Minnesota chooses Biden in Super Tuesday Primary | Minnesota Public Radio News

Minnesota chooses Biden in Super Tuesday Primary

Catch the latest results and reporting from Minnesota's Super Tuesday election

    Biden takes early lead in Minnesota

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Amy Klobuchar’s abrupt withdrawal from the presidential race gave front-runner Bernie Sanders a sudden opportunity to lock up her home state and forced her supporters to make a quick second choice on Super Tuesday.

    Joe Biden took a slight lead over Sanders in early returns, just 24 hours after fellow moderates Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg threw their support to the former vice president. Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg were further back.

    Sanders, who easily won Minnesota’s caucuses in 2016, has a large and motivated progressive base in the state that might have overcome Klobuchar’s presumed home-field advantage even if she hadn’t dropped out Monday. Sanders made a bid for Klobuchar’s and Buttigieg’s supporters in a Monday night rally in St. Paul, noting big policy differences but a shared desire to unseat President Donald Trump.

    “The door is open,” he said. “Come on in.”

    Klobuchar wasn’t having it.

    “I don’t think we should have a socialist heading up our ticket,” Klobuchar said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.”

    Biden entered Super Tuesday with momentum from winning South Carolina on Saturday, but his campaign had done next to nothing in Minnesota as it focused on earlier-voting states and bigger prizes. He still faced moderate competition from Bloomberg, who spent heavily on TV ads for weeks, while Warren provided a progressive alternative.

    Many Minnesota voters also had no chance to shift their vote. Almost 84,000 Democrats cast early ballots in the primary — many of them surely for Klobuchar — and her exit came too late for them to be clawed back.

    Minnesota had 75 national convention delegates up for grabs.

    In the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, engaged couple Susan Beaubaire, 69, and Len Lichtblau, 70, were planning to vote for Klobuchar before she dropped out. Beaubaire voted for Biden; Lichtblau chose Bloomberg.

    “I voted for Biden because I feel that he has the best chance of potentially beating Trump. ... He represents, of the people left, a more moderate view,” Beaubaire said. “And I think the country just needs somebody who’s going to calm things down.”

    Lichtblau said he likes Biden a lot, too. But the former New York resident said he backed Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, at the last second because he trusts him to run things.

    “Honest to God, when I stood in the booth I was going ‘Biden-Bloomberg, Biden-Bloomberg,’ and I just went for Bloomberg.” he said. “I’d be happy with either of them.”

    In the northwestern Minnesota city of Moorhead, 36-year-old librarian Al Bernardo said he voted for Sanders and never even considered his home-state senator.

    “I think Bernie is the only candidate who can beat Trump,” he said. “He’s running on a platform that will do the most to help the most people in the country. I think the way he is organizing his campaign represents a new movement in the Democratic Party that has been lacking in recent years.”

    Adam Pankow, 39, a member of the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, had planned on voting for Klobuchar, but took her advice and voted for Biden. He said he saw Biden as “a great choice to ultimately beat Trump.”

    In Minneapolis, 75-year-old Joseph Dixon, a Jamaican immigrant, voted for Bloomberg. He described the billionaire as “professional” and “productive.”

    “What I’m concerned about is the integrity of the leadership, and when I see Bloomberg I see leadership qualities,” Dixon said. “And the leadership quality is one that will get things done in a professional way without putting down anyone or playing games just to get elected.”

    It’s Minnesota’s first presidential primary since 1992, and the first that’s binding on both parties since 1956. The state ditched a caucus system after 2016 saw long lines and chaotic gatherings in some places, but the primary rules have raised privacy concerns that may dampen turnout. Voters’ names and party preferences must be reported to the state’s major parties.

    President Donald Trump had the Minnesota GOP primary ballot to himself after party leaders decided not to list any Republican challengers, though write-in votes were allowed.

    — Steve Karnowski | Associated Press

    Latino voters are boosting Bernie Sanders in Texas

    Polls are now closed in Texas, where about one-third of the Democratic electorate is made up of Latino voters. Four years ago, Bernie Sanders lost the state to Hillary Clinton by more than 30 points. But this year, he’s having a better night in Texas, something that he owes to a strong showing with Latino voters.

    According to exit polls, Sanders is winning more than 40 percent of Latino Democrats. In 2016, he won just 29 percent. He is performing particularly strongly among young Latino Democrats, between the ages of 18-29 with 64 percent support.

    Black voters make up about a fifth of the Democratic electorate. Sanders has about 20 percent support among them, according to exit polls. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been boosted by the support of black voters across the state, has the support of 55 percent of black voters.

    As for white Democratic primary voters, Sanders has a narrow lead over Biden.

