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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.

999d ago / 3:30 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Texas Democratic primary voters skew older than previous years

Democratic primary voters in Texas this year are a bit older than in recent election cycles, according to results from Tuesday's NBC News Exit Poll. Voters age 65 and over constitute about a quarter of Democratic primary voters this year, compared to 18 percent in 2016 and 13 percent in 2008.

 

Texas age 65 older

This relatively strong turnout among older Texas Democratic Primary voters stands to benefit Joe Biden, who is winning this group handily, with 46 percent of their vote. He has a 24-point lead in this age group over Mike Bloomberg, who is in second place with this group. 

Texas older voters preference
999d ago / 3:30 AM UTC

Addressing supporters, Sanders frames race as two-man contest with Biden

Image: Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Essex Junction, Vt., on March 3, 2020.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Essex Junction, Vt., on March 3, 2020.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Sanders, speaking to supporters in Vermont, framed the Democratic primary as a two-man race between himself and Biden as both men rack up wins across the country on Super Tuesday and Bloomberg’s and Warren’s respective campaigns fail to have a strong showing so far.

Sanders told his supporters that the race will become "a contrast in ideas." He told the crowd that he voted against the war in Iraq, wants to expand Social Security, has advocated for reforming trade deals and protecting consumers while Biden has done the opposite. 

"You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics," Sanders said. "What we need is a new politics that brings working-class people into our political movement, which brings young people into our political movement and which in November will bring the highest turnout in American political history."

Watch Sanders' full remarks here.

999d ago / 3:22 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Biden drew half of the late-deciding vote in Minnesota

The late-breaking suspension of Amy Klobuchar’s bid for the nomination scrambled the race in her home state of Minnesota. NBC News reports Joe Biden is a projected winner in the state. 

Joe Biden drew about half of the late-deciding vote in the state tonight. About 2 in 10 voters who made up their minds in the last few days picked Sanders, according to NBC News Exit Polls.

But Minnesota voters are closely divided over the policy direction they want the next president to take. About 4 in 10 are looking for a return to Obama’s policies, while a similar share wants a left-turn ahead. Just 9 in 10 want a more conservative policy direction.

Biden garners a majority of voters looking to return to Obama-era policies, 60 percent, to 15 percent for Biden.

Sanders wins about half of voters looking for a liberal policy turn ahead.

999d ago / 3:20 AM UTC

Biden wins Minnesota after home state Sen. Klobuchar drops out, NBC News projects

Joe Biden won Minnesota on Tuesday night, NBC News projected, a day after popular home state Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race and endorsed the former vice president.

Biden had won 37 percent of the vote with 43 percent in, while Bernie Sanders had 31 percent. Biden got at least 10 of the state's 75 delegates, and Sanders collected seven.

Klobuchar was leading her home state's presidential primary contest, according to a Star Tribune/MPR News poll last month, and she was trailed by Sanders. Biden was polling in fourth in that survey, with just 8 percent of voters' support. Klobuchar's campaign said its internal polling saw Biden rising into third place in the weekend before the primary.

"I cannot think of a better way to end my campaign than by joining his," Klobuchar said at a Biden rally in Texas.

Read the full story here.

999d ago / 3:17 AM UTC
999d ago / 3:16 AM UTC

Kellyanne Conway's husband, a vocal Trump critic, donates maximum amount to Biden

999d ago / 3:12 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Liberal and younger Democrats are key in Sanders’ Democratic primary win in Colorado

Bernie Sanders saw strong support from very liberal and younger voters in Colorado on Tuesday, which played a role in his projected win in the state's Democratic primary, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. 

Sanders secured support from 54 percent of very liberal voters and from 50 percent of those under age 45. Sanders also did well with non-white voters and those without college degrees.

 

Colorado bernie sanders

In addition, Sanders received support from voters who enthusiastically embrace his position on issues. Nearly half of voters who think the next president needs to change to more liberal policies voted for Sanders, as did 45 percent of those who believe it's most important for the Democratic nominee to be an agent of change, 43 percent who think the U.S. economic system needs a complete overhaul and 41 percent who said the issue that mattered most to them was income inequality.

