Less than two weeks after his campaign for the Democratic nomination appeared to be on life support, former Vice President Joe Biden executed a remarkable comeback on Super Tuesday, trouncing his rivals in Southern states with large African-American populations while capturing liberal strongholds that Bernie Sanders won four years ago. CBS News also projected that Biden will win Texas.
Biden assembled a broad coalition of support that delivered projected victories across the South in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee, as well as Minnesota, Massachusetts and Oklahoma. In Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, exit polling showed more than 6 in 10 black voters went for Biden. That figure reached 72% in Alabama, where 46% of those who went to the polls were black.
California, the biggest prize of the night, was leaning towards Sanders as results trickled in Tuesday night, with young and Latino voters overwhelmingly going for the Vermont senator. Depending on the final tally, Sanders could potentially capture enough of the state’s 415 pledged delegates to offset Biden’s leads elsewhere, but it could take days before results in California are finalized, given the high number of ballots that were submitted by mail.
The former vice president excelled among moderate voters and older Democrats, winning 47% of those 65 and over in Super Tuesday states, according to exit polling. Michael Bloomberg was second with just 16%, followed by Sanders at 13%.
Many Democrats also said Biden was best equipped to defeat President Trump in November. Fifty-one percent of Virginia Democratic primary voters said Biden was the best candidate to beat Mr. Trump, far surpassing Sanders at 22%.
Taking the stage in Los Angeles as results continued to come in, Biden remarked, “They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing,” declaring it a “good night.”
“Just a few days ago the press and the pundits declared the campaign dead, and then came South Carolina, and they had something to say about it, and we’re told well when you got to Super Tuesday, it’d be over,” Biden said. “Well, it may be over for the other guy. Tell that to the folks in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and maybe even Massachusetts.”
More than 1,300 delegates — roughly 30% of total pledged delegates — were at stake on the most important day of the Democratic nominating process thus far. Biden pulled into the lead early in the night, but Sanders began to close the gap as states in the West began to report results.
You can read the rest of Melissa Quinn and Stefan Becket’s article at CBSnews.com