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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: Most Mississippi Democrats support 'Medicare for All'

Sizable shares of Mississippi Democratic primary voters support "Medicare for All," according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll.

Fully 6 in 10 say they support replacing all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone. About half as many, 32 percent, say they oppose the plan.

Though most Democratic voters who have cast ballots in the 2020 primary race so far have favored "Medicare for All," there is some variation in support state to state.

Compared with other Southern states that held contests prior to March 10, larger majorities of Mississippi Democratic primary voters support this policy. 

Smaller majorities of Democrats in Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama say they favor "Medicare for All."

NBC News Exit Poll: Most Missouri voters feel their finances are holding steady

Just over 6 in 10 Missouri primary voters say their family’s financial situation is holding steady, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll. Another 24 percent are getting ahead and 11 percent feel they are falling behind. 

There are no differences in these results among supporters of the two remaining Democratic candidates.

Despite this relative stability, half of Democratic primary voters in Missouri say the country’s economic system needs a complete overhaul, while 41 percent say it only needs minor changes and 8 percent say it works well enough as is. 

Voters earning less than $50,000 a year (58 percent) are more likely than those who are in a higher income bracket (43 percent) to say the system needs an overhaul. Missouri’s 3.4 percent unemployment rate is just under the national average of 3.6 percent. 

Sanders, Biden cancel rallies because of coronavirus fears

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden canceled campaign rallies planned for Tuesday night in Cleveland due to concerns about the coronavirus, a first on the 2020 presidential campaign trail as concerns about the outbreak mount.

"Out of concern for public health and safety, we are canceling tonight’s rally in Cleveland," Sanders' campaign communications director Mike Casca said in a statement. "We are heeding the public warnings from Ohio state officials, who have communicated concern about holding large, indoor events during the coronavirus outbreak."

Casca added that the Vermont senator "would like to express his regret to the thousands of Ohioans who had planned to attend the event tonight" and said, "all future Bernie 2020 events will be evaluated on a case by case basis."

Hand sanitizers, elbow bumps in lieu of handshakes, and shorter rope lines have already quickly become the new reality of campaigning in the time of the coronavirus.

A debate scheduled for Sunday in Phoenix between Sanders and Biden is currently scheduled to proceed, but the Democratic National Committee and CNN, which is hosting the debate, have said they are in contact with local officials and will follow their guidance.

NBC News Exit Poll: Compared to 2016, Mississippi Democratic primary electorate looks whiter, older

According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll, the Mississippi Democratic primary electorate skews slightly older and whiter than it did in 2016.

In today’s primary race, white voters make up roughly 3 in 10 of those casting ballots in the Mississippi contest. This compares with just a quarter who were white in the Clinton versus Sanders matchup four years ago. In 2016, Sanders did slightly better among white voters than he did among blacks.

Today’s primary electorate also looks considerably older than it did four years ago: In 2016, 4 in 10 were younger than 45 years of age, while a majority were older 45. Today, early exit poll results show that young voters make up just a quarter of the electorate. 

Sanders will also look to shore up support among the state’s ideologically liberal voters. In the Super Tuesday contests, Sanders held his own among the South’s very liberal voters, faring much better among this group than moderate and conservative-leaning Democrats.

The ideological complexion of today’s electorate looks fairly similar to 2016: similar shares call themselves very liberal on political matters, but a slightly higher share call themselves moderate or conservative compared with four years ago.

ANALYSIS: Biden's tough talk a new tack for Democrats

President Donald Trump turned insulting big-name rivals and celebrities into a form of modern political art. His top Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, has refined it into a post-modern name-calling style exhibited in limited fashion to voters who confront him with cheap shots.

"Don't be such a horse's ass," Biden scolded a worker at an auto plant in Detroit on Tuesday as Michigan voters went to the polls.

The worker had falsely asserted that Biden wants to "end our Second Amendment right" to own guns. Biden, the author of a decadelong 1994 ban on certain semi-automatic weapons, has proposed new gun control measures but not a repeal of the Second Amendment — which as president he would have no formal role in adopting.

But the heated exchange, in which Biden threatened to slap the man and said he was "full of s—," was just the latest example of a tough-talk tactic the former vice president has deployed repeatedly to push back on critics on the campaign trail. While allies of Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders say the aggressive approach will backfire politically, many Democrats and some anti-Trump Republicans like the unusually muscular response.

Read the full analysis here.

Trump campaign and supporters spread misleading Sanders video

A misleadingly edited video of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was released by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign on Tuesday and spread by conservative allies.

The video, in which the Democratic presidential candidate appears to say he would not close the borders to protect Americans from the coronavirus, was cut from a detailed answer Sanders gave at a Fox News town hall on Monday in which he said, "We need scientists to tell us the appropriate approach, not a political approach.”

The Sanders clip was posted just days after Twitter labeled a video of Biden, similarly edited to look as if he was endorsing Trump’s reelection, as “manipulated media,” and Facebook published a warning that called the video “partly false.” It was one of the first instances of social media platforms deploying new policies meant to curb political misinformation released by a 2020 candidate. 

By Tuesday afternoon, the most widely shared versions of the deceptively edited Sanders video had been viewed more than 600,000 times on Twitter, with most of the traffic coming by way of Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative group Turning Point USA.

A Twitter spokesperson said the tweet would not be labeled under their synthetic and manipulated media policy “as the alteration does not completely distort the meaning of his answer.”

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.