But Biden gained some momentum with his South Carolina primary win and that propelled him forward to Super Tuesday, where he won 10 of the 14 participating states.
While Biden is catching up, Sanders has maintained his competitive edge. The senator from Vermont benefits from his early delegate lead and popularity in national polling. Now he’s also laying claim to the biggest prize of Tuesday’s elections: California, the state yielding the most delegates.
Sanders’s successes and Biden’s comeback have winnowed the Democratic field.
Biden’s success may be in part attributed to the moderate voting bloc void left by pre-Super Tuesday dropouts from Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The former Democratic candidates, who both pitched themselves to moderate voters, ended their campaigns ahead of Tuesday’s elections and announced their support of the former vice president. The result: a double stamp of approval for Biden and his name remaining on the ticket to beckon less-progressive Democrats.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg were the casualties of Super Tuesday. Warren was unable to win a single primary or caucus (including her home state, which went to Biden) in the entirety of her campaign. Bloomberg exited the race as quickly as he entered. His name appeared on ballots for the first time on Super Tuesday, but after he spent about $500 million advertising, Bloomberg ended his bid one day later after winning only the caucus in American Samoa.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that yes, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is technically still campaigning for president. She has a total of two delegates from American Samoa, the U.S. territory where she was born.
So now the once historically large and diverse Democratic field has thinned out to a few remaining contenders, and voters are left with two lead candidates who represent vastly different visions for the country. On one side of the Democratic ideological spectrum: moderate, establishment-backed Biden. On the opposite end: progressive, potentially polarizing Sanders.
“Joe and I have a very different voting record. Joe and I have a very different vision for the future of this country. Joe and I are running very different campaigns,” Sanders said from his headquarters in Burlington, Vt., one day after Super Tuesday.
The race continues on, with six more states holding elections on Tuesday and 60 percent of delegates being allocated by March 17. There are still many elections after that and plenty of time before the 2020 Democratic National Convention in July, where the party’s nominee will be chosen.
In the meantime, Sanders and Biden have to face each other before one of them challenges President Trump in November — but the race is tighter now than it ever has been.