A view of the North Portico of the White House (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
Former Vice President Joe Biden had a stunning and unpredictable Super Tuesday in which he had landslide victories in most of the states holding primaries.
WHAT IS SUPER TUESDAY?
Super Tuesday refers to the Tuesday in a presidential election year when the largest number of U.S. states and territories hold presidential primaries or caucuses. The most delegates are allocated on this day. In 2020, Super Tuesday was held on March 3. More than a third of all delegates for the Democratic National Convention were up for grabs this year, total of 1344.
Fourteen states that participated in voting on this Super Tuesday were the following: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. “American Samoa”, which is a territory of United States, located in the Pacific Ocean, held its caucuses on this day as well. Even though they hold caucuses and pledge 6 delegates to the candidates, they can not vote for the general presidential election held on November 2020.
This year, Super Tuesday was even more crucial than ever, since California had decided to hold its primary on this day, unlike previous elections when they used to hold their primary in June. With both California and Texas—the two most populous states in the United States—holding their primaries on Super Tuesday, approximately 40% of the U.S. population had a primary event on March 3. In total, 1,344 pledged delegates—34% of all pledged delegates—were allocated from these two states.
No one candidate can win the nomination solely based on their performance on Super Tuesday, but doing well can be a great way for winning the majority of the delegates that are up for grabs, which are 3,979 for the Democrats. As I mentioned in my previous article, the Republican Party decided to cancel some of the primaries and caucuses in favor of the President in some states, including South Carolina. In general, to become the Republican Party nominee, the candidate must win a simple majority of 1,237 of the 2,472 total delegates.
Historically, Super Tuesday is a rather new phenomenon. Created in the 80s , after Democrats’ candidate got crushed by president Ronald Raegan in the 1984 general election, the Democratic party decided to move the primaries of most Southern states to March in order to have the conventionally moderate and conservative southerner to chime in sooner. They were hoping this would lead to the Democrats to nominate a more moderate candidate. (It didn’t really work though! Michael Dukakis won the Democratic nomination in 1988. He was seen as way more liberal than what the moderate Democrats from the South of the country wanted. Dukakis eventually lost the general election to then-Vice President George H. W. Bush).
SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY
On 29th of February, South Carolina held its presidential primary. The fourth state to have primary or caucus in February, and the more demographically diverse one. It was a pivotal point for the candidates and the results showed whether or not the candidates have a realistic chance of winning going forward. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer dropped out of the race following the SC results.
South Carolina Primary was a big win for the former VP Joe Biden. His support among African-Americans and their turn out made him strong victor of the primary.
Joe Biden: 48.4 % / 35 delegates
Bernie Sanders: 19.9 % / 13 delegates
Tom Steyer: 11.3% / 0 delegates
Pete Buttigieg: 8.2% / 0 delegates
Elizabeth Warren: 7.1% / 0 delegates
Amy Klobuchar: 3.2% / 0 delegates
Just before 3rd of March, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg ended their bids for the presidency and endorsed Joe Biden in an effort to build a moderate coalition against Bernie Sanders. The self-proclaimed “socialist” Bernie Sanders’ rise made Democrats hoping to defeat Trump quite nervous and was an incentive for the more moderate lane to get together and try to put a stop to his momentum.
Bernie Sanders who identifies as an “independent” and even registered for his Vermont Senate campaign as an independent and not a Democrat, has a controversial history of praising Soviet Union and hailing socialist dictators such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro.
Howard Stern, the American author and radio host, called Sanders “Karl Marx Jr” on a recent episode of his show and said: “if a Democrat wants to win against Trump, we can’t have Karl Marx Junior. He’s not gonna win the general election. It’s not gonna happen”. The host of ‘The Howard Stern Show’ continued: “what we need is a strong, moderate to be the candidate.”
On March 2, both Amy and Pete joined VP Joe at a rally in Dallas, Texas and put their support behind him. Also present at the rally, was Beto O’Rourke, another former candidate running for president who suspended his campaign in November of 2019 after failing to get enough support. Beto, a Texas native, said in the rally: “We need somebody who brings us together and heals us. We need somebody to re-establish the moral authority of the United States. We need Joe Biden.”
Biden also secured some other prominent endorsements, including former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid; and former FBI director, James Comey. Comey, who used to be a registered Republican, voted in a Democratic primary for the first time in his life and later tweeted: “Voted in first Dem primary to support the party dedicated to restoring values in the White House. I agree with Amy Klobuchar: We need candidate who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office. There is a reason Trump fears Joe Biden and roots for Bernie.”
Another interesting and maybe quite odd support came from George Conway, Republican lawyer who represented “Paula Jones” in her lawsuit against U.S. president Bill Clinton in the 90s. However, George Conway is most known for being married to President Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne was also Trump’s campaign manager during 2016 election and many attribute his win to Kellyanne’s efforts and strategies.
George Conway revealed on Tuesday that he donated to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. He is a fierce critic of his wife’s boss, Donald Trump, and explained his donation by saying, “the nation can’t afford four more years with a megalomaniacal moron in the White House.”
SUPER TUESDAY RESULTS
Former Vice president Joe Biden won 10 out of 14 states. As of now his total amount of delegates are 614, while Bernie Sanders is in second place with 536 delegates.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg won only in “American Samoa” territory and received 4 delegates and decided to end his campaign since he did not see a path to victory going forward. He then endorsed Joe Biden: “I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” Mr Bloomberg said in his statement.
Biden tweeted this response afterwards : “Mike Bloomberg, I can’t thank you enough for your support—and for your tireless work on everything from gun safety reform to climate change. This race is bigger than candidates and bigger than politics. It’s about defeating Donald Trump, and with your help, we’re gonna do it.”
Joe Biden’s astonishing victory, especially winning by landslides and great margins was quite the turn of event since he lost first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Until recently, almost everyone assumed his campaign and even maybe his political career is over. The odds were against him. The polls showed him among one of the weakest candidates; Political pundits called his campaign “dead” and an article described it as a “Zombie campaign”.
As Joe Biden achieved victory on Tuesday, he told supporters at a California rally that his campaign was “very much alive” and that he would send “Donald Trump packing.”
“Those of you who’ve been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign!”
He continued: “Just a few days ago the press and the pundits declared the campaign dead. We are very much alive.”
For him, this day lived up to its name; it really was a “super” Tuesday for Joe.