Mar 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

How Biden became the overnight Democratic frontrunner

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The most impressive aspect of Joe Biden's performance on Super Tuesday was its breadth, according to Dave Wasserman, House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, and NBC News contributor.

Why it matters: Biden won "urban voters, upscale & middle-class suburban voters AND rural/Appalachian voters. Just about the only places he didn't win were heavily Latino or progressive activist hotbeds like college towns."

The big picture: Wasserman reminds us that "a ton of the votes/delegates Sanders won ... are attributable to votes cast *before* SC and before Buttigieg/Klobuchar dropped out."

  • "And he still fell well short of Biden. That’s why this race could functionally be over soon."

More Smart Brevity from Wasserman's tweets, illuminating the power of momentum:

  • "The list of states where Biden would be poised to replicate tonight's success is pretty long: FL, GA, MD, MS, MO, LA, NJ, CT. In short, he's currently on track for the nomination."
  • "What the narrative that Joe Biden 'couldn't scale up in time for Super Tuesday' missed: no one can truly scale up for this bonanza & most primary voters aren't persuaded by paid media/field."

The bottom line: "There is a real chance, as in 2004, that Democratic primary voters won’t want to prolong these primaries and will rally around their presumptive nominee."

  • "The trajectory of the Democratic primaries is clear: it would take a miracle for Sanders to prevent Biden from becoming the nominee."

Go deeper: Sanders says he'd drop out if Biden has plurality at Democratic convention

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Sanders assesses path forward after more big Biden wins

Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia after more crucial wins against Bernie Sanders. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The big question for Bernie Sanders after Tuesday night's losses: Is there a path back to the Democratic nomination, or is Joe Biden's trajectory unstoppable?

The state of play: Notably, Sanders did not comment on the results. Pressure ramped up on him to concede and Biden carefully began to turn his remarks to the general election after extending his delegate lead in "Super Tuesday 2," with wins in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Super Tuesday suddenly looks different

Biden celebrates in South Carolina. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina is resetting the parameters of the Democratic contest ahead of Super Tuesday.

Why it matters: The former vice president's first primary victory raises existential questions for billionaire Mike Bloomberg and could slow Bernie Sanders' runaway train. And it could give new life to Biden's own withering electability argument — and ramp up pressure on moderates in his lane to drop out.

Biden reborn with a massive Super Tuesday comeback

Biden speaks in Los Angeles Tuesday night. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Super Tuesday made Joe Biden the 77-year-old Comeback Kid, clipping Bernie Sanders' wings and transforming the Democratic primary into a two-man race.

Why it matters: Biden's campaign was broke and all but dead until he won South Carolina on Saturday. The revival that unfolded across 14 states last night was built not only on strong support from African Americans but also a consolidation of white, establishment Democrats around the former vice president.