Bloomberg drops, Warren out in home state
[REUTERS] – In the space of 24 hours, the Democratic presidential contest suddenly became a two-man race between former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign was floundering just a week ago, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the self described Democratic socialist.
Biden surged to victory in at least nine of the 14 of the Super Tuesday states, including Texas, outperforming expectations. Sanders is on pace to pick up four states, including California. The state of California is the most populous state up for grabs in the contest.
Sanders had 33.2% support with returns in from 81% of precincts, and Biden was in second place with 24.3%.
Sanders’ campaign requested an emergency injunction on Tuesday asking for polls in Los Angeles County to stay open for an extra two hours after reports of delays and long lines. The county is one of several big jurisdiction in California that used new voting machines and procedures in the primary, a day when millions turned out to vote.
Of the 142 California delegates already assigned, Sanders had 87, Biden 54 and Warren one.
With partial overall results in, Biden was forecast to win at least 337 delegates, with Sanders getting at least 270, Elizabeth Warren 28, Michael Bloomberg 12, and Tulsi Gabbard one.
More than one-third of the delegates who will pick the eventual nominee at a July convention were up for grabs in the primaries on Tuesday, which provided some clarity at last in a muddled race for the White House.
Biden’s blowout win in South Carolina on Saturday provided his campaign with a burst of new momentum, fueling a wave of endorsements from elected Democratic officials and former presidential rivals including Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.
The Super Tuesday results also left Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor who spent more than half a billion dollars on advertising, with his only victory coming in the U.S. territory of American Samoa.
Bloomberg has held a news conference today after announcing he is suspending his presidential campaign and will also be endorsing Vice President Joe Biden.
“A viable path to the nomination no longer exists,” Bloomberg, 78, said in a statement. Endorsing Biden, Bloomberg said: “I will work to make him the next president of the United States.”
Bloomberg did not say whether he would spend part of his fortune to help Biden, but the media billionaire’s absence from the race will help the former vice president. Both men appeal to the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
In a tweet addressed to Bloomberg, Biden wrote, “I can’t thank you enough for your support—and for your tireless work on everything from gun safety reform to climate change. This race is bigger than candidates and bigger than politics. It’s about defeating Donald Trump, and with your help, we’re gonna do it.”
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is “talking to her team to assess the path forward,” a campaign aide said on Wednesday, after the U.S. senator from Massachusetts saw disappointing results across the board on Tuesday.
Warren did not finish in the top two in any of the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday, including her home state, and she appears to be without a plausible road to victory.
If Warren drops out, Sanders might benefit from some of her supporters shifting to him.
In an email to her campaign staff, Warren’s campaign manager, Roger Lau, offered a sobering assessment of Super Tuesday, just three weeks after he said internal projections showed she would finish in the top two in eight states.
“Last night, we fell well short of viability goals and projections, and we are disappointed in the results,” he said.
Warren, he said, would “take time right now to think through the right way to continue this fight.”