(WASHINGTON) — As Super Tuesday, the single biggest day of voting in the 2020 primary election cycle, rolled into Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden swept southern states and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led in the delegate-rich state of California.
Here’s how the day unfolded:
8:50 p.m. Biden camp names new national co-chair looking to capitalize on Super Tuesday momentum
Looking to build off of its impressive slate of Super Tuesday victories, the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden is naming its third national co-chair, Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.
“Yesterday, Joe Biden showed the country what I have known for a long time: there is no other leader with more experience, heart, or determination for this moment,” Blunt Rochester wrote in a statement released by the campaign Wednesday. “I am honored to join Joe’s campaign as a national co-chair and build upon the incredible energy and enthusiasm we are witnessing across the country for Joe. Together, we will grow this campaign into an even stronger movement that turns out voters to the ballot box in November and ensure we make Donald Trump a one-term president.”
Blunt Rochester, who was first elected to Congress in 2016 and endorsed Biden on the day he announced his candidacy, joins Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as national co-chairs at a time when the Biden campaign is looking to capitalize on a strong showing on Super Tuesday and build out its staff to compete with Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate race that will ultimately decide the nomination.
“Lisa has been with me since day one, and I am grateful that she will be taking on this important role on our campaign. Lisa and I have been in the trenches together, and her continued support is invaluable to me personally and this campaign,” Biden wrote Wednesday announcing the move, referencing his close personal relationship with his home state congresswoman.
The campaign also announced Wednesday that it has raised $7.2 million since the beginning of Super Tuesday, a sum that outpaces Sanders and looks to allow for further expansion in the coming weeks as more critical primaries loom later this month in Michigan, Arizona, Ohio and Florida.
6:25 p.m. As the race winnows, Gabbard shows no signs of stopping
In a fundraising email to supporters on Wednesday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s deputy campaign manager signals that the campaign is going full steam ahead.
After winning a single delegate in America Samoa, Gabbard traveled from Michigan to Washington, D.C., where she will stay for a few days before hitting the trail again.
Gabbard’s team put forth a $1 million fundraising goal which they reached on Super Tuesday.
5:55 p.m. Update: pledged delegates count
Of the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday, only one has yet to be projected, and it’s a gold mine for delegates: California. Among the 1,344 delegates up for grabs from Super Tuesday, 595 have yet to be allocated, meaning 749 have already been awarded the candidates.
As the votes continue to trickle in from several states, Biden currently leads in the overall delegate race, the popular vote and in the hunt for Super Tuesday delegates. He’s also won the most states so far. But Sanders currently holds a single state edge over Biden in the number of states where he has won some delegates, since he has delegates in all 14 states, while Biden does not currently have any delegates in Utah — for now — where the vote is still outstanding.
Here where the numbers stand as of 5:55 p.m. (EST):
Total delegate count (including early states)
Popular vote for Super Tuesday so far
Winners scoreboard (how many states they’ve won so far and where)
Biden: 10 (NC, VA, AL, TN, OK, AR, MN, MA, TX, ME)
Sanders: 3 (VT, CO, UT)
Bloomberg: 1 (AS)
Super Tuesday delegate scoreboard (how many delegates they’ve won so far and where)
Biden: 380 AL-25, AR-12, CA-83, CO-5, ME-7, MA-32, MN-36, NC-35, OK-11, TN-21, TX-42, VT-5, VA-66
Sanders: 328 AL-3, AR-5, CA-135, CO-13, ME-7, MA-27, MN-26, NC-15, OK-6, TN-10, TX-38, UT-3, VT-10, VA-30
Warren: 28 CA-1, CO-3, MA-17, MN-5, TX-1, VA-1
Bloomberg: 12 AS-4, AR-2, CO-5, TX-1
Gabbard: 1 AS – 1
In California, Sanders is still leading and Bloomberg is still not viable statewide. California vote count (54% of expected vote reporting): Sanders 34%, Biden 25%, Bloomberg 14%, Warren 12% and Gabbard 1%.
In Maine, which was projected for Biden earlier Wednesday, the expected vote has ticked up slightly to 94%, but the margin between the top two contenders currently remains the same. Maine vote count (94% expected vote reporting): Biden 34%, Sanders 33%, Warren 16%, Bloomberg 12% and Gabbard 1%.
1,991 pledged delegates is the magic number to secure the Democratic nomination on the first ballot at July’s convention in Milwaukee.
4:54 p.m. Biden touts campaign as a ‘movement’
Coming off a series of Super Tuesday wins, Biden spoke in Los Angeles and described his campaign as a “movement.”
