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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.

1061d ago / 2:42 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Biden voters want a uniter, Sanders voters want change

The NBC News Exit Poll finds Biden voters and Sanders voters prizing very different candidate qualities.

When asked which of four candidate qualities mattered most to them, roughly half of Biden voters in Super Tuesday Democratic primaries said that they prefer a candidate who can unite the country. About one quarter of his voters most want a candidate who can bring needed change, and another 4 percent say it matters most that the candidate is a fighter.

With Sanders voters, the pattern is largely reversed: A plurality (49 percent) say they most want a candidate who can bring needed change, while just 17 percent say that uniting the country matters most. Another 23 percent of Sanders voters in Super Tuesday states prize a candidate who cares about people like them.

Warren voters, for their part, express preferences that are similar to Sanders voters: A majority say it’s most important to have a candidate who can bring needed change.

1061d ago / 2:42 AM UTC

Sanders wins Colorado, NBC News projects

1061d ago / 2:31 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Colorado Democrats think economic system needs 'complete overhaul'

According to the NBC News Exit Poll, there is strong support among Colorado Democratic primary voters for a “complete overhaul” of the U.S. economic system.

Just less than half of Colorado Democrats believe the U.S. economic system needs significant restructuring, while 43 percent think the system needs only "minor" changes. A mere 5 percent of Colorado Democrats think the U.S. economic system "works well enough as is."

1061d ago / 2:27 AM UTC
1061d ago / 2:23 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Biden waltzes out of Tennessee with a win

Tennessee voters have kept Joe Biden’s Southern streak unbroken so far tonight. The NBC News Exit Poll finds that 62 percent of black voters in Tennessee backed the former vice president in today's primary.  

He also won majorities among military veterans, moderates and conservatives as well as voters 45 and older.  These results reflect his strengths in other Southern states voting on Super Tuesday.

1061d ago / 2:23 AM UTC
1061d ago / 2:18 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Nearly 4 in 10 Warren voters are white women with a college degree

At least two-thirds of voters for Elizabeth Warren on Super Tuesday are white women, self-identified liberals or college graduates, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll. Nearly 4 in 10 Warren voters in the Democratic primaries across Super Tuesday states are white women with a college degree.


Warren women

But in a nomination race in which many voters are focused on ousting an incumbent president, few Warren voters signal that she would be the only acceptable candidate. Nine in 10 Warren voters on Tuesday say they will vote for the Democratic nominee in November, with or without Warren on the ballot.

1061d ago / 2:16 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Latinos are boosting Sanders in Texas

Four years ago, Bernie Sanders was blown out in Texas, losing to Hillary Clinton by more than 30 points. But thanks to substantial improvement among Latino voters this Super Tuesday, Sanders is putting in a much stronger showing in the state, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll. 

Sanders’ vote share among Latino Democratic primary voters in Texas has improved 12 points, from 29 percent in 2016 to 45 percent this year. His support among black primary voters in Texas stayed nearly the same, going from 15 percent of the black vote in 2016 to 18 percent in 2020. 

Sanders' support among white Texas Democratic primary voters has ticked down somewhat from 41 percent to 32 percent, though he does have a narrow lead over Biden among white primary voters in Texas.

Sanders’ appeal among Latinos is tied to his health care platform. Latinos in Texas are more likely than whites or blacks to name health care as the issue that matters most to them. And among those citing health care as their main issue, Latinos express the highest level of support for Sanders’ plan to replace all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone.

About three-quarters of Latino primary voters in Texas focused on health care support "Medicare for All." That's compared to about six in 10 whites and blacks focused on health care. 

