad, if that doesn't happen, if small violations, you know, one or two or three or five or six a day

aren't highlighted and people aren't made accountable for them, then they will continue.

What the opposition is going to be doing later this week is sitting down to decide if they will go to peace talks in Geneva that have been

called, initially called for the 7th of March by the UN special representative Staffan de Mistura. He's now said -- made that a bit more

vague that this could run until the 10th of March.

But if you look at where this truce is expected to run out, it has two weeks. It would run out there for on the 12th of March. You can see that

the opposition is going to want to know that there's more longevity in this truce or that the truce is really going to hold, because what made the

talks fall apart in January was the fact that the bombing campaign really got heavy as the talks in Geneva are under way, and that meant that they

couldn't get into the talks.

So the opposition, while looking at how well things have gone so far this week will be concerned that if they go to the talks at the day that's

expected, then there's a potential, the truce runs out and the heavy bombing begins again when they are at the table. And that really is a

recipe for disaster.

ASHER: All right, we'll see what happens at those talks, then.

Nic Robertson, live for us there in Riyadh, thank you so much.

Still to come tonight a warning of humanitarian crisis. The UN says Europe's refugee situation must be urgently addressed.

Plus, Apple wins a small victory in its legal fight with the U.S. government. What it means for the bigger battle ahead. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:21:17] ASHER: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm

Zain Asher. Welcome back.

Germany's chancellor said more must be done to tackle the refugee crisis in Greece. Angela Merkel was speaking a day after scenes like this,

which show crowds of people clashing with authorities at the border between Greece and Macedonia. The UN says the rapid build up of people restricted

by tightening border controls has put Europe on the brink of a, quote, largely self-induced humanitarian crisis.

CNN senior international correspondent Atika Shubert has been following the story from Berlin. And she has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the UN is warning that a humanitarian crisis is looming in Greece. About 30,000

refugees and asylum seekers have found themselves stranded in the country after the border started closing across the Balkan into Europe.

What that has lead to is a pressure cooker situation, particularly in Idomeni (ph). This is the main border crossing from Greece into Macedonia.

Thousands of people there are camped out. They are not being allowed to go in because there is a cap on the number of people that can actually cross

through.

Now, what the UN is saying, is that this is a refugee crisis of the EU's own

making, that it has to speed up the resettlement of refugees. Consider this, last year the EU promised to resettle 160,000 refugees from Greece

and Italy. In that time only 598 refugees have since been resettled. Compare that to Canada, which

today announced together with the international office for migration, that had resettled 25,000 Syrian refugees in just the last three months.

Now, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel is going to take another try at resolving the refugee crisis. There will be an EU summit on Monday in

which they will address the issue.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, Apple is taking its fight with the FBI to Capitol Hill, a look at the

expected showdown coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:25:05] ASHER: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back. I'm Zain Asher.

In less than two hours Apple and the FBI are going to be going head- to-head in front of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. in their ongoing legal clash over

encryption. Apple is taking its fight all the way to Capitol Hill as it resists a

court outdoor to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California terrorists.

The tech giant is facing 10 similar cases across the country. But some good news for Apple, it's just been given a boost by a judge in New

York who ruled that Apple cannot be forced to hack into a drug dealer's iPhone.

Here now to sort all this out, CNN Money's, Maggie Lake joins me live now from New York.

Maggie, I guess the question is -- obviously this is good for Apple, but does

the New York case have any applications for the San Bernardino case do you think?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may, Zain. I mean, this is a completely different case, and this is a different jurisdiction. This is

New York judge making a ruling on this specific case, the San Bernardino case is going to go in front a California judge, and in the state of

California as it makes its way up.

However, it is about the same thing in this decision. And the New York judge knocked down this idea that something called the All Writs Act,

can be used to compel Apple. And that is the act, the rationale the government is using in all these cases when it says that Apple has to hand

over this information.

Legal experts we talked say there's no doubt that California judge is going to read the legal reasoning of this New York judge very closely and

carefully when he's considering his decision.

So, although the circumstances are different, it does all come down to this idea whether or not the government already has this power.

And Apple clearly saying they don't. So, it's something called persuasive authority. And legal experts do think it may have some bearing

on the California judge.

ASHER: All right, but it's still technically isolated cases.

But speaking about the testimony today on Capitol Hill, do we know what Apple's lawyers, in particular Robert Sewell, who is the main lawyer

for Apple, do we know what he plans to argue in his opening statements today?

