Joe Biden gains momentum in Super Tuesday states, Sanders projected to win California

Joe Biden prevailed on Super Tuesday, winning the popular vote in a majority of the 14 states despite early momentum from Bernie Sanders.



Democratic Presidential hopeful Joe Biden takes the stage with his wife, Jill, and sister, Valerie, right, during a campaign rally at the Baldwin Hills Recreation Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Julia Shanahan, Politics Editor

Former Vice President Joe Biden garnered the broadest coalition of support on Super Tuesday, securing the popular vote in eight primary states at the time of print deadline, giving him momentum after a low turnout in some of the early-voting states, including a 15 percent-support finish in Iowa.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who received the highest raw body count from the first and second alignments in the Iowa caucuses — followed Biden in most Super Tuesday states, winning the popular vote in three states at the time of print deadline.

Sanders came into Super Tuesday with more delegates than Biden, but with 1,338 delegates up for grabs Tuesday night, Biden is edging Sanders in overall delegate count.

The country watched Sanders as he entered Super Tuesday with the most delegates and a strong first place in New Hampshire and Nevada, only trailing Joe Biden in South Carolina. Both Sanders and Biden proved they can appeal to voters of color, but Biden was able to edge Sanders in 10 states.

Moderates Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped their bids for the Democratic nomination days before Super Tuesday, throwing support behind Biden. Buttigieg was heavily criticized for not appealing to black and Latinx voters, while Sanders and Biden have been able to pick up support in those constituencies.

In Iowa, Buttigieg narrowly beat Sanders in the delegate count, while Sanders had more Iowans standing in his corner on caucus night. Buttigieg did well in Iowa and New Hampshire, where more than 90 percent of the states’ populations are white.

President Trump did not face serious competition in Republican primaries, receiving the most available delegates in every Super Tuesday state.

The Daily Iowan had reporters in Burlington, Vermont, and various towns in Minnesota to talk with voters about what candidate they chose to support Tuesday night.

Vermont voter Patty Wesley, 62, voted for Biden in Burlington, and said she’s looking for a candidate who she feels has the best chance to unseat President Trump — something the DI has heard from many Democratic voters and caucusgoers.

“I feel like Joe’s got the path, the path to the nomination,” Wesley said. Sanders won his home state of Vermont, garnering more than 50 percent of the popular vote.

She said that while she understands the broad appeal for Sanders’ simple message, she thought that Biden winning more than 50 percent of South Carolina, which has a large black voter base, was powerful, assuring her that he could be the candidate best suited to beat Trump.

Biden won 61 percent of the African American vote in South Carolina, according to exit polls from the Washington Post, while Sanders received 17 percent of that vote.

Minnesota voter Ryan Mayer, 40, said he supported Sanders in the presidential primary because Sanders best aligns with his ideals. Whether or not Sanders will win against Trump, Mayer is unsure.

“Do I think he’s going to win against Trump?” Mayer said. “We’ll see.” He added that he will support whoever gets the Democratic nomination, but said he voted more with his own personal feelings Tuesday.

Another Minnesota voter, Gregory Sensale, 28, said he was deciding between Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but decided Sanders had a better path to victory after watching his support in other states.

“I figured Warren’s path to victory was slowly fading, so between the two, I picked the one I thought was more up front,” Sensale said.

Following Super Tuesday, several states will hold a primary on March 10.