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2020 Super Tuesday live updates: Biden sweeps the South, wins most delegates

More than 1,300 delegates — or about a third of the total — were at play on Super Tuesday.
Image: Voters in 14 states will cast ballots in Democratic primaries on "Super Tuesday," March 3, 2020.
Voters in 14 states cast ballots in Democratic primaries on "Super Tuesday," March 3, 2020.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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Fourteen states and one territory held nominating contests for the Democratic Party's candidate for president on Tuesday, the most pivotal day on the presidential primary calendar.

When the polls closed on Super Tuesday and results came in, it became clear that former Vice President Joe Biden had swept the Southern states, winning the primaries in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, as well as Minnesota and Massachusetts, and had ended the night with the most delegates. Sen. Bernie Sanders came out on top in Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont, NBC News projected.

On Wednesday, NBC News declared Biden the apparent winner in Maine, though the race against Sanders in the state was a tight one.

More than 1,300 delegates — about a third of the total — were at play, more than on any other day in the primary season.

Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts on the latest news.

Live Blog

NBC News Exit Poll: Democratic voters think favorably of socialism in 4 Super Tuesday states

In four states, more Democratic primary voters on Super Tuesday said they had a favorable view of socialism than an unfavorable view, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll.  

Socialism was viewed favorably by a wide margin by Democratic voters in both California and Texas. It was favored by slimmer margins among Democrats in North Carolina and Tennessee.

 

 

 

Biden wins Virginia, Sanders takes Vermont, NBC News projects

Joe Biden has won the Virginia Democratic primary and Bernie Sanders has come out on top in his home state of Vermont, NBC News projects, as the first polls close on Super Tuesday.

Voting is taking place in 14 states, including delegate-loaded Texas and California, where polls don’t close until 11 p.m. ET. The goal of the Democratic presidential primary is to amass delegates to capture the nomination, not popular votes, and winning states does not necessarily mean a candidate will win the most delegates.

NBC News Exit Poll: Younger voters decidedly more liberal than those older

Younger voters catapulted Bernie Sanders into the national limelight in 2016 and their support remains a key factor in the senator’s prospects for the Democratic Party nomination.

Younger voters across today's Super Tuesday contests are decidedly more liberal than their elders. Roughly four in 10 call themselves very liberal, compared with about a quarter of voters 30 and older.

Two-thirds of the Democratic parties’ youngest voters across Super Tuesday states so far tonight, 68 percent, are looking for the next president to move policies to the left, and only 23 percent of this group says they want a return to Obama era policies. 

But both groups bring a mix of issue concerns to the ballot box. About a third of voters younger than 30 name health care as the most important issue in their vote today, as do 40 percent of those ages 30 and older.

 

 

 

NBC News Exit Poll: Colorado Democrats view Warren most favorably and Bloomberg least

More than 7 in 10 Colorado Democratic primary voters hold a favorable opinion of Elizabeth Warren, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll on Tuesday. That's higher than the favorability ratings for Joe Biden (63 percent) and Bernie Sanders (63 percent).

Mike Bloomberg was viewed less positively than the other Democratic candidates in Colorado, with 52 percent viewing him unfavorably, according to the poll results. 

Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who suspended their campaigns and endorsed Biden in the past two days, are also viewed positively by a majority of Colorado Democrats, 62 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

NBC News Exit Poll: How voters in five southeastern states break down on race, ideology

A lot of attention is focused on California and Texas as the two biggest prizes in the primary calendar. But 393 pledged delegates, or nearly 3 in 10 of those up for grabs on Super Tuesday, will come from six southeastern states voting today. These voters look different from the rest of the pack, according to early NBC News Exit Poll results in five of those six states: Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. These differences could impact the overall results for the night.

In some ways, the southeastern states look a lot like Texas. For example, they tend to have more moderate and conservative voters in their Democratic primary electorate — 45 percent in the five Southeast states and 41 percent in Texas — than California does.

The southeastern states differ from both these large states in their racial makeup with a larger black electorate, 27 percent overall, than either Texas, 20 percent, or California, seven percent. But those states have relatively few Latino voters in comparison. 

Texas progressives holding out hope for a Sanders win

HOUSTON — Progressive voters in Texas say they feel good about Sanders' chances despite Biden's win in South Carolina and Monday's endorsements from ex-candidates Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Beto O'Rourke.

