Tumultuous Super Tuesday leaves Sanders trailing a Biden surge

Mia DiLorenzo, page editor

After Sanders won all three early primary states by an overwhelming margin, the Vermont senator seemed to have secured the Democratic nomination weeks before March 3. The large number of moderate candidates in the field almost guaranteed a Sanders victory; after Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out days before Super Tuesday, the race became much more uncertain. 

Going into the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29, former Vice President Joe Biden was the projected winner. Polling about 10 points above Sanders, he was predicted to come away with a strong victory. What wasn’t anticipated, however, was the overwhelming support for him in most other states on Super Tuesday. His success can likely be attributed to two other key endorsements from South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar.

After a nationwide Biden sweep, Sanders’s saving grace ended up being the state of California, where 33.8% of the state’s delegates were added to his share. This can largely be attributed to his organizing among first time and Latinx voters, who hadn’t previously been involved in political engagement. His other victories included Utah, Colorado, and Vermont, which he was expected to win. 

The path forward for Sanders is a relatively uphill battle—he will be competing against Joe Biden, now bankrolled by New York billionaire and former mayor Mike Bloomberg. However, the remaining states may prove to be a solid potential victory for Sanders. In 2016, Michigan voted for the Vermont senator over Hillary Clinton, who later would go on to receive the Democratic nomination. The most recent poll for Washington shows that Sanders is in a comfortable 6 point lead over Biden, which will prove to be useful as he attempts to regain control of the race.

Earlier today, Massachusetts senator and former frontrunner Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the 2020 race. This announcement comes after a third place finish in her home state during Super Tuesday, where she was initially expected to win over Sanders and Biden. No endorsement announcement has been made yet, though the Sanders campaign stated during their press conference yesterday that they were speaking with Warren to discuss next steps.

With Warren’s campaign gone, the race narrows to a Bernie versus Biden competition. Sanders has repeated his intent to gather unmotivated voters and working class families involved in the political sphere, whereas Biden is running on a platform of moderate stances in hopes that he will attract more center-left to center-right individuals. Warren’s potential endorsement may play a large role in the race, as her substantial support has the opportunity to sway eligible voters towards a certain candidate.