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:
- Biden's delicate dance to win over the 'Bernie Brothers.'
- Key takeaways from election night, plus an analysis on how Sanders divided Democrats.
- Live updating delegate count.
NBC News Exit Poll: Biden wins white, college-educated women
Before she dropped out of the race, Elizabeth Warren counted white women with a college degree among her core blocs of support. This group represents one-fifth of all Democratic primary voters to date but made up nearly twice that portion in Warren’s camp. A key question coming into today was where that support would go.
Biden appears to be the big winner among this group, going from 30 percent support among white, college-educated women in prior contests to 55 percent today, according to an NBC News Exit Poll.
Sanders also made gains with this group, but by a much smaller margin, going from 21 percent to 30 percent.
It’s worth noting that 1 in 4 white women with a college degree were supporting candidates other than Biden, Sanders and Warren in prior contests. It is likely that much of their support went to Biden after those other candidates ended their presidential campaigns.
Sanders won't speak Tuesday night
Sanders, who as of 10:30 p.m. ET had yet to win a single one of Tuesday's contests, does not plan on speaking Tuesday night, a senior aide to the Vermont senator told NBC News.
After canceling a rally in Cleveland due to the concerns over the coronavirus, Sanders flew back to Burlington, Vermont, earlier Tuesday night.
NBC News has projected Biden victories over Sanders in the Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi primaries. North Dakota’s caucuses remain too early to call and polls in Washington state and Idaho close later in the evening.
NBC News Exit Poll: State voters were looking for different candidate qualities
According to the NBC News Exit Poll, Democratic primary voters in 2020 have value two candidate qualities — the ability to bring about needed change and the ability to unite the country — when deciding how to vote.
About one third each have looked for someone who can bring about change or for someone who can unite the country. The NBC News Exit Poll finds there is a difference of opinion across the four largest states voting today as to which quality mattered the most.
Voters in Michigan and Missouri were more likely than those in Mississippi and Washington to want a change agent.
The opposite was true for wanting a uniter. The 40 percent in Michigan who were looking to bring about change was close to the high mark set in Vermont (43 percent), while Washington’s 26 percent who want change is second lowest after Colorado (19 percent).
On the other hand, the 41 percent in Washington who want to unite the country matches the prior high set in Colorado, while Michigan’s 28 percent result on this quality comes in under the prior low set by Vermont and South Carolina (29 percent each).
The view from Biden world tonight
The Biden campaign had hoped to mark tonight’s primary with a big rally in Cleveland, getting a jump-start on next week’s Ohio primary. One consequence of tonight’s abrupt location change is that the former vice president can celebrate another night of significant wins with dozens of young campaign workers who have made their way here from the downtown Philadelphia headquarters to the National Constitution Center, where the backdrop for Biden’s remarks will be an array of state flags.
Biden advisers say they're of course happy with the topline results — early calls in Mississippi, Missouri and the big prize of Michigan. Michigan is especially a welcome result that the Biden team had been carefully managing expectations about all week, given what Bernie Sanders did to Hillary Clinton there in 2016 and the fact that up until very recently, the Biden team has not been able to afford its own polling for months.
But below the toppling results, Biden's analytics team is closely looking at two big data points that will be key to their strategy and messaging: overall turnout and results from specific heavily targeted congressional districts.
Going forward, Biden’s remarks on the coronavirus Thursday will be the latest effort by the campaign to seize what they see as a presidential moment when the country needs reassurance at a time of crisis. Campaign events already scheduled in states beyond Thursday’s canceled Tampa rally (Chicago on Friday, and Miami on Monday) are certainly subject to change as they evaluate the recommendations from experts and take their cues from local leadership, as the Biden team did from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday.
Clyburn: Cancel the primary if Sanders loses big tonight
If Joe Biden wins really big tonight, Rep. Jim Clyburn wants the Democratic National Committee to end the primary.
The South Carolina Democrat — whose endorsement of the former vice president propelled him to a decisive victory in the state, a pivotal moment for the campaign — said the DNC should cancel the rest of the primary if Sanders does poorly.
"I think we will be at the point where Joe Biden will be the prohibitive nominee of the party and I think the DNC, the Democratic National Committee should step in, make an assessment and determination whether or not we should have any more debates," he said on NPR.
Andrew Yang endorses Biden
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang endorsed Joe Biden on CNN on Tuesday night.
Yang is the latest ex-candidate to throw his support behind the former vice president. Biden has also picked up endorsements from Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Mike Bloomberg and Amy Klobuchar in recent days as he shores up support in the center-left lane.
Leaders of Democrats' two biggest super PACs call race for Joe Biden
Two of the biggest super PACs in the Democratic Party, which have remained neutral in the primary so far, effectively called the race for Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders after the former vice president won Michigan's primary.
"The math is now clear. Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for President," tweeted Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, which spent almost $200 million in the 2016 presidential election.
Cecil added that his group, which was founded to help former President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012, would "do everything we can to help (Biden) defeat Donald Trump in November."
Bradley Beychok, the head of American Bridge, another large Democratic super PAC that focuses on opposition research, seconded the sentiment.
NBC News Exit Poll: More Biden voters than Sanders voters today say they will support party nominee
Throughout the primary season, more than 8 in 10 Democratic primary voters have said they will vote for their party’s eventual nominee in November, according to an NBC News Exit Poll.
There has been a small gap between supporters of Biden and Sanders in this commitment, though, and that gap has widened slightly among primary voters today, according to the exit poll.
In primaries held before today, 87 percent of Biden voters and 83 percent of Sanders voters said they would back the party’s eventual nominee in the general election. Among those who participated in today’s primaries, that commitment stands at 91 percent among Biden voters and 81 percent among Sanders voters.
Klobuchar cheers Biden's 'M state streak'
Young voters in Michigan face hours-long line, same day voter registration to blame
Videos and photos circulating online Tuesday night show long lines wrapping down hallways and staircases in various polling locations as young voters waited for hours to cast their ballots in Michigan cities like Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and East Lansing.
Colin Sherrod, 21, a college student at Michigan State University, waited over more than two hours to cast his ballot for Bernie Sanders. He registered on Tuesday and believes that’s one of the reasons why the voting lines seem excessively long.
"I think the main issue was because so many people tried to register on the same day. I’ve heard that wait time grew to four hours after I left," he told NBC News.
Officials in Ann Arbor also blamed same-day registered for the long lines.
"Ann Arbor has no waiting for people who are registered. Same-day voter registration, and everyone who isn’t registered, have been coming to the Clerk's Office,” City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry said. "We have registered to close 1,000 people. This is the first time we have implemented this."
Michigan State University College Democrats told NBC News that polling stations were ill-prepared to deal with the amount of students that turned up to vote and information about how to register wasn’t communicated well.
"Student groups on campus are trying to keep voters in line by having food and drinks at the polls to keep people spirits up and make sure they vote," the group said in a statement.