Super Tuesday Live Updates: Biden bags Texas in resounding finish, Sanders wins top prize California
Many Democratic voters in Super Tuesday's presidential primaries made up their minds just before casting a ballot — and Joe Biden appears to be benefiting from their indecision
Bernie Sanders seized victory in Super Tuesday’s biggest prize, California, while a resurgent Joe Biden scored wins in Texas, the upper Midwest and African American strongholds in the South, in a dramatic offensive.
Joe Biden officially won the Texas primary, barely skimming past Bernie Sanders in the delegate-heavy state. The race was called five hours after most of the Lone Star state's polling places closed. Winning Texas is considered one of the biggest prizes on Super Tuesday because of its 228 pledged delegates. Furthermore, it also gives a glimpse into the larger dynamics at play for the Democratic nomination.
The two Democrats, lifelong politicians with starkly different visions for America’s future, were battling for delegates as 14 states and one U.S. territory held a series of high-stakes elections that marked the most significant day of voting in the party’s 2020 presidential nomination fight. Read full report on Sanders' California win here.
The clash between Biden and Sanders, each leading coalitions of disparate demographics and political beliefs, peaked on a day that could determine whether the Democrats' 2020 nomination fight will stretch all the way to the party's July convention or be decided much sooner.
It was increasingly looking like a two-man race.
Klobuchar, Buttigieg 'made to bow out' to help Biden campaign
Biden’s campaign received a major boost after his rivals Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar dropped out from the presidential race within a few days of each other after he swept South Carolina. Buttigieg, Klobuchar and another former candidate Beto O’Rourke endorsed Biden to imply that the party’s moderate votes were consolidated behind Biden and the socialist Sanders’ momentum was broken.
Speaking to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), John Dinan of Politics and International Affairs at the Wake Forest University, North Carolina, said, “It is reasonable to assume that some conversations have taken place between Democratic Party officials and strategists and several of the presidential candidates whose campaigns were faltering, such as Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, for the purpose of encouraging these candidates to drop out of the race sooner rather than later, with an eye for consolidating support for Joe Biden and making it more difficult for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination.”
Protesters interrupt Biden celebration
Protesters briefly interrupted Joe Biden's Super Tuesday celebratory remarks to supporters in Los Angeles.
Women holding signs reading "Let Dairy Die" stormed the podium where Biden was giving remarks Tuesday night, flanked by his wife and sister. Biden moved to the side as security removed the women.
Protesters from the animal rights group have interrupted recent campaign events in Nevada and California. Topless women with "Let Dairy Die" written on their chests protested a Bernie Sanders campaign event earlier this month. As soon as the women were removed, Biden resumed his remarks, seemingly unfazed.
Bloomberg to reassess after disappointing results
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will reassess on Wednesday whether he should stay in the race after getting disappointing results in Super Tuesday primaries despite spending more than a half-billion dollars on his campaign.
A person close to the Bloomberg campaign confirmed the deliberations. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter by name and requested anonymity.
Sanders adds Utah to kitty
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders bagged his third victory for tonight in the state of Utah with 29 delegates at stake for Democrats. Early results in the state had showed Sanders with a lead of 32.7% of the vote shortly after polls closed.
Biden wins Minnesota with Klobuchar's endorsement
Former Vice President Joe Biden has won Minnesota's Democratic presidential primary. The state has 75 delegates at stake.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's abrupt withdrawal from the presidential race gave Bernie Sanders a sudden opportunity to lock up her home state on Super Tuesday. Instead, Biden won the state after receiving Klobuchar's endorsement.
Bad night for Elizabeth Warren
Super Tuesday polls are emerging as the worst-case scenario for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who is running third even in her home state. Warren, so far, is below the 15 percent threshold required to win delegates in today's polls.
The Senator is also not appearing to do well with her best demographic group — white college-educated women — as she has secured just 40 percent of their support.
The disappointing result in the state she represents and a decidedly underwhelming showing in other Super Tuesday contests — she had built an impressive campaign infrastructure stretching across much of the country — marked a striking collapse for the onetime favorite of progressives who was known for having a plan for nearly everything.
On top of mediocre showings in the first four contests — she never finished higher than third place — Warren trailed significantly in the delegate count. Tuesday’s results could speed her exit from the race.
