“Super Tuesday II” was a disaster for Senator Bernie Sanders.
The senator from Vermont failed to win any of the pivotal states on the night’s primary docket. He’s now faced with overcoming a daunting delegate lead and a campaign that’s rapidly losing momentum.
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Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden charged to resounding victories in most of the night’s major primaries. Biden is now the undisputed favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and his delegate lead is rapidly becoming insurmountable.
With 125 delegates up for grabs, Michigan was the night’s biggest prize. Four years ago, Sanders stole Michigan from then-favorite Hillary Clinton, but history would not repeat itself on Tuesday night. The final results are still being counted but, so far, Biden has over 52% of the vote, making victory a statistical certainty.
The loss in Michigan was a major blow for the Sanders campaign. Sanders knew Michigan would be extremely important, so he spent extra time campaigning there this week. The Sanders campaign canceled scheduled visits to Mississippi and other states in favor of more appearances in Michigan. The extra attention didn’t seem to help, and it might have even hurt his chances in the other states on Tuesday’s primary slate. Sanders went all-in on Michigan and it looks like Biden has him beat.
It looks like Sanders will take North Dakota but, with only 14 delegates up for grabs, it’s not exactly a game-changer. Both candidates are in a tight race in Washington. Bernie currently leads by a fraction of a percent, but only 68% of the votes are in so far.
The losses paint a bleak picture for the Sanders campaign. It will be virtually impossible for Sanders to overcome Biden’s lead. It’s possible, but Sanders would likely need a contested convention and the support of the DNC elite to make it happen. Given the Democratic establishment’s general sentiments towards Sanders, it seems unlikely that any super delegates would cross the picket line to support him.
The Sanders campaign canceled a post-primary campaign rally in Cleveland on Tuesday and told reporters that the senator will not be making any remarks tonight. He flew home to Burlington, Vt; citing coronavirus concerns. Sanders is left with the difficult choice of whether to continue his bid for the Democratic nod.
Meanwhile, Biden rallied his supporters after winning primaries in Mississippi, Missouri, and Michigan. He extended an olive branch to Sanders’ supporters and encouraged them to unite for the greater good of the party. “I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and passion,” Biden said at a rally outside Philadelphia, “We share a common goal and together we’ll defeat Donald Trump. We’ll defeat him together.”
Biden’s ‘Super Tuesday II’ performance cemented his status as the front runner. Virtually every major candidate who dropped out of the race has gone onto endorse Biden. The only exception is Elizabeth Warren, who is still withholding her endorsement. Biden says it’s time to unite the party.
“Over the past week, so many of my incredibly capable competitors have endorsed me. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Mike Bloomberg, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris,” Biden said at Tuesday’s rally, “Together we’re bringing this party together. That’s what we have to do.”
Whoever wins, the Democrats will have to pull out all the stops to defeat the incumbent President Trump in November. If Biden can’t convert Bernie’s supporters, his chances of besting Trump this Fall are slim.