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2020 Primaries: Michigan The Biggest Prize Voters In Six States Hit The Polls




Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the TCF Center on March 6, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the TCF Center on March 6, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Brittany Greeson/Getty Images

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Bernie Sanders proved his 2016 presidential bid was serious with an upset victory in Michigan powered by his opposition to free trade and appeal among working-class voters. Four years later, the state could either revive the Vermont senator's campaign or relegate him to the role of protest candidate.

Michigan and five other states already began voting early Tuesday morning in what will be a critical point in the Democratic race. Former Vice President Joe Biden is looking to quash Sanders' hopes and cement his own front-runner status just a week after resurrecting his beleaguered White House bid with a delegate victory on Super Tuesday. He played up his underdog story on Monday as he campaigned across Michigan, reflecting on his stutter as a child and the deaths of his first wife and young daughter. And Biden wasn't alone. The former vice president courted the state's influential African American voters alongside the two most prominent black candidates previously in the 2020 race, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, who endorsed Biden in recent days as part of a broader consolidation of support among party leaders. They all appeared hand-in-hand at Biden's final Michigan rally Monday night, also joined by the state's governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who also endorsed the former vice president.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is in an urgent fight to turn things around as the primary calendar quickly shifts to other states that could favor Biden and narrow his path to the nomination. The senator countered the parade of Democratic firepower lining up behind Biden by securing the endorsement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and deploying Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on his behalf.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll preview what’s at stake as voters in Michigan and five other states cast their ballots, talk about who stands to win and lose the most

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

Wendy Benjaminson, lead 2020 campaign editor for Bloomberg News; she tweets @wbenjaminson