“We welcome all those who want to join us … and we need that movement to beat Donald Trump, and to build a future we all know is possible,” Biden said. “Those of you who have been knocked down, those of you who have been counted out, this is your campaign.”
He also warned against infighting among the Democrats still running for president.
“What we can’t let happen in the next few weeks is let this primary turn into a campaign of negative attacks. The only thing that that can do is help Donald Trump,” he said.
Biden did not take questions from reporters, saying there will be plenty more chances “as we go along.”
“As I’ve said from the beginning, character is on the ballot. Not only the character of the candidates but the character of the nation,” he added.
3:21 p.m. Biden projected win Maine
Based on analysis of the vote, ABC News projects that Biden will win the Maine primary.
With the addition of Maine, Biden has secured 10 Super Tuesday states.
Maine has 24 delegates up for grabs, and so far Biden and Sanders have earned at least seven delegates each.
ABC News’ Kendall Karson reports.
12:57 p.m. Trump on Super Tuesday: ‘It was a great comeback for Joe Biden’
President Donald Trump called Super Tuesday an “incredible comeback” for former Vice President Joe Biden’s and celebrated former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s exit, saying “he made a fool out of himself.”
At the conclusion of a pool spray of a meeting with airline CEOs, the president joked with reporters that no one had asked him about the election. Then the questions started.
On Biden: “It was a great comeback for Joe Biden, incredible comeback when you think of it”
On Warren: Calling her a spoiler for Bernie Sanders, the president said she “was the single biggest factor in that election last night…in a very selfish way.” Had she not been in the race last night, the president predicted, the night would have broken in Bernie Sanders’ favor and not in Biden’s: “Had she gotten out it would have been a very different night.”
On Bloomberg: The president called him a “spiteful guy” and said he “made a fool out of himself.” Speaking of both Steyer and Bloomberg, the president said “One thing this whole thing has shown is you can’t buy an election
ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps reporting.
12:36 p.m. Looking ahead: 2020 Democrats’ post-Super Tuesday TV ad spending.
Three of the four remaining 2020 Democrats are looking forward, already reserving more than $8 million worth of airtime in states that are set to further shape the primary field in coming weeks.
Sen. Bernie Sanders in particular, is wasting no time in launching an aggressive post-Super Tuesday ad blitz, taking at least seven new ads to the air this morning, including one featuring former President Barack Obama and another one attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, which has been running as a digital ad since January.
The Sanders campaign has about $5.3 million TV and radio ads in 10 different states that have started running this week, including seven figures in Florida and six figures in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is “talking to her team to assess the path forward” after Super Tuesday, has about $1.7 million scattered about 11 states, and former Vice President Joe Biden, enjoying a big win from Super Tuesday, has about $1.1 million in three states — Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi.
Michael Bloomberg, who just ended his presidential campaign, had more than $9 million airtime reserved post-Super Tuesday.
ABC News’ SooRin Kim reporting.
11:38 a.m. And then there were four…
There are four candidates left in the race for the Democratic nomination:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
And here’s the timeline of the Democratic candidates who have exited the race since December.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg –3/4
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar – 3/2
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg – 3/1
Billionaire Tom Steyer – 2/29
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick — 2/12
Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang — 2/11
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet — 2 / 11
Colorado Sen. John Delaney — Jan. 31
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — Jan 13.
Author Marianne Williamson — Jan 10.
Former House and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro — Jan. 2
California Sen. Kamala Harris — Dec. 3
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock — Dec 2
Former Rep. Joe Sestak — Dec 1
ABC News’ Kendall Karson and Ben Bell reporting.
11:11 a.m. Biden camp responds to Sanders’ ad featuring Obama
The Biden campaign has already issued a response to Sanders’ new ad featuring President Obama’s praise, pointing again to the Vermont Senator’s reported consideration of a primary challenge to Obama in 2012, and other critical statements Sanders has made about Obama in the past.
“As recent history has proven, no quantity of ads can rewrite history – and there’s no substitute for genuinely having the back of the best president of our lifetimes,” a statement from Biden spokesman Andrew Bates partially reads.
The campaign also sent a link to their TV ad blasting Sanders that ran during the South Carolina primary entitled “Can’t Be Trusted,” which also features 2011 audio of Sanders saying: “I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.”
10:40 a.m. Trump: Bloomberg ‘didn’t have what it takes’
President Donald Trump responds to Bloomberg, his bitter rival, announcing he’s leaving the 2020 race.
“Mini Mike Bloomberg just ‘quit’ the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn’t have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost,” Trump said in a tweet.
He also criticizes Bloomberg endorsing Joe Biden.
“Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face,” Trump said. “It won’t work!”