1061d ago / 2:12 AM UTC

Biden takes Tennessee, NBC News projects

1061d ago / 2:11 AM UTC

Biden heads to Obama Boulevard for Super Tuesday results

1061d ago / 2:06 AM UTC
1061d ago / 2:05 AM UTC

Long lines to vote in Texas

Image: Voters wait to cast their ballot at a polling station in Houston, Texas, on March 3, 2020.
Voters wait to cast their ballot at a polling station in Houston, Texas, on March 3, 2020.Callaghan O'Hare / Reuters
1062d ago / 1:58 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: First-time Democratic primary voters favor Sanders

Bernie Sanders is the clear favorite of those voting in their first Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in nine of the 14 Super Tuesday states. But new voters represent a relatively slim share of Tuesday’s electorate.

Sanders received support from 43 percent of first-time voters, leaving Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg far behind.

But these new voters make up just 13 percent of those voting in Democratic primaries Tuesday. That's much lower than the share of first-time participants in last month’s Iowa and Nevada caucuses, but roughly on par with the percentages of new voters in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

Among those who’ve voted in a Democratic primary before, Biden has a slim lead over Sanders. 

Super Tuesday first time voters
1062d ago / 1:55 AM UTC

Bloomberg says Super Tuesday will be a success regardless of results

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — At his Super Tuesday event, Bloomberg said that "no matter how many delegates we win tonight, we've done something no one else thought was possible."

"In three months, we went from 1 percent to being a contender for the Democratic nomination," he continued.

So far, the early returns on Tuesday did not appear as good for Bloomberg as he had hoped. Bloomberg bypassed the first four states, first appearing on ballots Tuesday.

He said earlier Tuesday that his only plausible path to the nomination was through a contested convention. His campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, would say later in the day that he did not think the Democratic nominating process would reach that point.

"We proved we can win the voters who will decide the general election," Bloomberg said in his speech.

He additionally went after Trump and promoted his policy agenda on gun control, climate change and abortion rights. Near the end of his address, the crowd went wild when he said he'll never tweet from the Oval Office as president.

1062d ago / 1:50 AM UTC

Sanders may have a turnout problem

1062d ago / 1:39 AM UTC

'Barry O' finally endorses Biden

1062d ago / 1:39 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Bloomberg fails to win over key constituencies

Results from the NBC News Exit Poll find Mike Bloomberg lagging behind Joe Biden among his core constituencies. 

Despite campaigning on his viability in the general election, Bloomberg is winning just 13 percent of Democratic primary voters who say they would prefer a candidate who can beat Trump over one who agrees with them on major issues. Bloomberg is also struggling to gain traction among college graduates, older voters, and independents — capturing about 11 percent to 17 percent of voters within each of these groups.   

Bloomberg is pulling in about one in six self-described moderate or conservative Democratic voters in the 12 Super Tuesday states where exit polling was conducted. The plurality of these voters, 42 percent, are going for Biden.

1062d ago / 1:36 AM UTC

Ad spending breakdown for Virginia and N.C.

1062d ago / 1:33 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Voters concerned about coronavirus support Biden on Super Tuesday

The coronavirus outbreak was on many Democratic voters' minds as they went to the polls on Super Tuesday. In five states covered by the NBC News Exit Poll — California, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — just over half of primary voters said that the coronavirus was an important factor in their vote. The figure ranged from 51 percent in California to 61 percent in Texas.

Across the five states, 67 percent of voters ages 45 and over said the coronavirus was an important factor, while just 33 percent of those under age 45 felt the same. Joe Biden was the candidate of choice of nearly half of those who rated the outbreak as an important factor, followed by Bernie Sanders. 

Super Tuesday coronavirus biden
1062d ago / 1:25 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Klobuchar seen favorably by most Minnesota Democratic primary voters

Eyes are on Minnesota tonight and its 75 pledged delegates after home state Sen. Amy Klobuchar suspended her campaign on Monday and offered her endorsement to Joe Biden.

Klobuchar is well-liked. About three-quarters of Minnesota’s Democratic primary voters so far today have a favorable opinion of her. But she faced competition for the nomination from fellow moderates and she needed to make inroads among the majority liberal Democratic primary voters on her home turf. (In Minnesota, 68 percent of Democratic primary voters are liberal, and 32 percent are moderate or conservative.)

