Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders solidified themselves as the Democratic Party’s top candidates after 14 states all voted for their choices on “Super Tuesday,” setting up a one-on-one race for the party’s presidential nomination and the opportunity to run against President Donald Trump in the November general election.
Biden’s campaign rebounded mightily: With the wind of Saturday’s big South Carolina win at his back, he won at least seven states as of Tuesday night, with more results still being counted.
Sanders, who came into Tuesday with wins in Nevada and New Hampshire, won at least three states.
No other candidate, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, won a state, though Bloomberg did win America Samoa’s caucus.
The close results between Biden, 77, and Sanders, 78, sets up a race between the Democratic Party’s more moderate center and its more progressive left as the rest of the primary season plays out in 32 states over the next three months.
“We were told when we got to Super Tuesday that it was going to be over,” Biden told supporters in California on Tuesday. “Well, now it might be over for the other guy.”
Biden, who has built his campaign on the argument that he is the most electable candidate to face Trump and return the country to the legacy of President Barack Obama, made a strong push to overtake Sanders this week following his momentous win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday. Crucially, to some observers, that double-digit victory was followed up by endorsements from former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who dropped out of the race after South Carolina.
The former vice president’s renewed success comes after poor showings in the first two primaries — coming in fourth place in the Iowa Caucus and a distant fifth in the New Hampshire primary.
But Biden picked up momentum with a second-place finish in Nevada, behind Sanders.
“It’s looking good,” Biden said Tuesday night. “I’m here to report: We are very much alive.”
Sanders lost his lead over Biden in the national polls, according to RealClearPolitics, as votes were still being counted Tuesday night. The Sanders campaign is now looking to regain momentum surrounding his campaign as nearly three dozen states still wait to hold their primaries.
“We are not only taking on the corporate establishment, we are taking on the political establishment,” Sanders, who built his presidential ambitions on bold policy proposals to address health care, education and more, told supporters in Vermont.
“It is our movement that is best positioned to beat Trump,” Sanders said. “You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics.”
The next Democratic primary contests will be held Tuesday, when Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington all vote.
Arizona, Illinois, Florida and Ohio hold their state primaries the following Tuesday, March 17.
Primaries for the remaining states will continue to take place until early June, ahead of the mid-July Democratic National Convention where the party will officially nominate its candidate to run against Trump for the presidency.
The eventual Democratic nominee will need at least 1,991 delegates to earn the nomination. More than 1,300 of those were up for grabs across 14 states on Super Tuesday.
Sanders turned his attention to Biden on Tuesday night without directly naming his competitor, telling supporters: “This [race] will become a contrast in ideas. One of us in this race led the opposition to the war in Iraq — you’re looking at him. Another candidate voted for the war in Iraq.”
Biden did the same, telling supporters that they should elect a “proud Democrat,” while both candidates predicted they would win the Democratic nomination and defeat President Trump in November.
But the Trump campaign waved off the Democratic candidates’ rally against the president, who spent Tuesday night making fun of billionaire Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg on Twitter and repeating a racist nickname referring to Warren.
“President Trump will wipe the floor with whatever Democrat is unlucky enough to be the nominee,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement Tuesday night.
See the updated results from Super Tuesday here.
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