Takeaways From Super Tuesday

Biden pulls off 'monumental' comeback
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2020 5:45 AM CST
Takeaways From Super Tuesday
Bernie Sanders arrives at a primary night election rally in Essex Junction, Vt., Tuesday, March 3, 2020.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Bernie Sanders won the biggest prize on Super Tuesday—but the wider result was a stunning victory for Joe Biden, who scored wins in at least 9 of the 14 states that voted, including Texas, analysts say. "They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing," the former vice president told supporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. The candidate, whose campaign appeared to be on the ropes before his big win in South Carolina Saturday, "cleaned up across the board," writes Sarah Frostenson at FiveThirtyEight. "He performed well in states where he wasn’t even really competing, and he proved he’s more than a regional candidate." Some takeaways:

  • Momentum is with Biden. Ryan Lizza at Politico calls the result "one of the most monumental political comebacks in the history of party primaries." He notes that Biden, now seen as a frontrunner with momentum, was helped by strong support from black voters and the Democratic establishment—as well as the exit of centrist rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar—but may have gotten the biggest boost from the "jackpot" of his landslide win on Saturday. According to one estimate, "the amount of positive coverage he received after the polls closed in South Carolina was worth over $100 million."
  • A "bitter blow" for Sanders. The senator is still very much in the race—and could regain his delegate lead when the full California results are released—"but he faces some serious questions," writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. "He lost at least two states on Tuesday night—Minnesota and Oklahoma—that he had won against Hillary Clinton four years ago," Stanage writes. "The loss of Texas was a bitter blow. He also appears to have lost the black vote again by dramatic margins, a crucial factor in his losses across the South." The surge of younger voters that Sanders had predicted also largely failed to materialize.

  • This could be it for Bloomberg. This was a terrible result for Bloomberg, who failed to meet his target of hitting at least 15% in most Super Tuesday states and is rumored to be considering dropping out of the race in the days to come. The former New York City mayor "staked his entire campaign strategy on dominating the Super Tuesday states," writes Daniel Strauss at the Guardian. "He poured almost $500 million into advertising and field staff in these states," but the only victory the big spend secured was in American Samoa, which only has six delegates.
  • Warren, too. Warren will also face some serious questions after a fourth-place finish in California and most southern states, Aaron Blake writes at the Washington Post. In her home state, Massachusetts, she was behind both Biden and Sanders. "Warren has been picking up some key endorsements in recent days, but without a win and with that Massachusetts rebuke, what’s the argument for her candidacy?" he asks.
  • A two-person race. The results show that the contest has "effectively narrowed to a two-man race," and made it certain that the Democrats will "nominate one of two septuagenarian white men with conspicuous political baggage," Matt Flegenheimer writes at the New York Times. "If nothing else, a Biden-Sanders matchup is the logical venue for the party’s foremost ideological debate about the proper scope and ambition of government—about whether Mr. Trump is a symptom of longstanding national ills or an 'anomaly' ... whose removal should be the party’s chief animating priority," he writes.
(More Super Tuesday stories.)

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