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.
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NBC News Exit Poll: Voters in five states support free college tuition, 'Medicare for All'
Voters across five Super Tuesday states — California, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia — expressed widespread support for free tuition at public colleges and replacing private health insurance with a single payer system, according to NBC News Exit Poll results. Taken together, half of these Democratic primary voters favor both policy proposals, while just 1 in 5 favor neither.
Among those who want both free college and "Medicare for All" as the nation’s only health plan, 49 percent supported Bernie Sanders today. Just 20 percent of this group backed Joe Biden, and 17 percent voted for Elizabeth Warren. But among those who do not support either idea, 44 percent backed Biden, while 23 percent voted for Mike Bloomberg and 9 percent supported Sanders.
Those who want both policy options enacted are more likely to be younger than 45. There is also more support for both proposals among Latino voters than among non-Latinos of any race.
Fully 3 in 4 primary voters who call themselves very liberal back both "Medicare for All" and free college, compared to half of those who are somewhat liberal and just over one-third of moderates and conservatives.
Biden strikes close to Sanders' home, winning Massachusetts
Excited Biden rallies supporters after sweeping Super Tuesday wins
After an initially strong Super Tuesday return, a jubilant Biden addressed supporters saying, "it’s still early, but things are looking awful, awful good."
"For those who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign!" he said excitedly. "Just a few days ago, the press and the pundits declared the campaign dead. And then came South Carolina, they had something to say about it! And we’re told, well, when you got to Super Tuesday, it’d be over. Well, it may be over for the other guy."
"Tell that to the folks of Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and maybe even Massachusetts, it's too close to call!" he continued. "We're still waiting for Texas and California, a few other small states to come in. But it’s looking good! So I'm here to report we are very much alive! And make no mistake about it, this campaign will send Donald Trump packing. This campaign is taking off, join us."
Biden's speech was briefly interrupted as protesters approached the stage, but he continued with his speech undeterred. NBC News projects the former vice president to win Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts as political observers await results in delegate-rich Texas and California.
Watch Biden's full remarks here.
How Klobuchar helped secure Biden's Minnesota win
Anti-dairy protesters storm stage during Biden speech
Anti-dairy protesters interrupted Biden's speech to supporters in California.
Two protesters stormed the stage as the former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, were rallying supporters.
One protester, holding a sign, was taken off stage immediately by what might have been security personnel. Another protester who stormed the stage was swiftly blocked by Symone Sanders, the campaign's senior adviser, as well as volunteers and what also could have been security personnel, and was taken off the stage.
Anti-dairy protesters also interrupted Warren's speech in Houston on Saturday.
'Nearly impossible' for Sanders to stop Biden if delegate gap grows, Todd says
Biden is having such a strong night that he might be unstoppable, Chuck Todd, NBC News' political director, said late Tuesday.
"Joe Biden has already had the night he needs," Todd said on NBC News' special report on Super Tuesday. "It's more likely now that Joe Biden has more delegates at the end of tonight than Bernie Sanders. ... Even with a big Sanders win in California, it is hard to see how it isn't going to turn out that way. If that is the case, if Joe Biden leaves Super Tuesday with more delegates than anybody else, it will be nearly impossible for Sanders to stop him."
NBC News Exit Poll: Two-thirds of Bloomberg voters picked him before recent contest upheaval
Mike Bloomberg has struggled to gain support in the Super Tuesday contests. Those he did persuade skewed older — 4 in 5 of his supporters were age 50 and older, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. They also tilted female (58 percent).
Many of Bloomberg's supporters said they made up their minds before the recent upheaval in the Democratic contest. Two-thirds of Bloomberg’s voters on Super Tuesday said that they made their choice in February or earlier.
Bloomberg overspent Biden with little to show
Bloomberg outspent Biden 60 to 1 on the airwaves in the states that Biden has won so far on Super Tuesday.
Biden spent less than $1 million on television and radio in all of the states he's won so far tonight, data from Advertising Analytics shows.
Biden spent $972,000 on television and radio ads in Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Virginia, all states that the NBC News Decision Desk projects he'd win.
Conversely, Bloomberg spent $60.2 million in those states, according to data from Advertising Analytics, an ad-tracking firm.
Out of the states that he's projected to win on Super Tuesday, Biden spent the most in North Carolina — $276,216. Bloomberg spent almost $13 million there.
The former mayor also spent $9.8 million in Massachusetts, which Biden is projected to win.
Biden did not spend a single cent on television or radio ads there.
—This post was updated to reflect Biden's projected victory in Massachusetts.
NBC News Exit Poll: Asian American voters' support tied to preferred candidate
The Asian American population has been growing faster than any other ethnic group, and constitute a growing share of the electorate in key states. They make up about 6 percent of the electorate in the delegate rich state of California, and 2 percent of the electorate in the swing state of Virginia. Securing their support will be important in efforts to win both the Democratic nomination, and the general election in November.
Results from the NBC News exit poll highlight that Asian American voters across Super Tuesday states are the least committed to supporting the Democratic nominee in November, as compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
Among those voting in Super Tuesday states, Sanders is receiving the most support among Asian American voters, with about 39 percent of their votes. Another 21 percent of Asian American voters supported Biden — about 20 percentage points behind Sanders.
A key factor shaping Sanders’ support among Asian Americans was his position on health care, according to results from the NBC News exit poll conducted in 12 out of the 14 Super Tuesday states.
Among these voters, 60 percent supported proposals to replace all Americans’ private health insurance with a single government plan.
Sanders wins Colorado, but Biden, Warren and Bloomberg appear viable to cut into delegates
NBC News projects that Sanders will win Colorado — his first win in the West on Super Tuesday.
Sanders currently has about 36 percent of the vote with 77 percent of the precincts reporting, according to NBC News. But Bloomberg is in second with about 23 percent, Biden has 21 percent and Warren nabbed about 17 percent of the vote. Each of them will peel off delegates from Sanders, which goes to show that while winning a state sounds impressive, it's the delegate chase that really matters in the race for the nomination.
Trump mocks Bloomberg, Warren as Super Tuesday results come in
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.
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.
Addressing supporters, Sanders frames race as two-man contest with Biden
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.
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.
Biden wins Minnesota after home state Sen. Klobuchar drops out, NBC News projects
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.
Kellyanne Conway's husband, a vocal Trump critic, donates maximum amount to Biden
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.
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.
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.
How is the Sanders campaign feeling?
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.
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.
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.
Sanders wins Colorado, NBC News projects
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Biden takes Tennessee, NBC News projects
Biden heads to Obama Boulevard for Super Tuesday results
Long lines to vote in Texas
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.
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.
Sanders may have a turnout problem
'Barry O' finally endorses Biden
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.
Ad spending breakdown for Virginia and N.C.
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.
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.
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.
NBC News reporting from around the country
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.