Former Vice President Joe Biden swept to victories across the Southern states on Super Tuesday, winning the second-largest prize — Texas after running neck-and-neck in the Lone Star state against his top rival Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Shortly before 1 a.m., with 89% of the vote in, the Associated Press called Biden the winner in Texas, with his 33.27% lead over Sanders’ 29.78%, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 14.97% and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 11.59%.
“It’s a good night, a good night,” Biden told supporters at a rally in Los Angeles Tuesday evening. “They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.”
Biden resurrected his once near death campaign, winning at least eight of 14 states that voted in the biggest primary day for Democratic presidential contenders. The former Vice President swept other southern states including Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas, as well as winning Oklahoma and the home states of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who dropped out Monday and endorsed Biden.
Sanders scored a major victory of his own in California, the most delegate-rich state of the campaign, as well as winning Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont. Those wins are expected to award him a chunk of the delegates, though it will not give him the insurmountable delegate lead as expected.
Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, who appeared on the primary ballot for the first time with his late entry into the race had a very disappointing night. The billionaire spent over $250 million on advertising and organized operations across the Super Tuesday map in hopes of taking away support from Biden. Despite pouring hundreds of millions, Bloomberg came out of Super Tuesday winning the American Samoa caucus, which awards six delegates.
But none is most disappointing than Sen. Elizabeth Warren finishing third in her home state of Massachusetts. The lost may intensify pressure for Warren to drop out and back Sanders.
The Texas loss was a major blow for Sanders, who organized a massive presence in the state by holding a rally on the day of the Nevada caucuses late last month. Sanders performed strongly among Latino voters, getting 41 percent of their support, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll.
Biden held his final rally the eve of Super Tuesday in Dallas, with his former rivals Beto O’Rourke and Klobuchar endorsing the former Vice President. Mayor Pete Buttigieg who also dropped out a few days ago endorsed Biden at a restaurant in Dallas before the rally.
Biden will win at least 30 delegates in the Lone Star state, while Sanders will win at least 23, according to an early projection from NBC.
Riding his wave of endorsements, Biden was favored by 47 percent of Super Tuesday voters who said they picked a candidate in the last few days. Six in 10 voters in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primaries care most about nominating a candidate who can beat President Donald Trump in November, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of 14 Super Tuesday states across the country. Those voters favor Biden over Sanders by a margin of 36 percent to 25 percent.
With the final results still pending in California, Biden will end Super Tuesday with the most delegates. The results from the night indicate that the Democratic primary has essentially become a two-man race between Sanders and Biden.
Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton in the state’s 2016 primary by more than 30 percentage points.