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🗳️ Happy Super Tuesday. Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,483 words ... 5 minutes.

  • Live coverage all day and night in the Smart Screen atop Axios.com.

🇮🇱 Situational awareness: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led today but was short of a governing majority in the third national election in less than a year. (Reuters)

1 big thing: Sanders crowds see a Trump of their own

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paras Griffin/WireImage

The Bernie Sanders diehards packing his rallies would love to live in a world with Medicare for All, free college and higher taxes on the rich — but they mostly know that's a distant dream, Axios' Alexi McCammond and Stef Kight report.

  • Instead, they're fueled by the movement he's promising to build.

Why it matters: Sanders, on a delegate roll heading into today's 14-state Super Tuesday voting, is looking more and more like a liberal incarnation of Donald Trump circa 2016 — a cultural force who transcends party or policies.

  • His followers have extreme enthusiasm — and modest expectations.
Sanders campaigns in St. Paul yesterday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

We interviewed more than two dozen Sanders rally-goers over the past week in Virginia, which votes today, and in South Carolina.

  • "If he doesn't get it done, it's not because he won't try," said Colton Fagundes, a supporter who said he expects student loan forgiveness under a Sanders presidency.
  • Luke Waldrop, 23, said it's "really just about changing the zeitgeist and American politics."

The bottom line: Many Sanders voters see Trump as having paved the way for a President Sanders.

  • Sanders supporter Jamal Jilao said: "I hope the time of being fearful of using executive orders has been laid to rest."

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2. Bloomberg hangs on as moderates unite behind Biden
Pete Buttigieg endorses Joe Biden in Dallas last night. Photo: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

Mike Bloomberg, who has already poured more than $500 million into his campaign, faces his big Super Tuesday test today after Joe Biden’s South Carolina sweep and triple crown of big endorsements yesterday (Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Harry Reid, Susan Rice).

  • Bloomberg is spending Super Tuesday in Florida, which votes March 17.

Axios' Alayna Treene will be with Bloomberg today as he travels through Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach, where he'll watch tonight's returns.

  • Later this week, he's supposed to hit the swing states of Michigan (which votes March 10), Pennsylvania (which votes April 28), and back to Florida.

At a small event yesterday in Manassas, Va., the former New York mayor told the crowd that he has "won three elections so far, and I don’t plan to start losing now."

  • He added that he talked with Buttigieg and Klobuchar shortly after they dropped out of the race and thought "they behaved themselves well," and that he "felt sorry for them. But I’m in it to win it."
  • During his last Monday stop, a Fox News town hall in Virginia before flying to Miami, he predicted "the most likely scenario for the Democratic party is that nobody has the majority," and it ends in a contested convention: "It doesn't even have to be one of the two leading candidates."

🥊 Joe Biden, 77, accepting the endorsement of Pete Buttigieg, 38, in Dallas last night:

  • "He reminds me of my son Beau. ... I'm sorry to talk about my son Beau so much, but he was my soul. ... I just hope he's proud of me."
  • "And I look over at Pete during the debates, and I think: You know, that's a Beau. Because he has such enormous character, such intellectual capacity and such a commitment to other people."
3. Half of world's sandy beaches threatened by climate change
Caladesi Island State Park on Florida's Gulf Coast. Photo: Craig Litten/AP

Scientists say half of the world's sandy beaches could disappear by the end of the century if climate change continues unchecked, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: "The projected shoreline changes will substantially impact the shape of the world's coastline," more than a third of which is sandy beach, the authors wrote.

Researchers at the European Union's Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, used satellite images to track the way beaches have changed over the past 30 years and simulated how global warming might affect them in the future.

  • By 2100, around half of the beaches in the world are expected to experience erosion of more than 100 meters.
4. Tech hubs aren't sharing the love
Expand chart
Adapted from Brookings Institute analysis of Emsi data; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The superstar cities that already claim high shares of the U.S. digital services economy are only getting stronger, according to a new analysis by the Brookings Institution, writes Axios' Kim Hart.

  • Why it matters: The tech industry's success along the coasts is not dispersing to other regions that have been passed over in terms of job creation, deepening America's already stark geographic divides.

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  • 🏙️ Sign up for Kim Hart's weekly newsletter, Axios Cities.
5. NBA warns against high-fives
The Lakers' Anthony Davis and LeBron James high-five during last month's NBA All-Star Game. Photo: Nam Huh/AP

In a memo to teams, the NBA told players to avoid high-fiving fans or strangers, and avoid taking items for autographs, in response to the coronavirus crisis that has spread to most corners of the planet.

