Mar 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden projected to win Michigan Democratic primary

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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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

Michigan voter survey: Joe Biden leads Bernie Sanders in electability

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Michigan Democrats who voted in person are significantly more likely to think Joe Biden is electable in November than Bernie Sanders, according to AP's VoteCast voter survey.

Why it matters: President Trump won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes in 2016, so every Democratic vote is crucial to the party's hopes of taking it back.

Sanders projected to win Northern Mariana Islands Democratic caucus

A woman with an umbrella climbs steps on Mount Tapochau on Saipan Island, one of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Yuri Smityuk/TASS

Sen. Bernie Sanders is the projected winner of the Northern Mariana Islands caucus, AP reports.

Catch up quick: AP allocated 4 delegates to Sanders and 2 to former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders' small win follows Biden's delegate haul across Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho.