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Biden and Sanders pick up wins in first Super Tuesday states. (Credit: CBS News)
Biden and Sanders pick up wins in first Super Tuesday states. (Credit: CBS News)

Super Tuesday Results: Biden surges on Super Tuesday; Sanders takes California as big prize

Bernie Sanders has won California’s Democratic presidential primary. The state has 415 delegates at stake, the biggest haul on the electoral map.

Sanders’ campaign has long seen the nation’s most populous state as a critical early contest and has had droves of volunteers organizing events across the state. Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic presidential primary to Hillary Clinton and was hoping for a comeback that would be a capstone moment for the state’s progressive wing.

Sanders has also won Utah, Vermont, and Colorado. Joe Biden has won Massachusetts, Arkansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Virginia.

A resurgent Joe Biden swept to victory across the country on Tuesday, scoring primary wins in the upper Midwest, Massachusetts and African American strongholds in the South, in a dramatic offensive against progressive rival Bernie Sanders, who was hoping to tap into delegate-rich Western states to maintain his lead in the Democratic presidential contest.

The two Democrats, lifelong politicians with starkly different visions for America’s future, were battling for delegates as 14 states and one U.S. territory held a series of high-stakes elections that marked the most significant day of voting in the party’s 2020 nomination fight.

Projected Winners

  • Alabama – Biden
  • Arkansas – Biden
  • California – Sanders
  • Colorado – Sanders
  • Maine – Biden
  • Massachusetts – Biden
  • Minnesota – Biden
  • North Carolina – Biden
  • Oklahoma – Biden
  • Tennessee – Biden
  • Texas – Biden
  • Utah – Sanders
  • Vermont – Sanders
  • Virginia – Biden

Delegates to date

1,991 needed to win

  • Biden: 331
  • Sanders: 278
  • Buttigieg: 26
  • Warren: 18
  • Bloomberg: 13
  • Klobuchar: 8
  • Gabbard: 1

*as of 11:10 p.m.

“People are talking about a revolution. We started a movement,” Biden charged in Los Angeles, knocking one of Sanders’ signature lines.

And without citing his surging rival by name, Sanders swiped at Biden from a victory speech in Burlington, Vermont.

“You cannot beat Trump with the same-old, same-old kind of politics,” Sanders declared, ticking down a list of past policy differences with Biden on Social Security, trade and military force. “This will become a contrast in ideas.”

Mike Bloomberg’s sole victory was in the territory of American Samoa. The billionaire former New York mayor will reassess his campaign on Wednesday, according to a person close to his operation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

Elizabeth Warren had yet to post any early wins and lost her home state of Massachusetts to Biden in a devastating defeat.

Sanders, a Vermont senator, opened the night as the undisputed Democratic front-runner. He claimed decisive victories in his home state of Vermont, Utah, and Colorado. Yet Biden scored wins in Massachusetts, Warren’s native Oklahoma and a swath of Southern states including Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas signaled he was cementing his status as the standard-bearer for the Democrats’ establishment wing. In a sign of his strength across the country, Biden also won Minnesota, a state Sanders had hoped to put in his column.

Biden racked up the victories despite being dramatically outspent by moderate rival Bloomberg, who poured more than $19 million into television advertising in Virginia. Biden, meanwhile, spent less than $200,000.

Bloomberg says campaign has “done something that no one else thought was possible”

Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg walks out before speaking at his Super Tuesday night event on March 03, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Credit: Joe Raedle / GETTY IMAGES)
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg walks out before speaking at his Super Tuesday night event on March 03, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Credit: Joe Raedle / GETTY IMAGES)

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd in Florida, Bloomberg joked it was unusual to see a New Yorker in south Florida in late winter.

“Unlike the president, I didn’t come here to golf,” Bloomberg quipped. “I came here because winning in November starts with Florida.”

The Florida primary is on March 17.

Bloomberg obliquely acknowledged that he was trailing in several of the Super Tuesday states, where he dramatically outspent all of the other candidates.

“No matter how many delegates we have won tonight, we have done something that no one else thought was possible,” Bloomberg said, noting that he only launched his campaign a few months ago. Bloomberg, who has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into his campaign, said that he “has the resources to beat Trump.”

