• Thomas Parker

Biden sweeps the South on Super Tuesday

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

Voter turnout for former Vice President Joe Biden broke records, catapulting him to victories in at least nine of the 14 Super Tuesday states.

Biden's resurgent campaign swept the southern United States, winning across the board from Texas to Virginia. Biden also picked up wins in Senator Amy Klobuchar's home state of Minnesota following her endorsement, and Senator Elizabeth Warren's home state of Massachusetts, where she placed third.

Biden racked up victories despite being significantly outspent by his rivals. In Virginia, Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg outspent Biden $12 million to $200,000. Biden also bested Senator Bernie Sanders in states he carried in 2016 against Hillary Clinton such as Oklahoma.

One of Biden's keys to victory was increased voter turnout. In Virginia, where Democratic voter turnout surpassed the numbers in 2016 by more than 500,000 votes, Sanders vote share dropped significantly. In Tennessee, voter turnout was up more than 30% from 2016, yet Sanders' vote total was nearly unchanged from four years ago.

Despite the overall increases in voter turnout, the youth voters Sanders is popular with did not come out to support him in proportionate numbers. On Super Tuesday, not a single state saw an increase in the voting share of voters under 30 years of age.

Before Biden's comeback win in South Carolina, he was polling below Sanders in Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and some southern states such as North Carolina and Virginia were considered toss-ups. Instead, late-deciding Democratic voters primarily voted for Biden, resulting in a significant blow to Sanders and displacing him as the frontrunner of the race.

Sanders had a disappointing showing, but still managed to pick up a significant number of delegates by winning California, Utah, Colorado, and his home state of Vermont. Unless Sanders can break Biden's hold of the South and Midwest, Biden may run away with the nomination.

Mike Bloomberg picked up a victory in American Samoa, the only victory he has to show for the over $600 million his campaign has spent to date. His strategy of starting to compete on Super Tuesday flopped with him coming in third or fourth in states he spent heavily in.

Bloomberg suspended his campaign for president following his disappointing showing.

The next Democratic Party primary contests will be on Tuesday, March 10, where Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington state cast their votes.

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