  • "Corona," the New York Knicks' Bobby Portis said as he offered some fist-bump greetings last night. (AP)
6. What Matters 2020: Automation and the future of work

Illustration: Axios Visuals

As part of our What Matters 2020 series on the critical trends that will outlive this moment, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei and I taped seven short videos discussing topics of consequence to society.

  • Today's conversation is centered on the rise of robotics and AI and what it means for work.
  • Why it matters: The What Matters 2020 topics are our way of breaking with the rest of media to focus not on daily shiny objects, but the topics that will shape the next decade.

Watch the video.

7. Chris Matthews booted
Chris Matthews talks with Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 during a "Hardball College Tour" stop in West Chester, Pa. Photo: Charles Ommanney/Reportage for Getty Images

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki, pinch-hitting on "Hardball" last night after Chris Matthews announced his forced resignation at the top of the hour, remembered Matthews' "boundless energy and curiosity [when] I first watched Chris when I was a teenager in the mid-1990s."

  • Chris Hayes, host of the next hour, started his show by saying he had watched Matthews in his dorm room at Brown, covering President Bill Clinton's impeachment.
  • Matthews published "Hardball," the book about the crude dynamics of politics that was the show's namesake, in 1988 — 32 years ago.
  • Here's how long Matthews was in the game: Open the book of historic L.A. Times front pages to the day President Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981, and there's a UPI story quoting Chris Matthews, spokesman for House Speaker Tip O'Neill.

Matthews, 74, stayed at the punch bowl of live TV too long. He quit after new attention to a string of leering comments about women over the years, including colleagues, public officials and guests. He began the show:

Let me start with my headline tonight: I'm retiring. This is the last "Hardball" on MSNBC. And obviously, this isn't for lack of interest in politics. As you can tell, I have loved every minute of my 2o years of host as "Hardball." Every morning I read the papers, and I'm gung-ho to get to work. Not many people have had this privilege. ...
The younger generations out there are ready to take the reins. We see them in politics, and the media ... They are improving the workplace. We're talking here about better standards than we grew up with — fair standards. 
A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other. Compliments on a woman's appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK were never OK — not then, and certainly not today. And for making such comments in the past, I'm sorry. ...
So let's not say goodbye but: 'til we meet again.

See the video.

8. Plouffe's doubleheader
Covers: Viking, Henry Holt

David Plouffe, President Obama's campaign manager in 2008, is out today with a pair of books — one for adults and one for young people — with the common theme: You can do this.

  • "A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump" is rawer: "Lord knows what [Trump will] do on Twitter heading up to Election Day."
  • "Ripples of Hope," aimed at 10- to 15-year-olds, is more aspirational: Election night "will be a lifetime memory, win or lose."

Plouffe told me the books are out on the same day because he's "hoping families will talk about what they can do to defeat Trump — and if parents and kids are both reading the respective books they can make the best plan together for the general election."

9. Charlie Kirk leads Trump youthquake
Cover: Broadside Books

Charlie Kirk, 26, a favorite of President Trump's, is out today with "The MAGA Doctrine," a manifesto for the young "Make America Great Again" crowd.

  • Kirk is founder and president of Turning Point USA, a conservative youth activist group on over 2,000 high school and college campuses.
  • The book became an Amazon #1 bestseller after Trump tweeted Sunday night that a Kirk interview on Fox News was "Amazing!!! ... This is a really GREAT book. Support Charlie Kirk!"

Kirk told me his favorite page is Page 8: "Trump has swept aside an astonishing number of conservative taboos, once-dominant institutions, and once-unbreakable rules ..."

  • "[T]he Republican Party is in some sense no longer a conservative party, no longer the party of Reagan, but instead a Trump-remade populist party."
10. 1 game thing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

One of the world's biggest esports leagues is working with Nielsen to develop the first-ever comprehensive measurement system for viewership of esports broadcasts, Axios' Sara Fischer writes.

  • Tournaments are often watched both live and after-the-fact, since audiences are global and span different timezones. Aspiring players also like to rewatch games to learn from other gamers' techniques.

Why it matters: Esports audiences are growing so big that they are beginning to outpace traditional sports viewers globally.

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