Sanders and Warren allies reportedly in talks to push a progressive agenda – as it happened

Last modified: 01: 11 AM GMT+0


  • Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden. The billionaire candidate spent $500 million and failed to win a single Super Tuesday state. In an emotional speech to supporters, he said, “I’m just amazed at how many have stood with me shoulder to shoulder.”
  • Congress passed a bill that allocated $8bn to combat coronavirus, as the Trump administration faced continued criticism over its lack of adequate action to contain the outbreak.
  • Bernie Sanders admitted his campaign had failed to galvanize youth turnout to the extent he’d hoped. The Vermont senator did well in California, Colorado and his home state but lost ground to Biden in the east and south.
  • Elizabeth Warren’s surrogates and allies are reportedly meeting with members of Sanders’ team to discuss consolidating progressive support. After a weak performance on Super Tuesday, her chances of securing the nomination have dwindled.

The Trump administration has chosen Marshall Billingslea, a former Bush-era official involved a torture program, as his nuclear envoy. The Guardian’s Julian Borger reports:

Billingslea is currently the under-secretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury. His nomination last year for a top human rights job at the state department was stalled by controversy over the extent of his involvement in the torture programme established by the George W Bush administration, in which he oversaw the conditions of detainees in Guantánamo Bay.

Neither the state department nor the treasury responded to a request for comment, but congressional staffers and former officials said Billingslea had accepted the post.

Update: Symone Sanders, who said she broke a nail yesterday after blocking a protestor who tried to rush at Joe Biden, has gotten herself to the salon.


— Lauren Gambino (@laurenegambino) March 4, 2020

Sanders, who is Joe Biden’s senior advisor, and Jill Biden — the candidate’s wife — emerged as heroes last night after swooping into action when anti-dairy protestors rushed toward the former vice president.

Super Tuesday races you may have missed

While the main focus yesterday was on the race to win the Democratic presidential nomination, some of the down-ballot races were full of drama as well.

Warren shakes hands with Sanders at the conclusion of the ninth Democratic 2020 U.S. Presidential candidates debate in Las Vegas Nevada.
Warren shakes hands with Sanders at the conclusion of the ninth Democratic 2020 U.S. Presidential candidates debate in Las Vegas Nevada. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Surrogates and allies of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are reportedly discussing strategies to unite to push a progressive agenda, the Washington Post reports. The expectation is that Warren, who has persisted despite a series of campaign setbacks, would drop out:

The conversations, which are in an early phase, largely involve members of Congress who back Sanders (I-Vt.) reaching out to those in Warren’s camp to explore the prospect that Warren (D-Mass.) might endorse him. They are also appealing to Warren’s supporters to switch their allegiance to Sanders, according two people with direct knowledge of the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate discussions that are supposed to be confidential.

The whirlwind of activity reflects the rapid changes in a Democratic primary that is still very much in transition. As late as Tuesday, many Warren allies believed she would stay in the race until the Democratic convention, despite her poor showing to date in the primaries, in hopes of retaining her clout and influencing the eventual nominee.


The Guardian’s Saad Ejaz was at Michael Bloomberg’s farewell speech earlier today, here’s his report from the room …

Michael Bloomberg gave his last public appearance as a presidential nominee today, consoling a room full of staff and supporters at a Manhattan Hotel.

“Mike will get it done,” the crowd chanted, rather unenthusiastically, as they waited for Bloomberg.

“I entered the race for the president to defeat Donald Trump,” explained Bloomberg once he took the stage, “And today I am leaving the race for the same reason.”

Super Tuesday marked the first time the billionaire, his message or his money had been tested. The numbers were not kind. “I’ve always believed that data should inform our decision,” he admitted, “After Yesterday’s results, the delegate math had become virtually impossible and a viable path to the nomination just no longer existed.”

Instead, it was time to unite behind one candidate to defeat Donald Trump, Bloomberg said, and that could only be his “friend and a great American” Joe Biden.

“I am glad to say that I endorse Joe Biden, and I hope you will join me in working to make him the next president of the United states,” Bloomberg said of the candidate who, just 11 weeks before, he was unconvinced could beat Trump or run the country.

“He’s never been the manager of an organization, he’s never run a school system,” Bloomberg told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle in December.“The presidency shouldn’t be a training job.”

Earlier today, Mike Bloomberg took the stage one last time as presidential candidate.

Here's what the crowd was like.

— Saad Ejaz (@msaadejaz) March 4, 2020

Many of Bloomberg’s supporters were in a somber mood; some were in tears as the speech ended. “I’m just so sad and disappointed,” said Margaret Brick, who has supported Bloomberg for the past 17 years, “But I think he’s really going to help Joe.”

Other members of the campaign, like Abdul Malik, were not as sure of Joe Biden. Malik had worked with the Bloomberg campaign to increase outreach with people of color.

“I don’t know about Joe Biden yet,” said Malik, “My biggest issue is criminal justice reform and no one else comes close to Bloomberg’s plan.”

Bloomberg himself was overcome with emotion, as he reflected on his campaign’s journey.“I’m just amazed at how many have stood with me shoulder to shoulder,” he said at the verge of tears, “Working and fighting every step of the way.”

“And you do it because you love America as much as I do and that’s all I could ever ask for.”

Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, told CNN that Joe Biden would be a tough opponent in the election.

Lindsey Graham on Trump facing Biden in a general: "I think he would be tough. I think Joe Biden's got a good reputation and he'd be tough, he'd be more moderate than Bernie, but I still think it's Trump's to lose."

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 4, 2020

“I think Joe Biden’s got a good reputation,” said Graham, a Republican senator of South Carolina. “He’d be more moderate than Bernie, but I still think it’s Trump’s to lose.”

Biden’s victory in Graham’s home state is what gave the firmer vice president’s flagging campaign the boost and momentum to take on Super Tuesday.


Chuck Schumer’s team has responded to Chief Justice John Roberts’ reprimand.

In a rare statement, Roberts described a speech that Schumer delivered as the Supreme Court considered a case that could result in grave new abortion restrictions as “threatening”.

Schumer had said that the Trump-appointed justices would pay a price for restricting abortion access.

“Sen. Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” said the senator’s spokesperson Justin Goodman in a statement. “For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.”

Joe Biden: 'Trump poses an existential threat'

After his big Super Tuesday wins, Biden just held a very brief press conference at a Los Angeles hotel, making about a dozen supporters and a large crowd of journalists wait over an hour for roughly seven minutes of remarks. He did not speak about Bloomberg’s departure or his remaining rivals in the race, saying:
“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 can do is help Donald Trump ... Donald Trump poses an existential threat to our standing in the world.”

“What we cant let happen in the best few weeks is let this primary turn into a campaign of negative attacks. The only thing that can do is help Donald Trump.” - Biden in LA

— Sam Levin (@SamTLevin) March 4, 2020

“We are going to take this fight all across America to rebuild the middle class,” said Biden, who appeared relatively subdued in the small hotel conference room at the W Los Angeles in Westwood.

Biden ignored reporters’ questions as he walked out, but briefly responded to one question about criticisms that he is part of the Democratic “establishment”, saying, “The establishment are all those hard-working middle-class people, those African Americans...”

LA mayor Eric Garcetti, a Biden supporter, showed up, but made no remarks.

Lulu Lima, an 18-year-old supporter who also stood behind Biden, told me after that her father is a union member and supporter of the candidate. She said she was grateful to cast her first-ever vote for Biden and felt excited about his surge: “It’s awesome to see what can happen ... It means never lose hope, and in a broader sense, never lose hope for this nation.”

Lulu Lima, 18, stood behind @JoeBiden today at his LA press conference. Her dad is a union supporter. She said Biden’s recent surge was a reminder to “never lose hope.” She said she avoids talking politics with friends or others her age who are Bernie supporters.

— Sam Levin (@SamTLevin) March 4, 2020

Asked if she was confident Biden would win, she said, “All we can do is hope.” She said she avoids talking about politics with friends or others her age who are Sanders supporters: “It’s important for individuals to have their own beliefs.”

Donald Trump’s response to criticisms of his coronavirus response: Thanks, Obama.

The president blamed a federal agency decision during Barack Obama’s administration, which Trump said made it harder to quickly roll out testing for the virus.

“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion,” he told reporters during a White House meeting with airline executives, whom he had called to discuss the economic effects of the outbreak.

“That was a decision we disagreed with,” he said. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason, it was made.”

It’s unclear what decision, exactly, Trump is referring to.

The Trump administration has been criticized for dismantling an Obama effort to respond to global health emergencies more quickly. The president has also come under fire for not rolling out widespread testing for coronavirus more quickly, and spreading false information about the disease.


Sanders held a press conference at his campaign office in Burlington, Vermont.
Sanders held a press conference at his campaign office in Burlington, Vermont. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

Bernie Sanders admitted he hadn’t been as successful as he’d hoped at galvanizing youth turnout.

“Have we been as successful as I would hope in bringing young people in? And the answer is no,” he said, speaking at his campaign headquarters in Vermont. “We’re making some progress. But historically younger people do not vote in the kind of numbers that older people vote in. I think that will change in the general election.”

He told reporters he was “disappointed” by the Super Tuesday results.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” he said. “I would like to win every state by a landslide. It’s not going to happen.”

But he emphasized the importance of upcoming races Michigan and other midwestern states, where he and Joe Biden are competing to win over working-class voters — to whom both candidates seem to appeal.

“Joe and I are running very different campaigns,” he said. “And my hope is that in the coming months, we will be able to debate and discuss the very significant differences that we have.”


Hi, there! It’s Maanvi Singh, blogging from the West Coast.

In a rare statement, Chief Justice John Roberts denounced comments from Senator Chuck Schumer, who spoke at a rally outside the Supreme Court as the court heard oral arguments in a case that could result in new restrictions on abortion access.

“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts said.

Schumer has said that Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — Trump’s Supreme Court appointees — “won’t know what hit” them if they voted to uphold abortion restrictions.

“I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price,” Schumer said.


Today so far

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • The House easily passed a bill aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus. The bill, which lays out $8 billion in funding to combat the health threat, advanced to the Senate on a vote of 415 to 2.
  • Mike Bloomberg delivered an emotional speech to supporters after suspending his presidential campaign and endorsing Joe Biden. The former New York mayor expressed pride in the race he ran, even though the billionaire candidate spent $500 million and failed to win a single Super Tuesday state.
  • Bernie Sanders predicted he and Biden would be “neck and neck” in the nominating contest after California’s delegates are allocated. Sanders was declared the winner of California, where 415 pledged delegates are up for grabs, as soon as polls closed, but Biden’s 10 victories elsewhere will likely give him the lead in delegates.
  • Elizabeth Warren said she was considering next steps for her campaign after a disappointing Super Tuesday performance. Warren’s campaign manager said the Massachusetts senator was “talking with our team to assess the path forward.”
  • US markets rallied after Biden’s strong Super Tuesday showing. After a string of market losses tied to concerns about coronavirus, investors appeared to breathe a sigh of relief about Sanders’ sinking fortunes in the presidential primary.

Maanvi will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Who were the two “no” votes on the House’s coronavirus bill? Republican congressmen Ken Buck and Andy Biggs.

The conservative lawmakers questioned the need for $8 billion in funding to combat the health threat.

However, other House Republicans, including minority leader Kevin McCarthy, said the $2.5 billion originally requested by the White House was “a little low.”

House passes coronavirus bill

The House has passed the $8 billion bill aimed at combatting the spread of coronvirus with a vote of 415 to 2.

The bill will now advance to the Senate, where it is also expected to easily pass.

The $8 billion of funding laid out in the bill marks a significant increase from the $2.5 billion originally requested by the White House, reflecting escalating concern about the health threat.

Some of congressman Matt Gaetz’s House colleagues teased him about wearing a gas mask on to the House floor to vote on the coronvirus bill.

You won’t believe the shoes Matt Gaetz is wearing today. #FloridaMan

— Jim Himes (@jahimes) March 4, 2020

As I just told him, it’s a big improvement in his appearance.

— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) March 4, 2020

UPDATE: still unclear *why* Gaetz is wearing a gas mask on the floor, but I’m told @RepRubenGallego went up to him & informed him he is wearing it wrong.

— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) March 4, 2020

The House is preparing to vote on its $8 billion bill aimed at combatting the spread of coronavirus.

Congressman Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and one of the president’s closest allies, drew attention to himself by wearing a gas mask on to the House floor as he prepared to vote.

Reviewing the coronavirus supplemental appropriation and preparing to go vote.

