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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: In Missouri, fewer under 45 and black voters compared to 2016

There have been some shifts in the demographic profile of Missouri's primary voters since that 2016, when a razor thin margin of just over 1,000 votes separated Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the state.

Compared to four years ago, today’s Missouri Democratic electorate has fewer voters younger than 45, fewer black voters, and fewer self-described liberals, according to the NBC News Exit Poll results. It also has slightly fewer first time primary voters than in 2016.

Amid coronavirus outbreak, Trump still doesn't have any rallies planned

Vice President Mike Pence was asked at the White House coronavirus briefing on Tuesday whether the campaign will continue to have rallies amid coronavirus concerns. He told reporters: "I think that'll be a decision that’s made literally on a day-to-day basis" and "I’m very confident that the campaign will take the very best information and make the very best decision going forward."

The situation is clearly very fluid, given that the Trump campaign said they "expected" to reveal on Tuesday where the next rally would be but that was before the Biden and Sanders campaigns canceled their respective events in Ohio tonight. Of course, the day is not over so this Trump campaign announcement could still come but wanted everyone to have the proper context going into any such development.

See below for more on the events the campaign has "postponed" in recent days citing "scheduling conflicts," despite a claim they are "proceeding normally" (a "Women for Trump" bus tour through MI, WI, PA this week and a rare FLOTUS fundraiser in Beverly Hills on March 18). No information yet on future dates for either of these.

NBC News Exit Poll: In primaries so far, Democratic anger toward Trump highest in Washington

Over the course of the primary season, about 2 in 3 Democratic primary voters have said they feel angry about Donald Trump’s administration, while 1 in 4 are dissatisfied, and only 8 percent report having positive views of the current president, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll.

In states voting today, feelings of anger range from 83 percent of primary voters in Washington to 49 percent in Mississippi, early results from the NBC News Exit Poll found. Missouri and Michigan are on par with the primary average to date.

Prior to today’s contests, the highest level of anger toward Trump was 79 percent in New Hampshire’s primary. 

Democrats in Southern states have tended to express lower levels of anger about the current administration. The level in Mississippi’s electorate is just slightly above the low of 47 percent registered in South Carolina’s primary.

 

 

Michigan not expected to report primary results until Wednesday afternoon

A spokesperson for Michigan’s office of the secretary of state — which runs the state's elections — said on a conference call Tuesday night that they don’t expect to have full reporting of the results from the state’s Democratic primary until the early afternoon of Wednesday, due to a wide disparity in how fast precincts are able to count votes.

Earlier Tuesday, Michigan’s office of the secretary of state said that it was expecting delays in the reporting of results of its primary Tuesday night due to the huge backlog of absentee votes.

Since Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson took office in 2019, Michigan has expanded voting options for citizens, including giving all voters the option to vote by mail and later voter registration.

That, however, has led to the state sending off nearly 1 million absentee ballots for the 2020 primary, with more than 800,000 of them already returned. That number includes the 36,574 ballots that were already spoiled — a unique rule in Michigan that allows residents who have already cast an absentee to change their vote

But under Michigan law, absentee ballots can't even be opened until Election Day morning, leading to fears of long delays before precincts can produce a final count.

"Current state law hasn't really caught up," Jake Rollow, a spokesperson for Benson's office, told NBC News.

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.”