It’s that time again, sports fans. Enough with the penny-ante action. It’s time to start primarying in earnest, at least on the Democratic side.
Fourteen states are holding primaries today, including the big prizes of California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Bernie Sanders has been very competitive in the last couple of weeks in three of those five, and California in particular may continue to hold interest until past decent people’s bedtime on the East Coast.
But AP is already projecting a win for Joe Biden in North Carolina. [Update: at the top of the hour (8 PM EDT), Biden is projected to win Alabama and Virginia as well.] We are to believe, apparently, that he’s suddenly raised $15 million just in the last three days, on the strength of his win in South Carolina and the withdrawal of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar from the race.
We’ll see how it goes. Strap in, folks. There’s a sense that this may go pretty fast.
Oh, and Donald Trump is projected to win in all the Republican primaries.
Big compilation of reports on voting problems here. A little hard to know what to make of it, as long lines for contentious elections have been common in the last couple of decades. The Bernie Bros are complaining about rigging, as one might expect given Joe Biden’s very sudden upsurge.
*UPDATE*: Michael Bloomberg wins American Samoa (UPDATE at 10:15 PM EDT: with American Samoa and his state finishes, Bloomberg is at 17 delegates right now. Warren also has 17 based on her accumulated state finishes. See below for updated tallies as the night wears on).
State/delegate tallies as of 3:00 AM EDT on 4 March. (States listed are Super Tuesday states only. Delegate tallies reflect all primary delegates to date. Not all delegates apportioned yet from Super Tuesday results.)
State tally banner
Biden: AL, AR, MA, MN, NC, OK, TN, TX, VA
450 delegates (updated)
Sanders: CA, CO, UT, VT
376 delegates (updated)
Delegates for other Super Tuesday contestants not leading in a state:
Bloomberg: 43 delegates
Warren: 48 delegates
Gabbard: 1 delegate (American Samoa)
Other candidates with delegates (dropped out)
9 PM EDT: Vermont was called earlier for Bernie. Biden has taken the lead in delegates with the projected N.C. and Virginia wins. He’s up 162 to 99 on Sanders at this point.
9:30 PM EDT: Bernie bags another one with a projected win in Colorado. 21% of precincts reporting at this point. Biden has won Oklahoma with 75% reporting.
9:40 PM EDT: …and they’re calling Tennessee for Biden, with 64% pf precincts reporting.
Note: In Colorado, which Sanders is projected to win, Biden is in third behind Bloomberg. Sanders has a healthy plurality at 36.7%, but Bloomberg is at 23.4%, Biden’s at 20.4, and Warren is hanging in there at 17% of the vote.
9:50 PM EDT: Minnesota, where it’s been close throughout, is being called for Biden now. Interesting, because it still looks pretty close with Warren in the picture in third place. With 21% reporting, Biden has reached 36.1%. OK, Sanders just updated to 31.9%. Warren is at 17.5%.
Arkansas is now being called for Biden.
10:00 PM EDT: Well, this is unexpected. They’re calling a leader now in Massachusetts, and it’s Joe Biden. The count was lagging there for a while, but has jumped to 33% reporting, and Biden is in the lead with 34.1%. Bernie’s at 27.8, and Warren is in third in her home state with 19.9.
No leader has been called in Texas yet. But Bernie really needs a big showing there to remain viable. With 10% reporting, he’s leading Biden 259,009 votes to 206,783. Bloomberg is at 167,320, and Warren has cracked the 6-figure mark with 117,605.
Interesting side note: tweeps are getting pretty excited about the 2020 turnout in Virginia for the Democratic primary, which is significantly bigger than the turnout in 2016. They seem to think it has to do with enthusiasm for Biden. It’s a whole theme chasing itself around Twitter at the moment.
Per @MSNBC, in Virginia, there were 1,306,560 votes cast tonight.
In the 2016 primary, there were only 782,895 votes cast.
THIS. IS. AMAZING.
Virginia, you are CRUSHING it.#supertuesdayresults
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) March 4, 2020
But in 2016, Hillary was projected in every pre-primary poll to trounce Bernie Sanders (about 65-35%), and that’s what she did. The lower turnout in 2016 was mostly the result of a foregone conclusion, with some apathy toward Hillary mixed in. In 2020, there were still nearly a handful of viable candidates going into Super Tuesday, and no guarantee someone was going to wipe out Bernie. Voters are understandably a lot more motivated.
10:30 PM EDT: Utah is being called for Sanders now. Still too close to declare a leader in Texas. Biden has closed up the vote count by a few thousand on Sanders, but based on the distribution of the vote, the front-runners are still neck and neck in delegates.
Maine is incredibly close, by the way. Biden is leading Sanders there by fewer than 600 votes, with 53% of the voted counted.
10:45 PM EDT: They’re finally calling a leader in Texas, and as expected based on results since the count began, it’s Bernie. But it’s still close. The raw vote count is actually even closer than it was; Bernie’s ahead 296,279 to Biden’s 258,644. Bloomberg has fewer than 187,000, and Warren is fading at 132,009 and 12.7%. This is with 29% of the vote counted.
Get your comfort breaks in. California numbers should start rolling in about 15 minutes.