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 4, 2020

The $8 billion package, which marks a significant increase in spending from what the Trump administration originally proposed, is expected to pass the House and advance to the Senate.

Here’s a funny addendum to last night’s coverage of the protest that disrupted Joe Biden’s speech in Los Angeles:

Symone Sanders, one of the former vice president’s top aides, won Twitter praise after she physically grabbed one of the anti-dairy protesters and dragged her off stage.

Y’all see Symone Sanders come off the line like a pro bowl linebacker. Geesh.

— Billy Michael Honor (@BillyMHonor) March 4, 2020

Sanders responded to the viral video by tweeting this:

I broke a nail. #SuperTuesday

— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 4, 2020

The top Biden adviser has now provided an update that she has made it to the salon to “restore” the nail:

I made it to the nail shop.

— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 4, 2020

Markets rally after Biden's Super Tuesday gains

Following a string of losses tied to concerns about coronavirus, US markets surged the day after Joe Biden notched 10 victories in Super Tuesday states.

Dow surges more than 1,100 points as market rallies after Biden Super Tuesday win, UnitedHealth Group posts best day since 2008

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 4, 2020

Experts attributed the markets’ rally to investors’ relief about Bernie Sanders’ sinking fortunes in the Democraic presidential primary.

Incredible. Check out that one day move.

Healthcare stocks are exploding higher, having their single best day in years after Biden's big night. Just ridiculous amount of relief among investors that Sanders took a hit.

— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) March 4, 2020

If reports of Steve Bullock’s soon-to-be-launched Senate campaign are accurate, it would shift forecasts for the likely outcome of the Montana Senate race:

Crystal Ball would move MT-SEN from Likely R to Leans R if Gov. Steve Bullock (D) challenges Sen. Steve Daines (R)

— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) March 4, 2020

Again, Democrats need to flip four Senate seats (or three seats and the White House) to take control of the chamber.

Democratic senator Doug Jones is likely to lose his race in Alabama, given the conservative leanings of the state, so Bullock’s candidacy would give a needed boost to Democratic hopes of taking back the Senate.

Bullock to reportedly run for Senate, marking a reversal

Steve Bullock, the Montana governor and former Democratic presidential candidate, reportedly intends to run for Senate.

The decision marks a reversal for Bullock, who spent months resisting Democratic overtures to challenge Republican incumbent Steve Daines.

The New York Times reports:

[Bullock] has told Democrats in the last week he is now inclined to run in what would immediately become one of the marquee Senate races of 2020. Mr. Bullock has only a few days to finalize his decision: the filing deadline to run in Montana is Monday. ...

Bullock, who is barred by term limits from running for re-election this year, has faced one of the most sustained lobbying campaigns of any would-be Senate candidate — a reflection both of his potential as a candidate and how badly Democrats need to put another seat in play.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, flew to visit him in Montana last month. And when Mr. Bullock was in Washington last month for the meeting of the National Governors Association, he also met with former President Barack Obama, as was reported by Politico.

Bullock’s candidacy will bolster Democratic hopes of taking back the Senate in November. Democrats need to flip at least three Senate seats to regain the majority, four if they cannot win the White House.

As a popular and well-known figure in Montana, Bullock will prove a formidable opponent for Daines, even though Trump is virtually guaranteed to carry the state in the presidential race.

Senator Kamala Harris appears open to endorsing one of her former presidential primary rivals.

Asked by a CBS News reporter on Capitol Hill whether she intended to endorse, the California senator said, “We’ll see.”

Reports emerged in January that Harris, who dropped out of the primary in December, was considering an endorsement of Joe Biden.

However, Harris did not wade back into the race before her state’s Super Tuesday primary yesterday.

Now that the primary is shaping up to be a two-candidate race between Biden and Bernie Sanders, Harris may be reconsidering her position.

Mike Bloomberg’s emotional address thanking supporters after suspending his presidential campaign came as a surprise to reporters who covered Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of New York.

Mike Bloomberg is tearing up. In twelve years of city hall press conferences, I don't think I ever saw that.

— Andrea Bernstein (@AndreaWNYC) March 4, 2020

Getting a little emotional, Mike Bloomberg expressed his gratitude to supporters who helped power his short-lived campaign.

“No matter what happened, this is the best day of my life, and tomorrow will be even better,” the former New York mayor told the crowd.

Bloomberg also invoked the imagery of Paul Revere hanging two lanterns in Boston’s Old North Church to help Americans fighting the Revolutionary War to reflect on keeping hope alive in the country.

“We will not allow any president to dim that light,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg celebrates now-suspended campaign

Mike Bloomberg addressed supporters after suspending his campaign and endorsing Joe Biden.

“Not sure what to say, except thank you to everyone who tried to make a difference,” Bloomberg said in New York.

The former New York mayor celebrated the reach of his campaign, which he launched in late November.

Bloomberg noted he had visited 73 cities in 27 states since announcing his candidacy and won 2 million votes yesterday, even though he did not win a single Super Tuesday state.

“You really made history, you really did,” Bloomberg told his supporters. “No campaign has accomplished as much as you did in such a short peiod of time.”

The billionaire candidate also applauded his team for pushing back against Trump’s insults. “Every time he hit us, we hit back twice as hard,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said he was now focused on “victory in November.” “Not victory for me or our campaign, but victory for the country,” Bloomberg said.

Turning to his endorsement of Biden, Bloomberg told the crowd, “I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life, and I hope you won’t walk away either.”

Bernie Sanders said he still believes the presidential candidate with the most delegates should be the nominee, even if that person doesn’t win a majority of pledged delegates.

The Vermont senator made a similar comment during last month’s debate in Las Vegas, but he was the undisputed frontrunner at the time.

Now that Joe Biden appears to have taken the delegate lead, there was speculation that Sanders may change his tune, but he is sticking with his stance on the “plurality vs. majority” debate.

For what it’s worth, at the Las Vegas debate, every other presidential candidate, including Biden, said the nominee should have a majority of pledged delegates. If no one has a majority, they said, the rules of the convention should determine the nominee.

Bernie Sanders appeared surprised by the news that Mike Bloomberg had dropped out of the presidential primary earlier today.

"Has he stepped out? ... that's the first I heard about that" -- Bernie Sanders just learned that Bloomberg dropped out during his news conference

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 4, 2020

“First I heard about that,” Sanders told a reporter who asked about the implications of Bloomberg’s withdrawal and endorsement of Joe Biden.

“I suspect we will see a lot of money coming into Biden’s campaign,” Sanders said of Bloomberg’s decision. “Probably a lot of negative ads. That’s what we’re taking on.”


Bernie Sanders said he had talked to Elizabeth Warren earlier today, as the Massachusetts senator faces some calls to drop out of the race.

Sanders said Warren had not made any decisions about the future of her campaign after she failed to win a single state on Super Tuesday.

Sanders did not call on Warren to suspend her campaign, adding that he is “disgusted” by the online vitriol directed at his Senate colleague.

Sanders on Super Tuesday: 'Of couse I'm disappointed'

Bernie Sanders previewed the attacks he will unleash against Joe Biden now that the Democratic primary has effectively become a two-candidate race.

Sanders cited Biden’s support for international trade deals, opposition to Medicare for all and donations from billionaires as areas where the former vice president was vulnerable to criticism.

Sanders said Biden, his former Senate colleague, was a “decent human being” but has a “very different voting record” than him. “Joe and I are running very different campaigns,” Sanders said.

Turning to next week’s primary in Michigan, where Sanders won in 2016, the candidate said his team has the “full expectation and the hope that we will win.”

However, Sanders acknowledged that he was disappointed in his performance yesterday. “Of couse I’m disappointed,” Sanders told reporters, adding that he wished he could carry every state.

Sanders: 'We go forward basically neck and neck'

Bernie Sanders opened his remarks to reporters in Vermont by thanking his supporters who delivered him victories in four states yesterday.

Sanders predicted he and Joe Biden would be “pretty close” in the race for the nomination after California’s 415 pledged delegates were allocated.

“We go forward basically neck and neck,” Sanders said.

NEW: Bernie Sanders on state of race after Super Tuesday: "My guess is that after California is thrown into the hopper, it's going to be pretty close...I think we go forward basically neck and neck."

— ABC News (@ABC) March 4, 2020

“What this campaign is increasingly about is, what side are you on?” Sanders said, arguing his candidacy is aimed at taking on the “entire corporate establishment.”

Sanders also criticized the “political establishment,” which he said was “working frantically to try to defeat us.”

The Vermont senator also bemoaned “the kind of venom we’re seeing from corporate media,” citing comments from former MSNBC host Chris Matthews comparing Sanders’ campaign to the Nazi regime.

The AP has now called every Super Tuesday race, and the final tally is:

  • 10 state victories for Joe Biden.
  • 4 state victories for Bernie Sanders.
  • 0 state wins for Elizabeth Warren.
  • 0 state wins for Mike Bloomberg, who has now dropped out. (But the billionaire did win the territory of American Samoa.)

It’s very important to remember that the margin of victory in each state will be crucial in determining Biden’s net delegate gain from Super Tuesday.

However, it’s undeniable that those numbers were not what Sanders wanted out of Super Tuesday and certainly not what most political pundits were expecting a week ago.

Biden wins the Maine primary

Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the primary in Maine, a state that was considered Bernie Sanders’ to lose just days ago.

With 95% of precincts reporting, Biden leads Sanders by just 1 point and a little over 2,000 votes.

Given the incredibly narrow margin in the small state, Maine will not give Biden much of a net delegate gain over Sanders.

However, the fact that Biden can declare victory in a state that went for Sanders by nearly 30 points in 2016 only gives the former vice president more momentum coming out of Super Tuesday.

Trump addressed conerns about coronavirus while speaking at the Annual Latino Coalition Legislative Summit.

“We’re using every resource at our disposal,” Trump told the crowd. “The heath and safety of our people is our first priority.”

Meanwhile, the House plans to vote on a nearly $8 billion package meant to prevent further spread of the virus in about two to three hours.

As expected, the chair of the House homeland security committee is asking for an immediate review of whether Democratic presidential candidates merit Secret Service protection.

Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote in a letter to congressional leaders and the acting secretary of the department of homeland security that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders appear to meet the criteria for a Secret Service detail.

New - Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson calls on Hill leaders and DHS to "immediately undertake" the process to determine whether candidates need U.S. Secret Service protection

Thompson says Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders "appear to satisfy several of these criteria”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 4, 2020

Bernie Sanders will deliver an update on his campaign in about 30 minutes from his headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.

It’s unclear what update the Vermont senator will offer, but a former top aide to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign predicted Sanders would come out swinging against Joe Biden after the former vice president’s strong Super Tuesday performance:

The day-after playbook for Sanders in spring of '16 usually entailed:
1. Leaking strong fundraising #s from past 24 hrs
2. Sharpening attacks on opponent
3. Naming upcoming state as a 'showdown' to focus narrative on particular contests vs. delegate math

— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) March 4, 2020

House Democrats are reportedly requesting Secret Service protection for presidential candidates, after two protesters ran onto the Los Angeles stage where Joe Biden was delivering his speech last night.

Congressman Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of Biden’s campaign, told reporters that Democratic lawmakers are “worried” about the safety of the candidates.

Biden had so little security last night that, when two anti-dairy protesters charged the stage last night, Biden’s wife and top aide were forced to help get the demonstrators off the stage.

"Let Dairy Die" protesters interrupt Joe Biden #SuperTuesday speech.

— The Hill (@thehill) March 4, 2020

This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Adam Gabbatt.

Elizabeth Warren is facing calls to drop out of the race, after the Massachusetts senator failed to win a single Super Tuesday state.

Allies of Bernie Sanders hope Warren’s supporters will coalesce around him, the other progressive senator in the race, once she drops out, allowing him to run up the score against Joe Biden.

However, it’s important to note that many of Warren’s voters have already drifted to Sanders, so those who are still supporting her may have reservations about both Sanders and Biden. It’s hard to say how those voters will split once she’s out of the race:

That is, the Warren supporters who really like Bernie (or Biden) will probably go to to Bernie (or Biden) *whether or not she drops out*. Many of them likely already have, in fact.

— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 4, 2020

Trump - coronavirus having positive impact on US shops and hotels

Donald Trump held a meeting with airline chief executives earlier, where he claimed the coronavirus is “probably” boosting some US businesses.

“A lot of people are staying in our country and they’re shopping and using our hotels in this country, so from that standpoint I think probably there’s a positive impact,” Trump said. He did not provide date for this claim.

