UPDATE, 11:03 PM PT: Joe Biden was projected to win Texas, one of the largest Super Tuesday delegate prizes, in a surprising victory over Bernie Sanders.
NBC News, the Associated Press and The New York Times called the state for Biden, who has won 9 of the 14 states that voted on Tuesday. Biden’s candidacy looked like it was on life-support until he placed second in Nevada and won South Carolina by a lopsided margin.
Biden held his final pre-Super Tuesday rally in Dallas, where he got the endorsement of Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who dropped out of the presidential race last fall.
PREVIOUSLY, 10:00 PM PT: Voters are still in line at polls in California, which the Associated Press projects will be won by Bernie Sanders, but the story of Super Tuesday is the revival of Joe Biden’s campaign.
Joe Biden's Campaign Gets Pre-Super Tuesday Boost From Showbiz Figures
Against Sanders, who was collecting tens of millions monthly in small-dollar contributions, and Michael Bloomberg, who shelled out more than $500 million in the race, Biden may emerge as the delegate leader. He won in states where he spent nothing on ads and in place where he had no organization.
CNN’s Dana Bash said that Biden’s turnaround is “one of the most historic comebacks that I have ever covered,” while cautioning that the race is not over.
Jake Tapper noted that John McCain has a “Lazarus-like rise” in the 2008 cycle, but “that was over the course of months. This was over days.”
With Michael Bloomberg reportedly ready to reassess his campaign, and Elizabeth Warren losing her home state, the next Democratic debate, scheduled for March 15, likely will look much different than any other. It could again change the dynamics of the race, as the focus on the Biden vs. Sanders face off will be a very clear choice on two different visions of the future of the party.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:05 PM PT: Bernie Sanders will win the biggest prize of Super Tuesday, the California primary, the Associated Press projected.
News networks said that Sanders held a lead in California as polls closed at 8 PM PT.
Sanders was leading Joe Biden in the next biggest state of the night, Texas. Together, Texas and California had half of the delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday.
The AP call so quickly after polls closed indicated a significant win for Sanders, which would help him collect a greater portion of the state’s 415 delegates.
PREVIOUSLY, 7:42 PM PT: Joe Biden celebrated his Super Tuesday wins so far by telling supporters in Los Angeles that “we are very much alive.”
“The don’t call it Super Tuesday not nothing!” he said.
“For those who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign,” Biden said.
His speech was interrupted briefly by “Let Dairy Die” protesters, who blocked by Jill Biden and were quickly rushed off the stage by one of Biden’s advisers, Symone Sanders. On MSNBC, Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary for Barack Obama, said on MSNBC that Biden and Bernie Sanders need Secret Service protection. “What happened tonight was nothing short of scary,” he said.
A lighter moment came when Biden made a gaffe. As he was speaking he turned and introduced his wife, Jill, but it was his sister, Valerie standing near him. Then he did his sister Valerie, as his wife.
“You switched on me,” he said. The Republican National Committee quickly tweeted out the video.
Meanwhile, networks called another two states for Biden: Arkansas and Massachusetts, the latter the home state of Elizabeth Warren. Sanders was declared the winner in Utah.
Biden also got some other good news. George Conway, the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, tweeted that he maxed out to the Biden campaign.
NBC News’ Chuck Todd said, “It’s more likely now that Joe Biden has more delegates at the end of tonight than Bernie Sanders. That in itself is not only an upset, even with a Bernie Sanders win in California, it’s hard to see how it’s not going to turn out that way and if that is the case, if Joe Biden leaves Super Tuesday with more delegates than anybody else, it will be nearly impossible for Sanders to stop him.”
Biden’s wins in states like Minnesota and Massachusetts were particularly surprising, as he had spent little or nothing in those states on ads and had little to no organization.
“In a 48 hour period, he has gone from a joke to a juggernaut,” said CNN’s Van Jones.
PREVIOUSLY, 7:21 PM PT: Bernie Sanders spent much of his remarks to his supporters warning that Democrats could not beat Donald Trump “with the same old, same old kind of politics.”
“What we need is a new kind of politics that brings working class people into our movement,” Sanders told supporters in Vermont, even as Biden has been winning states in the east and south as early returns came in,
Sanders spent much of his speech focusing on his rivals. Without attacking Joe Biden by name, he criticized his votes for “disastrous” trade agreements, and criticized him on his record on Social Security and other issues.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:53 PM PT: Joe Biden was declared the winner in Minnesota, where his campaign raced to get an ad on the air on Tuesday in which the state’s senator, Amy Klobuchar, endorses him after getting out of the race.
Biden so far has also been declared the winner in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina.
Bernie Sanders was leading in one of the biggest delegate prizes of the evening, Texas.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:43 PM PT: Bernie Sanders got a bit of good news by winning Colorado, his first Super Tuesday win outside his home state of Vermont, the Associated Press projected.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, added Oklahoma and Tennessee to his wins, after being declared the victor in Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama earlier in the evening.
But the race is still too close to call in one of the bigger prizes of the evening, Texas. Sanders holds a slight lead over Biden.
Michael Bloomberg will win delegates, but some of the TV commentary has been on how the results so far have been a bust for his campaign.
“When you spend that kind of money on air, people know your blood type,” said CBS News’ John Dickerson. “He’s in everyone’s living room, almost literally.” But the campaign strategy is faltering, he said, because voters “don’t like him the more they hear from him.”
PREVIOUSLY, 5:38 PM PT: Michael Bloomberg tried to put the best face on early Super Tuesday returns by telling supporters in Florida by noting how high he rose in the polls.
“No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible: In just three months, we have gone from 1% in the polls to a contender for the Democratic nomination.”
