Mar 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden projected to win Michigan Democratic primary

Joe Biden shouts at a Detroit rally

Biden at a rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit Monday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the projected winner of the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan, the biggest contest of the night, according to multiple media outlets.

Why it matters: Bernie Sanders' loss in a state that chose him over Hillary Clinton four years ago goes beyond a symbolic blow — with the potential to hand Biden a significant delegate lead.

  • Michigan is the most populous state in Tuesday night's contests, with 125 pledged delegates at stake.
  • Sanders had prevailed in the state's 2016 primary thanks to white, working-class voters.
  • Donald Trump won Michigan in the 2016 general election by less than 11,000 votes over Hillary Clinton.

By the numbers: Baby boomers are the largest Democratic generational cohort in Michigan, according to Pew Research, while young voters carried Sanders on Super Tuesday.

  • 23% of Democratic voters in Michigan are black, while 67% are white, and 4% are Latino, one of Sanders' key bastions of support.
  • 42% of Democratic voters in the state make less than $30,000 a year.

Flashback: Trump in 2016 was buoyed by white voters in the state, particularly in counties where the median income was under $40,000, NPR 2016 exit polling shows.

  • A number of counties swung from Democratic to Republican in 2016, New York Times exit polling showed.

The big picture: Biden also was projected to win Mississippi and Missouri on Tuesday. After Biden's Super Tuesday delegate haul and South Carolina victory, Sanders' ability to regain his momentum as the Democratic nominee is diminishing.

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