Joe Biden shocks the world
CNBC’s live blog covering everything that happens on Super Tuesday is closed. All times below are Eastern. Here’s what you need to know:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden racked up big wins in delegate-rich states like Texas, North Carolina and Virginia, according to NBC News projections.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders won Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont. He was favored to win in California, although NBC had yet to make a call in that state.
- Billionaire Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are facing intensifying pressure to drop out after flaming out.
1:53 am: A runoff in Alabama
One of the most intriguing races of Super Tuesday involved the Senate. Jeff Sessions, the former Trump attorney general, is trying to get his old seat back. But before he can think about challenging vulnerable Democratic Sen. Doug Jones this November, he has to go through Tommy Tuberville first. Sessions and the former Auburn football coach were the top two vote-getters in the state’s GOP Senate primary, but neither hit 50%, so they’ll face each other once more in a runoff election on March 31. – Calia
1:47 pm: Biden takes Texas
Joe Biden’s stunning Super Tuesday surge continued in the wee hours of Wednesday. Just past 1:30 a.m. ET, NBC News projected that the former vice president won the Texas primary. Results pointed to a close race between Biden and Bernie Sanders, but the result seemed unthinkable days ago. Biden’s campaign was effectively dead in the water until South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn’s endorsement and Biden’s subsequent huge win in that state Saturday.
There are 228 delegates at stake in the Lone Star State, making it the second-biggest prize of Super Tuesday behind California. While Sanders is favored to win California, Biden is in great position to claim the overall delegate lead in the race after Tuesday’s blockbuster performance. – Calia
1:14 am: The next states
Super Tuesday is the biggest day of the primary election campaign, but there are still a few more big voting days left. There is also yet another debate, set for March 15 in Arizona.
Here are the primaries lined up over the next few weeks:
- Idaho: 20 delegates
- Michigan: 125 delegates
- Mississippi: 36 delegates
- Missouri: 68 delegates
- North Dakota: 14 delegates
- Washington: 89 delegates
- Arizona: 67 delegates
- Florida: 219 delegates
- Illinois: 155 delegates
- Ohio: 136 delegates
1:06 am: Ilhan Omar appears to take a shot at Warren
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., appeared to criticize Elizabeth Warren late Tuesday night as it became clear that Joe Biden’s campaign had been revived. The former vice president won several big and surprising states Tuesday, including Minnesota, after fellow moderates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed him..
Omar, a member of the left-wing “Squad” in the House, has endorsed Bernie Sanders, Warren’s fellow progressive in the race. In a tweet, the freshman congresswoman suggested that if “progressives consolidated,” Sanders might be in better shape as the primary campaign enters a new phase. – Calia
12:45 am: Updated delegate count
The latest national delegate count has Joe Biden in the lead with 351, and Bernie Sanders is in second with 295. Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the race over the weekend, is in third with 26. There are three states still outstanding, including dozens of delegates still at stake in California, which offers 415 delegates. – Calia
12:16 am: Waiting on California, Texas and Maine
It’s past midnight on the East Coast, as Super Tuesday bleeds into Wednesday, and we’re still waiting on projections out of Maine, California and Texas.
Sanders is leading as the early vote comes in from California, while Biden holds narrow leads in Maine and Texas. California is the night’s biggest prize, with 415 delegates, but it may take a while to sort out how many delegates the viable candidates will get. So while Sanders may be in a good position in the state, it’s not exactly shaping up to be a gimme. – Calia
11:43 pm: Pressure grows for Bloomberg to drop out
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg waves to his supporters at his Super Tuesday night event on March 03, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
Mike Bloomberg’s team, according to people familiar with the matter, will be hearing from business allies of the former New York mayor who are planning to ask whether he will drop out of the race.
Those calls are expected to amplify in the wake of him failing to win any states Super Tuesday after he invested at least $200 million on ads and ground support. The hope among Democratic moderates and power players is that Bloomberg will drop out and spend heavily in support of Joe Biden in order to overtake Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Politico reported that Bloomberg could drop out of the race as early as Wednesday, but a spokeswoman pushed back to CNBC on him withdrawing from the race, saying there’s “no truth” to him considering walking away.