He’s right, but Super Tuesday will be measured in delegates, and he so far has won only American Samoa while Joe Biden has won Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama. Bernie Sanders was declared the winner in Vermont.
Bloomberg’s speech was carried on MSNBC and Fox News but not CNN, which stuck to John King’s deep dive into the night’s returns.
Bloomberg did get in a dig at President Donald Trump, who had mocked Bloomberg’s pizza eating skills in a tweet earlier in the evening.
“Unlike the president, I didn’t come here to golf, or to reveal classified information to Mar-A-Lago members,” Bloomberg said of his visit to West Palm Beach, not too far from Trump’s digs. “I came here because winning in November starts with Florida.”
Bloomberg said that he can win states like Florida that Democrats lost in 2016. “I know we can do it, and you know who else knows it? Donald Trump. And that’s why he keeps attacking us on Twitter.”
Bloomberg’s record spending has been an ongoing theme of the evening’s coverage.
On MSNBC Brian Williams said that Bloomberg “was not having the night he thought he paid for, not having the night he was hoping for.”
ABC News’ Cecilia Vega marveled at the amounts being spent. “This is an anecdotal thing, they are feeding the supporters who have showed up here, there’s wine flowing, there’s food flowing. There is no shortage of money in this campaign. He’s spent more than $176,000 on ads per delegate up for grabs on this Super Tuesday. This money is just unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”
PREVIOUSLY, 5:01 PM PT: Joe Biden continued his Super Tuesday winning streak, as he was declared the winner of Alabama, after winning Virginia and North Carolina earlier in the evening.
Polls closed in five other states at 5 p.m. PT — Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee — but were too early to call. Some of the polls also closed in Texas.
The fact that Sanders wasn’t immediately called the winner in Maine and Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts was taken as another signal that this will be a less-than-expected evening for their campaigns.
On Fox News, contributor Donna Brazile took a shot at Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric against the “establishment,” noting Biden’s strength with African-American voters.
She said, “I want to just say something, Bernie. I am a member of the establishment. Deal with it. Stop this anger toward people who work to establish a Democratic party that works for everyone. I am a black woman that did not have the right to vote when I was born, but I have the right to vote now. And the fact that Bernie is using all of his time, a candidate who is talking about, you know, enlarging the electorate and he is saying establishment people cannot be in the process? I’m in the process, Bernie.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Brazile went off on Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Brazile told McDaniel to “go to hell” after McDaniel tried to foment Democratic divisions by suggesting that the primary process was rigged against Sanders.
PREVIOUSLY, 4:33 PM PT: The night is young, but it’s looking like a good Super Tuesday so far for Joe Biden.
Coming off a win in Virginia, the ex-Veep has been declared the winner in North Carolina with its 112 delegates.
“Feels good, I don’t know what the outcome of the actual results are, but it feels good and we’re feeling optimistic,” Biden told MSNBC at a campaign stop in L.A. as the results from the Old Dominion. “I think we are going to do good in some other states as well,” the man many counted as DOA up until his South Carolina win on February 29.
Overall, 1,344 delegates are at stake tonight with Biden and Bernie Sanders vying for the heart and head of the Democrats. In that vein, Michael Bloomberg has won American Samoa. The six delegates for the three-term ex-NYC Mayor are the first for the one time Republican billionaire in his first time on a Democratic ballot
PREVIOUSLY, 4:02 PM PT: News networks kicked off the first results of Super Tuesday, the most consequential day of the 2020 election so far, with Joe Biden declared the winner in Virginia while Bernie Sanders was projected to win Vermont.
Unsurprisingly, Sanders was expected to win his home state, but Biden’s early and seemingly easy victory in Virginia signaled that his blowout win in South Carolina on Saturday may have greatly changed the dynamics of the presidential race in his favor.
“Tonight, we may be asking if Bernie Sanders has a firewall in California,” pondered MSBC analyst and Washington Post columnist Gene Robinson on this Super Tuesday as that super result for the ex-VP came in from the la d of Thomas Jefferson that Sen. Sanders had invested considerable time in for hopes of snagging some of Virginia’s 99 delegates. Another MSNBC talking head had his own take on what was going down:
Bernie invested a good bit of time in Virginia. For the networks to call it for Biden straight up at 7pm suggests a good night for @JoeBiden. https://t.co/SIvPJyNl1m
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 4, 2020
With a primary moved up from its usual June date, the Golden State’s 416 delegates are the most of any state on this big night.
After counting down to the first results, networks quickly made their first calls, with their projections based on exit polls gathered throughout the day.
Fourteen states, including California, representing more than one-third of the Democratic delegates, have primary races on Tuesday. The results likely will reshape the race, in what many pundits predict will end up as a race between Sanders and Biden.
The election contests also are a make-or-break time for Michael Bloomberg. After spending more than $500 million on the race, he is finally on the ballot, in a test of his strategy bypass early primary states for maximum impact across the country. But Biden’s win in Virginia, where Bloomberg reportedly spent $18 million on TV and radio ads, is a disappointment for his campaign.
“The amount of return that Mike Bloomberg is getting on this investment is something that he has to look into,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper, in what may be an understatement of the evening.
Elizabeth Warren also is hoping for a surprise finish in some states, as many of her supporters complain that she is being ignored by the media — and even other campaigns. Asked about her campaign by a reporter earlier on Tuesday, Bloomberg, in a bit of snark, replied, “I didn’t realize she was still in. Is she?”
Sanders has benefited from consistent enthusiasm, particularly among younger voters, at rallies that well outdraw his rivals. A rally in Los Angeles on Sunday, headlined by Public Enemy Radio, drew more than 10,000.
Biden, meanwhile, saw a flood of media attention on Monday as he garnered the endorsements of former rivals Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke.
Some 1,344 delegates are at stake.
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