Super Tuesday Democratic primaries: live commentary

Live commentary on the Super Tuesday primaries that occur tomorrow in Australia. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.

2:35pm Friday Warren has dropped out, leaving a two-candidate race between Sanders and Biden.  The delegate count at The Green Papers currently gives Biden a 671-599 lead over Sanders, from popular votes of 35.1% Biden, 28.7% Sanders. In California, Sanders has an 8.4% lead over Biden with over 3 million votes remaining, but some of these will be Republican primary votes.  Late counting in California skews more left the longer it goes.

2:19pm Thursday Last night, Bloomberg withdrew from the contest and endorsed Biden.  No decision has yet been made by Warren.  In California, Sanders leads by 8.7% with all election day precincts reporting.  We should know approximately how many outstanding votes are left tomorrow.

9:53pm Conversation article up.  Biden is likely to win ten states to four for Sanders, and has a 102-delegate lead in The Green Papers count.  In 2016, Clinton had little appeal to lower-educated whites, and that’s likely why Sanders was competitive.  But Biden has more appeal to the lower-educated than Clinton.  Once moderate rivals withdrew, he consolidated the moderate vote.

8:37pm With 79% of election day precincts counted in California, Sanders leads Biden by 31.8% to 22.8%.  California takes FOUR weeks to count all its votes, so there’s lots of late counting to look forward to!

7:32pm With almost all votes counted in the Israeli election, the right bloc lost a seat, so Netanyahu will be three seats short of a majority.  It’s right 58 out of 120, left 55, Yisrael Beiteinu seven.

7:27pm The California Secretary of State now has 64% of precincts reporting, and Sanders is almost 10% ahead of Biden.

6:00pm Texas CALLED for Biden.

4:15pm Biden up to a 1.8% lead in Texas, and the Needle now gives him a 70% chance to win.

4:06pm Biden overtakes Sanders in Texas.  He’s 0.4% ahead with 60% of election day precincts in.  The Needle gives Biden a 56% chance to win Texas.

4:05pm The NY Times shows 23% of California’s Election Day precincts have already reported, but the California Secretary of State (the official results service) says only 4%.

3:47pm With 54% of election day votes reporting in Texas, Sanders leads by 1.2%.  The Needle still sees this as 50-50 between Sanders and Biden.

3:21pm Dave Wasserman has called Texas for Biden, but the NY Times Needle says it’s 50-50 with 34% reporting.  Sanders has a 3.6% lead.

3:18pm Massachusetts officially CALLED for Biden.  With 65% reporting, he has 33.4%, Sanders 26.7% and Warren 22.1%.

3:10pm With 93% of election day votes in in North Carolina, Biden’s lead is now almost 19 points, up from seven before election day votes.

3:03pm California not called for Sanders, but it looks good for hime in exit polls.  Biden likely the only other candidate who breaks the 15% delegate threshold statewide.

2:47pm Minnesota CALLED for Biden.  He leads by eight points with 57% reporting.  Sanders was supposed to win here.

2:45pm With 43% reporting in Alabama, Sanders is at 16.2%, close to the 15% delegate threshold.  Falling below 15% would be a disaster for Sanders.

2:34pm Sanders has won Utah, a stronghold for Republicans where the small Democratic electorate is progressive.

2:30pm In Texas, Sanders leads Biden by 5.6% with 23% of election day precincts in.  The NY Times needle has Biden very slightly ahead.

2:25pm Dave Wasserman projects Elizabeth Warren will finish third in her home state of Massachusetts, behind Biden (first) and Sanders (second).

2:15pm While I was out for lunch, Biden was CALLED the winner in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee, giving him six state wins.  Sanders won Colorado, mainly due a split early vote.  Early voting dominates in that state.  Biden currently leads in Minnesota and Massachusetts, which Sanders was supposed to win.

1:01pm The NY Times needle gives Biden a 68% chance of winning Texas although Sanders currently leads by 6.6%.

12:58pm As the Election Day vote comes through in North Carolina, Biden increases his lead.  He’s now leading in NC by 11% with 29% in.

12:45pm In Virginia, where the election day vote was virtually all voters, Biden leads Sanders by 54-23 with 96% reporting.

12:34pm Maybe early voting will stop Biden from routing Sanders.  Biden is only up by seven points over Sanders in North Carolina with 12% of Election Day precincts reporting.  Biden not doing so well in votes cast before South Carolina and the withdrawals.

12:18pm With 66% reporting in Virginia, Biden is crushing Sanders by 30 points.

12:15pm Polls in Arkansas close at 12:30pm, then it’s Colorado and Minnesota at 1pm, Utah at 2pm and finally California at 3pm.

