Mini-Tuesday 2020: Joe Biden clinches day's biggest prize Michigan; is this the end of Bernie Sanders?

The former vice president succeeded in attracting the group that supported Sanders in his 2016 primary victory over Hillary Clinton, showed exit polls


                            Mini-Tuesday 2020: Joe Biden clinches day's biggest prize Michigan; is this the end of Bernie Sanders?
(Getty Images)

After a disappointing beginning to his primary campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, former vice president Joe Biden made a phenomenal comeback in South Carolina in February end and his momentum has only gained momentum since then. The Super Tuesday of March 3 went to Biden’s favor overwhelmingly as he bagged 10 out of 14 states. And a week later, he clinched three states outright: Mississippi, Minnesota and Michigan.

Does Biden’s win in Michigan, the final results of which could be delayed because of the high number of absentee ballots, means it is almost over for his main rival Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont?

Last Tuesday, Biden registered unexpected wins in states like Texas, Minnesota and Massachusetts and did not concede too big a win to Sanders in California, the biggest prize of all. He entered the Mini-Tuesday with a widening gap in the delegate count. And by bagging Michigan, the biggest state on Mini-Tuesday, he has now ensured that the key states have now endorsed him over his socialist rival.

Sanders looks rattled despite a strong vote base

Sanders defeated former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Michigan in the 2016 primary, albeit closely. The voters — more than 70% of white and more than one-third white non-college educated — should have favored Sanders and yet a defeat to Biden means his campaign has taken a serious beating. Biden, on the other hand, will feel even more energized following his endorsements by former presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both colored senators.

California Senator and former presidential candidate Kamala Harris hugs Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden after introducing him at a campaign rally at Renaissance High School on March 9, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Getty Images)

If Sanders loses Michigan by a big margin, as several post-Super Tuesday polls suggested, he could find his position really weak in the delegate race. Defeats in Mississippi and Missouri would make things worse for the man who had a good start to his campaign by finishing second in Iowa and clinching New Hampshire and Nevada.

According to a CNN report, exit polls showed that Biden’s win in Michigan was carried more by voters who are aged over 65, moderates and black. In fact, the former vice president even did well among groups that backed Sanders in 2016. While the two were in a tight race among men without a college degree, who Sanders won by 22 points four years ago, he witnessed a fall in his lead among independent Democratic voters (from 43% in 2016 to 10% in 2020).

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