For a year, Donald Trump and the Republican party have tried everything within their power—both legal, and extra-legal—to avoid having to face former Vice President Joe Biden ion November. The gamble didn’t pay off and now, all a sudden, it appears they will be facing Biden in the general elections.
Despite the lack of money, Biden pulled off a political resurrection on Super Tuesday, as voters restored him to front-runner status in a race he looked set to lose until recently.
Biden won the majority of the 14 states that voted Tuesday, defeating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in several key primaries across the country.
As of 2 a.m. Eastern time, Biden had been projected as the winner in nine states to Sanders’s four, with one — Maine — still in the balance.
Biden, against all predictions, was projected the winner in Texas. It was the biggest upset of a night that already had several.
With that, Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee. Barring some very large, unexpected event, he will be his party’s standard-bearer against Trump in November.
While the race is not fully over, the path to the nomination is becoming a lot clearer for Biden. Over the next two weeks, Biden will likely win in Florida and Mississippi, Ohio, Arizona, Illinois, and Missouri. A week after that, he will surely win in Georgia.
Meanwhile, Sen. Sanders is heading into difficult demographic terrain.
But Sanders faces challenges that go beyond the electoral map. No other nominee in modern times has been as aggressively opposed during the primaries—both by his or her own intra-party rivals as well as the opposition party, including a sitting president.
The Sanders view of 2020 was that the enthusiasm for radical change and dissatisfaction from within the base of the Democratic party would motivate an entirely new class of non-voters to show up and elect an outsider. This has not happened.
The surge of people on Super Tuesday wasn’t for Bernie. Even with turnout almost doubled, Sanders only picked up an extra 30,000 votes over his 2016 figure. Almost as many people voted for Biden in 2020 as voted—total—in 2016.
Now look at the late-deciding voters across the board on Super Tuesday:
Decided in the last few days via @CNN exit polls:
AL: 62% Biden, 13% Sanders
TN: 61% Biden, 16% Sanders
VA: 60% Biden, 17% Sanders
MN: 55% Biden, 21% Sanders
TX: 49% Biden, 21% Sanders
OK: 45% Biden, 17% Sanders
NC: 43% Biden, 22% Sanders
ME: 42% Biden, 19% Sanders
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) March 4, 2020
Donald Trump’s Ukraine gambit was probably a smart play. But it failed. And, as super Tuesday shows, Biden’s strengths are problematic for Trump.
Biden is obviously going to turn out black voters. But he’s also enormously strong with the college-educated suburban women who helped power the Democrats’ 2018 takeover of the House. And he shows significant strength with white voters without college degrees, too.