The Democratic Primaries: Biden’s Big Day Out
With all votes counted from Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday, the old horse is back in the lead.
After Former Vice President Joe Biden’s slip-ups in Iowa and New Hampshire, his downward spiral seemed unending after Senator Bernie Sanders dominated Nevada, almost earning 50 percent of the vote. Sanders grew his delegate lead and seemed to be the clear frontrunner heading into South Carolina. Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Pete Buttigieg all won counties in Nevada, while Biden failed to win a single county within the state. Despite his shortcomings, Biden earned nine delegates while Sanders earned 24 and Buttigieg earned three.
The most crucial state for many candidates’ campaigns came in the last voting state of February: South Carolina. The state was considered a must win for Biden, while it was Steyer’s last shot at the nomination. The key in South Carolina was winning the African American vote, and it turned out to be what delivered Biden the victory in the state. Earning 61 percent of the African American vote and 33 percent of the White vote, Biden claimed victory with almost half of the overall vote, winning every single county and earning 38 delegates, putting him back in the race. Sanders only earned 15 delegates which allowed Biden to narrow Sanders’ ever-diminishing lead.
After this crushing defeat in his home state, Steyer dropped out of the election, ending what was a fruitless campaign at the presidency. Also leaving the field were Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar, just before Super Tuesday.
On March 3rd, Sanders’ lead in the biggest state of California and was a tight race in Texas. Biden was projected to win about six to seven states, while Sanders was projected to win seven to eight. Senator Elizabeth Warren was also projected to win her home state of Massachusetts. What occurred was the unprecedented comeback of the original front runner: Biden.
Biden received key endorsements from Buttigieg and Klobuchar to bolster his campaign numbers in states like Minnesota, Klobuchar’s home state. Biden over-performed and won Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Maine. It didn’t end there, as he over performed in states like California, picking up a substantial amount of delegates. With all of these factors combined, Biden was able to earn 519 delegates from Super Tuesday, Sanders earned 448, Warren earned 56, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg earned 54. After all this, Biden holds a total of 573 delegates, leading Sanders’ 508 delegates, followed by Warren’s 64 delegates.
Following a terrible performance on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg suspended his campaign, spending $560 million to earn 53 delegates.
Going forward, Biden resumes as the frontrunner, leading a narrowing field. The battle within the democratic party between Biden’s moderation and Sanders’ extreme policies will only intensify in the coming months.