Super Tuesday narrows Democratic presidential race


Chris Carlson / AP

Joe Biden speaks at a primary election campaign rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Two clear Democratic front runners emerged following Super Tuesday with Joe Biden winning nine states and Bernie Sanders taking California and several others. 

Biden swept states across the South and Midwest – including Texas, Virgina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Massachusetts. In addition to California, Sanders was declared the winner in Colorado, Utah and Vermont. 

Despite taking California, R. Craig Sautter, a professor at DePaul University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, said Super Tuesday was a “disastrous” night for Sanders. 

“He lost the delegate lead, lost the momentum and faces a less than friendly schedule of Midwestern states that vote in the next two weeks,” Sautter said. “He should do well in a couple of them, but not enough.”

Sautter said he expects Sanders to take Michigan but is unsure of how Wisconsin and Illinois will play out. 

On the other hand, Sautter said Biden re-emerged as a front runner after his campaign almost collapsed following early losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.  

“Despite his apparent memory problems, Democrat voters have decided Joe Biden is their best bet against President Trump,” Sautter said. “The endorsements from former candidates and currently serving elected officials show the party apparatus is coalescing behind him.”

Johnny Milas, junior political science major at DePaul, said the results were telling of the rest of the election. 

“No other candidates had a good enough showing to stay in the race,” Milas said. “And the voters have made it clear who they want.”

Pete Buttgieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg and Kamala Harris are among those who announced their endorsement of Biden in the past week. In a shocking move, Beto O’Rourke also endorsed the former vice president while making an appearance at one of his campaign rallies in Dallas.

All of them put together great campaigns, raised millions of dollars, subjected themselves to criticism, drew large crowds, and lost,” Sautter said. “Someone said, or they knew, that they better drop out now or have their images tarnished, and if Joe Biden wins, they may get a Cabinet post.”

Following her poor performance on Super Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race the next morning but has yet to endorse a candidate

Sautter said it’s clear who progressive voters want Warren to endorse. 

“Progressives want her to support Bernie now that the cause of progressive issues is on popular trial in the votes,” Sautter said.

Despite the impact of Super Tuesday’s results, Sautter said the trajectory could be changed while primaries continue ahead of the election in November.

We are still eight months away from the General Election, and the best prediction is to expect the unexpected to disrupt any apparent trajectory seen in March 2020,” Sautter said. “We still face a wild ride.”