Updated Mar 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden's first primary loss is in a U.S. territory

US President Joe Biden during a meeting of his Competition Council in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

President Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on March 5. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden lost the Democratic caucuses in American Samoa to Jason Palmer, a previously little known longshot challenger, the U.S. territory's Democratic representatives announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The results mark Biden's first lost of the Democratic primary, though he is dominating Super Tuesday — winning 14 states so far and clinching all of the delegates up for grabs.

A screenshot of Democratic presidential candidate Jason Palmer, who beat President Biden in the American Samoa caucuses.
Longshot Democratic presidential candidate Jason Palmer. Screenshot: Jason Palmer/X

State of play: American Samoa, a U.S. territory, does not have electoral votes in November. Six delegates were up for grabs in the territory.

  • Just 91 voters cast a ballot in the American Samoa Democratic primary, with 51 going to entrepreneur Palmer and 40 going to Biden, according to a media statement released by the American Samoa Democratic Party.
  • Rep. Dean Phillips, who is also mounting a longshot challenge to Biden, did not win any votes in the American Samoa Democratic primary.

What he's saying: "Honored to announce my victory in the American Samoa presidential primary," Palmer said in posts to social media.

  • "Thank you to the incredible community for your support. This win is a testament to the power of our voices. Together, we can rebuild the American Dream and shape a brighter future for all."

Between the lines: The campaign website of Palmer appeared to crash after his surprising victory on Tuesday.

Flashback: Biden lost the Democratic primary in American Samoa in 2020 to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — his only win of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Go deeper: Super Tuesday: Trump and Biden dominate, Haley's future on line

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include a post to X and comment by Democratic presidential candidate Jason Palmer.

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