10 a.m. Bloomberg drops out of 2020 Democratic primary, backs Biden
Michael Bloomberg is withdrawing from the 2020 primary this morning, and endorsing Joe Biden as he exits the race.
Bloomberg says in a statement that, after the Super Tuesday results, he did not see a viable path to the nomination.
“I’ve had the chance to work with Joe on those issues over the years, and Joe has fought for working people his whole life. Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States.” Bloomberg said.
10:05 a.m. Aide: Elizabeth Warren to asses ‘the path forward’
ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett and Sasha Pezenik report a Warren campaign aide says, “Elizabeth is talking to her team to assess the path forward.”
Another campaign staffer said that the whole staff received an email, “saying our campaign is gonna announce [Elizabeth Warren] talking to team about next steps.”
9:50 a.m. Clyburn: ‘A bit surprised’ by how well Super Tuesday went for Biden
Rep. Jim Clyburn, the influential South Carolina Democrat, said Wednesday morning that he was a bit surprised by how well Super Tuesday went for Biden.
Clyburn endorsed Biden last week ahead of Saturday’s key South Carolina primary, a victory that triggered a resurgence of Biden’s campaign.
“It did go better than many of us expected. To be one point ahead in Maine, I didn’t expect that,” Clyburn said on CNN. “To be winning Massachusetts, I did not expect that at all.”
At the same time, Clyburn said he is not surprised by the victory in Texas.
He said if he were Elizabeth Warren or Mike Bloomberg, he would reassess, adding that he hopes Bloomberg will “coalesce” around Biden.
8:44 a.m. Biden’s big comeback, but many delegates yet to be allocated
In the all important race to 1,991 pledged delegates — the magic number to secure the Democratic nomination on the first ballot at July’s convention in Milwaukee, Biden finds himself in the front of the pack, with ABC News estimating he’ll pick up at least 326 from Super Tuesday’s haul.
The 1,344 delegates up for grabs in Super Tuesday’s 15 contests represent 34% of total pledged delegates — and more than half have yet to be allocated to candidates.
As of Wednesday morning, both California — which has a whopping 415 delegates — and Maine remain too close to call.
Citing extreme wait times and technology failures in the Golden State, the Sanders campaign even filed a complaint late Tuesday demanding that Los Angeles County polls stay open late. Texas, too, saw voters lined up through the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Sanders campaign had expected a sweeping Super Tuesday win, but with the last-minute departures of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg from the race and their endorsements of Biden, those expectations were disrupted.
Biden hugely benefited from the consolidation of those moderate candidates, pulling huge upsets in Klobuchar’s home state of Minnesota and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home state of Massachusetts. In total, nine states have been called in Biden’s favor — Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — bringing his total pledged delegate count to 379 as of 8 a.m. ET.
Meanwhile, Sanders has taken wins in three states — Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont — bringing his total pledged delegate count to 313.
It’s a tale of two parties: Biden sweeps among black, suburban and older voters, while Latino and young voters sided with Sanders. Electability was the primary concern among voters across exit polls, but health care was polled as the electorate’s most important issue.
The race now appears to be one between Biden and Sanders, with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Warren failing to make any significant inroads.
Bloomberg, the billionaire who spent more than half a billion dollars on advertising alone, didn’t win a single state Tuesday, only taking home a win in American Samoa’s territorial caucus, which had the least amount of delegates — six.
As of 8 a.m. ET he has only 12 delegates so far. While he’s almost sure to pick up more, it wasn’t the showing he had hoped for when he skipped out on the first four early states, in hopes of raking in the delegates on Super Tuesday.
When his campaign manager was asked on Tuesday whether Bloomberg had given any thought to dropping out and endorsing Biden, he said, “I think we’ll find out today how successful Mike has been, or how successful the vice president has been, and I expect one of them to be the nominee, and I expect the other to be supporting that person.”
Warren came in third in her home state, prompting calls from progressives for the party’s left to consolidate.
According to ABC News’ exit poll analysis, Sanders is leading in California while Biden appears likely to take Maine.
But in addition to California, the other most delegate-rich state that voted Tuesday, Texas, still has 148 unassigned delegates. While ABC News projected Biden the winner, with 93% of the expected vote in as of 8 a.m. ET, Sanders is only trailing by three points, meaning he may pick up a significant amount of delegates there, despite losing the state.
Unlike the Republican Party, the Democrats have no “winner take all” states, so the delegates are all allocated proportionally to candidates who get at least 15% of the vote at the district level and/or statewide.
Biden seem like the big winner on Tuesday, but simply winning states doesn’t win a candidate the nomination. The delegates are what really matter, and when the rest are allocated, it may look like a closer race than it does only based on how many states a candidate can claim victory.
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