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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

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: Biden's support among black voters weaker outside South

Joe Biden is performing well among black voters on Super Tuesday in the Southern states of Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, just as he did in Saturday's South Carolina primary, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll. About 62 percent of black voters in these states support Biden, while 18 percent of black voters in these states support Bernie Sanders.

Outside of these states, however, support for Biden among black voters is weaker. In California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota and Vermont, black voters are about half as likely as those in the South to support Biden.

In addition to this regional divide among black voters, there is a division by age. Black voters under 45 are about three times as likely to support Sanders than those 45 and over. Older black voters are nearly 30 percentage points more likely to support Biden than Sanders.

NBC News Exit Poll: Black Democrats in North Carolina want a return to Obama-era policies

Black voters in today’s North Carolina Democratic primary want the next president to return to Barack Obama’s policies, early results from the NBC New Exit Poll show.

By contrast, white Democratic primary voters in the state are more divided — a plurality (44 percent) favor returning to Obama’s policies but 41 percent would like to move to more liberal policies.

About 1 in 10 primary voters in both groups think the next president should change to more conservative policies.

Bloomberg campaign will 'take another look' after Super Tuesday results

Publicly, the Bloomberg campaign is projecting confidence tonight, with campaign manager Kevin Sheekey MSNBC last hour that they are "absolutely not" worried about Bloomberg being a spoiler and that their internal polling shows Bloomberg being viable in most, if not all, the states at play tonight.

But privately, Bloomberg campaign officials are far less optimistic. They are acknowledging that Biden is poised to do extremely well tonight and say their data shows that a large number of voters made up their minds last-minute,  which almost surely helps Biden.

Bloomberg officials are acknowledging that Bloomberg will re-assess on Wednesday after the data is in whether to stay in the race. Although they are casting that as par for the course for any candidate after his first contest on the ballot, this is a changefrom what Bloomberg had said as recently as the weekend: That he planned to say in even if he didn’t place in the top three on Super Tuesday.

Just a few hours ago in Miami, Bloomberg was defiant, saying Biden is taking votes away from him and that he’s "in it to win it," even if that means a contested convention.

Warren signals she will fight on: 'The pundits have gotten it wrong, over and over'

Warren, in a speech to supporters in Detroit, made the case for her candidacy on Super Tuesday as Biden’s resurgent campaign attempts to pre-empt Sanders, the current front-runner, and pundits have claimed the Massachusetts senator has no pathway to the Democratic nomination. 

"They're playing games about prediction and strategy," she said. "But prediction has been a terrible business, and the pundits have gotten it wrong, over and over." 

She added, "So here’s my advice: cast a vote that will make you proud; cast your vote from your heart — and vote for the person you think will make the best president."

Warren has had strong debate performances and raised a notable amount of campaign contributions, but has consistently performed poorly in the early Democratic contests. Her campaign has signaled that she will compete beyond Super Tuesday and her speech in Detroit touched on her theme of being a fighter and her determination to defeat Trump and work on behalf of working-class Americans. 

She told the story of when her father had a heart attack when she was a young girl. The family lost its station wagon and almost lost their home. That is when her mother got a minimum-wage job for the income. She said she learned lessons from that that translated to her work on bankruptcy law consumer protection. 

"You don’t get what you don’t fight for — and I am in this fight," she said.

NBC News Exit Poll: Health care is top concern of voters

Long an issue owned by the Democratic Party, health care topped the list of issues named by Democrats as mattering most to their vote today, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 out of 14 Super Tuesday primaries across the country.

Four in 10 voters named health care as their most important concern, well ahead of three others: climate change, income inequality and race relations.

Health care voters were equally likely to favor Joe Biden as Bernie Sanders.

Hayes: Clyburn's Biden endorsement made a huge difference

Hayes: Clyburn's Biden endorsement made a huge difference

NBC News Exit Poll: Black voters propel Biden's North Carolina win

Joe Biden won the North Carolina Democratic primary on Tuesday, repeating his success in South Carolina's primary on Saturday. In both states, he rode a wave of support from black voters. 

While black voters constitute a smaller share of North Carolina’s Democratic electorate (27 percent) than South Carolina’s (56 percent), Biden performed just as strongly among North Carolina's black voters on Tuesday, according to early findings from the NBC News Exit Poll.

On Saturday, Biden won about 6 in 10 black voters in South Carolina, and on Tuesday he received a similar share, 63 percent, in North Carolina.

 

 

NBC News Exit Poll: Bloomberg peeling off about 1 in 6 moderate Democratic voters

With both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar suspending their campaigns, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg are left vying for moderate Democrats in the Super Tuesday contests.

According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll, this contest within the contest is not particularly close as Biden has a 21-point lead over Bloomberg among moderate or conservative Democratic primary voters across the 12 Super Tuesday states that were polled. At present Bloomberg is even polling slightly behind Bernie Sanders among moderate and conservative Democrats.

While controversy over stop-and-frisk policing and his conduct toward women in the workplace have dogged Bloomberg, his level of support among women versus men, and black voters versus white voters, are very similar. According to the early results from the NBC News Exit Poll in 12 Super Tuesday states, Bloomberg is bringing in about 11 to 14 percent of voters regardless of race or sex.

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