“But there’s also an impact on overseas travel which will be fairly substantial.”

President @realDonaldTrump and Vice President @Mike_Pence met with airline CEOs earlier to discuss the impact of the Coronavirus on air travel.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 4, 2020


•Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race, and endorsed Joe Biden. “After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

•The billionaire former mayor of New York City spent about $500m on his campaign, but won just 44 delegates on Super Tuesday. Bloomberg said he would now work to elect Biden, who: “Has fought for working people his whole life”.

•Elizabeth Warren seems to be weighing dropping out of the race. Her campaign manager, Roger Lau, wrote to staff this morning saying Warren is taking time to “assess the path forward”. The Massachusetts senator, who once led the polls, failed to win a single state on Tuesday.

•Biden is basking in the glow of victory after his strong performance last night. The former vice-president is due to attend a fundraiser in Los Angeles today, and as the only remaining centrist he can expect the cash to start flowing in.

•Super Tuesday was slightly disappointing for Bernie Sanders, but the Vermont senator isn’t quitting the race any time soon. Sanders has a rally in Phoenix, Arizona tomorrow, and another in Michigan on Friday.

As we follow the tumult of the Democratic campaign, there is serious business going on in Washington DC, where the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in case that could result in grave new restrictions on abortion access.

My colleague Lauren Aratani is covering the case of June Medical Service LLC v Russo, the first major abortion case to be heard by the new conservative majority supreme court. The conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were appointed to the court by Donald Trump.

Lauren writes:

The case stems from a state law in Louisiana that requires doctors to be registered to a state-authorized hospital within 30 miles of an abortion clinic in order to be permitted to perform abortions. The state law is meant to heavily restrict access to abortion.

Chief justice John Roberts has set himself up to be a key decider in the case as one of the only potential swing votes on the court. The main question Roberts seemed to be hung on is the similarity of this case versus one the court ruled on in 2016 (which struck down an identical law in Texas).

There are both pro-choice and anti-abortion rallies taking place outside the Supreme Court as the judges listen to the arguments.

#SCOTUS has finished oral arguments in challenge to Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have right to admit patients at nearby hospitals. Key vote likely to be Chief Justice John Roberts, who focused on how to apply 2016 decision striking down similar TX law.

— Amy Howe (@AHoweBlogger) March 4, 2020

Roberts repeatedly asked how the admitting privileges requirement could benefit Louisiana women HERE if it didn’t benefit Texas women in WWH. Asked a variation on that question several times. Louisiana didn’t give a good answer. Also Louisiana’s solicitor general was awful.

— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) March 4, 2020

Mike Bloomberg, we hardly knew ye.

Elizabeth Warren to 'assess path forward'

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is planning to assess the candidate’s path forward, following a disappointing performance in the set of primary contests that voted on Tuesday.

In the email to staff, obtained by the Guardian, Warren’s campaign manager Roger Lau wrote: “We are obviously disappointed, and we are going to announce shortly that Elizabeth is talking to the team to assess the path forward. All of us have worked for Elizabeth long enough to know that she isn’t a lifetime politician and doesn’t think like one. She’s going to take time right now to think through the right way to continue this fight.”

Lau’s email comes after an undeniably bad night for Warren. She won none of the Super Tuesday states and came away with only 50 delegates. Former vice-president Joe Biden came out of the night with 453 and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders got 382.

“And there’s a lot at stake for this country and the millions of people who are falling further and further behind. This decision is in her hands, and it’s important that she has the time and space to consider what comes next.”


Some hot takes are coming in on Bloomberg’s drop out. One thing that’s clear is his current total of 44 delegates, per Associated Press, didn’t come cheap.

By my reckoning – and I have an A-level in Mathematics – Bloomberg’s ~$500m expenditure equates to at least $11.3m per delegate.

Bloomberg spent $500 million, won American Samoa and dropped out.

$500 million.

For context, the federal Summer Food Service Program, which served roughly 2.7 million kids each day in 2018, costs $480 million a year.

— Tara Golshan (@taragolshan) March 4, 2020

Spending $500m for Bloomberg is the equivalent of about $800 bucks for the median US household, so it's not like he'll have to skip his next vacation and cancel a streaming subscription or something. But damn, that is a historic spending spree for a handful of delegates.

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) March 4, 2020

Whether you love or loathe Bloomberg, his money and support will help beat Donald Trump and hopefully help Democrats retake the Senate—and Democrats should all unequivocally embrace that.

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) March 4, 2020

Of course, Bloomberg is only the second billionaire to drop out of the Democratic primary. The former hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer withdrew on Saturday, having spent $250m of his own money in return for zero delegates.

Of course, Bloomberg is only the second billionaire to drop out of the Democratic primary. The former hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer withdrew on Saturday, having spent $250m of his own money in return for zero delegates.

Bloomberg endorses Joe Biden

Well that was quick – moments after we learn that Mike Bloomberg has dropped out, we discover the billionaire has thrown his weight behind Joe Biden.

“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” Bloomberg said in a statement announcing the suspension of his campaign.

Three months ago, I entered the race to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I'm leaving for the same reason. Defeating Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. It's clear that is my friend and a great American, @JoeBiden.

— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) March 4, 2020

“I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.

“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 won 44 delegates on Super Tuesday, but didn’t carry any of the 14 states on offer. (He did triumph in American Samoa, where his 175 votes were enough for 49.9% of the total.)

The former New York City mayor, who is worth about $60bn, spent more than $500m on his campaign, much of it on flashy tv and online adverts.

Michael Bloomberg waves during an event in Florida on Tuesday.
Michael Bloomberg waves during an event in Florida on Tuesday. Photograph: Gustavo Caballero/South Beach Photo/REX/Shutterstock

Bloomberg’s spending brought him a boost in the polls, but he and his campaign were dismantled during the recent Democratic debates – by Elizabeth Warren in particular – and seem to have never recovered.

“Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult,” Bloomberg said on Wednesday.

“I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.”

After Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race over the weekend, Bloomberg was the remaining moderate challenger to Biden. All three have now endorsed the former vice-president, with Bloomberg’s exit seemingly clearing the path for Biden in the states yet to vote.


Bloomberg to suspend campaign

Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is suspending his presidential campaign, according to reports.

Axios reports that Bloomberg will make the announcement today. He has spent more than $500m on his campaign, but failed to make a breakthrough on Super Tuesday.


US stocks jumped more than 2% this morning, according to Reuters: “As investors cheered Joe Biden’s surprise lead in the Democratic primaries.”

Moments after markets opened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 620 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up by 1.6%.

CNBC reports:

Biden’s performance boosted stocks of health-care companies such as UnitedHealth, one of the largest health insurers in the United States and whose equity is sometimes viewed as a bellwether during political debates around the industry. The stock rose 10 percent in extended trading Tuesday night.

It makes sense, given Biden’s healthcare proposal would keep private insurance – Bernie Sanders’ plan would abolish it, which would be Not Very Good for health insurance companies.

Some Wall Street traders.
Some Wall Street traders. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

The self-help guru and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is not happy about last night’s results. Early this morning she described Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday performance as the result of “a coup”.

Williamson endorsed Bernie Sanders in February, and has some advice for any fellow supporters feeling disappointed today.

When things are disappointing on the outside, the key to transforming them lies on the inside. Anger and fear can be aroused by external events, but if we feel the sadness and ask how we might be even better going forward then they can make us even stronger than we were before.

— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) March 4, 2020

Bernie Sanders has pumped out a cheeky ad this morning linking himself to Barack Obama.

“Bernie is somebody who has the virtue of saying exactly what he believes. Great authenticity, great passion, and is fearless,” Obama intones in the campaign advert, over video of the former president palling around with Sanders.

The ad, which has some suspect audio-editing – take a look around the 24 second mark – scans rather like an endorsement from Obama... who is yet to endorse anyone in the race.

Notable this morning: As Biden makes gains, Sanders links himself to Obama in one of his new ads

— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 4, 2020

Ps – this is Adam Gabbatt taking over from Paul Owen, hello!


If you’re waking up in the US after a late-night tracking the Super Tuesday results, here’s a summary of probably the most consequential night of the 2020 presidential race so far.

  • Former vice-president Joe Biden has reclaimed his frontrunner status in the Democratic race, winning in at least nine of the 14 states up for grabs, including Texas and Massachusetts, the home state of Elizabeth Warren, another contender. Only Maine is left to declare.
  • But Bernie Sanders, the leftwing Vermont senator who is Biden’s main competitor, was way ahead in California – which, with 415 delegates, is by far the largest state. Once all the delegates are divided up – which could take days or weeks – Sanders could end up coming out of Super Tuesday with a very similar number of delegates to his centrist rival.
  • This seems to be the end of the line for Warren – and whether she now endorses Sanders will be keenly watched – and for Bloomberg, who has got very little return from the half a billion dollars he pumped into his campaign. The billionaire former New York mayor is apparently due to discuss whether to continue with his advisers on Wednesday.
  • The Democratic race seems now to have clarified and become a straight contest between Sanders and Biden, who are likely to slug it out week by week through the next sets of primaries all the way to the Democratic convention in July.
  • Biden’s comeback has revived speculation about a so-called “contested convention”. If no candidate has got a majority of delegates by the time of the convention, party bigwigs get to play a role. Most of them are terrified of Sanders winning and they may well give the crown to Biden – even if Sanders is ahead at that point. It’s unlikely Sanders’ supporters would take that lying down. This contest is a long way from being over.

Forgive and forget doesn’t really seem to be in Trump’s vocabulary. Here’s how he greeted the news that his former attorney general Jeff Sessions failed to win back his Alabama Senate seat in one fell swoop and will instead face a run-off:

This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

You can refamiliarise yourself with the contents of the Mueller report here.

One of America’s most enthusiastic political commentators has swung in with his early-morning take on the Super Tuesday results.

Donald Trump continued with his attempts to make the case that the Democratic establishment is ganging up to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination – a suspicion shared by many of Sanders’ supporters.

In my view Trump needs to be careful how far he goes portraying Bernie as a valiant outsider. If Sanders becomes the nominee, Trump may find he has lost his edge as the one candidate intent on smashing the system.

The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

Trump then moves more into gossip-mag territory ...

So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race. She has Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly. So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn’t!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

Elizabeth Warren must also be considering her future, especially after coming third in her home state of Massachusetts.

But her campaign was certainly putting on a brave face last night, firing out a bullish email that said: “Here’s the bottom line: There are six more primaries just one week away, and we need your help to keep up the momentum.”

The email adds: “Six more states are voting a week from today on March 10. Can you chip in now as results are coming so we can get to work earning more votes and more delegates?”

According to Politico, the mood in her campaign is “bleak”, however.

The campaign also has financial constraints that come with a unionized staff of over 1,000 people — the largest field operation in the race besides Mike Bloomberg’s — even after raising $29 million in February. With a payroll at over $6 million per month, the campaign likely needs to keep at least several million dollars on hand to cover paychecks, benefits, and other assorted shutdown costs to avoid going into debt. Warren was able to raise a significant amount of that money with her strong debate performances, but there is not another debate until March 15.

Elizabeth Warren: disappointing night.
Elizabeth Warren: disappointing night. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

Axios has more on what Bloomberg might do today as he licks his wounds following last night’s ultra-expensive electoral flop.

Look for Bloomberg to drop out as soon as this morning, and try to save face by promising to spend a helluva lot more to defeat President Trump with someone other than him.

Bloomberg returned to New York after speaking in West Palm Beach last night. Sources expect him to address staff at his headquarters today.

He doesn’t want history to remember him as the spoiler who helps Sanders win the nomination, or hands re-election to Trump.


Where did Bloomberg win?

Not all of Mike Bloomberg’s $500m went to waste. He won the US territory of American Samoa, with 49.9% of the vote. The chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific has a population of around 56,000 and provides six delegates for the Democratic race.

Our incredible team in American Samoa, who calls themselves "Protectors of the Earth," not only got out the vote but took time out of their day to clean up a park.

Together, we will elect a president who believes in climate change.

Thank you all for all that you're doing.

— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) March 3, 2020

The billionaire businessman and former New York mayor had other pockets of success – some of them in comically friendly territory for the super-rich.

In Colorado, Bloomberg won Pitkin County, home of the Aspen ski resort, while in Napa Valley wine country in California he came a close second to Sanders, with 23.9% to 24.7%. But so far he has failed to win a single county in California, the state in which he spent so much money on TV ads.