LAKE: He's probably going to -- we can be sure he's probably going to mention this case, support of the fact that Apple has been right.

But he's probably also going to talk about framing this as free speech, which is very interesting. I mean, Apple is basically arguing

that, listen, our code is a form of free speech. And you can't make us write code that weakens our own security.

So, instead of muscling free speech, this is compelling someone to speak and that the government doesn't have the right to do that.

Apple has been arguing all along -- and by the way, so did this judge in New York, arguing that this is something that should be taken up by

congress. Congress should legislate new laws if they want to compel Apple to do this.

There are a lot of legal experts that say, though, that free speech angle may prove to be a difficult one. It's an interesting one but may

prove to be difficult for Apple.

So, I would expect to hear him start to frame out exactly what those arguments are going to be and also maybe push and say, hey, if you want us

to do this, if you want to help get us to help you, just go to congress. You as Congress are the ones that have the power to do that as elected

officials.

So, expect to hear a bit of that as well, Zain.

ASHER: Yeah, such a tricky balance between privacy and security. OK, Maggie Lake live for us there in New York, thank you so much.

LAKE: You're welcome.

ASHER: The latest world news headlines just ahead and we'll return to our coverage of Super Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: ...is a law enforcement matter, immigration is a national security matter, but immigration at its heart is...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: So, the big question is can Ted Cruz win his home state of Texas and continue his fight for the Republican nomination? That's coming

up?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(HEADLINES)

[11:32:51] ASHER: And by now you know what that means, it means it's politics time.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has high expectations on Super Tuesday after her landslide victory in South Carolina. S expected to confirm her front

runner status. But Bernie Sanders could surprise the campaign.

Jeff Zeleny has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It's Super Tuesday. That means Democrats are voting in some 11 states. Hillary Clinton is

making a last-minute trip to Minnesota. That's one of the states were Bernie Sanders had hoped to plant his flag. Now, the Sanders campaign is

feeling is confident about five states -- Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and his home state of Vermont.

The Clinton campaign is feeling very confident in about seven or eight states, so we some overlap there. But what happens tonight in these

contests is going to give us a big clue into how long this Democratic nominating fight goes one. Already, as Hillary Clinton was campaigning on

Monday, she's turning one eye on the general election and one eye toward the Republican candidates, specifically.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because at some point you can't just say whatever pops into your head if you want to be the president

of the United States of America. People around the world actually listen to what people running for president say.

ZELENY: Now, Hillary Clinton did not mention Donald Trump by name. She didn't have to. That was clear in her remarks as she campaigned here in

Virginia on Monday. Now, going forward, the Clinton campaign believes the next two weeks are a critical period. They believe that they can have an

insurmountable lead by March 15th. That's when Florida, Ohio, and Illinois go. But, Bernie Sanders raised nearly $40 million in the month of

February. That means he has plenty of fuel in the tank to keep this race going as long as he would like.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: All right, let's check in on how things are going for voters in the southern United States.

The state of Georgia has the second largest number of delegates up for grabs on this Super Tuesday.

George Howell, my good friend, is joining me live from here in Atlanta.

So, George, just for our international viewers, walk us through how the primary voting process here works.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zain, good day to you.

So, to explain the state of Georgia, 117 delegates are up for grabs in the state of Georgia for Democrats, 76 for Republicans.

It breaks down like this. There are 12 different states that are all holding these different primaries and caucuses. And it really comes down

to what voters decide, voters who go into these different polling stations, what they decide, who they pick as their candidate to be the next president

of the United States.

And what we know at this point, we know that here in Georgia, Donald Trump seems to be ahead in the polls, ahead of his rivals. We know that

Bernie Sanders is ahead of his rivals. So, depending upon who comes out ahead in these different primaries and caucuses-- and Zain, here is the

other thing, depending upon on the state, for some it's winner take all delegates, for some it's winner take most, depending on how the candidates

perform.

But whoever comes out ahead when these 12 states decide, we will have a much clearer picture of who the front-runner is on each side of the

political aisle.

ASHER: And George, one big advantage for the GOP in all this is that perhaps

because of Donald Trump, we're seeing a lot of new voters, voters who haven't previously voted before. I'm just curious, this is slightly

unscientific, and IO know that, but just where you are. I'm curious about voter turnout, how crowded is it?

HOWELL: Well, talking about Donald Trump, you do have a mixture. You have younger voters, you have older voters, it is a mix of people who are

coming together for this Trump alliance that seems to really go against the establishment Republican.

