Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg on Wednesday exited a Democratic presidential race reshaped by a resurgent former vice president Joe Biden’s surprisingly strong showing on Super Tuesday, which so far has wiped out the delegate lead of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

After failing to claim any victories Tuesday, including in her home state, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was reassessing her candidacy, and her campaign manager told staff that she needs “the time and space to consider what comes next.”

Biden won Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Texas and Maine, while Sanders won Vermont, Colorado and Utah. Sanders is also leading in delegate-rich California.

Tuesday’s contests award 1,357 delegates, or 34 percent of the total available. Get all the Super Tuesday results here.

Long voting lines in Texas spotlight concerns about access to the polls

2:21 a.m.
Link copied

A number of polling places around Texas were plagued by long delays on Super Tuesday, raising questions about the readiness of local election officials and spurring outrage among voting rights advocates. Many cited as a factor the closing of hundreds precincts around the state after a pivotal Supreme Court decision in 2013.

Sanders called it a “crisis of voter suppression” that students at a historically black college in Houston had to wait hours in line to vote.

Interviews with election officials, activists and voters pointed to a number of complicated factors that combined to produce the massive lines in Harris County, where Houston is located.

Read more here.

Biden to campaign in Missouri, Mississippi and Michigan

1:41 a.m.
Link copied

Biden will visit three states with primaries next Tuesday as he campaigns on completely new terrain as the race’s latest front-runner.

Over three days beginning Saturday, Biden will hold events in Missouri, Mississippi and Michigan.

Hillary Clinton won those first two states in the 2016 Democratic primary, but Sanders won in Michigan. Then Trump beat Clinton there in the general election.

Both Biden and Sanders are eager to show they have strong support in Michigan as they seek to prove they can wrest back the crucial swing state from Trump in the fall.

Los Angeles County’s effort to improve voting leads to malfunctioning equipment, long lines and angry voters

Link copied

A new voting system in Los Angeles County faced its first big test on Super Tuesday, the culmination of a decade of work on what was envisioned as a model for the nation. But technical glitches caused hours-long lines across the county — the largest in the country, with more than 5 million registered voters — and prompted harsh criticism from candidates, voters and political parties.

About one-fifth of the county’s touch-screen voting machines did not work and had to be replaced, officials estimated. Network problems interfered with electronic poll books used to verify voter eligibility, which meant some voters could not check in and had to cast provisional ballots that will take longer to count.

Read more here.

Sanders, Biden say they’ve raised millions in recent days

Link copied

The Sanders and Biden campaigns on Wednesday rolled out their latest fundraising numbers, with each touting figures geared toward showing a recent surge of support.

Sanders had raised $5.5 million since Tuesday, Sanders campaign spokesman Mike Casca said in a statement.

Biden, meanwhile, had raised $7.1 million online over a period of 42 hours, his campaign’s digital director, Rob Flaherty, said on Twitter.

Buttigieg’s candidacy made being gay and openly Christian normal, LGBT activists say

Link copied

Pete Buttigieg made history as the first openly gay presidential candidate to win primary delegates before ending his campaign Sunday. But LGBT advocates working for more inclusion in churches say the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., broke another, equally important barrier: He spoke openly of his Christian faith in a country where religion and gay rights are often seen as being at odds with each other.

On the campaign trail, Buttigieg talked about how his faith, and his reading of the Bible, influenced his liberal policy positions. He easily quoted scripture, was the first 2020 candidate to hire a faith outreach director and regularly met with religious leaders.

Read more here.

Coronavirus poses ‘real challenges’ to Washington state primary, lawmaker says

10:18 p.m.
Link copied

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who has endorsed Sanders for president, said Wednesday that the coronavirus outbreak was already curtailing political activity in her state.

“Our state Democratic Party did postpone our big dinner that was supposed to be on Saturday night, and it does pose some real challenges,” Jayapal said. “We’ve been doing a lot of elbow-bumping in our office. I do think that we need to be thinking differently about where we go and how much we go out there."