Maine is the last state to due to be called by AP. With 81% reporting, Biden is ahead by a whisker with 34% to Sanders’ 33%. The state has only 24 delegates up for grabs though.

Meanwhile people are still voting in California and Texas, which have been plagued by long lines and delays. In California and Texas anyone in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote.

The last voter at Texas Southern University has walked out of the voting booth. It took Hervis Rogers nearly 7 hours to vote tonight. #supertuesday2020

— ed lavandera (@edlavaCNN) March 4, 2020

Texas is nearly there with 93% of the vote reported. Biden has been declared the winner by the Associated Press – the gurus in this field – with 34% to Sanders’ 30%.

In California, only 43% of the vote has been counted, but the AP also called that race due to the size of Sanders’ lead. So far he’s ahead with 31% to Biden’s 22%. Sanders’ success in California – which with 415 delegates is by far the largest state voting last night (and generally) – means he remains in contention for the nomination. So far the AP estimates he has 382 delegates in total to Biden’s 453.

The US has an ongoing problem with long lines on polling day – much of it linked to deliberate voter suppression. The Guardian reported yesterday that Texas leads the US south in closing down the most polling stations.

What is a contested convention?

Here’s more on what would probably be a nightmare for Democrats: a contested convention.

This is basically when no candidate gets a majority on the first ballot, and party bigwigs (“superdelegates”) get to swing in and take part in another round of voting.

Sanders’ supporters fear that even if he was ahead in the first round, the superdelegates would hand the nomination to Biden.

Adam Gabbatt has the full details:

New readers start here

What is Super Tuesday again?

We’re in the middle of the race to decide which Democrat will face Donald Trump in the US presidential election in November. Each state gets a vote, and yesterday a big group of states – including two of the largest, California and Texas – got to have their say.

Who was the favourite going into Super Tuesday and why?

Bernie Sanders, the leftwing senator from Vermont, had been the favourite since his landslide victory in Nevada in February, but former vice-president Joe Biden’s win in South Carolina and the withdrawal of Biden’s fellow centrists Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar meant it suddenly became an extremely close-run thing.

Sanders was hoping to fend off Biden and cement his status as indisputable frontrunner.

Biden was hoping for a strong enough showing to make the case that he can pull ahead of Sanders, unite the centrist wing, and eventually win the race.

So what happened?

Biden had a great night and has probably reclaimed his former status as frontrunner from Sanders.

He won in at least nine of the 14 states up for grabs, including Texas, and he beat Elizabeth Warren, another leftwing contender, in Massachusetts, her home state.

But Sanders looks to be way ahead in California. Once all the delegates are divided up – which could take days or weeks – Sanders could end up coming out of Super Tuesday with a very similar number of delegates to his centrist rival.

What seems clear is that this is now a two-horse race between Sanders and Biden.

So no one has won yet?

No … The race goes on. There is another set of primaries next week which Sanders hopes will give him another boost.

But it may be that Sanders and Biden now slug it out state by state, week after week, all the way to the Democratic convention in July.

If no candidate has got a majority of delegates by the time of the convention, party bigwigs get to play a role. Most of them are terrified of Sanders winning and they are likely to give the crown to Biden – even if Sanders is ahead at that point.

If that happens, Sanders’ supporters will be absolutely furious and many may refuse to vote for Biden in the general election.

What happened to Mike Bloomberg?

The former New York mayor has spent about half a billion dollars on his campaign ads so far – a record-breaking amount. But he’s worth $60bn. To put that in context, that’s the equivalent of someone whose net worth is $10 grand, say, spending $1 on the election. It’s nowhere close to breaking the bank for him.

That said, there will be a great deal of pressure on him now to give way and back Biden too. He won his first two elections as mayor of New York as a Republican and he is not a fan of Sanders and his socialist platform, to put it mildly.

He is apparently planning to hunker down with his advisers on Wednesday and decide what to do next.

What about Elizabeth Warren?

On paper Warren could have been the ideal candidate to unite the liberal and centrist wings of the party but she only really cut through in her powerful attacks on Bloomberg. She has been squeezed out by Sanders on the left, and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that sexism has also played a role.

Her campaign suggested last week that she would keep fighting and hope to be handed the crown at the convention if Sanders fails to win a majority of delegates. But that may be untenable and after coming third in her home state this is probably the end of the road for her.

The big question is whether she will throw her weight behind Sanders or Biden. Liberals have often fantasised about Sanders making Warren his vice-president and you’ll hear a lot about that again now.

Whether he will or not I don’t know, but I’d say it’s a near-certainty that both Sanders and Biden intend to choose a female VP if they get that far.

What does Trump think?

Donald Trump has shown a keen interest in the Democratic race and kept up a running commentary on Twitter. He constantly tears into Biden and Bloomberg on Twitter, but is much kinder to Sanders – stirring the pot by claiming that the Democratic establishment is rigging the race against the Vermont socialist. It seems clear that he wants Sanders to win the race and thinks he’d beat him.

So when will the Democrats decide on a nominee?

The primaries continue next week with contests in Michigan, Mississippi and Washington state, among other places. But this is looking like a battle between Bernie and Biden that will go down to the wire – so we may still be talking about this contest in July.


Oliver Laughland has just left the Texas Democratic party headquarters in Austin after a long night, just as Joe Biden declared a major victory for his campaign there.

Texas is the second largest state to vote on Super Tuesday with 228 pledged delegates at stake here.

It’s worth noting that while Biden has been declared the victor this evening, it’s the margin of victory that really matters as that will determine (via a number of complicated processes) just how many delegates Biden picks up.

The executive director of the Texas Democrats, Manny Garcia came to give us (and by us I mean the last three reporters left in the building) a quick briefing before he headed home. He said he expects the delegate count to be declared early Wednesday afternoon as the party waits for full results to come in from Texas’s 254 counties, all of which administer their own elections here.

Garcia also spent a significant amount of time addressing the long lines at various polling stations throughout the state, an issue that could come to plague the party at the general election, where the party see a small opportunity to make this deep red state competitive.

In a statement the party hailed the high turnout that characterized this primary, but argued the long lines - some of which left voters queuing past 11pm - underline the need for state electoral reform.

“We need major improvements across the board: more resources to assist county and state elections officials and increased access to voting. This year will see the highest turnout in Texas history with millions of new voters casting their ballots. We cannot have these long waits happen again in November,” the statement says.

Fernando Miranda, 19 y.o finance major was just turned away from the polls. He got here just after 7 but had previously queued for 1.5 hours earlier in the day but had to leave for class:

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) March 4, 2020



This is Paul Owen taking the reins after the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries – probably the most consequential night of the 2020 presidential race so far.

  • Former vice-president Joe Biden has swept back into contention for frontrunner status in the Democratic race, winning in at least nine of the 14 states up for grabs, including a surprise victory in Massachusetts, the home state of Elizabeth Warren, another contender. The Associated Press has just declared him the winner in Texas, the second biggest state that voted last night.
  • But Bernie Sanders, the leftwing Vermont senator who is Biden’s main competitor, looks to be way ahead in California – which, with 415 delegates, is by far the largest state. Once all the delegates are divided up – which could take days or weeks – Sanders could end up coming out of Super Tuesday with a very similar number of delegates to his centrist rival.
  • This seems to be the end of the line for Warren – and whether she now endorses Sanders will be keenly watched – and for Bloomberg, who has got very little return from the half a billion dollars he pumped into his campaign. The billionaire former New York mayor is apparently due to discuss whether to continue with his advisers on Wednesday.
  • The Democratic race seems now to have clarified and become a straight contest between Sanders and Biden, who are likely to slug it out week by week through the next sets of primaries all the way to the Democratic convention in July.
  • Biden’s comeback has revived speculation about a so-called “contested convention”. If no candidate has got a majority of delegates by the time of the convention, party bigwigs get to play a role. Most of them are terrified of Sanders winning and they may well give the crown to Biden – even if Sanders is ahead at that point. It’s unlikely Sanders’ supporters would take that lying down. This contest is a long way from being over.


Biden wins Texas primary

Joe Biden has officially been declared the winner of the Texas primary, narrowly edging out Bernie Sanders in the delegate-rich state.

The AP called the race moments ago, about five hours after most of Texas’ polling places closed.

Texas was considered one of the biggest prizes of the night, not just because of its 228 pledged delegates but also because of how the state’s results were expected to reflect larger dynamics in the fight for the Democratic nomination:

Kinda willing to bet that as goes TX tonight, so goes the Democratic nomination.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 3, 2020

Joe Biden declared victory in Texas, even though the AP has not yet called the state.

The former vice president celebrated the Texas results in a tweet that parodied the logo of the popular burger chain Whataburger, where Biden stopped with former rival-turned-endorser Beto O’Rourke last night:

Call it a W. Thank you, Texas.

— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 4, 2020

With about 77% of Texas precincts reporting, Biden currently leads Bernie Sanders by about 3 points and 60,000 votes.

Looking ahead to the next contests: six states will hold primaries next Tuesday, March 10.

Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington will head to the polls and collextively award 352 pledged delegates.

It could be a good night for Bernie Sanders, considering he won Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota and Washington in 2016.

But a new poll showed Sanders falling nearly 7 points behind Joe Biden in Michigan, the most delegate-rich state holding a primary next week.

Bernie Sanders is also losing a key argument for his candidacy tonight: that he can increase turnout more than any of his competitors.

The state of Virginia, where Joe Biden won decisively, offered a harsh reality check on Sanders’ talking point tonight.

Virginia has been viewed as a crucial swing state in recent years, but it has become increasngly Democratic as the state’s DC suburbs lean more to the left.

Tonight, the turnout in Virginia was nearly double that of the 2016 Democratic primary between Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

The result of that increased turnout? Sanders lost to Biden by about 30 points.

Joe Biden’s team pointed to his victories tonight as evidence of his popularity among Democratic voters.

When asked how the former vice-president had managed to win in states he had paid almost no attention to, like Tennessee, deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told CNN, “It is the power of Joe Biden. It is the fact that people know him.”

How did @JoeBiden win tonight? @KBeds lays it out >>

"It is the power of @JoeBiden. It is the fact that people know him. They know his heart. They are craving the kind of leadership that Joe Biden brings to the table."

— Matt Hill (@thematthill) March 4, 2020

On the flip side, Biden’s success tonight raises questions about the effectiveness of Mike Bloomberg’s massive advertising spending and Elizabeth Warren’s vast field organization:

One potential loser tonight is campaigns. Like, in general.

Joe Biden had ONE field office in Virginia. Was outspent 7-to-1 by Sanders and almost 100-to-1 by Bloomberg in all super Tuesday States. Had barely campaigned in any states. And yet...

— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) March 4, 2020


The blog has already covered how Joe Biden’s senior aide, Symone Sanders, won Twitter praise for jumping up to confront an anti-dairy protester who ran onto the stage tonight as the former vice president addressed supporters in Los Angeles.

But it should be noted that former second lady Jill Biden also confronted one of the protesters who rushed the stage, as the below photo vividly demonstrates.

Say what you will, Dr. Jill Biden crushed it tonight.

— Matt Frendewey (@mattfrendewey) March 4, 2020

The incident may have sparked some viral tweets, but it also raised concerns about whether top presidential candidates, like Biden and Bernie Sanders, need Secret Service protection.

Some voters in Texas have been waiting for five hours to cast their ballots, as the state’s primary remains too close to call.

This is INSANE. These people have been waiting in line to vote for five hours at TSU. Polls closed 4.5 hours ago.

— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) March 4, 2020

Long lines at polling places are often celebrated as a sign of voter enthusiasm, but a number of Democratic strategists pointed out they are also a clear sign of voter suppression.

From a former National Security Council spokesman for Barack Obama:

The stories of insanely long lines EVERY ELECTION are a reminder of how much voter suppression is just priced into results and the news coverage. It's purposeful. It's indefensible. The next Democratic president should make voter access a top priority.

— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) March 4, 2020

Former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who has endorsed Bernie Sanders, described tonight’s results as a “coup” in a now-deleted tweet.

Williamson deleted the tweet, but for posterity:

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) March 4, 2020

Some of Sanders’ allies have complained about moderate Democrats’ efforts to consolidate their support around Joe Biden in recent days.

Speaking to supporters in Vermont earlier tonight, Sanders pledged to take on the “political establishment” as the party’s nominee, but there’s no question that Biden’s wins tonight have dealt a serious blow to Sanders’ presidential ambitions.