In this particular county, Cobb County, it skews more conservative, more Republican compared to Atlanta, the city of Atlanta, which skews more

liberal.

You have voters there who will be deciding in this race as well.

So, you know, really depending on where you are, that's where you'll see the

different voters. Here in this particular county you see fewer minorities. And in the city of Atlanta, you see more.

ASHER: All right. George Howell, live for us there. Good to see you, my friend. Thank you.

HOWELL: Good to see you, Zain.

ASHER: The goal of Super Tuesday is to rack up as many delegates as possible, but how exactly does that happen? And then where do all the

delegates go? Here is a brief explainer on how it works.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: You've seen them wearing funny hats and waving signs at National Party Conventions.

SANDERS: Delegates.

TRUMP: Delgate.

CRUZ: Delegates.

KASISH: Delegates.

ASHER: Candidates covered them, but what exactly is a delegate and why are they so important to the U.S. Presidential race? They come from all

50 states.

Washington, D.C. and every U.S. territory. Bigger, more popular states like California, Texas, Florida, and New York, have more of them. For the

most part, candidates win delegates through primaries and caucuses. While the rules vary from state to state, generally more votes means more

delegates.

This summer, thousands of delegates will come together at their National Party Conventions where they declare the support for a specific

candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ohio, Madame Secretary, passed all 188 votes for the President and the next President of the United States, Barack Obama.

ASHER: In order to become the party's nominee for President, a candidate must receive a majority of these delegates. For Republicans,

1,237 is the magic number, for Democrats, it's 2,383. And there's an additional wrinkle for Democrats. Super delegates. These are elected

officials, governors, senators, and party members. Former President Bill Clinton is a lifetime super delegate. There are more than 700 of them and

they can vote for whoever they want.

PRESTON: So what we've seen happen is that Hillary Clinton has gone out and has effectively collected as many of those as she probably can.

They putting those in the back pocket even before we had one elected contest app.

ASHER: And while there's still more voting, at the end of the day, it's delegates that win elections.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: And speaking of delegates, it's delegate-rich Texas that's really the biggest prize on Super Tuesday. It is the home of Republican

candidate Ted Cruz. And some people are saying that, you know, if Ted Cruz cannot win on his own turf, this really could be his last stand.

I wand to bring in Ed Lavandera who is joining us live now from Allen, Texas.

So, Ed, we just had George Howell explain to use just how many delegates there are in Georgia. But Texas is really king. You have 155

delegates. But explain to viewers exactly how delegates in Texas are going to be awarded?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a little bit of a process that will make your

head hurt if you dig too deep into it.

But basically the way this works is 155 delegates up for grabs. But this is not winner take all. So, it really depends -- think of it as 36

different races within the state. There are 36 congressional districts within the state, and within each one of those, you get three delegates per

district and then there's others at large delegates.

I told you, this can really make your head hurt.

But essentially it's proportional. So, depending on the number of votes

you get and your percentage of that will determine how many of these delegates you walk away with.

So you can lose and still take home a decent number of delegates. But obviously this is -- it's what's called proportional, so it will really

depend on how many votes come in for you and exactly where they are coming in.

So, it will take some time to kind of tabulate but it's definitely a place where someone like Ted Cruz needs to do very well here today.

[11:40:13] ASHER: Yeah, there's so much at stake for him. If he doesn't win Texas, what does that mean for his campaign and I guess what

will that mean for Marco Rubio as well? Because there's a lot riding on this for him as

well if Ted Cruz loses Texas.

LAVANDERA: Right. You can imagine already what the story lines would be tomorrow if all of a sudden you see that Donald Trump has swept through

all the of the states here today on Super Tuesday. So, that's why Ted Cruz needs

to do well.

Incidentally, this is one of the only states where someone other than Donald Cruz (sic) is leading in the polls. Ted Cruz was launched into the

U.S. Senate from here, his home state of Texas.

The latest polls show him leading here throughout the state. And it's in places, like polling locations like this. We're in a suburb north of

Dallas. This is a county that is seen incredible turnout here over the early voting period. In the two weeks leading up to election day, they

have had a period of what's called early voting where people can come and vote and avoid the rush on election day.

They have already had a record turnout in a Texas Republican primary in this county. So more people have already voted in this Republican

primary in this county than have ever voted in a primary today and we're not even halfway through election day.

