Leading up to this momentous day in the democratic primaries, it was viewed as a two man race between senator Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden. The two are viewed as representing the more progressive and moderate sides of the democratic party, respectively. After Super Tuesday, that mentality has been confirmed by the lack of delegates won by Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg, who dropped out of the race early this morning.
Despite Biden’s slow start in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses, his big win in South Carolina gave his campaign the momentum it needed to take off on Tuesday, winning 408 delegates according to the most recent data. Biden’s support from Black voters, older voters and late deciders won him victories in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. His win in Virginia, which has a considerably diverse electorate, is indicative of Biden’s ability to unite a wide range of democrats.
Biden’s success on Tuesday was aided by the recent endorsements he received from Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. Biden publicly thanked Senator Klobuchar after winning in Minnesota, her home state.
Sanders won the states of Vermont, Colorado and Utah, gaining a reported 344 delegates. California, the Super Tuesday state with the most delegates, has also been called for Sanders, although the delegate count has not yet been released. It is important to note that it is the number of delegates each candidate wins, not states, that indicates their success in the primaries. Still, Super Tuesday could be seen as a warning to the Sanders campaign that the democratic nomination will not be so easily clinched. By coming out on top, Biden established himself as a serious front runner in this race and a strong competitor for Sanders.
For Bloomberg, Tuesday’s primaries were a serious disappointment. The more than $500 million spent on his campaign only managed to secure 46 delegates and one win in the American Samoa caucus. It was this failure to rally support that led him to drop out immediately after and join the other moderate former candidates in endorsing Joe Biden.
Warren’s campaign also left Super Tuesday disheartened, facing an especially upsetting defeat in her home state of Massachusetts. Gaining only 26 delegates, it is widely accepted that she lost her chances of becoming the democratic nominee. This poses the question of how much longer Warren will remain in this race before dropping out and whether or not she will endorse another candidate.
In the remaining primaries, it will be interesting to see whether Biden will sustain his lead or whether turnout will increase among young voters, giving Sanders the numbers he needs to win.
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