A divided Democratic Party decides its future today
While no one expects the Democratic primary to officially end after tonight, it's likely the process will formally become a two person race between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. The two candidates have led in the polls for months and Biden's commanding South Carolina primary victory last week appeared to represent a sea change of momentum in the race. However, Sanders remains ahead in a number of primary states and the overall delegate count, meaning Democrats could be headed to a historic contested convention this summer unless a clear favorite emerges.
We'll be updating with live results as they come in below...
Super Tuesday is off to an emphatic start for former Vice President Joe Biden. After a disastrous start to the 2020 primaries, Biden has come roaring back. Most experts were unsure if his commanding South Carolina primary victory last Saturday was an asterisk of the beginning of a sea change in the tumultuous quest to replace President Donald Trump at the ballot box this November.
If the early results are any indication, the Biden momentum is very real. Less than a week ago, Sanders appeared poised to take both Virginia and North Carolina. But both states have already been called for Biden with less than 1 percent of the total votes counted. That means the early results indicate a large victory for Biden in both states.
Obviously, many more crucial Super Tuesday states remain in play, including California and Texas. Sanders has held a considerable lead in California and many analysts say it could create a firewall for him against any Biden insurgency. The two candidates appear closer in Texas, where Biden held a large rally Monday night featuring endorsements from Amy Kloubacher, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke, amongst others.
Bernie Sanders gets his first Super Tuesday win in home state of Vermont
The first victory for Sen. Bernie Sanders came in his home state of Vermont. Super Tuesday is shaping up to be a dramatic showdown between Sanders and his new chief rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders has maintained a lead in the Democratic primary over the past few weeks but the establishment wing of the Democratic Party swiftly moved to unite behind Biden after his commanding South Carolina victory last weekend.
Many Sanders supporters are upset by what they see as the corporate and ineffective wing of the party moving behind a candidate who has appeared shaky at best on the campaign trail and on the debate stage. With the one unifying theme of the primary being a desire to defeat Donald Trump, Sanders supporters have argued that their candidate is the only one with the passion and conviction to take on a president who has shaken off all the historic norms of the office.
However, a tough Super Tuesday battle with Joe Biden (and the Democratic Party establishment) may be just what Bernie Sanders needs. After all, any fight against Donald Trump, Republicans and the conservative media will be an endless fight through election day. So far, Sanders has been relatively unscathed by his primary opponents. His biggest obstacle has been receiving fair and equal coverage by a political press that has actively been dismissive if not hostile to his campaign. An increased focus on the differences between a candidate like Biden and Sanders will force Bernie and his supporters to develop an even more precise approach to his campaign, something he'll need if he emerges as the nominee.
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