Former Vice President Joe Biden scored a new round of endorsements in the last 48 hours leading up to Super Tuesday 2.0, wherein 352 delegates are up for grabs in another one of the biggest days of the primary after last week’s nationwide contests.
Former 2020 rivals and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California each threw their support behind Biden as the former vice president reclaimed his front-runner status last week, capturing first-place wins in 10 states carrying a majority of Super Tuesday delegates. Biden even won states in which he never campaigned, including Massachusetts, where the state’s own Sen. Elizabeth Warren placed third, forcing her out of the race and narrowing the field to a two-way match-up.
On Tuesday, Biden swept the south and added Minnesota and Maine to his column, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won his own state and placed first in California, Colorado, and Utah.
This week, Biden is poised to land a knockout blow to his last-standing serious competitor as six states — Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington — cast their ballots for the Democratic nominee. According to the latest polls, Biden is leading decidedly in each with a narrower race in Washington. In nationwide surveys, it’s not even close. For the first time this cycle, Biden leads with more than 50 percent support in RealClearPolitics’ aggregate of polls while Sanders is polling with little more than 35.
Biden’s recent endorsements in the hours running up to the next big primary day echo last week’s successful strategy of rolling out the endorsements as voters prepare to head for the polls, flexing Biden’s strength as the front-runner and showcasing his ability to bring the party back together after a turbulent primary. The survival of Sanders’ campaign hinges on whether he can see a path forward to land 1,991 of the 3,979 delegates in the race, but as the party unites behind Biden, who continues to capture states, Sanders’ 2020 mountain becomes steeper to climb.
Biden is now in the lead with 628 delegates to Sanders’ 545. A sweep of this week’s states, however, would widen the gap for Biden.
On Tuesday, all eyes will be on Michigan, the largest prize of this week’s primaries with 125 delegates up for grabs. Sanders narrowly defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Midwestern state in 2016, 49.8 percent to 48.3 percent. But now, Sanders trails Biden by more than 20 percent, according to RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of Michigan surveys. While it’s important to note that Sanders was behind Clinton in Michigan polls in the run-up to the 2016 primary, Clinton’s lead was not so decisive, and by no means did she have the same momentum as Biden has picked up in the last 10 days.
Biden will not land all 352 delegates in this week’s contests, and even if he did, it still wouldn’t land him the 1,991 required to fend off a contested convention in Milwaukee. Another round of blowout Biden wins, however, particularly in Michigan, where Sanders pulled off an upset four years ago and which flipped to Trump in the general, would cast further doubts about Sanders’ ability to clinch the nomination and propel Biden to the top of the ticket as the former vice president continues to surge.