Super Tuesday II
Bernie Sanders is silent tonight as he contemplates his future – but have there been clues along the way about his next steps?
On Sunday, he said he has no plans of being a masochist.
Later, at a Michigan rally, he said: “This campaign is about a presidential election, but it’s about far more than that – it’s about creating a movement.”
Sanders knew that tonight could be a disappointing one, advisers said, but he did not expect such a crushing defeat in Michigan. He was counting on Michigan to revive his campaign and show that his coalition could grow.
“This was his path. Tonight was his path,” one top adviser said. “It didn’t happen.”
So what’s next? Advisers are not certain, saying it’s a decision that the senator and his wife, Jane, will make together.
But this adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sanders is still intent on debating Biden on Sunday in Phoenix. After that, it’s an open question, with a tough road of primaries ahead in the coming weeks.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking from Philadelphia, declared his campaign was "very much alive."
"Just over a week ago, many declared that this candidacy was dead. Now we're very much alive," said Biden, who CNN projected will win three states tonight.
Biden also explained why he canceled his rally in Cleveland, Ohio, today, saying the governor had asked the presidential campaigns to cancel their indoor public events due to coronavirus.
A campaign official said Bernie Sanders won't make a statement tonight.
Earlier today, the Sanders' campaign canceled a rally in Cleveland for tonight "out of concern for public health and safety" as coronavirus fears spread across the globe.
Polls will soon close in Idaho and Washington.
What happened tonight: Joe Biden is expanding his delegate lead over Bernie Sanders with three wins so far.
Biden is projected to win Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri.
Joe Biden is performing well tonight particularly in blue collar parts of Michigan that Hillary Clinton had trouble with against President Trump in the 2016 general election.
CNN's John King points out that this could be a sign that Biden is building a coalition that could compete well with Trump in the general election.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said tonight that nearly one million people voted absentee by mail.
About 13,000 people did same-day registration today— more than 6,000 of those registered after 4:30 p.m., many of them were in college towns, she said.
Benson noted that people are still in line to register and cast ballots in Michigan right now, so the numbers aren’t firm just yet. She went on to say that they do not expect a “full picture” until Wednesday afternoon.
More on this: This is the first statewide election allowing all voters to cast no-excuse absentee by mail ballots and same-day registration.
Joe Biden won the backing of union households in Michigan and Missouri, according to exit polls. About 3 in 10 Democratic primary voters in Michigan and a quarter in Missouri belong to a union.
Both Biden and his rival Bernie Sanders have played to unions during the campaign, with Biden warning that his rival will take away organized labor’s hard-fought health care coverage through “Medicare for All,” which would institute a national, government-run insurance program and essentially eliminate private policies. Biden, on the other hand, supports adding a government-run option to the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Sanders countered by attacking Biden for his support for free trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, a sore subject for many Michigan residents who saw their auto industry jobs move to Mexico.
While the United Auto Workers union did not endorse a candidate, a former union president announced he is backing Sanders.
Biden also captured a majority of votes among non-union households in Michigan and roughly half of those in Missouri. Sanders won less than half in both states.
Union support was also an issue last month in Nevada, where leaders of the influential Culinary Union made it clear that they did not support Medicare for All. Still, Sanders earned the biggest share of union votes in Nevada's caucus, though the field was split among more candidates at the time.
CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect that Joe Biden won the support of union households in Michigan.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang just endorsed Joe Biden live on CNN.
"I believe that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee and I've always said I'm going to support whoever the nominee is," he said. "So I hereby am endorsing Joe Biden to be not just the nominee for the Democratic party but the next president of the United States."
Yang added: "The math says Joe is our prohibitive nominee."
It’s only been a week since Super Tuesday, when Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren were still on the ballot. Tonight, their absence in the race is benefiting Joe Biden — particularly in the critical Detroit suburbs.
The Biden campaign is feeling good about Oakland County — one of the those critical suburbs.
We spent time there on Sunday – and one thing was clear: the departure of Bloomberg and Warren from the race was essential to Biden.
Here's what a top Biden adviser in Michigan said tonight:
“Elizabeth Warren hasn’t endorsed anyone in this race, but her supporters are going with Biden. We can see that now.”
Anecdotally, given our time there on Sunday, that sentiment is coming true — as it is in other suburbs across the Detroit metro area.