999d ago / 3:11 AM UTC
999d ago / 2:59 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Biden favored by voters who prioritize beating Trump, issue voters back Sanders

Six in 10 voters in today’s Democratic presidential primaries care most about nominating a candidate who can beat Donald Trump in November, according to the NBC News Exit Poll conducted in 12 of 14 Super Tuesday states across the country. These voters favor Joe Biden over his more liberal rival Bernie Sanders by a margin of 36 percent to 25 percent.

By contrast, about a third of Super Tuesday voters say they’d rather see the Democrats nominate a candidate who agrees with them on major issues. Sanders is the clear favorite of these voters over Biden, 45 percent to 24 percent.

999d ago / 2:55 AM UTC

How is the Sanders campaign feeling?

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A source within the Sanders campaign says they are "absolutely" surprised by the results out of North Carolina. This is a state where campaign officials were optimistic because they saw it as his best performing Southern state in 2016 (he still lost by double digits.)  

Sanders had television ads airing in North Carolina media markets even before the South Carolina contest. In addition to the four separate trips and many stops Sanders made there, his surrogates including Nina Turner and Donald Glover spent significant chunks of time in the state.

This was one the campaign thought it could win. When this source was asked if this also was affected by Rep. James Clyburn’s endorsement, we were told: "His force is evident."

The Sanders campaign believes it's still early to panic as some polls are still open nationally. 

Sanders spokesman Mike Casca tells NBC News, "If you turn off your television at 10 p.m. tonight, you will wake up tomorrow to a different race."

Campaign manager Faiz Shakir came out to speak to the now-thinning crowd.

"We are having a good night, and it’s only going to get better," Shakir said. 

999d ago / 2:47 AM UTC
999d ago / 2:46 AM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Moderate and older Democratic voters boost Biden in Oklahoma primary

Voters who want to unite the country and return to former President Barack Obama's policies propelled Joe Biden to a projected victory in the Oklahoma Democratic primary, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll.  

Biden beat Bernie Sanders, the second-place finisher, among both men and women, white voters and non-white voters, and voters age 45 and older. Biden also did well with moderates, securing 46 percent of their votes.

And Biden had significant support among voters who placed importance on a candidate who can unite the country, those seeking a return to Obama's policies and those who consider health care their top issue. 

 

Joe Biden Oklahoma
999d ago / 2:45 AM UTC
999d 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.

999d ago / 2:42 AM UTC

Sanders wins Colorado, NBC News projects

999d 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."

999d ago / 2:27 AM UTC
999d 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.

999d ago / 2:23 AM UTC
999d 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.

999d 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. 

999d ago / 2:12 AM UTC

Biden takes Tennessee, NBC News projects

999d ago / 2:11 AM UTC

Biden heads to Obama Boulevard for Super Tuesday results

999d ago / 2:06 AM UTC
999d 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
999d 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
999d 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.

999d ago / 1:50 AM UTC

Sanders may have a turnout problem

999d ago / 1:39 AM UTC

'Barry O' finally endorses Biden

999d 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.

999d ago / 1:36 AM UTC

Ad spending breakdown for Virginia and N.C.

999d 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
999d 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.

 

999d 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.

999d ago / 1:22 AM UTC

NBC News reporting from around the country

999d 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.

999d ago / 1:13 AM UTC

Long line as poll closes in Dallas

999d 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.

 

999d ago / 1:11 AM UTC
999d ago / 1:03 AM UTC

Biden reacts to Virginia win

999d 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.

 

999d ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Biden wins Alabama, NBC News projects

999d ago / 12:59 AM UTC
999d 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
999d 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.

999d 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.

999d 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.

999d 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.

999d ago / 12:38 AM UTC

Hayes: Clyburn's Biden endorsement made a huge difference

999d ago / 12:38 AM UTC

Hayes: Clyburn's Biden endorsement made a huge difference