Washington: The race to win the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in the November election has virtually narrowed down to a two-way contest between ex-vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders as the two septuagenarians secured major victories in the “Super Tuesday” primaries held in 14 states across the US. Also Read - US Determined To Help India In 'Hour Of Need' Amid COVID-19 Surge, Says Kamala Harris
In a remarkable rebound for his limping campaign, 77-year-old Biden won nine of the 14 states that voted to pick a Democratic candidate on “Super Tuesday”, the most important day in the race for the White House. Also Read - Trump Remains Banned on Facebook & Instagram, Decision To Be Reviewed
The former US vice-president overturned predictions to narrowly take the key state of Texas from his main challenger, Sanders, 78. He also won the primaries in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts. He was still locked in a tight race in Maine that could make it 10. Also Read - ‘From The Desk Of Donald J Trump’: Former US President Launches New Communications Platform Months After Twitter Ban
However, leftist Sanders won big in California – the biggest prize of the night – as well as in Colorado and Utah. He also won from his home state of Vermont.
The two now lead the race to face President Trump, a Republican, in the November 3 presidential election.
“We are very much alive,” Biden told a crowd in Los Angeles. “Make no mistake about it, this campaign will send Donald Trump packing.”
According to NBC News projections, Biden gained 342 on Super Tuesday, bringing his delegate total to 395. Sanders, meanwhile, so far won 245 delegates and is now at 305.
Sanders, by winning big in the State of California which sends 415 pledge delegates signalled that his fight to win the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump was far from over.
Either of the candidates need at least 1,991 of the 3,979 pledged delegates to win the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. On Super Tuesday, 1,357 pledged delegates were at stake.
Biden dominated across the South on Tuesday and scored a dramatic upset victory in Texas while surprising in Minnesota and Massachusetts, roaring into contention in a Democratic presidential primary that increasingly looks like a two-way race between the former vice president and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The outcome of the Tuesday’s results indicated that it was virtually the end of the race for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren after she badly lost her own home State to Biden.
Warren, once the frontrunner in the race, gained just 13 delegates so far on Super Tuesday, giving her a total of 21.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a late entrant in the race, too failed to make a dent as he won the American Samoa Caucus.
He reportedly spent USD 500 million in the campaign so far. US media reports said that Bloomberg has suspended his campaign and backed Biden.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu to enter the House of Representatives, and whose presidential ambition has failed to take off, won her first pledged delegate in American Samoa.
Sanders’ Campaign is hoping that their big win in California will help them bridge the gap of pledged delegates with Biden.
Addressing his supporters in Los Angeles, Biden said the momentum was on his side.
“The press and the pundits declared us dead but tonight has made clear that we are very much alive, he said and urged his countrymen to join his campaign.
“It’s a good night and it seems to be getting even better, he said.
Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, described the electoral success as “one of the greatest political comebacks in modern American history.”
Only last month, Biden’s campaign was all but written off by some observers after he finished a poor fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary.
“You saw tonight in overwhelming response to Joe Biden’s message. You saw people saying we want results, we don’t want revolution,” she told CNN.
Senator Sanders on the other hand exuded confidence he will win Democratic presidential nomination and finally the November elections.
“Tonight, I can tell you with absolute confidence we’re going to win the Democratic nomination and we’re going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country, Sanders said.
Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the race after backing Biden, also received delegates. Buttigieg got 26 delegates and Klobuchar received seven.
President Trump took to Twitter to take a jibe at his Democratic rivals.
“The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg. His political consultants took him for a ride, he tweeted after decisively winning the Republican primary.
“USD 700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike! Trump said.
“Elizabeth Pocahontas Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts. Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer! Trump said in another tweet.
Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager said that the Democratic presidential results only increased the likelihood that no candidate will have enough delegates for a first ballot victory at their convention, which only means more chaos!
The next primaries take place on March 10 in Michigan, Washington state, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and North Dakota, with 352 delegates at stake.