So, that gives you a sense of how intense the turnout is here today.

ASHER: Yeah, the GOP is bringing in a lot of new voters.

But I do want to talk about endorsements, because i've heard mixed reviews on

whether or not endorsements really matter. I know that Governor Greg Abbott and

former Governor Rick Perry have both endorsed Ted cruz. How much is that going to help him tonight, do you think?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know, that's kind of a fascinating -- you know, because Ted Cruz in many ways came out of nowhere here on the Texas

political scene. And as you've heard and has been reported for the last year or so, he's -- he hasn't made a lot of friends in the U.S. Senate.

And he's ruffled feathers and hasn't been afraid to ruffle feathers and rub elbows with the establishment Republican candidates. And that dates back

to his days here in Texas.

So, it is rather fascinating to see him getting the strong support from

people like Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, the current Texas governor. And these are people who came up through the ranks, if you will,

of Republican politics in Texas to get to the governorship. And in many ways that's kind of what Ted Cruz has been criticized for, not playing nice

in the sandbox there, if you will.

But all of those people, all of the statewide officials here in Texas campaigning for Ted Cruz in hopes they can derail the Donald Trump train

here.

ASHER: Yeah, and Governor Abbott, that is his first endorsement from a sitting government. So, we'll see if that moves the needle at all.

OK, Ed Lavandera, live for us there. Thank you so much.

Texas has a large Latino population. And all of the candidates are courting

the Hispanic vote. CNN's Randi Kaye sat down with some Hispanic Republicans in Dallas to hear their thoughts on the race and find out who

they are supporting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Give me a show of hands. How important is it to you to have a Hispanic president, the first Hispanic

president? Do you care?

One of you. So, it's not really a big deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most qualified. I want the most qualified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most qualified.

KAYE: The most qualified candidate to some in this group of Republican Hispanic voters is Donald Trump.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: My fellow Trumpsters are equally excited. We haven't been this excited about an election in a long time.

KAYE: On the eve of Super Tuesday, we gathered these Hispanic voters at Southern Methodist University in the heart of Dallas: George W. Bush

country. It turns out, not only do a handful of them like Trump, but they have hardly been offended by anything he said. All but two in our group

support Trump's idea of building a wall at the southern border.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What a lot of people don't realize with the whole

immigration issue is that if a person comes over to this country and they don't have the right documentations, it's against the law. I don't

understand while people don't get that.

UNIDENIFIED MALE; There's no such thing as open borders. If we have open borders we don't have a country as Mr. Trump has said.

KAYE: Undecided voter Alana Buenrostro (ph) likes Kasich and Rubio. She's against Trump's wall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm looking for a leader that will unite, will not use fiery rhetoric. I want someone who can bring us together as a

nation, build bridges, not walls.

KAYE: Florida Senator Marco Rubio is popular among this group. Supporters think he would be strong against Hillary Clinton on foreign

policy.

Delia Reyes (ph) also likes Rubio's immigration plan, which doesn't include mass deportation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't imagine how they are going to take 11 million people -- what's it going to do to the economy? I'm sorry, but

when you go to restaurants and you go everywhere -- who is building houses, who is serving

the food?

KAYE: Only one voter here supports Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's so strong on the issue of religious liberty on the issues that I care as someone as a Christian, pro-life.

KAYE: Duke Machado (ph) has crossed Cruz off his list because of his plan to

deport illegal immigrants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would not be senator today if he were honest with Texas voters when he was running his campaign and told them he wants

to round them all up. If that's what his plan was, he would never have been elected.

KAYE: Chris Thrailkill (ph) doubts Cruz could get anything accomplished

in Washington as president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has made his name by burning every single bridge in

Washington in terms of the Senate and congress. He is the most disliked man in

washington.

KAYE: And if in the end Donald Trump is the nominee, this Rubio supporter vows to skip the Republican ticket.

You're saying you won't vote for Donald Trump if he's the nominee? Absolutely not? Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you look at him in debates, it's a man who is very thin-skinned, very emotional. In terms of being the commander-in-

chief, being the guy who has the trigger on the nuclear weapons, I would rather have Hillary Clinton have those judgment calls than Domnald Trump

frankly. I don't think he has the emotional capacity to do that.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Dallas, Texas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: Stay with CNN for extensive coverage of all of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. We'll have reporters stand up all across

the country, and we'll be talking to voters like we did just there and follow the candidate on a day that really could change the landscape of

this election.

