Fresh off a massive win on Super Tuesday—which was just last week, but feels like it happened in a different century—Joe Biden nearly swept all of Tuesday’s elections. It was a very bad night for Bernie Sanders, who has a slim path forward to the nomination.
Biden won Mississippi, Missouri, and most importantly, Michigan, which Sanders carried in 2016 and Hillary Clinton lost again in the general. By morning, Biden had won in Idaho; Sanders is still slightly ahead in North Dakota and Washington, but he will still fall short in the delegate count.
Biden gave a victory speech in which he attempted to bring Sanders supporters into the fold, though considering he said this week that he would “veto” a Medicare-for-All bill (in fairness, he said he would factor in the cost and whether it would require immediate change to people’s healthcare) and has famously dismissed young people struggling with immense debt in the past, he might need to offer more than words.
“I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion,” he said. “We share a common goal, and together we’ll defeat Donald Trump. We’ll defeat him together.”
Indeed, there was a massive age gap between Biden’s and Sanders’ voters. In Michigan, Biden cleaned up with voters over 50; Sanders pummeled him with younger voters.
Pundits speculate Biden got a big bump from the coronavirus pandemic, since the White House’s inept response has done such a good job of reminding voters why Trump’s unfitness for office is downright dangerous.
Michael Moore, a Sanders surrogate, said as much on MSNBC. “I think Trump has just pummeled this country so badly,” he said, describing the mood of voters in Michigan, where he lives:
They’re frightened, they’re demoralized, there’s a malaise. People can’t take one more day of this. The coronavirus has driven home just how much danger we’re in with this individual in the White House. Asking people to do two things—get rid of Trump, and get rid of the economic system that gave us Trump—was too much to do. People are like, “Please just get rid of Trump. Please.”
Still, Moore begged the Biden campaign to listen to Sanders voters, especially young and Latinx voters who were drawn to the campaign because of its promise of economic and societal change. “We cannot win in November without them,” Moore said. We’ll see if Biden pays attention.