Nine in 10, or 92 percent, of those backing Biden in Minnesota tonight have a favorable view of Klobuchar. Meanwhile, 73 percent of Bloomberg voters in Minnesota, 80 percent of Warren voters and 52 percent of Sanders voters in the state see Klobuchar in a favorable light.


1062d ago / 1:24 AM UTC

Bloomberg rally erupts in cheers after he's declared winner... of American Samoa

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The crowd at Bloomberg's Super Tuesday event here gave a rousing cheer when the candidate was declared the winner in the American Samoa caucuses.

NBC News declared Bloomberg the victor in American Samoa. It was his first victory in a presidential contest.

1062d ago / 1:22 AM UTC

NBC News reporting from around the country

1062d ago / 1:15 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Late-deciding Super Tuesday voters break heavily for Biden

Joe Biden is garnering nearly half the support of Democrats who picked a candidate in just the last few days before Super Tuesday, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states. 

Riding a wave of endorsements from former rivals and his landslide victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Biden was favored by 47 percent of Super Tuesday voters who said they picked a candidate in the last few days. He left Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg far behind with these late-deciding voters.

By contrast, Sanders built a comfortable lead over Biden, 37 percent to 25 percent, among voters who picked a candidate earlier than the last few days.

Late-deciding voters made up more than a quarter of the Super Tuesday electorate, exit poll results show.

1062d ago / 1:13 AM UTC

Long line as poll closes in Dallas

1062d ago / 1:12 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Oklahoma Democratic primary voters say Biden has best chance of beating Trump

More than half of Democratic primary voters in Oklahoma say they would prefer a nominee who can beat President Donald Trump over one who agrees with them on major issues, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll. 

Oklahoma beat trump

When asked which candidate has the best chance to defeat Trump in November, more than 4 in 10 Oklahoma Democratic voters named Joe Biden, while 1 in 4 said the same of Bernie Sanders. Only 16 percent said Mike Bloomberg has the best chance of winning against Trump and fewer had confidence in Elizabeth Warren. 

Oklahoma candidates beat trump

As of 8 p.m. ET, NBC News has listed the Oklahoma Democratic primary as too close to call. 

Regardless of who the Democrats nominate, 78 percent of Oklahoma Democrats report they will support that candidate.


1062d ago / 1:11 AM UTC
1062d ago / 1:03 AM UTC

Biden reacts to Virginia win

1062d ago / 1:03 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Biden pulls in resounding win in Alabama

Joe Biden’s popularity among black voters in the South is on full display, especially in Alabama, the state with highest proportion of black voters on Super Tuesday.

The NBC News Exit Poll finds that 72 percent of black voters in Alabama backed the former vice president, outpacing his 61 percent support in South Carolina. But he also won a clear victory among white voters, doing significantly better than Saturday, when he won one-third of white voters.

Bernie Sanders was a distant runner-up. His best performance was 38 percent support among voters under 45 years old, but this group only made up three in 10 primary voters in Alabama today.


1062d ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Biden wins Alabama, NBC News projects

1062d ago / 12:59 AM UTC
1062d ago / 12:55 AM UTC

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.

Black voters super tuesday geography

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.

Super Tuesday black voters age
1062d ago / 12:53 AM UTC

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.

1062d ago / 12:50 AM UTC

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.

1062d ago / 12:46 AM UTC

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.

1062d ago / 12:39 AM UTC

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.

1062d ago / 12:38 AM UTC

Hayes: Clyburn's Biden endorsement made a huge difference

1062d ago / 12:38 AM UTC

Hayes: Clyburn's Biden endorsement made a huge difference

1062d ago / 12:36 AM UTC

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.


Biden North Carolina black voters


1062d ago / 12:33 AM UTC
1062d ago / 12:27 AM UTC

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.