Most voters in exit polls don’t want more liberal policies

Looking at the seven states where the polls are closed, 46% of voters said in exit polls that they think the next president should return to Barack Obama’s policies; 34% think the U.S. should change to more conservative policies; and 14% think the next president should change to more liberal policies.

Many voters — 41% of voters said in exit polls in the states where polls are closed — made up their decision about who to support in the presidential primary in the last few days.

—  Melissa Herrmann and Kathryn Watson

Money rolling in for Biden

With Tuesday night’s encouraging results for the Biden campaign from Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia so far, the money is finally starting to pour in for the former vice president.

“There is unprecedented incoming and a lot of people asking to join the campaign,” said a top Biden campaign “bundler” responsible for helping the former vice president raise campaign cash.

Earlier Tuesday, Biden told reporters while campaigning in Los Ángeles that he thinks his campaign raised $5 million Monday night but “don’t hold him to exact numbers.” He then said that he thinks the campaign has raised $15 million total in the last three days.

One bundler boasted to CBS News on Tuesday alone Biden close to $100,000 in pledges came in from former Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar fundraisers.

— Ed O’Keefe and Bo Erickson

Biden had strong support from African American voters in North Carolina

In North Carolina, Biden found strong support among African American voters, with almost two-thirds supporting him, according to exit polls.

Three in 10 voters said they made their decision in the last few days, and of those, 59% said they were voting for Biden. Sixty-two percent of the majority of primary voters who want a candidate who can unite the country supported Biden. Of the almost two-thirds of North Carolina primary voters who prefer a Democratic Party nominee who can beat Mr. Trump, just about half support Biden.

Biden also had strong support among older voters, with 55% of voters 65 and older voting for him. The majority of moderates also voted for Biden.

Voters were split on their opinion of socialism, with 49% with a favorable opinion of socialism and 41% with an unfavorable opinion. The majority of those with an unfavorable opinion supported Biden.

— Melissa Herrmann 

8 p.m. poll closings: Biden projected to win Alabama, toss-ups in several other states

As polls closed in several states, CBS News projects that Biden will win Alabama. In Warren’s home state of Massachusetts, CBS News estimates it’s a three-way toss-up between Biden, Warren and Sanders. CBS News estimates Oklahoma and Maine are also both toss-ups between Biden and Sanders.

Polls were also supposed to close at 8 p.m. in Tennessee, but after severe storms, some  polling locations were forced to close, and voting was extended until 9 p.m.

Warren indicates that she is not dropping out Tuesday night

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) poses for a selfie ahead of her Super Tuesday night event on March 03, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Credit: GETTY IMAGES)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) poses for a selfie ahead of her Super Tuesday night event on March 03, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Credit: GETTY IMAGES)

Despite potential losses in the Super Tuesday contest, Warren indicated that she will not drop out of the presidential race.

“My name is Elizabeth Warren and I’m the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump,” Warren said as she took the stage in Detroit, Michigan. She urged voters not to listen to prognostications from pundits, but to instead vote with their hearts.

“Prediction has been a terrible business, and the pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,” Warren said.

Although Warren has led in polls in her home state of Massachusetts, it is unclear which states, if any, she will carry in tonight’s contests.

CBS News projects Biden will win North Carolina

Based on early exit polling, CBS News projects Biden will win the state of North Carolina. Polls closed at 7:30 p.m.

As was the case in Virginia, black voters overwhelmingly gave Biden their support in North Carolina. He won over 60% of the African-American vote in the state. He also performed well with older voters — 50% of those over age 45 and over went for Biden, while Bloomberg was second with just 14%, followed by Sanders, with 13% of this age group.

Those looking for someone to unite the country went big for Biden – roughly six in 10 of that group backed him. Biden and Sanders were about even among voters looking for a candidate who can bring needed change.

About 3 in 10 North Carolina Democratic voters are moderate, and more than half of those voters went for Biden. More than half of North Carolina Democrats wanted a return to Obama policies.

Biden led with both men and women in the state.