The Guardian’s Maanvi Singh reports from San Francisco:

The mood has been a bit confused here in San Francisco. At Manny’s – a local bar and gathering place - many patrons cheered as soon as it became clear that Bernie Sanders would win the state.

Kyle Schmolze said he was feeli “all the emotions” as Sanders was declared a winner in California, but with less of a lead than he’d hoped.

— Maanvi Singh (@maanvisings) March 4, 2020

But some Sanders supporters felt uneasy. “I’m a little bit disappointed and nervous,” said Delia Cleveland, 40. “I’d hoped he’d have a bigger lead.”

Kyle Schmolze, 30, said he was feeling “all the emotions”.

“I feel better about progressive politics than I’ve ever felt in my life,” he said. “We might actually win.”

But Joe Biden’s wins didn’t feel good, he said. “It’s terrifying. I’d feel safe had Bernie dominated.”


Joe Biden has taken a narrow lead in Texas, where 228 pledged delegates are up for grabs.

With 63% of precincts reporting, Biden is at 30%, leading Bernie Sanders by 1 point and about 18,000 votes.

Those numbers indicate the final result in Texas could be quite close, so Biden may not get much of a delegate advantage over Sanders from the state.

On the other hand, California, the most delegate-rich state of the night, was immediately called for Sanders once polls closed, so he could have a significant delegate edge over Biden there.

Jeff Sessions advances to runoff for his old Senate seat

Here’s some non-presidential primary news: Jeff Sessions, Trump’s former attorney general, has advanced to a runoff for his old Senate seat in Alabama.

Jeff Sessions reacts after results are announced in the Alabama Senate primary.
Jeff Sessions reacts after results are announced in the Alabama Senate primary. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Sessions and Tommy Tuberville, the former football coach at Auburn University, will face off on March 31 to determine Republicans’ Senate nominee after both candidates failed to hit 50% in tonight’s primary.

Sessions represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years, but he left his seat in 2017, when Trump nominated him to be attorney general.

However, Trump soured on Sessions after he recused himself from the Russia investigation, clearing the way for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Sessions is now fighting to get his old job back, but he will need to defeat Tuberville -- not to mention incumbent Democratic senator Doug Jones -- to do so.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar appeared to criticize Elizabeth Warren for not dropping out of the race as Joe Biden notched several victories in Super Tuesday states:

Imagine if the progressives consolidated last night like the moderates consolidated, who would have won?

That’s what we should be analyzing. I feel confident a united progressive movement would have allowed for us to #BuildTogether and win MN and other states we narrowly lost.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 4, 2020

Omar, one of the four progressive congresswomen known as “the Squad”, is a top surrogate for Bernie Sanders, and Warren will likely face increasing calls from his supporters to suspend her campaign after tonight.


The Guardian’s Lauren Gambino reports from Los Angeles:

An ebullient Joe Biden bounded on stage in Los Angeles, accompanied by his wife, Jill, and his “little sister,” who he mixed up before quickly correcting himself.

“It’s a good night and it seems to be getting better,” Biden said. “They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.”

At the start of his remarks, Biden ticked through all the states he’s won so far: Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and “maybe even Massachusetts.” After he left the stage, the Associated Press declared Biden the winner in an upset over Elizabeth Warren.

“Just a few days ago the press and the pundits had declared the campaign dead. And then came South Carolina came around and they had something to say about it. And then when he got to Super Tuesday it’d be over. Well it may be over for the other guy.”

“We are very much alive,” he declared.

Biden thanked the former presidential candidates who endorsed him this week – Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke – but he did not mention any of his present rivals by name.

“People are talking about a revolution,” he said, taking an implicit jab at Bernie Sanders, who entered Tuesday as the prohibitive frontrunner. “Well, we started a movement.”


Protesters rushed the stage at Joe Biden’s event in Los Angeles, raising concerns about security for the leading presidential candidates.

Two anti-dairy protesters, who have disrupted other candidates’ events in recent days, ran on to the stage and had to be dragged off by some of Biden’s staffers.

security at the Biden event is a bit lax

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 4, 2020

Symone Sanders, one of Biden’s top aides, actually jumped from her seat to grab the second protester and pull her offstage.

Y’all see Symone Sanders come off the line like a pro bowl linebacker. Geesh.

— Billy Michael Honor (@BillyMHonor) March 4, 2020

Sanders won praise on social media for her courage, and she joked about the incident over Twitter:

I broke a nail. #SuperTuesday

— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 4, 2020

But the incident raised questions about whether the top candidates like Biden and Bernie Sanders should start receiving Secret Service protection:

Donald Trump received Secret Service protection in November 2015. It’s March 2020, and protesters rushed onto the stage of a major Democratic candidate — and his wife and staff had to act as security.

— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) March 4, 2020

Here’s how the AP was able to call the California primary so quickly for Bernie Sanders:

News outlets conduct exit polls of voters to get a sense of which way a race is leaning.

If those exit polls point to a decisive victory, the outlet may declare a winner right when the polls close. That’s what happened in South Carolina on Saturday, and we’ve seen it again tonight in states like Virginia and Vermont.

The fact that the AP, the outlet of record for elections, was able to call California so quickly for Sanders indicates the Vermont senator will likely have a significant margin of victory in the delegate-rich state.

Bernie Sanders’ victory in California marks an incredible comeback for the Vermont senator, who lost the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Clinton defeated Sanders in California by 7 points in 2016, giving her a 33-delegate advantage in the state.

However, even that single-digit margin was better than Sanders’ team had initially expected. Early results showed Clinton easily defeating Sanders by double digits.

Exit polls indicate Bernie Sanders has about a 15-point lead in California, the most delegate-rich state of the entire Democratic primary.

If Sanders can maintain that lead, it will help him to counteract the post-South Carolina bounce that Joe Biden has clearly been enjoying tonight.

However, it will be days if not weeks before we know Sanders’ exact margin of victory because California has a slow vote-reporting operation, due to its large size and high rates of early voting.

Sanders wins California primary

The polls just closed in California, but the AP has already called the state for Bernie Sanders, giving the Vermont senator a much-needed boost tonight.

Sanders had been favored to win in California, where 415 pledged delegates were up for grabs.

The margin of Sanders’ victory in California will be crucial in helping him secure a delegate lead over Joe Biden, but his immediate win in the delegate-rich state will give him some positive press coverage on a night that seemed to be going very well for his rival.

Polls close in California

It is 11 pm ET, so the polls have officially closed in California, the biggest prize of the night.

Bernie Sanders is still favored to win in California, where 415 pledged delegates are up for grabs.

The Vermont senator may benefit from the fact that California has a robust early-voting operation, so Joe Biden may not see as much of a post-South Carolina bounce there as he has seen in other states tonight.

The Guardian’s David Smith reports from Charlotte, North Carolina:

Democratic Congresswoman Alma Adams was celebrating at a watch party for Joe Biden supporters in Charlotte, North Carolina, where each state victory was greeted with cheers.

At Joe Biden supporters watch party in Charlotte. Congresswoman Alma Adams: “We know Joe... We trust him, we love him and so that’s why we vote for him.”

— David Smith (@SmithInAmerica) March 4, 2020

Asked why African American supporters back Biden so strongly, Adams said: “First of all, we know Joe. We know we share his vision. We trust him and that’s the thing. We know that he’s always been a Democrat so we don’t have to wonder about where he really is in terms of party affiliation and that kind of thing.

“I think it’s a matter of trust and knowing that he has the skill set to do what we need for him to do. We trust him, we love him and so that’s why we vote for him.”

Adams was critical of Bernie Sanders’ attempts to engage with the African American community. “He doesn’t have the same voice or vision for our folks. I don’t know how much work he’s done in the African American community but I’ll tell you, he’s been in my district twice that I know about and no one from his campaign ever called me.

“He never called me and I am the congresswoman for this district. That’s certainly not a good look.”

Biden wins Massachusetts in a major upset

Joe Biden has won the primary in Massachusetts, the home state of Elizabeth Warren where Bernie Sanders was favored to win just days ago.

With 59% of results in, Biden was at 34%, leading Sanders by 7 points and Warren by 14 points.

Biden’s victory in Massachusetts underscores that his wins tonight have been far-reaching, extending from the south to the midwest and now the northeast.

Warren’s apparent third-place finish raises serious questions about the future of her candidacy, as she has also failed to hit 15%, the minimum to win delegates, in states like Virginia.

The Guardian’s Mario Koran reports from San Diego:

Like many California cities, San Diego has in recent years been losing its black residents, who now make up just 6.5% of the population.

But in Southeast San Diego, a historically black part of the city, a steady stream of voters strolled into their polling place at the Malcolm X Library Tuesday afternoon.

After a strong showing in South Carolina, observers have been watching to see if Joe Biden can capitalize on the victory and garner support of black voters.

As I talked to voters trickling in to cast their ballots, however, no noticeable groundswell emerged in support of any of the candidates.

Bakir, an area resident, said he wasn’t excited about any of the Democratic options.

“At this point, it’s more about who you take out than who you put into the White House,” Bakir said, referring to Trump.

In Southeast San Diego's historically black neighborhood, Bakir and his wife aren't excited about any candidates.

"At this point, it's more about who you take out than who you put into the White House," Bakir says, referring to Trump.

— Mario Koran (@MarioKoran) March 3, 2020

Joel Pagan, 38, was still undecided. He considered Mike Bloomberg, but says he’s now thinking Biden.

“I’m leaning toward Joe,” says Joel Pagan, 38. “I’m looking for the candidate who will do the most for the black community.”

Bloomberg picked up a surprise endorsement from the area’s assemblywoman, Shirley Weber, a Democratic who’s pushed fiercely for accountability for police and schools.

Despite the stop-and-frisk policies Bloomberg implemented as mayor of NYC — a record that’s been roundly criticized — Weber told the San Diego-Union Tribune that she was impressed with his “Greenwood Initiative,” a plan that would lead to a million black homeowners and 100,000 new black-owned businesses in the next 10 years.


Trump’s reelection campaign released a statement saying the Super Tuesday results will create “more chaos” for Democrats.

“The results only increase the likelihood that no candidate will have enough delegates for a first ballot victory at their convention, which only means more chaos!” said campaign manager Brad Parscale.

The president’s campaign also sought to equate Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, even though the two differ on a number of key policy issues.

Even if Bernie is not on November’s ballot, his big government socialist ideas will be because they have become mainstream in today’s Democrat Party,” Parscale said.

The Guardian’s Lois Beckett reports from Fresno, California:

Erica Sanchez, 48, and her mother, Maria Sanchez, 68, both voted for Joe Biden today in Fresno, California, a diverse city of half a million people in California’s Central Valley.

Their vote for Biden was a vote for “normalcy,” Maria said. “He’s been there before,” Erica said. “He knows how to get the job done.”

Erica Sanchez, 48, and her mother, Maria Sanchez, 68, both voted for Biden today in Fresno. It was a vote for “normalcy,” Maria said. “He’s been there before,” Erica said. “He knows how to get the job done.”

Bloomberg is their #2 choice, for his track record of leadership

— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 4, 2020

Maria and Erica, both themselves blunt talkers, said they like Biden’s frankness. They feel that they can trust him, that he has integrity. Many people in their family have served and are currently serving overseas in the US military, which they said is more than either Trump or his own children have done. Maria’s parents were Mexican immigrants, farmworkers. Erica said she also has Native American ancestry.

The past three years, since Trump’s election, have brought a level of tension and division to the United States that Erica said seems like worst the country has seen since the Civil War. They both want that to be over, and to have a president who can heal the country.

Erica’s 24-year-old daughter is a Bernie Sanders supporter, but her two sons, who are both in their 20s, had been talking about following their grandmother’s lead, and voting for Biden, Erica said.

Sanders wins Utah primary

Bernie Sanders has won the primary in Utah, where polls closed about half an hour ago.

With 36% of results in, Sanders is at 32%, putting him 13 points ahead of Mike Bloomberg and 17 points ahead of Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Biden, who is so far the biggest winner of the night, is suprisingly in fourth place in Utah.

Sanders similarly won the Utah caucuses in 2016, defeating Hillary Clinton by a resounding 60 points.

However, Utah only has 29 pledged delegates, so his victory there won’t help him much. The biggest prizes of the night, California and Texas, have not yet been called.

Trump is reveling in Mike Bloomberg’s disappointing performance tonight, saying the former New York mayor had thrown hundreds of millions of dollars “down the drain.”

The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg. His “political” consultants took him for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

Trump and Bloomberg have repeatedly sparred over social media, trading insults about each other’s height and intelligence.