11:15 PM EDT: California count is at 1% and already, AP has called it for Sanders. Biden’s showing is low in the first numbers. He’s at 16.8% of the vote, with Bernie at 27.9 and Bloomberg at 19.9. I note that I’ve been seeing Biden improve steadily with each update, but he’s still third and well behind Sanders. The sheer numbers of early votes in California can be gauged by the fact that Warren and Buttigieg are neck and neck at about 10% each, and around 27,000 votes apiece.
11:40 PM EDT: Wow – Massachusetts is finally called for Biden. Major upset there. With 77% of votes reported in, he’s up more than 64,000 votes on Bernie, and the percentage breakout stands at Biden 33.5%, Sanders 27.3, and Warren 20.7. The delegate tally will be updated shortly.
Midnight: Whoa – Bernie’s lost his lead in Texas, at least for the moment. With 50% of precincts reporting, he’s dropped to 28.8% and Biden’s at 29%. The difference in raw votes is currently less than 1,900 in Biden’s favor.
Maine is still too close to call, with Biden up on Sanders by less than 400 votes and 66% reporting.
The California count is still less than 10% reported, and hasn’t changed significantly.
4 March, 12:45 AM EDT: Maine is still too close to call.
In California, Bernie continues to outpace the field significantly. The percentages haven’t changed much; Bloomberg has fallen a bit further behind Bernie and doesn’t lead Biden by much now. This is with 13% of the vote in.
There are reports of widespread voting-machine problems in Los Angeles County, and the Sanders campaign has filed with the court to keep the polls open another two hours. People who were already lined up at some precincts before the 8 PM deadline were still waiting in line as of about 1.5 hours ago. (Fortunately, it didn’t look like that here where I vote. There was healthy traffic at my polling place but nothing like this.)
This is a voting center off of Figueroa in Highland Park. Long lines due to lack of staff. The election official told me he has 20 machines but not enough poll workers to staff them. #CaliforniaPrimary #SuperTuesday #LAvotes pic.twitter.com/JdRiMxEYS5
— Lefty-Desiree McLeftyFace Slaps back w/ Milkshakes (@TinaDesireeBerg) March 4, 2020
Sanders may not need all the votes he’s hoping for from L.A. County, but obviously, voters should all be able to get their ballots in. L.A. County has been notorious for voting machine problems in recent elections.
Have seen reports of long lines and balloting problems from Austin, Texas as well.
Of interest: with 14% of precincts reporting, Trump is over 1 million votes in California (1,034,727). In an essentially uncontested primary, he’s going to get a lot of votes.
1:00 AM EDT: Biden’s lead is widening now in Texas, with 67% of the vote tallied. He’s got 493,702 votes to Bernie Sanders’s 461,633. Bloomberg, with 249,080, is at 15.9% of the vote and has qualified for 4 delegates (Biden and Sanders stand at 49 each).
1:40 AM EDT: Still no call in Maine. Biden continues to have a small edge; at latest count it was about 1,200 votes, with 81% reporting.
In California, with 38% reporting, Biden has edged ahead of Bloomberg (379,889 to 338,799), but still trails Bernie (575,057) by a wide margin.
The numbers have clicked upward in Texas, but the percentages haven’t changed enough to matter. Biden is up on Bernie at this point by about 46,000 votes.
As we close in on 2:00 AM EDT, command decision made: we’re going with AP and the gang and awarding California to Bernie Sanders.
2:00 AM EDT: At this point, I’m not feeling a Bernie-Biden swaperoo in Texas. Maine and Texas are still officially too close to call, but I’m doubtful about Bernie regaining the lead in the Lone Star State. The Austin-area radicals would like to have it so, but socialist radicalism isn’t really a Texas thing, even for Democrats.
One down-ballot note for Super Tuesday. Jeff Sessions is running for U.S. Senate again in Alabama, but it looks like he’ll have to go through a run-off with Tommy Tuberville (whom you’ll remember as the former head coach at Auburn up through 2008, when he went to Texas Tech and thence to Cincinnati).
Will try to update the latest delegate numbers before signing off.
2:45 AM EDT: Texas is called for Biden. He’s stretched his lead further, with 623,238 votes (33.5%) to Bernie’s 556,293 (29.9%). At this point 90% of the vote is tallied.
In California, Biden has gained significantly on Bloomberg to be running a solid second behind Bernie. Bernie leads with 30.5% to Biden’s 20.9, with a difference of just over 200,000 votes between them. The percentage of the vote actually counted has fluctuated in the last hour, probably due to the voting problems in L.A. County. San Diego saw some reports of machine problems as well. In other words, the two most populous urban counties in the state.
The Sanders campaign may pursue this, since it could well affect the delegate count. To remain viable and at least able to force a second ballot in Milwaukee, Bernie needs all the delegates he can get.
No update on Maine. It looks like we won’t know until waking hours on Tuesday.
In Texas, Trump could have snagged all 117 delegates with little more than 120,000 votes. He’s got more than 1.8 million, with 91% of the vote in. It’s not clear what percentage of the vote has been tallied in California (see above), but with something less than 50% counted, Trump is at 1.2 m here. He’s running unchallenged, to all intents and purposes (Bill Weld and Joe Walsh have split 5% of the vote in California so far); the turnout in these big states is an indicator of Trump supporters’ enthusiasm, given that he was basically going to win anyway.