Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has repeated his Super Tuesday highlight performance and prevailed during last night’s primaries against Bernie Sanders in the states of Mississippi (81-14.9 percent), Missouri (60.1-34.6 percent), Idaho (48.9-42.5 percent) and Michigan (52.9 to 36.6 percent).
The Night’s Big Loser: Bernie Sanders
Sanders, meanwhile, is on the road to a meaningless victory in North Dakota. According to the polls, Sanders was also destined to win in Washington. However, while votes are still being counted, the result remains too close to call. Even if Sanders was to succeed in both North Dakota and Washington, he is once again the night’s big loser, who was unable to win the big prize: Michigan.
Biden’s dominance in the Southern states of Mississippi and Missouri was expected. Similar to Super Tuesday, the overwhelming support from the black voters here was decisive. In Mississippi, according to post-election surveys, 86 percent of African Americans voted in favor of Biden.
Why Was Michigan Crucial to Win?
Michigan, meanwhile, was the state Sanders sought to utilize for his comeback. Here, Sanders had achieved a surprising victory over Hillary Clinton four years ago, which had provided him with lots of momentum for a lackluster campaign. Thus, Sanders had focused his entire campaign on Michigan in the past few days. However, this time he did not even come close to repeating his 2016 result, and again he missed his goal of mobilizing young people and non-voters to come to the polls.
With his victories, Biden has now confidently extended the lead among delegates for the party congress in July and currently leads with 823 to 663. Now, with Sanders’ third loss in a row after South Carolina and Super Tuesday a week ago, the buzz regarding Sanders’ early exit from the race will begin to circulate.
Can Sanders Still Win?
While the race has not yet been decided mathematically, Sanders would have to perform almost perfectly in the upcoming primaries to beat Biden at this stage to somehow clinch the nomination. However, perfection is not to be expected.
Sanders’ prospects for the upcoming Super Tuesday, when 600 delegates will be awarded during the primaries in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, and also in Florida, are extremely modest. Biden is leading every single poll. Moreover — and perhaps another significant sign — is the fact that Sanders had lost here decisively against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Four years later, Sanders’ momentum has decreased, while his opponent is more popular than Clinton was. Contrary to his own rhetoric in almost every campaign speech, Sanders has so far failed to achieve a higher turnout in his favor. Especially in the suburbs and metropolises, he has been losing popularity compared to 2016, while Biden has managed to mobilize voters from all backgrounds, as well as in the suburbs. This has proven to be a vast reservoir of voters for the Democrats who have become energized since Trump’s election and eager to vote for a Democrat – except for Sanders.
When Will Sanders Drop Out?
Sanders is cognizant of these developments and his chances, and only on Sunday had stated he was not a masochist, meaning he will not stay in the race if a path to victory was no longer conceivable. The chances are that Sanders will at least continue to fight next week’s primaries and thus participate in the next debate, which will be between him and Biden for the first time. Realistically, however, if Super Tuesday had been a major blow to Sanders’ hopes, these latest results have put the nails into his campaign’s coffin.
Regardless of Sanders’ decision, one will now witness a Joe Biden who attempts to obtain the support of young voters — Bernie’s crowd — to solidify his support as the party’s nominee. Sanders’ exit has become not a question of if, but when.