Of course, that is only on CNN.

All right, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a special report on U.S. special forces taking the fight to ISIS. What the Pentagon said

they've done so far. That's coming up after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher.

The U.S. is ramping up the fight against ISIS in Iraq. Elite special operation forces are now on the ground and are going after senior ISIS

operatives across the country.

Here's our Barbara Starr with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In secret locations across northern Iraq, the Army's elite Delta Force is now

conducting its first operations CNN has learned. Today at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Ash Carter outlining what Delta and the Expeditionary

Targeting Force, ETF, has been ordered to do.

ASHTON CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Seizing places and people, freeing hostages and prisoners of ISIL. And the only thing I'll say is the ETF is

in position. It is having an effect and operating.

[08:25:05] STARR: The timing and location of all operations remains classified.

There are about 200 troops in northern Iraq. They've been setting up safe houses, establishing and paying off informant networks, and gathering

intelligence.

The plan, attack compounds not just to capture or kill ISIS, but to grab laptops, cell phones, anything that can provide more intelligence and

lead to more raids.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Special Operations Forces, I have vast experience in Iraq and Afghanistan using these kinds of

tactics and techniques.

STARR: New techniques as well. With surprising openness, the secretary of defense detailed going after ISIS in cyberspace.

CARTER: To interrupt, disrupt ISIL's command and control, to cause them to lose confidence in their networks, to overload their networks so

that they can't function.

STARR: The ultimate goal: drive ISIS off the dark web that the U.S. cannot monitor.

CARTER: Sometimes we do drive them to other means, but it cuts both ways. Sometimes those other means are easier for us to listen to.

STARR: But it could have unintended consequences.

LEIGHTON: You're going to end up basically not knowing what they're doing. They could be using everything from couriers to carrier pigeons in

order to get the job done for them.

STARR: All of this as Carter is considering sending more troops to the upcoming Iraqi operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

CARTER: Because of our strategy and our determination to accelerate our campaign, momentum is now on our side and not on ISIL's.

STARR: So, why telegraph so much information? On analyst says it is become this has become a public relations war. And the Pentagon feels it

most show progress to the public.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: All right, this Connect the World. Coming up, he's the first American to spend nearly a year in space. And that makes Scott Kelly a

pretty unique person to study, if you're NASA, that is. What it hopes to learn

coming up after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. Welcome back.

For the first time ever Google says that one of its self-driving cars was at least partly responsible for a crash. The car was traveling just at

about 3 kilometers per hour when it was struck on its side by a bus. There was actually a human being in the car but that person thought the bus would

yield.

Google says it's improving its software to stop similar accidents from happening again.

And finally for you, he spent a record 340 days on board the International Space Station. And now NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly is set to

return to Earth just a few hours from now. The American and his team are going to be landing in

the Kazakhstan on Wednesday. And then after that Kelly is going to be traveling back to the United States. His health is going to be monitored

closely.

CNN's Rachel Crane takes a look at his year in space.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORESPONDENT: Astronaut Scott Kelly has broken some records. He is the first American to spend nearly a year in space.

It's been a long, busy year for Kelly. Of course he's conducted space walks and experiments, but he's also celebrated a birthday in space,

monkeyed around, given himself a flu shot, consumed space-grown lettuce and played gardener for space flowers.

In the absence of gravity, the human body does strange things -- your bones thin, muscles atrophy. NASA astronauts have also detected cardiac

arrhythmias and decreased heart function in spaceflight. And about a third of American astronauts have developed vision problems.

To better understand these changes, Kelly took part in a bunch studies that tracked how his eyes, his bones, his heart and even his brain changed

due to the microgravity environment.

And NASA had the peter specimen to compare him to, his twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly who was here on Earth.

NASA will continue to collect and analyze data from both Kellys over the coming year. By comparing various tests of the two, the twin studies

gives scientists greater insight into the molecular level changes that as a result of spaceflight.

Now, this is critical, because NASA's goal is to put boots on Mars by the 2030s. In order to do that, we have to have a better understand of how

to keep our future astronauts healthy and safe.

The data from Kelly's mission and the twin study, will help NASA how to figure out how to create and manage those safeguards.

While NASA isn't about to find another pair of astronaut twins any time soon, they do hope to conduct more long duaction space missions like

Kelly's in the near future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: All right, everyone. That does it for us. I'm Zain Asher. That was Connect the World. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great

evening wherever you are.

END