Joe Biden Takes Delegate Lead After Super Tuesday Rout

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a primary election night rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

March 3 (UPI) — After fourth- and fifth-place finishes to start the primary season a few weeks ago before his win in South Carolina last weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden continued his comeback Tuesday night, overtaking Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the overall delegate count for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden notched wins on Super Tuesday in Texas, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia.

Sanders won in four states — California, Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont. The race in Maine had not been called early Wednesday, but it appears the two candidates each won eight delegates there.

“We were told when you get to Super Tuesday, it may be over,” an energized Biden told supporters late Tuesday. “Well, it may be over for the other guy.”

“I want to thank our incredible supporters and volunteers across the country. Your faith in our campaign — especially when the pundits and the media counted us out — means the world to me,” he added later in a tweet. “Let’s go win this, together.”

Former New York City Mike Bloomberg secured a win in the territory of American Somoa, which has six delegates, but finished a distant third or fourth everywhere else. Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn’t win in any of the Super Tuesday voting states, including her home state of Massachusetts.

Biden responded to a tweet from President Donald Trump that criticized Warren and Bloomberg.

“You lost tonight,” he told the president. “Democrats around the country are fired up. We are decent, brave and resilient people. We are better than you. Come November, we are going to beat you.”

Biden may have been aided by three candidates who dropped out of the race just before the Super Tuesday vote — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Monday, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Sunday and billionaire Tom Steyer on Saturday. At a rally Monday in Texas, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and former candidate Beto O’Rourke all endorsed Biden.

Following the results Tuesday, Bloomberg will reassess his campaign on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

States that cast ballots Tuesday were Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia, plus American Samoa, a U.S. territory and the birthplace of candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

A total of 1,344 delegates were up for grabs Tuesday — nearly 70 percent of the 1,991 needed to secure the Democratic nomination on the first ballot at the party’s national convention in Milwaukee in July.

With the largest populations and most delegates to award — a total of 756 — California and Texas were the top prizes Tuesday. North Carolina pledged 110 delegates.

Residents of Los Angeles County used new voting machines, the first wholesale redesign of the county’s voting system in more than 50 years.

The Los Angeles Times reported that 15 other counties experienced problems connecting their voting systems to the statewide voter database. Some counties were unable to update registration records to show that voters had already voted. To make sure voters weren’t able to vote twice, some elections officials asked them to cast provisional ballots, which are counted the day after the primary.

Los Angeles was unaffected by the problems.

“There is no evidence of malicious activity, and all counties have restored connectivity at this time,” Sam Mahood, a spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Padilla, said. “This should not prevent any voters from casting a ballot, as counties have contingency procedures in place to check in voters.

Voters faced long lines in Houston, up to 3 hours, after technical problems with some Democratic voting machines. Machines for the Republican primary had no reported problems.

“I don’t think it’s right that someone should have to wait that long to participate in our democratic process,” one voter, Karen Griffin, said.

Tornadoes in Tennessee overnight complicated the election process Tuesday. A polling location in Wilson County used paper ballots after it lost electricity due to the storm.

Lauren Breeze, a member of the county’s election commission, said two shelter sites in the county weren’t offering shuttles to polling sites. Polling locations at two high schools in the county were closed due to damage.

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