But it is undeniable Bloomberg has severely underperformed tonight, and the billionaire candidate reportedly intends to reassess his campaign tomorrow.

The Guardian’s Maanvi Singh reports from San Francisco:

At a watch party in San Francisco, the gasps and shrieks cut through the din as results from Colorado, Vermont and Texas come in.

At Manny’s, a bar and event space in San Francisco’s Mission district, the crowd skews progressive. Many of the patrons are carrying Bernie Sanders placards — and donning Sanders swag.

“I’m just holding these for people!” says Ilonah Pelaez, 29. Bernie Sanders’ rally is blaring on the TVs here and supporters are cheering along.

— Maanvi Singh (@maanvisings) March 4, 2020

Joe Biden’s successes in the south and east, where polls have already closed have worried many of the Sanders supporters here.

“I’m a little anxious,” said Christina Lopez, 28. “But it’s early. There’s hope.”

Lopez was initially an Elizabeth Warren supporter but cast her ballot for Sanders when it became clear he was a front runner. “It was strategic,” she said. “I hope Warren votes don’t cost him a sweep here.”

Chants of “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” broke out as Sanders’ speech from Colorado blared though Bars sound system.

Ilona Pelaez, 29, said she’d vote for Biden in the general if it came down to it. “I guess I kind of have to,” she said. “But it sucks.”


Joe Biden will undoubtedly see a fundraising bump from his victories tonight, and one of his donors may come as a bit of a surprise.

George Conway, who is married to senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, tweeted that he had donated the individual maximum to Biden.

— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 4, 2020

Conway has been a frequent critic of the president, even though his wife works for him, and he has now apparently joined Team Biden.

The Guardian’s Lois Beckett reports from Fresno, California:

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything as perfectly, beautifully American as the drive-thru polling station today in downtown Fresno, California.

Just pull your car up to the polling station, hand over your (already filled-in) ballot, get your “I voted” sticker, and then cruise away.

Honestly, Drive-Thru Voting — I love it! Here in Fresno, California.

— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 4, 2020

And yes, you actually have to have filled out your ballot already – you don’t get a fresh one in line and vote in your car.

It’s a ballot drop-off Drive Thru, not a full service, polling-station-in-your-car. Still, it’s pretty fun to watch.

And voters like it, too. “This is so cool!” I heard one woman exclaim from her car.

Poll worker Holly Brown said the downtown Fresno drive-thru I visited was one of ten total in Fresno County, in California’s Central Valley. (Other counties in California have “Drive-up Democracy” as well.)

Brown said she had been setting up at that drive-thru location since 5.30am, and that their location had been steadily busy since the polls opened – not crowded, but consistent traffic even through the middle of the day. In all, she said, they had collected more than 3,000 drive-thru ballots, and counting, just at that location.

And voters really want that “I voted” sticker, she said – even if they don’t have to get out of their cars.


Sanders promises to win nomination as Biden notches victories

Bernie Sanders has taken the stage at his rally in Burlington, Vermont, as results indicate Joe Biden has won at least seven Super Tuesday states.

Bernie Sanders tells supporters in Vermont: "Tonight, I tell you with absolute confidence, we are going to win the Democratic nomination and we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country"

— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 4, 2020

“Tonight I tell you with absolutely confidence: we’re gonna win the Democratic nomination,” Sanders said. “And we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country.”

Sanders promised to defeat the “political establishment,” even as Sanders trailed Biden in the Super Tuesday results.

Sanders has so far only won two states tonight, his home state of Vermont and Colorado, but the biggest prizes of Texas and California have not yet been called.

The Guardian’s Sam Levine and Oliver Laughland report:

Texas voters in some parts of the state waited in extremely long lines Tuesday, some for several hours, to cast a ballot in the state’s primary elections.

Even after polls officially closed Tuesday, the website for the Travis County Clerk showed wait times as long as two hours at the University of Texas at Austin. Voters can cast a ballot as long as they remain in line.

I’m at the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center, part of the University of Texas at Austin.

Students are still queuing up to vote here, some have been waiting 1hr and a half, and there’s another 45 min wait.

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) March 4, 2020

At one location on campus, students had been waiting in line for more than an hour. A pollworker said 2,200 people had voted there that day. The last student in line to vote was Sam Oh, a senior studying mechanical engineering.

“I planned this out,” said Oh, who had been waiting an hour and a half. “But definitely this kind of a wait will keep people away.”

In Harris County, home of Houston, civil rights groups said minority voters faced excessively long wait times. One voter, Ahmed King, went to five different voting locations before he successfully cast a ballot, according to a statement from the Texas Civil Rights Project.

“I was at the point of not voting at all. I was at my limit. I said to myself, ‘My vote will not count today,’” King said in a statement.

Bloomberg to reassess campaign tomorrow

Mike Bloomberg reportedly intends to reassess the future of his campaign tomorrow, as Super Tuesday results indicate a disappointing showing for the former New York mayor.

Bloomberg spent $500 million advertising and building field operations in states like Virginia and North Carolina, where Biden won decisive victories.

A number of moderate Democrats were already calling on Bloomberg to drop out of the race to allow Biden to further consolidate his support, and those demands will certainly only intensify after tonight.

Biden wins Arkansas primary

The AP has just called Arkansas for Joe Biden as well, marking his seventh victory of the night.

With 19% of results in, Biden led Bernie Sanders by 11 points and Mike Bloomberg by 12 points.

Some polls of Arkansas had indicated it could be a strong state for Bloomberg, and his disappointing performance there underscores what a bad night this has been for the billionaire candidate.

Biden wins Minnesota primary

Joe Biden has won the primary in Minnesota after receiving a last-minute endorsement from former rival Amy Klobuchar, one of the state’s two senators.

Just days ago, it looked like Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders were locked in a dead heat for Minnesota’s 75 pledged delegates.

Biden supporters at his Super Tuesday night rally in Los Angeles.
Biden supporters at his Super Tuesday night rally in Los Angeles. Photograph: Kyle Grillot/Reuters

Now, after Klobuchar dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden, the former vice president has won a state he looked barely viable in last week.

Biden’s victory in Minnesota makes two things clear: his momentum extends far beyond the South, and Sanders is in trouble.


The Guardian’s Dominic Rushe reports from a Bernie Sanders watch party in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

Though Pennsylvania isn’t voting in its own primary until April, about 100 people turnout out here for the viewing party in East Liberty.

This is 2020’s Obama HOPE poster. And it rocks #pittsburghforbernie

— dominic rushe (@dominicru) March 4, 2020

It was the sort of mixed crowd any of the candidates would kill for – young and old, racially diverse, and everyone with a really upbeat energy. The music is definitely more boomer though - they just played Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’.

One of the organisers Susan Sanders (no relation to the candidate), says people in Pittsburgh are more pro-Sanders now than they were in 2016, when he lost the primary to Hillary Clinton: “The fire is definitely hotter, just look at this crowd.”

Given Joe Biden’s strong start on Super Tuesday, the Sanders supporters were worrying that Biden could be handed the nomination at the Democratic national convention in July – though there is still a very long way to go before then.

“Everyone in this room will be devastated if that happens,” said Fatima Aslan, 23.

It’s still early in the night, and the two biggest prizes -- California and Texas -- have not yet been called.

That being said, early results indicate Joe Biden may have done what no other candidate could: recreate the Obama coalition.

From Cory Booker’s former campaign manager:

The funny thing is college white voters cycled through several other candidates - Harris, Warren, Pete, and (for like a week in February) Klobuchar - for the last year only to end up at Biden when it counted. Politics!

— Addisu Demissie (@ASDem) March 4, 2020


The Guardian’s Abené Clayton reports from Richmond and Oakland in California:

In Oakland and Richmond, two San Francisco Bay Area cities with majority Black and Latino populations, voters appeared split between frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Some worry that Sanders’ signature policies, such as student debt elimination and wealth taxes, can be “too radical” for more moderate voters outside of the Bay Area to stomach in November.

“If Bernie is the candidate, you’ll have presidential candidates that represent two extremes,” 26-year-old Andrea Rodriguez said on her way into a Richmond polling location.

Other Biden California supporters say that they feel more comfortable with the former vice president because he understands the inner workings of Capitol Hill.

“Biden has White House experience; he knows how to play the game. Bernie hasn’t had his foot in the game yet,” said 55-year-old Troy Williams of Richmond.

First time voter Troy Hesel, 31 of Richmond says that he “still soaking it all in” but is glad he glad his Uncle Troy brought him out. His uncle is voting for Biden because he “has had a foot in the game for a while.”

— Néné (@abene_writes) March 3, 2020

Still, Sanders supporters argue they are voting in the interest of “whoever’s gonna help the most marginalized,” not for the person who can convert the most swing state voters.

“Think of the future and what you would want your kids to have,” 31-year-old student Caitlin Culman said. “Because they won’t have as good a quality of life as the previous generations and moderates won’t help that.”


Biden wins Tennessee primary

Joe Biden has won the primary in Tennessee, where most polls closed about an hour and a half ago.

With 56% of the results in, Biden was at 36%, leading Bernie Sanders by 12 points.

The victory extends Biden’s sweep of southern states tonight, as the former vice president has already won Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.


The Guardian’s Lois Beckett reports from Manteca, California:

Towns in California’s Central Valley often don’t get a lot of love from presidential candidates. When Pete Buttigieg visited the area earlier this year, a local Democratic congressman complained, “This is the first time for many people in this room to have ever seen a presidential contender.”

Manteca: Carolyn and David Croyle. She voted for Sanders, he (a former Republican who voted for George W. Bush) voted for Warren, who he sees as “a little less demagogue-y” than Bernie. “I will vote for a bucket of rocks over Trump,” he said.

— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 3, 2020

But in Manteca, a Central Valley town divided between registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents, according to the Manteca Bulletin, Democratic voters who showed up to the polls in the early afternoon reflected some of the divides within the party.

Carolyn and David Croyle walked out of their polling place in Manteca together, but the married couple, both Democrats, had chosen different candidates. Carolyn had voted for Bernie Sanders, David for Elizabeth Warren.

Carolyn Croyle said she supports Sanders because of his ideas, particularly on healthcare, and because “he gets the young people out,” which Democrats need. Sanders “gets people excited, and you don’t see that with [Joe] Biden.”

David Croyle said he had once been a Republican, and had voted for George W. Bush, though not enthusiastically, before then voting for Barack Obama. Now, he’s interested in voting for someone who can defeat Donald Trump. He sees Warren as presidential, and “a little less demagogue-y” than Sanders, but knows she’s under pressure to quit the race.

“I will vote for a bucket of rocks over Trump,” he said.

Also in Manteca, in California’s Central Valley, Elizabeth Grant, 85, explained why she cast her vote for Biden: “Because I like him. I think he’s an upstanding person.”

Mike Bloomberg’s campaign has put out a rather vague statement on the future of his candidacy.

“Tonight, only one-third of delegates will be allotted,” campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said. “As Mike said tonight, ‘No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible. In just three months, we’ve gone from just 1% in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic nomination.’

“Our number one priority remains defeating Donald Trump in November.”

Bloomberg delivered a similar message moments ago at his campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Florida. But as early results show the former New York mayor underperforming in states where he spent tens of millions of dollars, pressure is mounting for Bloomberg to bow out of the race.


The Guardian’s Sam Levin reports from Los Angeles:

At Skid Row, the epicenter of the homelessness crisis in LA, voters living in shelters and on the street are able to cast ballots inside the Union Rescue Mission.

Kevin Wilkerson, 52, who lives at the shelter, said he was a “bona fide Joe Biden fan”: “He got a surge in South Carolina and now everybody is saying, ‘I’m gonna stand by Joe.’ This is how we win. We can’t go too far left, we have to come down in the middle.”

He said he never misses a chance to vote: “My ancestors fought tooth and nail for my rights. People were killed so that I’m able to vote in 2020.”

Kevin Wilkerson, 52, Skid Row resident, just voted for Joe Biden. “I’m sick and tired of where this country is going and I’m sick and tired of this president.”

— Sam Levin (@SamTLevin) March 3, 2020

Rocio Martinez, 51-year-old living on Skid Row for nearly four years, said she was a registered Republican, but voted for Bernie Sanders: “I’m Hispanic and I’m not happy with Trump’s philosophy of immigration. It’s cruel.” She said she has struggled to get a job that pays well enough to get her stable housing.

