In Political Resurrection of Our Time, Obama’s Vice President Wins Oklahoma Primary and Other States
Joseph R. Biden Jr. secured an early advantage on a huge night of Democratic primary voting on Tuesday with victories in Oklahoma, Virginia and North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota and other states demonstrating his strength among Black voters and dealing a blow to Michael R. Bloomberg and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in two states where they had aggressively competed.
Late into the night, it became clear that Mr. Biden had achieved the political resurrection of our time and had risen from the political dead after his astounding victory in South Carolina.
That victory followed equally astounding defeats in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
It was a remarkable show of strength for Mr. Biden, the former vice president, who was reeling after losing the first three nominating states, but rebounded with a landslide win in South Carolina on Saturday.
But as voters in 14 states and one territory went to the polls on Tuesday, Mr. Biden’s initial success offered only the first indication of the outcome on a day when about a third of the delegates in the Democratic race were at stake.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg spent about $500 million of his own money, banking on success with the Super Tuesday primaries.
That hoped for success did not come.
Mr. Bloomberg made at least three visits to Oklahoma and made appeals for support to Blacks.
But that all soured after his first debate performance.
Tuesday night, he won only in American Samoa.
Wednesday morning, he announced he would suspend his campaign and support Mr. Biden.
Mr. Sanders easily carried his home state of Vermont and was locked with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in a competitive race in her home state.
In the end, Mr. Biden even won Massachusetts. Mr. Sanders was also expected to perform strongly in California, the most important prize of the night, where polls had shown him with a solid lead over Mr. Biden.
As he did in South Carolina, Mr. Biden rolled to victory in several states with the support of large majorities of African-Americans.
And he also performed well with a demographic that was crucial to the party’s success in the 2018 midterm elections: college-educated white women.
For his part, Mr. Sanders continued to show strength with the voters who have made up his political base: Latinos, liberals and those under age 40. But his inability to expand his appeal with older voters and African-Americans doomed his candidacy in Virginia and North Carolina, just as it did in South Carolina.
The results also called into question Mr. Sanders’ decision to spend valuable time over the past week campaigning in both Minnesota and Massachusetts, two states where he had hoped to embarrass rivals on their home turf.
The gambit proved badly flawed: It was Mr. Biden who pulled off upset wins in both states, with the help of a last-minute endorsement from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar that upended the race in Minnesota.
The unexpected breadth of Mr. Biden’s success, on a day when more than one-third of the delegates were at stake, illustrated the volatility of this race as well as the determination of many center-left Democrats to find a nominee and get on to challenging President Donald Trump.
The former vice president had little advertising and a skeletal organization and scarcely even visited many of the states he won, including liberal-leaning Minnesota and Massachusetts.
But his smashing victory in South Carolina echoed almost instantaneously, and his momentum from there proved far more powerful than the money Mr. Sanders and Mr. Bloomberg had poured into most of Tuesday’s contests.
The early returns were a comprehensive setback for Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire who entered the race late and spent more than half a billion dollars on an aggressive advertising campaign. But Mr. Bloomberg slumped badly after a series of damaging clashes with Sen. Warren, and many moderates and African-Americans appeared to have abandoned him for Mr. Biden.
Addressing supporters in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday night, Mr. Bloomberg tried to put the best face on a dismal evening. “Here’s what is clear,” he said. “No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible: In just three months, we’ve gone from 1 percent in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic nomination for president.