Joe Biden breaks ahead. Sanders falls but stays in the race. Bloomberg is hanging by a thread. Warren is invisible. The final results of Super Tuesday, a key day in the Democratic primaries to choose the candidate for the the US presidential elections.
It seemed like Bernie Sanders was set to become the front runner. It looked like Mike Bloomberg‘s money might make all the difference. But in the end it was Joe Biden, former Vice President of the United States, who came out on top on Super Tuesday. Obama’s former second in command won the most delegates in 10 of the 14 states that went to the ballot on the 3rd of March: Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, won in California, the most populous state, and also topped the polls in Colorado, Utah and Vermont. The other two candidates, Michael Bloomberg and ElizabethWarren, fell behind in the race.
Biden, who served at Obama‘s side for both of his terms, looked like he was in trouble after the results of the first few rounds in February, while Sanders seemed to be the favourite. Everything changed, however, with the primary in South Carolina on the 29th of February. Right when his campaign seemed close to its demise, Biden was able to assemble a moderate front that prevailed over his opponent’s social democratic programme.
But the decisive element affecting the outlook ahead of Super Tuesday was the withdrawal of two centrist candidates from the race, who threw their support behind Biden. In fact, the supporters of both Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar are much more likely to be closer to the former Vice President than Sanders in their political orientation. “It’s a good night and it seems to be getting even better,” Biden said in Los Angeles.
Bernie Sanders lost, but he’s still in the running
Super Tuesday didn’t go as planned for Bernie Sanders. California was a very important victory as it’s the state with the highest number of delegates at stake. Nevertheless, he wasn’t able to build on the results he obtained in the previous primaries, which had seen him gain ample advantage over his rivals.
Despite this, the most left-leaning candidate in the race for the Democratic primaries has not lost his resolve. In a speech in Essex Junction, in his home state of Vermont, he was confident in his belief that overall victory is still possible: “I tell you with absolute confidence: we’re going to win the Democratic nomination and we’re going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country,” he declared, alluding of course to Donald Trump.
Disappointment for Michael Bloomberg
Disappointment was palpable in Michael Bloomberg‘s camp. Even with over 500 million dollars spent on advertising and other initiatives, the billionaire and former Mayor of New York was only able to win the vote in American Samoa, as well as achieving second place behind Sanders in California and Utah. Hardly enough for his candidacy not to be seen as a failure.
Warren’s big Super Tuesday defeat
However, it was Elizabeth Warren who saw the worst results come in on Super Tuesday. Even in her home state of Massachusetts, the senator not only didn’t win, but had to settle for third place. Many are asking themselves whether, at this point, she should withdraw her candidacy, which would benefit Sanders given the closeness of their political stances.
The race to win the Democratic primaries is still long
According to estimates by The New York Times, the number of delegates won by each candidate could be the following. However, the final results won’t be announced for a while (even a few days, according to American press sources). In any case, the race to win the Democratic primaries in view of the presidential elections of November 2020 is still long: the minimum number of delegates ensuring a candidate’s run for the White House is 1,991.
Biden : 660
Sanders : 587
Bloomberg : 112
Warren : 101
It must also be said that the so-called “superdelegates“, of which there are 771, weigh heavily on this equation: they’re the high-ranking party members who will be voting at the Democratic Party convention in July. Among these is Biden himself, given his former role as Vice President. 86 of those in his own position have declared their support for him, against 25 in favour of Sanders. Another 47 were supporting candidates that have left the race and, most importantly, another 544 haven’t yet taken sides.