Super Tuesday
March 4, 2020

Will Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) remain in the 2020 race after Super Tuesday?

That's the question pundits were asking after the senator's disappointing night, as she not only failed to notch a single Democratic primary win but also came in third place in her home state of Massachusets. Now, Politico reports the mood in her campaign is "bleak" as officials "wonder whether a path forward exists."

Prior to polls closing on Super Tuesday, Warren had announced several new campaign stops, and as results were coming in, she sent out a new fundraising pitch. "There are six more primaries just one week away, and we need your help to keep up the momentum," the campaign said.

Last week, Warren said during a town hall event that "a lot of people made $5 contributions to my campaign to keep me in it, and as long as they want me to stay in this race, I'm staying in this race."

But Politico notes that Warren's Super Tuesday finish was "far below their own publicly-released projections," as the campaign thought she could come in the top two in eight states, but she didn't end up above third place in a single one. Some allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday began publicly urging her to bow out of the race.

"Imagine if the progressives consolidated last night like the moderates consolidated, who would have won?" Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted on Tuesday. President Trump, meanwhile, asserted in a tweet Wednesday morning that Warren's decision to stay in the race is "so selfish," wondering if Sanders will "ever speak to her again." Brendan Morrow

March 4, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden went into Super Tuesday as an underdog, but after winning at least nine of the 14 primaries, he ended the night in pole position, or close to it. Biden began his surge with big victories in the South, fed by lopsided support from black voters and white suburbanites, and he ended by scoring an upset victory in Texas over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the previous frontrunner.

"A big problem for the Sanders theory of this race is that when turnout is high, he wins," The Washington Post's David Weigel noted. "Turnout is way up, but the most reliable new voters are Biden-curious suburbanites." The "Sanders coalition is sticky, but so far, it's static," CNN's Jeff Zeleny adds. "Sanders has argued again and again that he can build the biggest coalition of voters," but "in many cases his votes have gone down" from 2016. Sanders did increase his support among Latino voters, CNN's Zachary Wolf points out, but the young voters he promised would turn out for him failed to materialize.

Addisu Demissie, former communications manager for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), notes who did show up:

"Sanders didn't get wiped out on Tuesday night — far from it," Ezra Klein writes at Vox. "But he is, in a way, running the wrong campaign," positioning himself as "an insurgent facing down a corrupt Democratic establishment" when he notched his early victories "as a Democrat, not a revolutionary." Sanders "needed to pivot to a strategy that would unite the existing Democratic Party around him," Klein adds. His plan to "turn out enough new voters" to "sweep away the Democratic establishment and build his own party" failed from the start, and Team Sanders quickly needs to accept that "if you treat voters and officials in the party you want to lead as the enemy, a lot of people in that party aren't going to trust you to lead them." Peter Weber

March 4, 2020

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.

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."

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. Peter Weber

March 4, 2020

Turnout in Virginia's Democratic primary surged to more than 1.3 million voters, from about 783,000 in 2016 and 986,000 in 2008. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who won the state decisively, said Tuesday night that "the turnout turned out for us" in Virginia, and "there is some evidence he is correct," The Washington Post reports. "Of the voters who sat out the 2016 primary and cast ballots in 2020, Biden won nearly 60 percent, according to a Washington Post statistical model."

As in South Carolina on Saturday and other Southern states on Tuesday, Biden's win was fueled by black voters and self-described moderate white Democrats, especially in the northern Virginia suburbs, as MSNBC's Steve Kornacki explained.

The surge in Democratic voters is "a great sign of Democratic engagement, but it also shows how much bluer the state has become," former Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu tweeted. The Virginia Democratic Party agreed, snapping back at the Virginia Republican Party.

Somehow, elections used to happen without Twitter. Peter Weber

March 4, 2020

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and onetime Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville will face off March 31 in a runoff for the Alabama Republican Senate nomination.

Sessions spent 20 years as a Republican senator representing Alabama, stepping down in 2017 in order to serve as President Trump's attorney general. After a difficult tenure, during which Trump routinely mocked Sessions and said he wished he chose someone else to serve as attorney general, Sessions was forced out in 2018.

With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Tuberville had 33 percent of the vote, with Sessions close behind at 31 percent. Because neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the primary's votes, they are being forced into a runoff. The winner will go up against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November.

In a 2017 special election held to fill Sessions' vacant seat, Jones defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court judge who was accused of sexual misconduct by several women. Moore decided to run again this year, but came in a distant fourth place. Catherine Garcia

March 4, 2020

President Trump played pundit on Tuesday night, tweeting that he believes Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg are the "losers" of Super Tuesday.

Bloomberg, Trump declared, was "the biggest loser." He actually received his first primary win in American Samoa, but Trump skipped over that, instead accusing Bloomberg's "'political' consultants" of taking him "for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!" Bloomberg is worth an estimated $64.2 billion, and is the world's ninth wealthiest person.

Trump then set his sights on Warren. She too was "the loser of the night," he declared. Warren is projected to come in third place in Massachusetts, and Trump suggested a way she can drown her sorrows. "Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer!" he said. Catherine Garcia

March 4, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won the California Democratic primary, The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times projected Tuesday night. California, with 415 pledged delegates, is the biggest prize of Super Tuesday, though the Democratic Party apportions delegations proportionally, so Sanders won't win all 415. According to CNN exit poll estimates, Sanders won 38 percent of the vote versus 23 percent for former Vice President Joe Biden, 15 percent for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and 11 percent for Mike Bloomberg. If Warren stays above 15 percent, she would get some of California's delegates; if not, she gets none.

California is the fourth Sanders win of the night and the most important on a Super Tuesday unexpectedly dominated by Biden. Peter Weber

March 4, 2020

Some voters in Texas spent hours waiting in line at their local polling place on Super Tuesday, something that came as no surprise to those keeping an eye on the state's population growth.

At Texas Southern University in Houston, a historically black university, voters waited for four hours to cast their ballots. Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, tweeted, "This is what voting in Texas looks like after Supreme Court gutted Voting Rights Act."

In the 2013 case of Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to give nine states, most of them in the South, the ability to change election laws without receiving advanced approval from the federal government. Since 2012, Texas has closed 750 polling places, and Berman said in the 50 counties that gained the most black and Hispanic residents between 2012 and 2018, 542 polling sites were shut down.

Voters in Southern California faced a different problem, with many Los Angeles County residents waiting in long lines due to malfunctioning voting machines. Polls officially closed at 8 p.m., but Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign requested an emergency temporary restraining order and injunctive relief in order to keep polling places open so everyone can "exercise their constitutional right to vote."

The campaigns of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also appealed to the California Democratic Party to keep the polls open. As long as a voter is in line before polls close, they are allowed to vote, and the California Democratic Party is sending representatives to sites around Los Angeles County to let people know their rights, Politico's Christopher Cadelago reports. Catherine Garcia

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