Trump slams Bloomberg for licking his fingers amid coronavirus fear
Trump lashed out at former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg for his 'dangerous' behavior after a viral video showed him eating food from boxes and licking his fingers in Virginia
A tweet accompanying a video showed the billionaire candidate eating food from packets and licking his fingers during the Super Tuesday at a campaign stop in Virginia. Trump called out "Mini Mike" and said it was "unsanitary" and "dangerous". Bloomberg was seen tearing off a piece of pizza from a box, eating it and licking his fingers and then placing the remaining slice back. Read more here.
Biden clinches Republican bastion Arkansas
Biden has won Democratic presidential primaries in Arkansas, which has 31 delegates at stake.
Arkansas, a solidly Republican state, has seen intense interest from Democratic presidential hopefuls who have crowding airwaves with ads and lining up endorsements. Arkansas' Republican Legislature last year voted to move the state's primary in presidential years from May to March.
Biden has also won Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia.
Biden adds Tennessee and Oklahoma to victories
Biden won the Democratic primaries in Tennessee and Oklahoma, surging above Sanders after clinching key Southern states Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama. Biden has significant support among black voters as seen in his South Carolina primary win on Saturday. He also appears to be winning the support of white voters. Bloomberg, who campaigned in Tennessee on Friday, faced a setback with Biden's win.
The victories in heavily African American states complemented the former vice president's resounding win in last weekend's South Carolina primary. Virginia was especially key because Sanders, a Vermont senator, and billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg heavily contested it over the past week.
The Democratic presidential primary has witnessed an upheaval in the past few days with the top two candidates — former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar — withdrawing from the hotly-contested race. Super Tuesday is set to be the most important day in the 2020 presidential race for the Democrats in their race to take on President Donald Trump with a total of 1,357 delegates at stake. Senator Bernie Sanders and Biden are projected to be big winners today.
Sanders bags Colorado
The Vermont senator has won Colorado, which offers 67 Democratic delegates. The state switched from a caucus to primary system this year. The state has 67 delegates at stake.
It was Colorado's first presidential primary in 20 years, and Sanders' victory shows how much the Democratic Party can attract independents, still the largest voting bloc in a state that's moved further left in recent elections.
Colorado held presidential primaries from 1992 to 2000, then dropped them to save money. In 2016, voters approved reinstating primaries after complaining about the caucus system of thousands of precinct meetings to start choosing presidential candidates. Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the state's 2016 Democratic caucuses, and he has maintained an enthusiastic base in Colorado ever since.
Voters worried about virus spread back Biden: Exit poll
Several voters appeared concerned about the deadly coronavirus as they headed for the polls on Super Tuesday. In at least five states, including California, North Carolina, and Tennessee, over half of the voters said that a coronavirus resolution was a key factor in their vote, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. At least 67 percent of the voters above the age of 45 in five states considered Covid-19 as an important factor compared to 33 percent under the age of 45. Almost half of these voters considered Biden as their candidate of choice with Sanders coming second.
Polls closed in over six states, some extend voting hours
The primary polls in at least seven states have now closed, including Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and in most of Tennessee and Texas. Reports state that the elections will remain open for another hour in far western Texas while Nashville has extended its poll hours till 9 pm EST because of a tornado in the region. Five other polling sites, which are accomodating displaced voters are also set to stay open till 11 pm EST.
Biden takes key Southern states
The early primary results have showed a big win for Biden who has claimed a resounding victory in three states: Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama. Exit polls state that Biden benefited heavily from his support among black voters, capturing nearly two-thirds of that demographic.
Sanders wins home turf Vermont
The Vermont senator has won in his home state. The 78-year-old is currently holding an election night rally at the Champlain Valley fairgrounds in Essex Junction. Sanders, in 2016, had won more than 5% of the Democratic primary vote in the race against Hillary Clinton.
Bloomberg wins American Samoa caucuses
Former Mayor Michael R Bloomberg of New York has won the caucuses in American Samoa. The billionaire entered the primary race quite late and has not secured any delegates yet. Bloomberg, however, is projected to win significant numbers on Super Tuesday. (With inputs from AP)