1062d ago / 12:26 AM UTC

Tiny Biden 'spokesperson' urges to go out and vote

1062d ago / 12:21 AM UTC

Tennessee extending voting hours due to tornado damage

Deadly tornadoes knocked out polling places in Tennessee while fears over the coronavirus left some polling places in California and Texas short of election workers as Super Tuesday voting was underway around the country.

In response, the state said that polling sites across the state would stay open until 9 p.m. ET (many were set to close at 8 p.m. ET) and five sites in Davidson County, where some locations were damaged or destroyed, would stay open until 10 p.m. ET.

1062d ago / 12:21 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Sanders wins Vermont with young, liberal voters who want change

Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary in his home state of Vermont Tuesday with support from a broad coalition of voters — including those who would like a candidate who can bring about change, very liberal voters and those under 45, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll. 

Vermont Sanders vote

A majority of Sanders' supporters in Vermont say they will vote for the Democratic nominee this November, regardless of who ends up on the ballot. Still, 16 percent would not commit to voting for the party’s nominee.

Vermont Sanders voters November


1062d ago / 12:20 AM UTC

Biden stops for a sweet treat in LA

1062d ago / 12:18 AM UTC

Millions voted early — and some wasted their ballots on candidates who quit

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For the first time, early voting will play a significant role in the Super Tuesday primaries this year. In four states — California, Colorado, Texas and Utah — early and absentee ballots are expected to be at least half of the total vote.

The total number of early votes cast in the Democratic primaries for Super Tuesday contests is 4 million, according to figures as of Monday provided by TargetSmart, the National Election Poll, and secretaries of state, and analyzed independently by NBC News.

That total includes 1.6 million in California, where 415 delegates are at stake, or 30 percent of the Super Tuesday total.

Many of those voters, however, cast their ballots before the withdrawals of three of the candidates: Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer. That led to frustration on the part of some of their supporters on Monday and Tuesday when they learned that their early votes had been wasted on candidates who were no longer in the race. (In almost all states, an early vote is final once it is cast.)

Read the full story here.

1062d ago / 12:14 AM UTC

Bloomberg campaign manager throws cold water on contested convention talk

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Bloomberg's campaign manager said he doesn't think it's likely the Democrats will have a contested convention this summer — hours after the billionaire contender told reporters he sees that as his only plausible path to victory.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Bloomberg's Super Tuesday rally here, campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said: "I don't happen to think Democrats will have a contested convention."

Bloomberg's top aide said "absolutely not" when asked if Bloomberg would be ending his candidacy Tuesday, saying "we'll see" what the future holds for his campaign following the elections in more than a dozen states and territories.

"I expect him to be above the 15 percent threshold in just about every state," he said, adding that "anyone who's expecting the kind of night where they can go home and go to sleep early should forget about it."

At a Miami field office earlier Tuesday, Bloomberg said of a contested convention: "Well, I don't think that I can win any other ways."

His remarks come as Biden has started to consolidate the moderate Democratic primary field aimed at taking on Bernie Sanders, with Bloomberg facing increased calls to join Buttigieg and Klobuchar, who ended their candidacies this week and backed Biden.

1062d ago / 12:10 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Widespread favorability propels Biden to Virginia win

Polling taken in the weeks before the South Carolina primary suggested that Virginia could be a very close contest, but it didn't turn out that way in the end.

Joe Biden rode a wave of widespread popularity to victory, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. His 67 percent favorable rating in Virginia is significantly higher than the same rating for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Mike Bloomberg.

Black voters provided a significant chunk of the former vice president’s support in Virginia. Biden won 63 percent of this group compared with 17 percent who backed Sanders. He also won solid majorities among those 45 years old and over as well as moderates and conservatives.

Other components of Biden’s support included Virginia primary voters who want the country to return to the policies of Barack Obama. They gave Biden 75 percent of their vote. He also won 67 percent of voters who were looking for a candidate who can unite the country.

1062d ago / 12:05 AM UTC

NC extends voting for 2 precincts

1062d ago / 12:02 AM UTC

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.

Super Tuesday socialism




1062d ago / 12:00 AM UTC

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.