    Biden projected to win Arkansas

    With 31 delegates here, Arkansas cuts a similar profile to Oklahoma, but it had a higher share of the electorate that was black in 2016 — 27% of Arkansas Democrats were black, and 34% were whites without a college degree.

    — Amita Kelly, NPR Politics Editor

    Mayor De Blasio defends Sanders’ viability in California and Texas

    Angela Weiss/Getty Images

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told NPR that he expects Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to perform well in California and Texas tonight - despite a growing delegate lead for former Vice President Joe Biden after more than five primary wins so far tonight.

    Mayor de Blasio, who briefly ran for president before dropping out and endorsing Sanders, says that Sanders’ support among young people and Latino voters will make him a strong contender as polls close across the county.

    He emphasized that he believes only Sanders and Biden will remain serious candidates for the nomination, while also adding he plans on backing the Democratic nominee regardless of who it is.

    When asked about former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s candidacy — de Blasio disagreed with Sanders, who said he wouldn’t welcome his monetary support if Bloomberg were to drop out of the race.

    "Of course, we need all hands on deck to beat Donald Trump. I respect Bernie and it is very consistent with Bernie’s values to say he doesn’t want that kind of support. Obviously, that support could go any number of other kindred places to the Democratic Party and all sorts of other allied organizations rather than directly to a campaign,” de Blasio told NPR.”

    “But, well, I say we take it,” de Blasio added.

    AP source: Bloomberg to reassess after disappointing results

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg plans to reassess on Wednesday whether he should stay in the race after disappointing results in Tuesday’s primaries.

    A person close to the Bloomberg campaign confirmed the deliberations. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter by name and requested anonymity.

    Bloomberg spent more than half a billion dollars on his presidential campaign. But Tuesday marked the first elections where he was on ballots. Former Vice President Joe Biden won key states like Virginia and North Carolina where Bloomberg had spent millions of dollars and campaigned heavily.

    Fourteen states voted in Tuesday’s primaries. Polls in California, the biggest delegate haul, have not yet closed.
    — Kathleen Ronayne | Associated Press

    Late deciders aid Biden, young loyal to Sanders

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Democratic voters in Super Tuesday's presidential primaries made up their minds just before casting a ballot — and Joe Biden appears to be benefiting from their indecision.

    Late deciders across several states voting Tuesday broke for Biden, helping the former vice president capitalize on new momentum in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sen. Bernie Sanders secured his home state of Vermont and Colorado, where voters were more likely to be liberal.

    The pool of late deciders ranged from about a quarter of voters in Texas to roughly half in Minnesota, according to AP VoteCast surveys of voters in several Super Tuesday contests. In Minnesota, roughly half of those votes went to Biden.

    The surveys show the power of momentum in a race that has long been crowded with candidates and often left voters confused. Biden's big win in South Carolina on Saturday revived his struggling campaign and pushed three of his rivals toward the exit.

    Still, Biden must also block Sanders with his constituency of young liberals, box out Sen. Elizabeth Warren and overcome the hundreds of millions spent by billionaire Mike Bloomberg — who is on the ballot for the first time Tuesday. Further complicating the possible outcomes on Tuesday was that many people voted early, likely to be a major factor in California, the night's biggest delegate prize.
    — Josh Boak and Hannah Fingerhut | Associated Press

    Sanders projected to win Utah

    The Utah Democratic Party estimates that Latinos account for 14% of the party in this very white state. A poll from last week has Bernie Sanders ahead with 28%, Michael Bloomberg at 19%, Elizabeth Warren 15% and Joe Biden below the 15% threshold for delegates. The poll was conducted after the Las Vegas debate, but Bloomberg showed up in the state the day after that debate.

    Sanders still confident despite Biden surge

    Photo by Alex Wong | Getty Images

    Bernie Sanders is expressing “absolute confidence” that he’ll be victorious in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, despite losing many of the early Super Tuesday races to Joe Biden.

    Speaking to supporters in Essex Junction, Vermont, Sanders stuck to his standard criticisms of his Democratic rivals without naming them. He also promoted himself as putting together “an unprecedented, grassroots, multigenerational, multi-racial movement.”

    Thus far, Sanders had won two contests of the night: his home state of Vermont and Colorado.

    Referencing states yet to be counted, including delegate-rich Texas, Sanders said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen later on tonight,” noting he was “cautiously optimistic” he would win California.

    He ended by thanking Vermonters for their support through the years, closing with, “Let’s go on to the White House.”

    — Associated Press

    Protesters interrupt Biden celebration

    A woman charges the stage while holding a sign that reads "Let Dairy Die" as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a Super Tuesday event at Baldwin Hills Recreation Center on March 3, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    Protesters briefly interrupted Joe Biden's Super Tuesday celebratory remarks to supporters in Los Angeles.

