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March 10 primaries live updates: Biden bests Sanders in 4 states

Biden won in delegate-rich Michigan, along with Missouri and Mississippi, according to NBC News projections. Washington was too close to call.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Joe Biden won the Democratic primary in Michigan Tuesday, NBC News projected, and further extended his delegate lead over Bernie Sanders with additional wins in Mississippi and Missouri and Idaho.

Get the latest race results and delegate totals

Sanders won North Dakota, NBC News projected Wednesday morning, but Washington's primary election remains too close to call. More than 350 delegates will ultimately be allocated from the six states that voted Tuesday — the fourth-largest day on the primary calendar for the Democratic candidates.

Highlights from Tuesday's election:

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

Live Blog

NBC News Exit Poll: Primary voters prioritize beating Trump but levels differ by preferred candidate

Democratic primary voters continue to say nominating a candidate who can beat Donald Trump was a more important factor in their votes than supporting someone who agrees with them on major issues, according to the NBC News Exit Poll.

Across Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington, 61 percent said they prioritized beating Trump and 36 percent said they prioritized issues, the NBC News Exit Poll found. This is nearly identical to exit poll results from prior contests, which showed 63 percent prioritized defeating Trump while 34 percent preferred issue alignment. 

Among supporters of Biden in today’s primaries, 71 percent prioritized defeating Trump, which is identical to the views of his supporters in earlier contests. Among Bernie Sanders voters, only 46 percent prioritized beating Trump, which is down slightly from prior contests.

The number of Democratic primary voters today who prioritized beating the incumbent ranged from 69 percent in Washington, to 59 percent in Missouri, 57 percent in Michigan and 53 percent in Mississippi.

Check out anonymous voter confessions from tonight's primary states

NBC News Exit Poll: Mississippi has highest share of black voters in Democratic contests so far

As Sanders and Biden square off in Mississippi tonight, the electorate is shaping to be one of the most racially diverse of the Democratic contests so far. According to early NBC News Exit Polls, black voters make up roughly two-thirds of those casting ballots in the Mississippi primary — higher than the share of black voters in South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia.

Biden picked up considerable momentum in the 2020 primary race after a landslide victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary, which came thanks to a resounding surge of support from the state’s sizable African American electorate.

He was also favored heavily among black voters in the South in Super Tuesday’s primaries: 65 percent of black voters in South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee cast votes for the former vice president. Smaller shares favored Sanders (16 percent) or Bloomberg (9 percent). 

NBC News Exit Poll: Most Washington primary voters are concerned with the coronavirus outbreak

The NBC News Exit Poll finds the vast majority of Democratic primary voters in Washington are concerned about the coronavirus outbreak. This includes 38 percent who are very concerned and 44 percent who are somewhat concerned. 

Voters age 45 and over (46 percent) are more likely than those under 45 years old (20 percent) to be very concerned about coronavirus.

 

The exit poll also asked Washington primary voters which candidate they would trust most to handle a major crisis.

Among those who trust Joe Biden more, 46 percent are very concerned about the outbreak. Among those who trust Bernie Sanders more, just 26 percent are very concerned.

According to the CDC, Washington state has the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation. It is not clear what impact the outbreak has had on turnout since the Washington primary election is conducted almost entirely by mail.

Man intentionally crashes car into St. Louis polling station, police say

A man intentionally backed his car into a St. Louis polling station on Tuesday and then started throwing liquid on voting machines, police said.

Arlice Thompson, a 60-year-old St. Louis resident and poll worker, told NBC News she was helping a voter check in around 9:30 a.m. CT at Friendly Temple Missionary Church when “we heard this loud boom.”

“We thought something had exploded outside the building,” she said.

A polling station at Friendly Temple Missionary Church in St. Louis, Mo. was forced to move after a man intentionally crashed his vehicle into the building.Arlice Thompson

She said a man in his sixties had crashed his car into the side of the church and walked inside yelling obscenities. He then poured an unknown liquid from a gallon milk jug onto the floor and voting machines and started throwing chairs and tables around as witnesses called police.

The man was taken in custody and transported to a hospital for evaluation, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. There were no injuries.

Click here for the full story.

NBC News Exit Poll: Enthusiasm for Biden and Sanders as eventual nominee differs by state

Four in 10 primary voters in Missouri, Michigan and Washington would be satisfied if either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders ended up as the Democratic nominee for president, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Polls in those states.

Among those who would only be happy with one of these outcomes, 1 in 3 would be satisfied with Biden as the party standard bearer and 1 in 5 would be satisfied only if it was Sanders.

Levels of enthusiasm for each candidate are different across the states.