Washington’s primary will be held March 10, and voting will be conducted by mail, after the state party scrapped the caucuses it had held previously to determine delegates. Sanders and Warren held large rallies in Seattle last month, but no candidate has scheduled events in the state since news of fatalities related to the virus.

“It’s a challenge for us, I’ll tell you that,” Jayapal said. “We had a lot of events that we were planning to do, and we’re sort of looking at them and figuring out what makes sense, from an election standpoint. I do have a couple of events that are not election-related on Saturday that have not been canceled yet. They involve, you know, not thousands of people but hundreds of people.”

In Los Angeles, Biden calls for fellow candidates to unite behind him

10:17 p.m.
Link copied

LOS ANGELES — After racking up a string of Super Tuesday wins, Biden called on his fellow candidates to unite behind him, saying the only person who benefits from Democrats sniping at each other is President Trump.

“What we can’t let happen in the next few weeks is let this primary turn into a campaign of negative attacks,” Biden said, flanked by more than a dozen supporters, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, his campaign co-chair. “The only thing that will do is help Donald Trump, and it doesn’t help any of the other candidates who are left in the campaign.”

In one sense, it was an attempt to speak into existence the narrative the Biden campaign has been pushing since his commanding win in South Carolina — that the party is coalescing around the former vice president. But, Biden warned, it was also an attempt to avoid the kind of party rift he said contributed to Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election.

As Biden has racked up victories, four of his former rivals announced that they were endorsing him.

Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he was ending his campaign and endorsing Biden. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg and former congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) endorsed Biden on Monday.

Warren said she was reassessing her campaign.

During an appearance on MSNBC, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said he was optimistic that the party would ultimately rally behind the Democratic nominee.

“They all understand this is a different moment,” Perez said. “This is the most dangerous president in American history. This is our democracy as we know it that’s on the ballot. We can withstand four years of Donald Trump but we can’t withstand eight.”

Trump, Perez said, "knows that the only way he can win is to try to divide Democrats, continue to cheat, accept foreign interference.”

‘It’s still the best day of my life,' Bloomberg tells supporters in emotional farewell speech

8:41 p.m.
Link copied

Bloomberg officially announced his exit from the Democratic presidential race Wednesday afternoon and threw his support behind Biden in an emotional speech to supporters in New York.

“I’m sorry we didn’t win. It’s still the best day of my life, and tomorrow’s going to be even better,” Bloomberg said to cheers from the crowd.

The former New York mayor reiterated that he “entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump, and today I am leaving the race for the same reason.”

“I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life, and I hope that you won’t walk away, either,” he said, urging his supporters to vote for Biden.

Biden wins the Maine Democratic presidential primary

Link copied

Biden won a narrow victory in Maine, giving the former vice president his 10th win out of the 14 Super Tuesday states. With 83 percent of precincts counted, Biden won 34 percent to Sanders’ 32.9 percent. Warren also won delegates in the state with 15.9 percent of the vote.

This year marks the first time in two decades that Maine is holding a primary instead of a caucus, after the state legislature voted in June to make the switch.

That threw a bit of uncertainty into the process of predicting which Democrat would win the state, which has a total of 24 delegates. Four years ago, Sanders won Maine with 64 percent of the caucus vote to Hillary Clinton’s 36 percent.

Sanders discusses campaign’s future, says he spoke to Warren about her plans

8:07 p.m.
Link copied

In a news conference to discuss his campaign’s next steps, Sanders shared that he and Warren spoke by phone earlier Wednesday, and she told him that she’s assessing her campaign’s future. Sanders also didn’t know that Bloomberg had dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden until a reporter asked him about it.

The senator from Vermont said he likes Biden personally, but has fundamental disagreements with him on issues and hoped the remainder of the campaign would be focused on those and not character attacks.