Yolanda Green, 56, who lives at the Downtown Women’s Center at Skid Row, also voted for Sanders: “He’s for the American people. He talks about healthcare. He talks about brown and black people. He says everyone is created equal. .. It felt great to vote. I always do. My mother said every vote counts. You gotta get out to vote to weed out the bad president.”

Biden wins the Oklahoma primary

The AP has called Oklahoma for Joe Biden, about an hour after the polls closed in the Sooner State.

The former vice president is running about 12 points ahead of second-place Bernie Sanders, with 53% of the vote in.

The results deliver yet another blow to Elizabeth Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma and is struggling to cross the 15% threshold required to win delegates.

The Guardian’s Richard Luscombe reports from Mike Bloomberg’s (very short) rally in West Palm Beach, Florida:

Barely 10 minutes after taking the stage in West Palm Beach, Mike Bloomberg is done, after delivering a largely flat address to supporters, perhaps reflecting the dawning reality that things are not going the way he had hoped on Super Tuesday, and that a big decision for his campaign is now looming.

Mike Bloomberg waves as he arrives on stage for a campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Mike Bloomberg waves as he arrives on stage for a campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Florida. Photograph: Lynne Sladky/AP

“As the results come in, here’s what is clear,” Bloomberg said. “No matter how many delegates we win tonight we’ve done something no-one else thought was possible. We’ve gone from one percent in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

The rest of Bloomberg’s short speech was standard campaign stump, attacks on Donald Trump, policy promises on a range of issues from healthcare to immigration to gun reform, but it he gave the impression that his heart wasn’t really in it. Supporters were streaming towards the doors within seconds of him wrapping up.

Campaign manager Kevin Sheekey told reporters earlier: “Absolutely not” when asked if Bloomberg would drop out tonight. But the odds of that now happening sooner than later appear much shorter as the Super Tuesday picture becomes clearer.

Sanders wins the Colorado primary

Bernie Sanders has won the Colorado primary, his first victory of the night besides winning his home state of Vermont.

Sanders had been expected to win Colorado, where 67 pledged delegates were up for grabs.

Although Colorado isn’t as delegate-rich as Virginia or North Carolina, both of which Joe Biden won earlier tonight, Sanders’ victory there will give him some positive media coverage before much of east coast America turns off their televisions for the night.


Polls close in three states

It’s 9 pm ET, so the polls have officially closed in Colorado, Minnesota and Texas.

Texas is the second-biggest prize of the night after California, with 228 pledged delegates up for grabs.

Like California, Texas has a robust early-voting operation, and the initial results look favorable for Joe Biden:

Dallas County, TX (early vote):

Biden 27%
Sanders 25%
Bloomberg 20%
Warren 11%
Buttigieg 9%

If Biden won the early vote there, it's a good omen for his prospects statewide.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 4, 2020

The Guardian’s Lauren Gambino reports from Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday event in Los Angeles:

It’s 70 degrees with a gentle breeze at golden hour in Los Angeles – the picture perfect backdrop to what is already a very good night for Joe Biden.

Crowd at Joe Biden’s event breaks into a “Let’s go Joe,” chant after they’re informed he is projected to win North Carolina

— Lauren Gambino (@laurenegambino) March 4, 2020

Outside his outdoor election night event at a downtown recreation center, located off of Obama Blvd., a line of supporters began to wrap around the building. An aide appeared to announce that North Carolina had just been called for Biden. Cheers rang out and two women, carrying California for Biden signs, began to dance.

“I love my Joe,” she said to no one in particular.

Polling had showed Bernie Sanders far ahead in California, but in a sign of how fluid the race remains after Biden’s rout in South Carolina, many Democrats appear to have waited until the last minute to make up their minds. That indecision could prove decisive for Biden, especially in delegate-rich states like California and Texas.


The schedule of tonight’s voting has put Bernie Sanders at a bit of a disadvantage, as Joe Biden performs well in southern states.

Sanders is predicted to do well in western states like Colorado, Utah and California, which is the biggest prize of the night.

But those states’ polls close later, so much of tonight’s early coverage will be devoted to more eastern states, where Biden has already secured three decisive victories.

What this means is that many Americans will likely go to sleep tonight thinking Sanders only won his home state of Vermont, even if he performs well in the delegate-rich states of California and Texas.

The Guardian’s Maanvi Singh reports from San Francisco:

At Manny’s - a bar/bookstore/event space in San Francisco’s Mission district, people are anxiously sipping their wine and munching their crudités as they watch the first results and projections trickle in.

There are a number of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders supporters here — and many are fretting over whether the two candidates have spilt the progressive vote.

There are lots of Sanders and Warren supporters here tonight. Stephanie Smith, 31, and Ryan prior, 30, were debating whether votes for Warren would cost Sanders a decisive victory in California.

— Maanvi Singh (@maanvisings) March 4, 2020

Stephenie Smith, 31, said she was torn until this morning. “Even though after a lot of conversations, I was kind of leaning toward Bernie, I voted for Warren today,” she said. “I had such mixed feelings.”

A mural of Bernie Sanders on the side of a building in Vermont.
A mural of Bernie Sanders on the side of a building in Vermont. Photograph: Herb Swanson/EPA

She liked Warren a bit more — but ultimately supports both progressive candidates. “I’m a little disappointed at how well Joe is doing,” she said, as results from Virginia and North Carolina flashed on screen.

In a broad, rapidly shifting race, many California voters, especially those who voted early, are unsure of what to expect tonight.


The Guardian’s Oliver Laughland reports from Corsicana, Texas:

Navarro College, in Corsicana, Texas, became world famous this year after the success of the Netflix documentary Cheer, which followed the college’s champion cheerleading squad as they fought to defend their national title last year.

But on Super Tuesday, this community college is also home to one of the 20 polling stations in this small county of 48,000 people. On the morning of this critical vote in the Democratic primary race, in which Texas will play a major role in determining the nominee for president, the Guardian visited to gauge the mood.

And I met Monica Aldama, the famous head coach.

She was running frantically between buildings carrying a large box full of cheerleading costumes as team prep for the national championship next month.

She said to planned to vote later today, but wouldn’t tell me who for.

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) March 3, 2020

There were no queues outside the voting booths at the campus’s Cook Center. Instead, the most frantic activity was a few hundred feet away at the college’s health centre, where the cheer squad’s now instantly recognizable head coach, Monica Aldama, was carrying a large cardboard box laden with red and black cheerleading uniforms.

“I have not voted yet,” Aldama said, nodding towards the polling station. “But I plan on doing it as soon as I’m done today.”

She would not say how she would cast her ballot, or whether she was voting in the Republican or Democratic primary. “I don’t really have a political affiliation,” she said. “I just go with a person that I’m interested in.”


The Guardian’s David Smith reports from Charlotte, North Carolina:

“Bullshit!” “No way! Already?” These were the cries at a watch party for Bernie Sanders supporters in Charlotte, North Carolina, when TV screens flashed the news that Joe Biden is projected to win the state.

At a Bernie Sanders supporters watch party in Charlotte. Cries of “Bullshit!” and “No way! Already?” as TV announces Joe Biden is projected to win North Carolina.

— David Smith (@SmithInAmerica) March 4, 2020

“I kind of expected this,” sighed Sarah Lundin-Erickson, 46, standing near the bar. “It’s still conservative here.”

Kevin Gobuty, 28, agreed: “Kind of, yeah, it’s still North Carolina.”

Polls here had suggested a narrow lead for Sanders, but Biden’s resurgence in neighbouring South Carolina last Saturday gave him a boost. Gobuty added: “I’m disappointed. I’m a high school teacher. I teach a lot of kids at a low income school and am very worried about their future if Bernie Sanders doesn’t win.”

The late rush of endorsements for Biden was a major factor, Gobuty believes. “Absolutely. The establishment is doing the smart thing for the establishment and the moderates are coalescing around the moderate.”

But he added: “There’s a long road to the convention from here.”

Sanders supporters were drinking at a Tip Top Daily Market which, along with food and alcohol, sells vinyl records and had a DJ playing tracks such as Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”.

Cat who gets the cream? The night is young but here’s Biden on the trail in Los Angeles earlier today.
Cat who gets the cream? The night is young but here’s Biden on the trail in Los Angeles earlier today. Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

Lundin-Erickson, attending with her nine-year-old daughter, Suvi, said she voted for Sanders because of policies such as Medicare for all. “I lived in England once, working and paying taxes, and was able to get medical treatment there so it was something I’ve always wanted to see come to fruition in the States. But America is very capitalist.”

Mary Kate Finnigan, 33, a nurse practitioner, said: “Bernie’s campaign and his supporters are very grassroots. People feel so strongly about him and want to stand up for something radical.

“We’ll see how the media influences all of that. I am frankly surprised how Biden is doing so well. I don’t know how a country can elect someone like Trump and then think Bernie’s way isn’t possible.”


Arkansas polls close

It’s 8:30 pm ET, so the polls in Arkansas have now closed.

Considering Joe Biden’s sweep of southern states so far, the former vice president looks poised to do well in Arkansas.

However, some polls of Arkansas indicated it could be a strong state for Mike Bloomberg, who has had a disappointing night so far.

The Guardian’s Richard Luscombe reports from Mike Bloomberg’s rally in West Palm Beach, Florida:

Mike Bloomberg is preparing to take the stage in West Palm Beach to address supporters who are well refreshed by the range of luxurious free nibbles and sips on offer at his election night party, including goat’s cheese bites, mini-burgers, spinach flatbreads and a selection of beers and fine wines paid for by the billionaire’s expansive war chest.

It remains to be seen, however, if the former New York mayor’s $500m investment in his campaign for the White House will pay off.

Mike Bloomberg in Miami earlier today. Florida doesn’t vote in the Democratic primary until March 17.
Mike Bloomberg in Miami earlier today. Florida doesn’t vote in the Democratic primary until March 17. Photograph: JLN Photography/REX/Shutterstock

Early results from states including Virginia and North Carolina were not looking good for the self-funded candidate, leaving some attendees and campaign workers here looking, and sounding, nervous. Not even Bloomberg’s win in American Samoa could lift a largely flat mood. CNN reported one Bloomberg adviser had admitted: “This isn’t going as planned.”

Giant screens in the auditorium of the Palm Beach convention center that had been showing rolling CNN coverage of the Super Tuesday voting since the doors opened at 6pm were switched instead to Bloomberg 2020 graphics and shots of the crowd, leaving his supporters with only their mobile phones to follow developments in other states.

Shortly after 8pm, long after Bloomberg’s early warm-up acts including the former mayors of Tampa and Miami Beach had come and gone, and with no sign yet of their man taking the podium, campaign assistants told reporters that Bloomberg was expected on stage by about 8.30pm, but warned that was “subject to change”.


Bloomberg's Super Tuesday gamble is a bust

It’s still early in the night, but so far, it appears Mike Bloomberg’s $500 million gamble on Super Tuesday has been a bust.

The former New York mayor looks poised to receive no delegates in Virginia, where he spent nearly $18 million on advertising.

Mike Bloomberg on the campaign trail in Miami earlier today.
Mike Bloomberg on the campaign trail in Miami earlier today. Photograph: JLN Photography/REX/Shutterstock

Exit polls indicate Bloomberg is also struggling to clear the 15% threshold required to net delegates in North Carolina, where he spent more than $17 million and built a large field operation.

If the night continues on this trajectory, Bloomberg will likely only hear one question tomorrow: when are you dropping out?


Elizabeth Warren’s home state of Massachusetts is too close to call, but exit polls indicate a close three-way race between Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

If Warren cannot carry her home state, it could deliver a fatal blow to the senator’s struggling campaign.

On the other hand, Sanders had hoped Massachusetts would be a weak spot for his main opponent, Biden.

Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before speaking at her Super Tuesday night rally in Detroit, Michigan.
Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before speaking at her Super Tuesday night rally in Detroit, Michigan. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

But exit polls indicate Biden is in the hunt for Massachusetts delegates, winning the majority of voters who made their decision in the past few days.


Biden wins Alabama primary

Polls just closed in Alabama, but the AP has already called the state for Joe Biden, continuing the former vice president’s sweep of southern states.

The immediate call for Biden points to a large margin of victory in Alabama, where 52 pledged delegates are up for grabs.

A voter exits a polling station in Selma, Alabama, today.
A voter exits a polling station in Selma, Alabama, today. Photograph: Michael McCoy/Reuters

Biden’s apparently decisive wins in Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama indicate this could be a difficult night for Bernie Sanders, who was previously the frontrunner in the Democratic primary.