12:10pm As regards Texas, a small part of the state is in the Mountain Time zone and doesn’t close til 1pm AEDT.  Exit polls will be released then.

12:06pm Alabama CALLED for Biden, while the other 12pm states are uncalled.  In Massachusetts, it’s a close three-way race between Biden, Sanders and Warren (it’s Warren’s home state).

11:57am Biden is over 20% in the first Vermont results.  If he stays above 15% there, he gets delegates, which Hillary Clinton was unable to do in 2016.

11:49am Biden has a 55-23 lead over Sanders in Virginia with 32% in.

11:40am Count in Virginia is already up to 22%, and it’s Biden by a crushing 54-24 over Sanders with nobody else close to clearing 15%.

11:34am CNN CALLS North Carolina for Biden based on a large exit poll lead.  This is looking better and better for Biden.

11:27am With 1% reporting in Virginia, Biden leads Sanders by 51-25.  Everyone else is well below the 15% delegate threshold.

11:24am The next polls to close are North Carolina at 11:30am AEDT, then Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas at 12pm.

11:08am Sanders CALLED the winner in his home state of Vermont, but the exit polls suggest Biden will beat the 15% threshold there, restricting Sanders’ delegate advantage.

11:01am Biden CALLED the winner in Virginia by CNN based on exit polls.  He has a 63-18 lead over Sanders with black voters (27% of the electorate) and a 43-26 lead with whites (63% of electorate).

10:20am Wednesday With 94% counted in the Israeli election, right-wing parties have 59 seats (up four since the September 2019 election) and left-wing parties 54 (down three).  Likud is the biggest party with a 36-32 lead over Blue & White, reversing the 33-32 deficit last September.  It appears that Netanyahu’s coalition will be two seats short of a majority.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Fourteen states vote in the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries tomorrow, in which 1,357 of the 3,979 total pledged delegates are awarded (34% of all delegates). Delegates are awarded proportionally to vote share, but with a high 15% threshold that applies to both statewide delegates and Congressional District (CD) delegates. The more Democratic-leaning a CD is, the more delegates it receives. Polls close between 11am and 3pm AEDT.

A few days ago, it appeared likely that Bernie Sanders would come out of Super Tuesday with a large delegate lead over his nearest rival. Even if Sanders did not win a majority of Super Tuesday pledged delegates, such an outcome would have put him on course for a large plurality of all pledged delegates at the July Democratic convention. In those circumstances, Sanders would probably be the nominee.

However, Joe Biden had a crushing 28-point win over Sanders at Saturday’s South Carolina primary. In the next two days, moderate rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar withdrew from the contest and endorsed Biden. There has not been enough time for polls to catch up with these developments, but they are very likely to assist Biden.

The FiveThirtyEight forecast has the chance nobody wins a pledged delegate majority surging to 63%. This does not necessarily mean a contested convention, as it includes cases where one candidate wins a strong plurality, and a deal is worked out before the convention. No delegate majority chances have surged because Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren are still in, and will be assisted in getting to 15% by the withdrawals.

Sanders now has just a 52% chance of winning more delegates than any other candidate, down from over 70% at his peak, while Biden’s chances have rocketed to 48%. The Democratic contest is now effectively a race between two men in their late 70s, and the winner will confront Donald Trump, who is a mere 73.

I recommend The Green Papers for delegate and popular vote counts. The next contests are next Tuesday, when six states vote that account for 9% of pledged delegates.

Netanyahu could win Israeli election outright

With 81% counted in Monday’s Israeli election, right-wing PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc of parties had 60 of the 120 seats, to 53 for the opposition left bloc. If the right bloc wins one more seat, Netanyahu would have outright victory after April and September 2019 elections resulted in no government being formed. Yisrael Beiteinu, with seven seats, was unable to cooperate with either the Arab Joint List or the religious right parties before. This result comes despite Netanyahu’s November indictment on bribery and fraud charges.

1,162 comments on “Super Tuesday Democratic primaries: live commentary”

  1. Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War
    Hillary Clinton had the black support in the south.
    Hillary Clinton won the nomination against Sanders.

    Hillary Clinton was a better candidate than Biden even with the Sexism problem. There is a reason there is avoiding debate before the vote.
    Biden is just not a good candidate.

    If Buttigieg or Klobuchar had appealed to black voters the race would have been over.

    If as looks likely Biden wins the task will be harder for Democrats to win than it was with Clinton.

    I hope this reality check helps.