“Not super clear that any one candidate is going to get a pledged delegate majority,” said Julie Wood, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman.
There is growing concern within the Democratic Party that if Bloomberg stays in the race, he will take away moderate votes from Biden The former vice president dominated on Super Tuesday in states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Tennessee.
Bloomberg spent tons of money on his efforts in these states. Biden, who has struggled with fundraising in the past, didn’t even come to close to the former New York mayor’s investment spree. – Schwartz
11:18 pm: Dow futures point to a strong open
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher Wednesday open as early results on Super Tuesday showed former Vice President Joe Biden notching key wins and reassuring investors of his place amid the top candidates in the Democratic pool.
As of 11:15 p.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average futures indicated a rise of 290 points at the open. – Franck
11:02 pm: Biden tops Sanders, Warren in Massachusetts
Former Vice President Joe Biden will win the Massachusetts Democratic primary, according to an NBC News projection.
The result is a crushing blow to rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who represents the state. Biden will win at least 28 of the state’s 91 delegates, according to NBC News. Sanders will score at least 13, and Warren, the home state candidate, will chalk up at least seven. – Breuninger
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, appears at his Super Tuesday night rally in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 3, 2020.
Mike Blake | Reuters
11:02 pm: Pivotal California is too early to call
California, which will award a highly sought after trove of delegates, is too early to call as polls close, according to NBC News.
Bernie Sanders is leading, according to NBC. As Joe Biden piles on delegates early in the night, Sanders will need a big win in California to keep pace.
Sanders will win at least 48 of California’s 415 delegates, according to NBC. — Pramuk
11 pm: Trump taunts Warren and Bloomberg
President Donald Trump used his Twitter account Tuesday night to attack the two Democratic candidates who appeared to be underperforming in Super Tuesday contests: former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
As of 10:30 p.m., Bloomberg had won a total of nine delegates, four of whom stemmed from his primary victory in American Samoa.
Warren had won six delegates by 10:30 p.m. on Super Tuesday, five of which came from her home state, which NBC projected that former Vice President Joe Biden would win. Trump reverted to his familiar nickname for the senator, who has said her family ancestry includes Native Americans. — Wilkie
10:53 pm: Don’t expect a quick call in California
Polls in the largest Super Tuesday state are due to close in just a few minutes, but don’t expect a quick call. Last cycle, California was not called until the following morning, and state officials have warned that final results could take several weeks this time around.
California will award 415 delegates in total, or nearly a third of those being awarded from states voting Tuesday. The second biggest state, Texas, remains too close to call, according to NBC News projections.
Notably, Biden, who has been over-performing in states that have been called so far, has faced disadvantages in early voting, which makes up a significant portion of the California electorate. Nearly 4 million votes were cast via mail-in ballots in California by Tuesday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said earlier in the day on MSNBC. Those mail-in ballots will be accepted until Friday. – Higgins
10:35 pm: Biden says ‘we are very much alive’
“It’s a good night,” Joe Biden said, after he finally broke through nationwide in his third presidential bid.
As he racked up wins across the South and in Minnesota, according to NBC News, Biden took a solid pledged delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders. A candidate who looked close to flaming out before the South Carolina primary three days ago, Biden appeared energized, even after a protester rushed the stage where he spoke in Los Angeles.
Biden said people had predicted his campaign may be done. But without naming Sanders, he said, “it may be over for the other guy.”
“I’m here to report we are very much alive,” Biden said.
As he spoke, Biden had a 248 to 177 national delegate lead over Sanders. As results came in, a massive slate of delegates were still up for grabs in Texas and California. – Pramuk
10:32 pm: Sanders knocks Biden without saying his name
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders is accompanied by his relatives, including his wife Jane, as he addresses supporters at his Super Tuesday night rally in Essex Junction, Vermont, U.S., March 3, 2020
Caitlin Ochs | Reuters
Bernie Sanders told supporters in Vermont that he — not Joe Biden — was the best candidate to beat Trump because of the “contrast” in their ideas.