    Women holding signs reading "Let Dairy Die" stormed the podium where Biden was giving remarks Tuesday night, flanked by his wife and sister. Biden moved to the side as security removed the women.

    Protesters from the animal rights group have interrupted recent campaign events in Nevada and California. Topless women with "Let Dairy Die" written on their chests protested a Bernie Sanders campaign event earlier this month.

    As soon as the women were removed, Biden resumed his remarks, seemingly unfazed.

    A winner has not yet been called in California.

    — Associated Press

    Biden defeats Warren in Massachusetts primary

    Joe Biden has won Massachusetts' Democratic presidential primary. The state has 91 delegates at stake.

    Massachusetts was considered a must-win state for its home-state candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and election officials predicted high turnout. Nearly 230,000 voters took advantage of early voting last week, the first time the state has allowed early voting in a presidential primary.

    Biden has won Arkansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia. Bernie Sanders has won Utah, Vermont and Colorado.

    — Associated Press

    Sanders addresses supporters: before California and Texas results

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stressed victory to a crowd of supporters in his home state tonight, while still awaiting results from California and Texas, two delegate-rich states where he is expected to do well.

    In his speech, Sanders touted several of his cornerstone campaign policies, including Medicare for All, economic reforms, and the elimination of college debt.

    “We’re not only taking on the corporate establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment,” Sanders added.

    Sanders’ speech comes as former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads in the delegate count for the night, winning the most states so far.

    Without mentioning Biden by name, Sanders criticized the former vice president’s political record on health care, the economy, and trade while also highlighting Biden’s decision to vote for the war in Iraq — a choice Sanders opposed.

    With polls closing in California at 11 p.m. ET, Sanders said he was “cautiously optimistic” about winning the Golden State — which has 415 delegates in play. He also said he believes he’ll do well in Texas, which has 228 delegates.

    Sanders has currently won Colorado, Vermont and Utah.

    Sanders projected to win California

    California has the largest delegate haul of the night — 415.

    Bernie Sanders spent about $7 million on ads (of the $15.5 million he has spent across Super Tuesday states) in the state, according to data as of Feb. 27 from Advertising Analytics provided to NPR.

    Joe Biden spent nothing on California TV ads, and just $4,000 on digital. Michael Bloomberg, in contrast, has spent more than $71 million and polled below the 15% threshold required to get any delegates in all of these contests.

    Sanders wins Democratic primary in California

    Bernie Sanders has won California's Democratic presidential primary. The state has 415 delegates at stake, the biggest haul on the electoral map.

    Sanders' campaign has long seen the nation’s most populous state as a critical early contest and has had droves of volunteers organizing events across the state. Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic presidential primary to Hillary Clinton and was hoping for a comeback that would be a capstone moment for the state’s progressive wing.

    Sanders has also won Utah, Vermont and Colorado. Joe Biden has won Massachusetts, Arkansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia.

    — Associated Press

    Biden: ‘We started a movement’

    Joe Biden celebrated a string of victories on Tuesday night, telling supporters that his campaign is for those people who have been counted out.

    “It’s a good night, and it’s getting better,” Biden said as he stepped onto the stage in Los Angeles.

    It was a remarkable turnaround for a campaign that had faltered in earlier states and struggled with fundraising.

    The former vice president has won eight states so far, including MassachusettsVirginia and Minnesota. In Virginia, in particular, turnout was way up from 2016, allowing Biden to take a swipe at the other front-runner in the race, Bernie Sanders.

    “People are talking about a revolution — we started a movement. We’ve increased turnout. The turnout’s turned out for us,” Biden said.

    While Biden has won most of the states up for grabs on Tuesday, Sanders won California, the biggest state of the night. Texas, the second-biggest state voting tonight, has not been called yet.

    — Ayesha Rascoe
    Find the unofficial results at the Secretary of State website here: https://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us/Results/StatewidePnp/132?officeInElectionId=22262

    How the AP called California for Sanders

    As soon as polls closed in California at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, The Associated Press called Bernie Sanders the winner of the biggest prize on Super Tuesday.

    The AP called the state's Democratic presidential primary for the Vermont senator even though no votes from Tuesday had yet been counted. The news agency did so based on results from AP VoteCast, its wide-ranging survey of the American electorate. That election research captures the views of voters on whom they vote for, and why.

    The VoteCast survey found Sanders with a convincing lead in California, with no path for Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden to catch up. In part, that’s because VoteCast found Sanders with a big lead in early votes mailed in before Tuesday’s election.

    Many of those ballots were cast before Biden’s commanding win in South Carolina and before Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race. That means the trailing candidate would need to make up a lot of ground in the vote cast in person by voters at polling places Tuesday. But VoteCast found that vote, too, also favored Sanders.

    AP VoteCast is conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News.

    — Associated Press

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