Joe Biden projected to win Texas primary in another stunning upset

Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Former Vice President Joe Biden won an upset victory in the Texas Democratic primary on Tuesday, The Associated Press, NBC News, and other networks project, adding to a dominant Super Tuesday for a candidate who had never won a primary before last weekend in his three runs for president. Texas, with 228 delegates, is Super Tuesday's second biggest prize, after California. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who led in early voting in Texas and was ahead in pre-election polls, is projected to win California and three other states. Biden won nine.

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It was a close race in Texas, and not only are votes still being counted, but they were still being cast hours after the polls closed Tuesday night due to long lines. "Nearly half of voters who picked their candidate in the last few days supported Biden," CNN notes, while "only 1 in 5 of the late deciders, just under a quarter of the Democratic electorate, chose Sen. Bernie Sanders." Biden held his closing rally in Dallas on Monday night, during which he was endorsed by three former rivals: Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas).

For Biden, "night went basically as well for him as it conceivably could have," Geoffrey Skelley writes at FiveThirtyEight. "Everything came together, from the withdrawals and endorsements by Buttigieg and Klobuchar, to the surge of late-deciding voters backing his candidacy in a diverse set of states, giving him a broader coalition. The race is probably far from over, but Biden may now be the favorite."

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It remains to be seen how the 228 Texas delegates will be apportioned, but Biden and Sanders will likely have to share them with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is currently polling at above 15 percent.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.