“Joe Biden is someone I’ve known for many years. I like Joe, I think he is a very decent human being. Joe and I, we have a very different voting record. Joe and I have a very different vision for the future of this country, and Joe and I are running very different campaigns, and my hope is in the coming months we’ll be able to debate and discuss the very significant differences that we have,” Sanders said.

Specifically, Sanders suggested his intention to hammer Biden on trade in Michigan, which holds its primary on Tuesday.

Sanders reiterated that he does not want the campaign to turn into a “Trump-type effort where we’re attacking each other, where it’s personal attacks — that’s the last thing this country wants.” Sanders has been criticized as some of his supporters have used bullying and vitriol on social media.

Sanders was also asked about a new ad he began airing that shows him working with President Barack Obama. The senator said as he has in the past that he and the Obama were not best friends, but they “talk every now and then.” He said the ad was an effort to clear up “a lot of dishonesty” about his relationship with Obama.

Washington state tells voters not to lick their ballot envelopes

7:22 p.m.
Link copied

In Washington state, election officials are advising residents to take an extra precaution when voting this year: Don’t lick your primary ballot envelope.

“Whether healthy or sick, please don’t lick!” reads a tweet sent Tuesday from Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office, which recommended that voters “use alternative methods to seal your ballot return envelopes, such as a wet sponge or cloth.”

In an interview Wednesday, Wyman said that she and members of her office met with federal and state officials over the weekend to discuss the state’s coronavirus response. During the briefing, she said, officials noted that the coronavirus could live in the saliva on envelopes and recommended that voters take the step of not licking their envelopes.

“We’re just trying to have a calm approach to it and remind people that there are ways that you can reduce your risk,” Wyman said. She added that election workers are also being advised to wear gloves when opening envelopes.

News of the state’s advice to voters was first reported by Seattle-based TV station Q13 Fox.

Washington’s primary is March 10, and the state’s election is conducted entirely by mail, meaning that county officials will be handling millions of envelopes.

Ballots went out to voters 18 days before primary day and must be postmarked on or before March 10 in order to be valid.

How much money Mike Bloomberg spent per vote

6:55 p.m.
Link copied

Bloomberg has dropped out of the Democratic primary race. His campaign was unique on two fronts: He skipped the early states entirely to focus on Super Tuesday, and he spent an enormous amount of money on advertising. The strategy did not work.

Bloomberg spent more than $200 million on advertising in the 14 Super Tuesday states, often amounting to more than $100 per vote, according to a preliminary analysis of Advertising Analytics data. These numbers do not include spending on other aspects of his campaign, such as staffing and transportation.

Virginia was a relative bargain for Bloomberg, at a mere $60 per vote. Minnesota was a poorer investment, with Bloomberg narrowly beating Sen. Amy Klobuchar for fourth place in her home state, despite her dropping out of the race on Monday.

Read more here.

Progressive Caucus members say Warren should take a hard look at her options

6:53 p.m.
Link copied

The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have endorsed Sanders’s presidential bid, said Wednesday that Warren should take a hard look at her options but did not call on her to quit.

“I don’t think anybody gets to tell Senator Warren to drop out,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash). “The Warren and Sanders camps need to strategize together about how we win this thing.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) said that Super Tuesday had “reset” the race, creating a two-person contest between Biden and Sanders, and that Warren should think about what decision would put her ideas in the best political position.

“We think it’s important that people respect Elizabeth Warren for what she’s done,” said Pocan. “Michael Bloomberg is not a candidate today because of Elizabeth Warren. She diced and sliced and roasted him, and spit him out.”

He was referring in part to Warren’s attacks on Bloomberg in the latter’s first Democratic presidential debate.

Biden rolls out more congressional endorsements

6:32 p.m.
Link copied

The day after Super Tuesday, Biden’s campaign continued to roll out new congressional endorsements, including those of two more Democrats from the Florida delegation: Reps. Kathy Castor and Lois Frankel.

Biden now claims seven House backers from Florida, which holds its Democratic primary March 17.

Biden’s campaign also announced the support of Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) on Wednesday.

New Jersey does not vote until June 2.