Polls close in five states

It is 8 pm ET, so the polls have closed in five states: Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Alabama appears to be a likely win for Joe Biden, considering the former vice president’s success in southern states so far.

Massachusetts represents a key test for Elizabeth Warren, who is at risk of losing her home state to Bernie Sanders.

It’s also worth noting some polling places in Tennessee are staying open late because of the tornadoes that rolled through the state earlier today, killing at least 25 and destroying hundreds of buildings.

The Guardian’s Richard Luscombe reports from Mike Bloomberg’s rally in West Palm Beach, Florida:

Victoria Van Pelt was a Democratic delegate for Barack Obama in the 2012 election and loves Joe Biden, but thinks the vice president is too damaged by the impeachment scandal to be a viable candidate. So she is throwing her weight behind Mike Bloomberg.

Victoria Van Pelt was an Obama delegate in 2012 and loves Joe Biden but thinks the Vice President is too damaged by the impeachment inquiry to be a viable candidate. Next best she says at Bloomberg rally in Florida is #MikeBloomberg2020

— Richard Luscombe (@richlusc) March 4, 2020

“They eviscerated Joe Biden with this impeachment,” said Van Pelt, 78, from Delray Beach, Florida, as she queued to get into Bloomberg’s Super Tuesday rally in West Palm Beach. “The chief justice put his thumb on the scale.

“I wasn’t a Bloomberg person, I was a Biden person, but I don’t see Biden coming out of this after they destroyed his reputation. Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, he is a socialist and I don’t think America is ready for that in a mainstream party.”

The mood of the crowd at the Palm Beach county convention center was buoyant ahead of the Super Tuesday results, notwithstanding the constant din from the motorcycles and pick-up trucks of the self-styled Trump Train, complete with flags and banner, constantly circling outside.

Other Bloomberg supporters are here for a variety of reasons. Adam Schoenfeld, 56, is a New Yorker now living in West Palm Beach, said Bloomberg had the Big Apple “running like a fine timepiece” when he was mayor from 2002 to 2013.

“He’s incorruptible and unlike the president is able to read and speak in a coherent manner,” he said.

Elementary school teacher Nicole Dedominicis admits to being undecided over who to support in Florida’s 17 March primary.

“I just want to hear what Bloomberg has to say. I’m from New York and I’m a moderate and he’s in my top two choices,” said Dedominicis, who came to the rally with her 15-year-old son Tim McBride, who has been studying civics at high school.

“I love history and to be part of this is something special,” said McBride, who is looking forward to casting his first vote in 2024.


Biden wins North Carolina primary, AP calls

AP has called it, which means it’s official: Joe Biden has won the North Carolina primary.

BREAKING: Joe Biden wins the Democratic presidential primary in North Carolina. #APracecall at 7:45 p.m. EST. #Election2020 #NCprimary

— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) March 4, 2020

Television networks called North Carolina for Biden as soon as polls closed 15 minutes ago, but AP waited a bit before making it official.

Reagrdless, the rapid call for Biden indicates he likely secured a big win in North Carolina, where 110 pledged delegates were up for grabs.


Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg are struggling to hit viability in Virginia and North Carolina, according to exit polls.

The two candidates had hoped to clear the 15% threshold required to pick up delegates, even if they did not win either state.

But early results indicate a resounding victory for Joe Biden, while second-place Bernie Sanders easily cleared 15%.

North Carolina polls close; networks call it for Biden

The polls have closed in North Carolina, where 110 pledged delegates are up for grabs.

Joe Biden’s apparently decisive victory in Virginia had raised expectations for the former vice president in North Carolina, and immediately after polls closed, television networks called the state for Biden.

The AP, the outlet of record for elections, has not yet called North Carolina, but the networks’ immediate call for Biden indicates a sizeable victory.

The Guardian’s Daniel Strauss reports from Richmond, Virginia:

Immediately after polls closed, Virginia was called for former vice-president Joe Biden and Vermont was called for Senator Bernie Sanders.

Vermont was to be expected. It’s Sanders’ home state, and he won it handily in the 2016 Democratic primary.

But Biden’s victory is more notable. Virginia was called almost immediately after polls closed. Biden’s victory there suggests that more southern states are fertile ground for the former vice president to produce a victory.

Biden’s victory also means he has won a state with 99 delegates, more than some other Super Tuesday states.
Here in Richmond, some local Democrats had expected Biden to win handily.


Joe Biden said he felt “optimistic” about his chances after learning of his victory in Virginia.

“Feels good,” Biden told reporters in California of his Virginia win. “I don’t know what the actual results are, but it feels good and we’re optimistic. We’re going to do well in some other states as well.”

North Carolina’s polls close in just a few minutes, so stay tuned for more results.

Vermont exit polls indicate Joe Biden cleared the 15% threshold to win delegates in the state.

Bernie Sanders easily won his home state tonight and will collect the vast majority of Vermont’s 16 pledged delegates.

However, in 2016, Sanders was able to shut out Hillary Clinton from winning any of his state’s delegates.

It seems Sanders may not have achieved that tonight.

Joe Biden’s victory in Virginia spells trouble for Mike Bloomberg, who spent about $18 million in advertising there.

Bloomberg is counting on his $500 million campaign investment to propel him to delegate wins across the country tonight.

However, if Biden has secured a substantial victory in Virginia, that could indicate Bloomberg’s gamble has not paid off.

A huge roar has just gone up at Bernie Sanders’ Super Tuesday rally in his home town of Burlington, Vermont, with chants of “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!”.

Huge roar at Bernie Sanders’ rally in Burlington, VT as polls close and victory declared here in his home state

— Ed Pilkington (@Edpilkington) March 4, 2020

There are no surprises of course in Sanders’ projected victory here. With a population of just 624,000, Vermont is small enough for Bernie to cut a giant figure in a state that he won in 2016 by a whopping 86% to Hillary Clinton’s 14%.

In Burlington itself he is even more familiar, as the Sanders’ headquarters are here and his distinctive head of white hair is frequently seen bobbing down Church Street in the town center. Everyone at the rally seems to know Sanders personally, or at least to have stories about him.

I just talked to Jim Clancy standing in the crowd. He has a memory from his childhood of his mother and Sanders bouncing up and down on a sofa in a Burlington furniture store comparing notes on how firm the piece was.

So that’s Vermont. But when I asked Clancy was that why he voted for Sanders today, because he is the home-boy candidate, he said not at all. “It’s his message. He relates to me. I’m gay, and Bernie started gay pride in Burlington in 1981 when it wasn’t all that common. He’s been consistent, and I like that - there are no surprises with Bernie.”

Exit polls show African-American voters in Virginia went for Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders by more than 40 points, which could indicate the former vice president is in for a very good night in southern states like Alabama and Tennessee.

Folks: If @AP is calling Virginia a second after the polls close @JoeBiden is going to have a big night in the South

Fairfax Co, the largest jurisdiction in Va, is famous for not reporting until very late.

But this Biden margin has apparently made that moot

— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) March 4, 2020

Biden wins Virginia; Sanders wins Vermont

The polls in Vermont and Virginia have just closed, but both states have already been called because of the results of entrance polls.

Bernie Sanders has won his home state of Vermont, as expected, but Joe Biden has surprisingly already been declared the winner of Virginia.

Election experts were closely watching Virginia for signs of Biden’s post-South Carolina bounce. The immediate call for Biden indicates he likely won the state by a significant margin.


First Super Tuesday polls closed

It is 7 pm ET, so the polls have officially closed in Vermont and Virginia.

Vermont is considered a guaranteed win for Bernie Sanders, who has represented the state in the Senate since 2007.

Virginia will be closely watched for signs of how much of a bump Joe Biden received from his landslide victory in South Carolina and the endorsements of former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

For reference, Virginia polls had shown a close race in recent weeks, but a poll taken after South Carolina found Biden jumping out to a 20-point lead.

Virginia Democratic Primary Poll March 1-2 (n=510):

Biden 45%
Sanders 25%
Warren 13%
Bloomberg 10%
Klobuchar 4%*

* Poll conducted mostly before Klobuchar dropped out.

— Change Research (@ChangePolls) March 3, 2020

Polls haven’t even closed yet in Super Tuesday states, but candidates are already looking ahead to the next contests.

Elizabeth Warren has just announced she will travel to Michigan, Arizona and Idaho this weekend.

Michigan and Idaho are both holding primaries next Tuesday, while Arizona’s voters will head to the polls on March 17.

Bloomberg faces first test with voters

Mike Bloomberg is showing no signs of dropping out of the race, as the billionaire candidate faces his first test with voters tonight.

Mike Bloomberg speaks to the media as he makes a stop in Miami, Florida.
Mike Bloomberg speaks to the media as he makes a stop in Miami, Florida. Photograph: JLN Photography/REX/Shutterstock

The former New York mayor skipped campaigning in the four early voting states to focus on the bigger prizes of Super Tuesday, so tonight marks the first time his name will appear on the ballot.

But some of Bloomberg’s critics are already calling on him to suspend his campaign and endorse Joe Biden in the hope of further consolidating the moderate vote.

When asked whether there was any chance Bloomberg would drop out tonight, campaign manager Kevin Sheekey told reporters, “Absolutely not.”

Some Tennessee polling places are staying open later because of the tornadoes that swept through earlier today.

The Tennessean reports:

A Davidson County judge Tuesday afternoon ruled that polls can remain open until 8 p.m. CT at all sites across Nashville.

Polls were originally set to close at 7 p.m. CT. Five polling sites will remain open until 10 p.m. CT. ...

The ruling came at the request of four of the top Democratic presidential campaigns, along with the Tennessee Democratic Party. The groups filed suit in a Nashville court on Tuesday to extend poll times amid heavy tornado damage throughout the city.

At least 25 people have been killed as a result of the storms, and hundreds of buildings in the state have been destroyed.

The biggest prize tonight is California, which has 415 pledged delegates up for grabs.

Bernie Sanders is favored to win the state, but the margin of his potential victory will be crucial in determining whether the Vermont senator can secure a substantial delegate lead coming out of Super Tuesday.

However, it will likely take days if not weeks to determine the exact margin of victory in California because of the state’s size and robust early voting operation.

The LA Times explains:

Even if a presidential candidate is declared the ‘winner’ of the California primary this week (or month), we probably won’t know how many delegates that or other candidates won until county election officials complete their vote counts and audits in April.

For political nerds who will be closely following tonight’s returns, the Times offers this advice: “don’t stay up for California results on Tuesday.”

Early exit polls indicate a signficant portion of Super Tuesday voters made their decision in the past few days, which could be good news for Joe Biden.

According to the CNN exit polls, nearly half of Virginia voters said they made their decision in the past few days, and nearly 3 in 10 North Carolina voters said the same.

Those late-stage decisions could be beneficial to Biden, who won the South Carolina primary by nearly 30 points on Saturday and has since been endorsed by former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

Virginia’s polls close in about an hour, and North Carolina’s polls close in an hour and a half, so we’ll soon see how real the “Biden bump” is.

Here's when polls close

Fourteen states across the country are voting today. Here’s when each state’s polls close, which is when results will start being reported:

  • 7 pm ET: Vermont and Virginia.
  • 7.30 pm ET: North Carolina.
  • 8 pm ET: Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
  • 8.30 pm ET: Arkansas.
  • 9 pm ET: Colorado, Minnesota and Texas.
  • 10 pm ET: Utah.
  • 11 pm ET: California.

The blog will have updates and analysis as those results come in, so stay tuned.

Biden and Sanders face crucial test on Super Tuesday

Happy Super Tuesday, live blog readers!

Voters in 14 states have been heading to the polls all day to decide which Democratic presidential candidate should face off against Donald Trump in November.

Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders greet poll workers before voting in their state’s primary.
Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders greet poll workers before voting in their state’s primary. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 1,300 pledged delegates are up for grabs, and candidates need to win 1,991 pledged delegates to secure the nomination, so today’s results are crucial in determining the direction of the race.

After a series of exits in recent days, the race has narrowed to five candidates: Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard.

Super Tuesday had been viewed as Sanders’ to lose, but Biden’s landslide victory in South Carolina on Saturday and endorsements from former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar have given him momentum heading into today.

Will Biden’s momentum translate into victories today? We’ll find out starting in about an hour and a half, when the polls close in Vermont and Virginia, so stay tuned.


Maanvi Singh in San Francisco (now), Joan E Greve in Washington, Adam Gabbatt and Paul Owen (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

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