Senator Bernie Sanders came out of California a winner, but former VP Joe Biden proved a strong showing as he took major Super Tuesday victories.
California was only one of 14 states that voted Tuesday, but its more than 400 delegates made it the most coveted primary in the narrowing Democratic field. But it is not clear how many delegates Sanders will claim from California. The final tally won’t be sorted out for days as state officials still must count late arriving mail-in ballots.
The former vice president showed strength in the Northeast with a victory in Massachusetts. He won delegate-rich Texas in the Southwest, Minnesota in the upper Midwest and finished on top across the South in Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas — in addition to Oklahoma.
Sanders opened the night as the undisputed Democratic front-runner and was in a position to claim an insurmountable delegate lead. And while he scored the night’s biggest delegate-prize in California, he scored just three other decisive victories, winning his home state of Vermont, along with Utah and Colorado.
The balance of Super Tuesday’s battlefield — with Biden winning at least eight states and Sanders four — raised questions about whether the Democratic primary contest would stretch all the way to the July convention or be decided much sooner. The ultimate nominee must claim 1,991 delegates, which is a majority of the 3,979 pledged delegates available this primary season.
Today on AirTalk, our political panel breaks down what happened on Super Tuesday and what the results mean for the race moving forward.
With files from the Associated Press
Sonja Diaz, the founding executive director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA, a non partisan think tank; she’s also a practicing civil rights attorney and policy adviser
Tom Campbell, professor of economics and law at Chapman University; he is a former California state senator (R-Campbell, 1993-1995), U.S. congressman (1989-1993 & 1995-2001), and director of the California Department of Finance under Governor Schwarzenegger (2004-2005)