Mar 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Super Tuesday: Alabama, Massachusetts prefer a centrist Democrat

"I Voted" stickers at a polling station in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 3. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Super Tuesday voters in Alabama and Massachusetts want a "practical, centrist" candidate to win the Democratic nomination, per preliminary results from AP VoteCast conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to win the Virginia and North Carolina Democratic primaries. Biden won the endorsement of two of the more prominent moderates in the 2020 race — Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Catch up quick: Alabama's Democratic primary voters — the majority of whom are African American — are showing a "slight preference for a candidate who will pursue practical, centrist policies," per VoteCast.

  • A majority of Massachusetts voters, who labeled health care and climate change as top issues facing the U.S., also prefer a "practical, centrist" candidate.
  • A third of voters in battleground state Virginia identified health care as the country's most pressing issue. A third of the state's voters said they supported a public option for health insurance instead of Medicare for All, while half said they "favored both proposals," per VoteCast.
  • Roughly 9 in 10 North Carolina voters want a nominee who can beat Trump in November. Of those voters, 2 in 10 also say their decision in November will depend on who is chosen as the Democratic nominee.
  • About 20% of voters across all four states say their vote in November depends on who wins the Democratic nomination — which means they may be open to voting for President Trump or not voting, VoteCast said.

Go deeper: How Super Tuesday is unfolding

Go deeper

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.

Clyburn says Sanders didn't aggressively seek his endorsement

Biden with Rep. Jim Clyburn, Feb. 29. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black member of Congress, told The Daily Beast Wednesday that Sen. Bernie Sanders did not make specific efforts to court his endorsement for the 2020 presidential race.

Why it matters: Clyburn's endorsement of Biden ahead of the South Carolina primary has been viewed as a major factor in reviving the former vice president's struggling campaign, propelling him to sweeping victories in South Carolina and across the South on Super Tuesday.

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."