Bloomberg, Warren end US presidential campaigns following Super Tuesday

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Friday, March 6, 2020

On Tuesday, the United States Democratic Party held primary elections in fourteen states, as well as caucuses in the territory of American Samoa, in an event known as "Super Tuesday" in the context of US presidential elections. In the aftermath of Super Tuesday, yesterday and on Wednesday, two candidates, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Michael Bloomberg, formerly the mayor of New York City, ended their campaigns.

Warren in 2019
Image: Gage Skidmore.
Bloomberg in 2019
Image: United States Naval Academy Photo Archive.

The name "Super Tuesday" comes from the large number of primaries and caucuses held on the same day. The states that held elections were Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Together with American Samoa, the state contests represented a total of 1,357 delegates to the Democratic nominating convention.

The Democratic Party uses primary elections, along with caucuses, to select its nominee for the 2020 United States presidential election. For a candidate to win the Democratic Party's nomination, a total of at least 1,991 delegates are needed.

Delegates secured before Super Tuesday
Candidate Iowa New Hampshire Nevada South Carolina Total
Sanders 12 9 24 15 60
Biden 6 9 39 54
Buttigieg* 14 9 3 26
Warren 8 8
Klobuchar* 1 6 7
Total 41 24 36 54

* Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropped out prior to Super Tuesday

The Super Tuesday primaries were the fifth step in the Democratic Party's primary election cycle. In Iowa, caucuses were held on February 3, and in New Hampshire, a primary election was held on February 11. Nevada held its caucuses on February 22, and South Carolina held its primary on Saturday.

Heading into Super Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont had the most pledged delegates, with 60. In second place, former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden had 54. Additionally, Senator Warren had eight delegates. Both Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota secured delegates in earlier primaries and caucuses, but they both ended their campaigns prior to Super Tuesday.

On Super Tuesday, Sanders secured a plurality of the vote in four states, including his home state of Vermont, according to CNN's projections. Projections by CNN and NPR indicated he won, in addition to Vermont, also the primaries in Colorado, Utah, and California.

Former Vice-President Biden secured pluralities in ten states. According to projections by CNN and NPR, he won in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Texas, and Maine.

Bloomberg won the caucus in American Samoa, his first of the campaign season. Bloomberg had opted not to compete in the four earlier primaries and caucuses, instead focusing on Super Tuesday. By reports he secured five of the territory's six delegates, as well as three delegates in Colorado and one in Arkansas. U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii secured the last delegate from American Samoa, her first delegate of the campaign season.

Wednesday, the same day that he dropped out, Bloomberg endorsed his former rival, Joe Biden. "Three months ago," he said, "I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult [...] I've always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday's vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden. [...] Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States."

Warren, formerly a professor at Harvard Law School, lost her home state of Massachusetts. She came in third; Biden secured a plurality, and Sanders came in second. Yesterday, NBC News reported that Warren would be suspending her campaign. She did not win the primary or caucus in any state during her campaign.

NPR reported that, before she ended her campaign, Klobuchar was leading in the polls in Minnesota; Minnesota is Klobuchar's home state.

The Democratic Party awards delegates proportionally to how candidates fare; candidates must receive at least 15% of the vote to be eligible to earn delegates from a state, territory, or district within a state or territory.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Democratic Party is scheduled to continue its primary season on March 10, with primary elections in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington.

This story has updates
See Elizabeth Warren endorses Joe Biden in 2020 US presidential election, April 16, 2020