Written by Pablo Reid
Super Tuesday is one of the biggest days in the presidential primaries. Fourteen states, including California and Texas, vote on who they want to nominate. The results of the vote are important enough to either sink a campaign or, uplift it– and that is exactly what has happened to Joe Biden’s campaign. Despite being seen as an outsider after his poor performance in Iowa, the former vice president managed to win an unexpected ten out of the fourteen states on Super Tuesday and is now in the lead. His opponent, Bernie Sanders, had been expected to perform strongly but has now slipped slightly behind Biden.
Multiple factors contributed to Biden’s success. The first is the South Carolina primary, where Biden, who had been underperforming for much of the race, finally scored a major victory. This gave his campaign and his voters much needed confidence and momentum. The second, and most immediate, is that two of his opponents, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, quit the race and endorsed him just days before Super Tuesday. Many of the moderate voters who otherwise would have been divided between the candidates now only had one option, a fact that was confirmed by Biden’s sweeping victories in states where Sanders had previously been expected to win, such as Maine, Massachusetts, and Texas (where he won by only 3%). This foiled Sanders’ plan of winning against multiple opponents, since he was now only facing one strong candidate. And finally, many in the Democratic party think that Biden is much more electable than Sanders, meaning that he will be more capable of facing Donald Trump in the real election. This is because of his less radical stance on many issues and is reflected in the fact that Biden won a coalition of states during Super Tuesday, while Sanders was only able to win those that heavily favored him from the start.
Super Tuesday left Joe Biden with 664 delegates and Bernie Sanders with 573, a narrow lead of 91 for Biden. According to polls, Biden now has a lead over Sanders in many of the upcoming states and overall in the race for the nomination. Since Super Tuesday, a further two other candidates have dropped out of the race: Elizabeth Warren (who did not endorse anyone) and Michael Bloomberg (who endorsed Joe Biden). This means that their previous voters will now be able to go to Biden or Sanders, and it will be interesting to see how their choices play out in the upcoming Democratic primaries.