Bloomberg campaign manager says campaign will “assess” after votes Tuesday

Kevin Sheekey, campaign manager for Bloomberg, told reporters shortly before polls closed in Virginia and Vermont that they would “assess” after the results from Tuesday’s primaries are released. However, Sheekey said that Bloomberg would “absolutely not” drop out of the race Tuesday night.

Sheekey also contradicted Bloomberg’s comments from earlier today, when the candidate said that the only way he could win would be in a contested convention, a scenario in which no candidate enters the Democratic National Convention this summer with a majority of delegates.

“I don’t think I can win any other way,” Bloomberg said.

Sheekey, however, told reporters that he does not believe there will be a contested convention.

— Tim Perry and Grace Segers

CBS News projections: Biden wins Virginia and Sanders wins Vermont

CBS News projects Biden will win the Virginia primary, and projects Sanders will win the primary in his home state of Vermont.

There are 99 pledged delegates up for grabs in Virginia, and 16 available in Vermont.

Nearly half of Virginia Democratic primary voters decided in the last few days, and Biden won them big – 52% went for him.

Exit polls show 51% viewed Biden as the candidate best able to beat Trump. Sanders was far behind with 22%.

He won more than six in 10 of black voters.

— Ellee Watson and Kathryn Watson 

Judge allows polling locations in Nashville to stay open later after devastating tornadoes

The Tennessee Democratic Party said a judge had allowed all Nashville polling sites to stay open for an additional hour, until 9 p.m. ET. A lawsuit was filed earlier Tuesday seeking to extend the hours in Davidson County after it was hit by deadly tornadoes overnight.

Additionally, five “super sites” will stay open until 11 p.m. ET. Polls in Tennessee were set to close at 8 p.m. ET.

The state party called the extension of voting hours a “victory for voters.”

Beating Trump is top concern for voters

According to early exit polls, voters across Super Tuesday states say they prefer a nominee who can beat President Trump to one they agree with on major issues. Overall, 59% said they wanted a nominee who can beat Mr. Trump in November, compared with 36% who said they prefer someone who agrees with them on issues.

super-tuesday-exit-poll-nominee.jpg

Health care is the most important issue for Democratic voters today, far ahead of climate change, income inequality, and race relations.  The exit poll results show voters are split on whether to replace all private health insurance with a single government plan for all, with just over half supporting this in seven of the Super Tuesday states.

most-important-issue-exit-poll.jpg

Democratic voters in Southern states — Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee — are more likely to think the next president should return to Barack Obama’s policies rather than move toward more liberal policies. In Maine, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, there is more of a split, with a slight edge towards wanting the next president to be more liberal.

Among those who voted today in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, roughly half said the coronavirus outbreak was an important factor in their vote.

Many voters said they made their decision about whom to vote for within the last few days.

— Melissa Herrmann

Delegate count before Super Tuesday results

Sanders has a narrow lead in delegates as voters were going to the polls on Super Tuesday, with 60 delegates. Biden is just behind him, with 54 delegates and Warren has 8.

Although they dropped out earlier this week, Buttigieg had 26 delegates and Klobuchar had 7 delegates.

Trump slams Democrats as Super Tuesday voters go to the polls

Speaking on the White House lawn, President Trump slammed Democrats as voters go to the polls. “Whoever [the nominee] is, I really don’t care, I will take them on,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump was headed to a roundtable with the National Institute of Health on coronavirus.

At a rally in North Carolina on Monday night, Mr. Trump said he “likes to troll” Democrats by going to the states that are going to vote.

Super Tuesday spending update

As of noon, the candidates who are still running for the Democratic nomination have spent $256 million on TV and radio ads in the 14 states voting today. Add the three who dropped out — Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg — and the total rises to $308.8 million.

The vast majority of that spending, however, was undertaken by one candidate, Mike Bloomberg, who dropped $233 million in the Super Tuesday states. Bernie Sanders was the next biggest spender, with $18 million, and Joe Biden spent a little over $2 million.

In California alone, Bloomberg spent over $77 million on ads. And in Texas, he shelled out almost $57 million in Texas, $17 million in North Carolina and $18 million in Virginia.

Among super PACs, Persist, which is supporting Elizabeth Warren, has spent the most in Super Tuesday states, just under $12 million.

Author: CBS News / AP / WINK News
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