Even before we could report on Joe Biden’s stunning, amazing, unexpected victory on Super Tuesday, the billionaire Michael Bloomberg usurped Wednesday headlines announcing he is suspending his presidential campaign. Bloomberg pumped some $200 million in ads, placing all his hopes on Super Tuesday, but won only American Samoa.
The real numbers were not the money he invested but the outcome Tuesday evening that remains unofficially over, but Biden is, for the moment, clearly the frontrunner. Biden swept through the South like General Sherman during the Civil War, winning North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, with additional unexpected triumphs in Texas and Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home state.
While the numbers will be coming in over the next several days, particularly the important delegate count in California where Sen. Bernie Sanders is the presumptive winner, here’s what we have as we go to press.
Biden, according to the DNC website, has amassed 453 pledged delegates; Sanders, 382; Warren, 50; Pete Buttigieg, who suspended his campaign just before Super Tuesday, 26; Amy Klobuchar, who also stepped aside, 7; and Tulsi Gabbard, zilch. Bloomberg got only 44 delegates, making his path to victory impossible. He has promised to keep his paid staff in place as he puts his resources and endorsement behind Biden.
From the opening bell of Super Tuesday, with results coming in from North Carolina and Virginia, Biden grabbed the lead, which to a great extent he commanded after the lopsided victory in South Carolina, thanks to Rep. Jim Clyburn and the state’s African American electorate.
With nearly more than a million votes overall than Sanders and possibly 10 states out of the 14, Biden appears to be perfectly poised to take next week’s primaries.
“We are very much alive,” Biden told supporters in Los Angeles Tuesday night. He said they had all but buried him, but now he is the new “comeback kid,” reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s dramatic reversal in 1992. But Biden’s moment of celebration was interrupted by anti-dairy protesters who stormed the stage where Jill Biden was chiefly responsible for protecting her husband. The protesters, who also interrupted a Sanders event, are part of a group defending animal rights and feel that Biden is a strong supporter of the dairy industry. As a candidate, Biden does not have secret service security.
What he does have is a handful of significant endorsements that on Wednesday were given a considerable boost with Bloomberg’s calling it quits. Of course, the race is hardly over with only a third of the delegates in hand, and such battleground states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio still on the agenda. Even so, Biden is in the catbird seat, so to speak, and as one pundit put it, “Joementum” is fully engaged. But given the spark he received from Black voters in the South, it may be that his mojo has finally kicked in.