After the Nevada Democratic Primary former Vice President Joe Biden had been beaten down. He had yet to put together a strong performance in Iowa or New Hampshire and Senator Bernie Sanders had crushed him in Nevada to take a commanding lead. Political pundits and analysts wondered how much longer he would remain in the race. Biden placed all of his weight on South Carolina and Super Tuesday the week after. And it worked.
Despite a New York Times report that Bernie Sanders was looking to deal the final blow to a Biden campaign that was looking feeble, the Former Vice President bounced back in South Carolina. Nearly half of the votes went to Biden with Sanders in second place trailing by almost 30 points as he received just under 20% of the vote.
After he won South Carolina, key moderate Candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, dropped out and endorsed Biden. It is rumored that Former President Barack Obama spoke to Buttigieg personally asking him to endorse Biden. Outside of Micheal Bloomberg whose record reflects more of a centrist than a true democrat, the moderate lane was cleared for Biden.
This allowed Biden to surge at the perfect time. Super Tuesday is a pivotal moment in the democratic primary, where one-third of the delegates are up for grabs when 14 states vote. It includes so many delegates because big states like California and Texas vote with smaller states like Vermont and Maine. Primary candidates take home delegates from each state equal to the proportion of the vote that they received.
Biden used this momentum to not only win the most delegates on Super Tuesday, but to take the lead with the most delegates overall and is now the definite front-runner. The former Vice President swept all of the southern states, winning every voting state from North Carolina to Texas. His victories in the south are largely attributed to his connections from campaigning there in years past and his association with Former President Obama, a popular figure in the predominantly African-American electorate of the south.
While Senator Bernie Sanders did not do as well as hoped, he still had a strong showing. He secured Utah, Colorado and his home state of Vermont. He is presumed to win California, the largest prize of the Super Tuesday states as well. With 90% of the votes reporting he has a nearly 10 percentage point lead over Joe Biden in the state.
It was a tough night for primary contenders Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg. Senator Warren was defeated in her home state of Massachusetts by Biden.
Former Mayor Bloomberg performed decently in many states receiving more than 15% of delegates in most of the voting Super Tuesday states. But it was hard to see his path forward as he won only 11 delegates in the Super Tuesday contest, when both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden won over 200 in the same contest. Bloomberg announced Wednesday following Super Tuesday, he would be dropping out of the race and endorsing Joe Biden. The endorsement cements the race as a moderate Democrat in Biden against a progressive movement in Warren and Sanders.
Senator Elizabeth Warren presents a potential problem for Senator Bernie Sanders as well. Both are popular voices for a left of center progressive movement. Because of this Warren being in the campaign makes it difficult for Sanders to gain on the former vice president, because her popularity eats into his votes. This likely helped Joe Biden steal Minnesota from Senator Sanders along with an endorsement from Amy Klobuchar.
Let's be clear, the democratic primary is far from over. But it does seem to be a two horse race. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have amassed large leads and it will not be a surprise to see their competition drop out in the coming weeks.
With the remaining two thirds of the democratic electorate to vote in the coming weeks, a lot could change. Senator Sanders has a strong message and campaign that has proven it will fight until the bitter end. But Biden’s "come from behind" victory, after many considered him nearly out of the race two weeks ago, cements him as the clear winner of Super Tuesday.