  2. The establishment Democrats have such a great track record of winning don’t they? Hillary couldn’t even beat Trump. Now Ohbiden will get his turn and it will not be pretty.

  3. Incumbent two-term Democratic Governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, has jumped into the race for US Senate this year. He probably has a fighting chance to beat the incumbent Republican.

    With the other Montana senator being fellow moderate Democrat Jon Tester, it would be amazing if a Presidential red state like Montana ended up with two Democratic senators

    The Cook Report immediately switched it’s call of the race from ‘Safe R’ to ‘Lean R’

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/montana-gov-steve-bullock-announces-senate-campaign-hopes/story?id=69482456

  4. Thanks Ray (UK) – Bullock’s entry into the Montana Senate race is great news for the Democrat’s chances of re-taking the Senate. I’ve posted this before, but once again, here are the SEnate races to watch:

    Arizona – appointed GOP Senator up against former astronaut Dem Mark Kelly.
    Colorado – GOP Cory Gardner trying to hold on in this increasingly Blue State, up against former Dem Governor John Hickenlooper.
    Montana – Popular former Dem Governor Steve Bullock’s entry into the race makes this a bit of a toss-up.
    Maine – Long-time GOP Susan Collins may have voted with the GOP party line once too often in this mostly Blue state.
    North Carolina – Thom Tills (GOP) faces a stiff task to retain this battleground state. Primaries suggest a big turn-out for the Dems.

    Smokies:
    Georgia – Both seat up following the retirement of Jonny Isaakson (GOP), and the Dems a chance of taking the spot of appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler.
    Iowa – Will Trumps’ trade wars hurt iowa enough to endanger Joni Ernst (GOP)?
    Texas – Probably a long shot, but the Lone Star state is slowly turning purple, and John Cornyn is not entirely safe from MJ Hagar.

    The current score in the Senate is 53-47 to the Republicans, and the GOP will almost certainly win back Alabama from Doug Jones (D), so the Democrats need to win four seats plus the White House (because the Vice-President breaks ties), or five without. It’s a tall ask, but not impossible. I’d bet on the Dems in Maine, North Carolina and Colorado, meaning they need at least one of the others. Montana seems the most likely, but there will be a lot of variables this year, so anything is possible, at least at the moment.

  5. Polling out on Sunday and Monday suggests that Biden is going to do well in Middling Tuesday (as opposed to Super Tuesday) tomorrow, with huge leads in Michigan (average lead around 18% across 4 polls), Missouri (+26% across two polls), and Mississippi (a single poll with a 55 point lead), and small lead (around 3%) in Washington. Sanders might yet win in Wyoming and North Dakota, but there are few delegates at stake there, and Biden is likely to head into next week with a net gain of around 200+ delegates. If it’s not over yet for Sanders, it soon will be, and hopefully he’ll see the writing on the wall and drop out by the end of the month.

  6. clem attlee
    “The establishment Democrats have such a great track record of winning don’t they? Hillary couldn’t even beat Trump.”

    Maybe that was a Hillary problem more so than an ‘Establishment Denmocrat’ problem. We’ll never know.

    Not everything fits into the Establishment=Bad versus Sanders=Good narrative.

  7. Progressive group that endorsed Warren switches to Sanders
    The Working Families Party’s endorsement comes days after Warren exited the race.

    Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, said his group will hold a call at 8 p.m. Monday with former Warren supporters to try to persuade them to switch their vote to Sanders. It will feature elected officials who had been with Warren but are now planning to cast a ballot for Sanders.

    “Bernie Sanders will fight for a Green New Deal, universal health care and a living wage for every worker. Organized capital won’t rest and neither will we,” he said in a statement. “We said from the very beginning that there were two progressive champions in this race, and that our North Star was to elect one of them as president. Now, the Working Families Party will marshal its grassroots supporters and staff to help Sen. Sanders win the nomination and defeat Donald Trump.”

    still pulling support, at the 11th hour. -a.v.

  8. https://www.pollbludger.net/2020/03/03/super-tuesday-democratic-primaries-live-commentary/comment-page-24/#comment-3355833

    If the Democrats want to do anything about the Fillibuster, which they need to do to get any significant legislative achievements (other than matters allowed in Reconciliation bills) done, they almost certainly need at least 51 Senators* because Mike Pence is still President of the Senate for the first 17 days of the new Senate and that would enable him and 50 Republicans to adopt the existing (or tougher) Filibuster rules before a Democratic Vice-President could take office.

    * I am aware there are anti-filibuster reform Democratic Senators, so the Democrats could require more than 51 Senators to scrap or water-down the Filibuster, especially if Biden is the nominee (as currently looks likely).

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