"I don’t believe that’s going to have an actual impact," said Stevens Orozco, a teacher who is part of a wave of young progressive candidates running for Congress against Democratic incumbents. "At the grassroots level, all of the real excitement and momentum is for Bernie, and I absolutely believe he can still win Texas."

Orozco, 33, is challenging Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a 13-term Democrat who was elected to Congress when Orozco was 8. Although Jackson Lee, 70, is regarded as one of the most liberal members of Congress from Texas, Orozco spent Tuesday urging Democratic to vote for change.

Manny Edwards, a 20-year-old University of Houston student who was voting in his first presidential primary, said he and most of his friends were backing Sanders and other progressive candidates.

"Bernie is the only candidate who actually stands for something, and that's why he's going to win," said Edwards, noting that some of his family members lacked health insurance. "I don't think it's radical that everyone should be able to have health care."

Michael Saldana, 26, said he was annoyed by those who've argued that Sanders wouldn't fare well in the general election. After seeing friends' homes destroyed in Hurricane Harvey in 2017, he said he was supporting candidates who supported the aggressive efforts to combat climate change.

"I think Sanders can get it done," he said.

Robocalls in Texas push wrong day for Democratic primary

Robocalls falsely telling Texas voters that the state's primaries were scheduled for Wednesday, and not Tuesday, were reported several times to the Texas secretary of state on Tuesday.

Stephen Chang, director of communications for Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, said the calls claimed that “R’s, D’s and I’s vote tomorrow.” 

Chang said authorities are being “proactive" in addressing the calls but did not specify what was being done. He said the Secretary of State’s Office first received reports of robocalls Tuesday afternoon. He could not provide an estimate of how many reports the office received or how many robocalls had been made.

Reports of the false robocall prompted a tweet from the office's verified Twitter account warning against misinformation about the call.

 

Claire Barnett, a Democratic candidate for Texas State House District 122, had just left her polling station  when she got the call telling her that the “Democratic primary is scheduled for tomorrow.”

“It was a local number in San Antonio. (The call) seemed designed to suppress the vote,” she said.  

Jonathan Coen, a Houston-area resident, said he received the robocall from the same number at 1:24 p.m. CT. Coen said his wife, who is hispanic, also received a call telling her to vote on a different day. 

“It was a woman’s voice recorded in Spanish, roughly [saying] ‘voting is important; the election is Wednesday,’” Coen said.

The phone call in Spanish came from a Houston-area number, he said. It is unclear whether the English call and Spanish call are connected, and the scope of the calls is not yet clear. — Kevin Collier contributed reporting.

 

NBC News Exit Poll: Only about half of Massachusetts voters think Warren has best shot to beat Trump

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren faces a tough challenge in her home state tonight from neighboring Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the liberal lane. She's also contending with late-breaking momentum behind Joe Biden’s candidacy, particularly with moderate and conservative voters.

Warren struggled on the campaign trail to prove her viability in the general election. That issue dogs her even in her home state.

Among those voting for Warren in the Massachusetts primary so far tonight, only about half say she’s the candidate with the best chance to beat Trump in the general election, according to early NBC News Exit Poll results. About 9 in 10 of Biden voters see the former vice president as having the best shot, compared to 7 in 10 of Sanders supporters who say the same about their pick.

NBC News Exit Poll: Super Tuesday voters in Maine and Vermont cite health care as most important issue

Health care is a top issue for voters in Maine and Vermont, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll. 

Roughly half of Maine’s Democratic primary voters name health care as the most important issue in deciding their vote, along with 40 percent of Vermont’s primary voters. Climate change came in second in both states, followed by income inequality.

Similar shares of those who voted for Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in Vermont and Maine said health care was the most important issue. But nearly twice as many of Sanders’ voters named income inequality as a top issue compared with Biden’s voters in the two states. 

Voter website outages not a sign of cyberattack, officials say

Reports that some voter information websites across the country are experiencing outages are not a sign of any sort of cyberattack, a senior government official said Tuesday afternoon.

In a press conference at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the agency's director, Chris Krebs, said issues accessing websites that inform voters how and where to cast their ballots were due to a surge of interest from voters.

The Texas Secretary of State’s website, for instance, was partially inaccessible for more than an hour Tuesday morning. Sites in California, Oklahoma and Minnesota also experienced minor issues. 

“You’ve probably seen some of the issues in voter lookup tools in California, voter lookup tools in Texas," Krebs said. "What we expect, and what you need to take away from this, is that these are intermittent IT issues that are resolved."