A few months ago, it seemed that half of the Democratic Party was running for president. All twenty-odd candidates were vying to receive the Democratic nomination, allowing that candidate to square off against Trump and possibly win the White House.
Of course, that field gradually narrowed over time as the gap between the front-runners and the other three-quarters of the candidates grew. By the time the momentous March 3 Super Tuesday primaries rolled around, there were only five candidates still standing: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg, and Tulsi Gabbard.
But first, a word on Super Tuesday. In order to win the Democratic nomination and become the party’s presidential candidate, that candidate must win a certain number of delegates in primary elections (this year, 1,991 votes are needed). Super Tuesday is important because this is the date when many states hold their primary elections, including the all-important California and Texas. Roughly one-third of all delegates vote on Super Tuesday, so it is no stretch to say that a candidate’s chance at victory depends on their performance on Super Tuesday.
As expected, Super Tuesday had massive consequences this year. According to Politico, after winning only two delegates, Gabbard was forced to drop out. Although Warren was once a front-runner in the same league as Biden and Sanders, she also dropped out after receiving sixty-four votes. Gabbard has endorsed Biden, and Warren has yet to endorse anyone.
Mike Bloomberg received sixty-one votes. Many will know Bloomberg from his campaign advertisements, which were ubiquitous in the weeks leading up to Super Tuesday. The reason these ads were so prevalent is because Bloomberg set an advertising budget of over 500 million dollars in order to stake his entire campaign on Super Tuesday winnings. This strategy obviously did not pan out for him, as he has dropped out and endorsed Biden.
Sanders and Biden were once extremely close, but a gap opened up between them on Super Tuesday. Although Sanders won the monumental California election, he still received only 545 votes compared to Biden’s 633. According to FiveThirtyEight, this discrepancy widened even further after the March 17 primaries in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona, with Biden now in possession of 2,393 delegates. At this point, Biden is all but guaranteed to be the nominee.
Sanders, however, has not given in just yet. Even when in clear disfavor and most likely seeing no real chance at winning the nomination, he faced off against Biden in a debate this past weekend. He has made it clear that he will fight for his nomination to the last moment. And, as Junior Logan Hines pointed out, the current state of the US might give Sanders a chance.
“Bernie is not doing too hot right now, but a bunch of states have postponed their primary elections because of the coronavirus. I do not think it is likely, but it could be possible that he still has a chance,” said Hines.
What Hines said is true: many states have postponed their primaries until summer. A lot can change in just a couple of months.
Junior Grant Braner disagreed with Hines, though. “There is no way that Bernie will catch up at this point. Maybe a couple months ago I would have thought he would win, but now it seems like he is done for.”
Whatever the case, we still have several months until the election. If 2016 was any indication, nothing in politics is certain and many unexpected events could occur. We have no choice but to watch and wait.