The revolution will have to wait.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) fell short of expectations on Super Tuesday, failing to prevent former vice president Joe Biden from fighting his way back into contention in the Democratic primary. Decisive victories in several key states, fueled by a series of coordinated endorsements from former rivals and party establishment figures, make it likely that Biden will mount a serious challenge to Sanders’s socialist insurgency.
The former vice president claimed early victories on Tuesday in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Arkansas, racking up delegates in rapid succession after securing the first primary win of his political career in South Carolina over the weekend.
Biden, whose candidacy had seemed on the brink of failure before South Carolina, basked in the glow of his electoral success. “They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing!” he told a crowd of supporters in California, before mistaking his sister, Valerie, for his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. “This is my little sister Valerie,” Biden said, pointing to his wife. He quickly corrected himself, joking, “You switched on me!”
Sanders, meanwhile, picked up a win in his home state of Vermont, as well as in Colorado and Utah. Most significantly, he was declared the winner of California as soon as polls closed at 11 p.m. Eastern time. The independent socialist was also running a strong second in most of the states Biden won, which will translate into a decent haul of convention delegates.
Sanders was also leading in the delegate-rich state of Texas as of late Tuesday, meaning the race for the nomination will be a tight one in the coming weeks. As it currently stands, Biden managed to overtake Sanders in the popular vote and pull even in the delegate count. Uncle Joe certainly enjoys considerable momentum, and establishment backing, heading into the remaining primary contests.
“Tonight, I tell you with absolute confidence, we’re going to win the Democratic nomination,” Sanders told a crowd of supporters in Vermont, before slamming Biden over his support for the Iraq war and cuts to Social Security.
Sanders also took a veiled swipe at Democratic Party leaders. “We’re taking on the corporate establishment, but also we’re taking on the political establishment,” he said.
One day earlier, the candidate expressed his displeasure at the “massive effort to stop Bernie Sanders,” including from establishment Democrats who “will do anything and everything” to prevent him from winning the nomination. Sanders’s comment came in response to the numerous Biden endorsements announced over the weekend, including from former primary candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), former mayor Peter Buttigieg, and former representative Beto O’Rourke.
It was a disappointing evening for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was projected to place third in her home state of Massachusetts behind Biden and Sanders. Warren’s other home state, Oklahoma, didn’t vote for her, either. Why, exactly, she continues to persist in the race remains a mystery.
“Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night,” wrote President Donald J. Trump on Twitter. “She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts. Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer!”
Warren, who will face considerable pressure to drop out after her disappointing performance on Super Tuesday, also criticized the apparently coordinated effort to anoint Biden as the preferred alternative to Sanders. “No matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support [Biden], nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment,” she told supporters in Los Angeles on Monday. “Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment.”
“Mini Mike,” aka former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, also had a disappointing night. In a majority of the 14 states holding primaries on Tuesday, the diminutive billionaire was projected to fall short of the 15 percent threshold to receive delegates. He did, however, win the coveted American Samoa primary. Bloomberg, who has already spent more than half a billion dollars on his campaign, reportedly plans to reassess his plans in the coming days.
“The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg,” tweeted the president. “His ‘political’ consultants took him for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!”
Prior to his big night, Biden, the only non-socialist candidate with a realistic shot of winning the Democratic nomination, had delivered an inspiring call to arms: “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created by, go, you know the—you know the thing.”