In Missouri, more primary voters say they would be enthusiastic with Biden (45 percent) as the nominee than say the same about Sanders (31 percent). The reverse is true in Michigan with 38 percent enthusiastic about nominating Sanders and 32 percent saying the same about Biden. This result is evenly divided in Washington at 35 enthusiastic about Biden as the nominee and 35 percent enthusiastic if it is Sanders.

Even as some hold their noses, Detroit voters cast ballots with 'the ancestors' on their minds

Davinia Brown said she's been alarmed by the "really chaotic" Democratic primary. She hated watching the sniping and barbs when the campaign trail was crowded with candidates. 

"They just looked so terrible going after each other," she said.

Brown is also not sure that votes will be tallied fairly this year since she believes foul play might have "rigged" the 2016 election in favor of President Donald Trump.

But she wouldn't consider staying home on primary election day — and she wouldn't let her son stay home either.

"The ancestors fought so we have to vote," said Brown, 51, as she and her son Raymond Brown, 25, cast their ballots Tuesday morning at the Horatio Williams Foundation in Detroit's Lafayette Park, just east of  downtown. (He voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; she declined to name her pick).

"The ancestors stood in line," said Brown, an African-American human resources professional who lives in Lafayette Park. "They were beat. They had to take tests to vote."

"It's very important that we vote even though we believe that they're going to put whoever they want in office," she added.

Davinia Brown, left, with her son, Raymond Brown.Courtesy of Davinia Brown

A lower African-American turnout in 2016 compared to 2012, when President Barack Obama was on the ballot, is often mentioned as a key reason why Trump won Michigan by an 11,000-vote margin in 2016.  

Brown doesn't think black voters will stay home this year since Trump is unpopular in Detroit and voters here learned their lesson, she said. "They've had an opportunity to witness things for themselves.

Rev. William Revely, 78, the African-American pastor of the Holy Hope Heritage Baptist Church on Detroit's west side, was casting his ballot "for Uncle Joe," meaning former Vice President Joe Biden, at an elementary school near his home in Lafayette Park.

He says his church has "several hundred" members who will be voting in large numbers this year.

"Folks have had enough of" Trump," Revely said. "They're going to turn out and the vote is going to be stronger this time."

Revely, who said he marched and protested during the civil rights movement, says he drives home the importance of voting with young people in his congregation.

"We went through too much to get the vote," he said.

Biden and Sanders seen as far more 'honest' than Clinton was in 2016: poll

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both viewed by most Americans as honest, unlike Hillary Clinton around this time in 2016, according to new Quinnipiac poll data.

Fifty-one percent of Americans say Biden is honest, while 38 percent say he's not, according to the new survey released Monday. Sanders performed better, with 62 percent of Americans saying he's honest and 26 percent saying he's not.

By contrast, a Quinnipiac poll released in mid-February of 2016 found that Clinton was seen by just 30 percent of Americans as honest, while 67 percent said she was not.

The perception that Clinton was dishonest and untrustworthy dogged her throughout the 2016 campaign. Her numbers were even worse than then-candidate Donald Trump — 37 percent of Americans said four years ago that Trump was honest, while 59 percent said he was not.

Though it's still early, the new findings indicate that the Democratic nominee this fall won't have the same problem against Trump. The new poll found that his numbers are slightly worse today — just 33 percent of Americans say Trump is honest, while 63 percent say he's not.

Biden hurls curse word at worker who challenges him on guns

DETROIT — Former Vice President Joe Biden told a factory worker he was “full of s---” at a campaign event here after the man claimed the Democratic presidential candidate was going to take away his guns.

The heated altercation happened during a meet-and-greet with workers at a Fiat Chrysler assembly plant ahead of Michigan's crucial primary. While supporters were waiting in line, Biden was immediately confronted by a worker who claimed the former vice president would try to do away his Second Amendment right after seeing videos of him and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, talking gun control.

“You’re full of s---,” Biden said. “I did not.”

Read more about the exchange.

Washington state has advantage in addressing voters' virus fears

Washington, which had the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., has a major advantage in addressing fears the virus could impact voting in Tuesday’s primary: it's a vote by mail state, and doesn't actually have physical polling places.

Nearly two dozen people have died in Washington, by far the most deaths recording in any state so far. 

There are several new precautions in place, said Kylee Zabel, spokesperson for the Washington Secretary of State's office. Voters are discouraged from licking their envelopes, and should use "a wet sponge or cloth" instead, Zabel said, and election workers should wear gloves to open ballots.

Two other states vote by mail and don't use physical polling places: Colorado, which voted March 3, and Oregon, which votes May 19.