(FamilyRetirementClub.com) – Everyone knew Super Tuesday was going to bring a lot of drama and a clearer picture in the Democratic primary. And many people had predicted that Joe Biden would do fairly well, closing the gap at least a little between him and Bernie Sanders.
But how well Biden did on Super Tuesday — when 14 states plus American Samoa voted — was a shock to most.
Biden claimed victories in at least nine states Tuesday, including states in which he either hardly campaigned or ignored altogether. He scored what is considered an upset in Texas and surprised many with wins in Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Other states in which he secured victories are Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Sanders won in Vermont, Colorado, Utah and the biggest prize of all — California. Maine is still undecided at this point, with Biden and Sanders neck and neck.
Despite Sanders’ big win in California, projections by NPR and the Associated Press actually have Biden ahead in the race now, claiming 453 delegates compared to Sanders’ 382.
Only a week or so ago, it looked like Biden was dead in the water and Sanders was far ahead. But things have changed quickly since Biden trounced everyone in South Carolina. He has seemingly benefitted from the momentum caused by that win, plus the official endorsements of prominent Democrats, including some candidates who recently dropped out of the race.
Candidates need 1,991 delegates in order to guarantee their nomination on the first ballot at July’s Democratic National Convention, so there is still a long road ahead for both Biden and Sanders. The road which was once so smooth is much bumpier now for the Vermont senator, though.
It should be concerning to Sanders that not only did Biden secure a lot of victories, but he did so in states where he hardly campaigned. Biden’s camp didn’t campaign in most Super Tuesday states and never even set up field offices in a few of them. Sanders had more people on the ground in California than Biden did nationwide.
In more than half the states he won Tuesday, he didn’t even campaign in (five out of nine). Biden has seen strong results from African-American voters in the south, which could prove beneficial as primaries in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi are still to come this month.
Sanders had polled well with Latinos, but he was stunned by Biden in Texas. The late endorsement by Beto O’Rourke, the former representative from the state, certainly went a long way in helping him there.
While the path forward to victory isn’t quite clear just yet, one thing seems to be: That Biden and Sanders look to be the only two candidates with much of a realistic chance. Elizabeth Warren has claimed only 50 delegates thus far, and Michael Bloomberg has only 44 to his name — despite the millions of his own money he’s spent campaigning.
Guess this is a two horse race for sure now.