While referring to Biden simply as “another candidate” in the race, Sanders criticized Biden’s past positions on the Iraq War, protecting entitlement programs and “disastrous” trade deals.
“You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics,” Sanders said. Sanders appeared to acknowledge that Biden had far exceeded expectations on Super Tuesday.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that later in the evening we can win” in California, said Sanders, who was expected to easily clinch that state.
“I don’t know what will happen,” Sanders said. “If it comes out to be a campaign in which we have one candidate who is standing up for the working class and the middle class, we’re going to win that election.”
Sanders added: “And if we have another candidate who has received contributions from at least 60 billionaires, we’re going to win that election.” – Breuninger
10:30 pm: George Conway donates individual max to Biden
Republican lawyer George Conway, who is married to senior White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, appears to have donated $2,800 to former Vice President Joe Biden.
That sum is the individual personal maximum donation allowed under federal campaign finance rules. – Wilkie
10:27 pm: Sanders takes Utah
Bernie Sanders will win Utah’s primary, NBC News projected. He had already won Colorado and his home state of Vermont earlier in the evening. There are 29 delegates at stake in Utah, and Sanders was projected to win at least three of them. – Calia
10:25 pm: A grim sign for Elizabeth Warren
With 37% of the vote in, Elizabeth Warren was trailing in her home state of Massachusetts. In fact, she was in third place behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the latest look. There are 91 delegates at stake in the state, and Warren seems to be on track to win some of them. But failing to win your home state is not terribly encouraging if you describe your campaign as built to last. – Calia
10:21 pm: Biden takes Minnesota after Klobuchar endorsement
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks into the microphone as his former rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Amy Klobuchar, endorses him during a campaign event in Dallas, Texas, U.S., March 2, 2020.
Eric Thayer | Reuters
Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday surge isn’t limited to the South. Biden will win Minnesota, NBC News projected, only a few days after he seemed unlikely to win the state.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden, opening up a massive pocket of support for the former vice president in the state.
He will take at least 10 delegates from Minnesota, while Sanders will win at least seven, according to NBC. – Pramuk
10:12 pm: Donors flock to Biden
Former Vice President Joe Biden went into Super Tuesday with fewer financial resources than other candidates. But he will be in much better shape by the end of the night.
Bundlers loyal to Biden are seeing dozens of new donors, several maxing out with with the top allowable $2,800, as he picks up victories in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Alabama, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. These people declined to be named because these developments were yet to be announced.
Biden fundraising events started to sell out early in the night, the people added. Read our story here. – Schwartz
10:07 pm: Biden projected to win Arkansas
Joe Biden is projected to win the Arkansas Democratic primary, according to NBC News, adding to his string of victories in the South on Tuesday night.
He will get at least eight of the state’s 31 delegates, according to NBC.
With about a third of the results in, Biden had about 32% of the vote. Sanders and Bloomberg followed with about 20% each, above the statewide threshold for delegates. – Pramuk
9:59 pm: Clyburn: ‘I think’ Biden’s making the right changes
James Clyburn, D-S.C. introduces Democratic nomination hopeful Joe Biden at University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Jeremy Hogan | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the South Carolina representative partly credited with giving Joe Biden the boost he needed to revive his campaign, said that he thinks the former vice president is doing what he needs to win the nomination.
Asked on MSNBC if Biden is making the right adjustments to his campaign — which looked to be on the decline before his massive win in South Carolina over the weekend — Clyburn said, “I think so.”
“I thought fundraising was lacking” in Biden’s campaign “and needed to be more professionalized,” Clyburn said. Biden’s speeches also needed to convey more feeling than simply being a list of policy proposals, the South Carolina congressman added.
Biden “has a tremendous history” and is “just a good guy,” Clyburn said, “but people were not feeling it.”
But his roll out of endorsements Monday night from former rivals Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg showed “professionalism at his best,” Clyburn said.
If that level of campaigning continues, Clyburn said, then Biden “is going to be very successful, and he will be our nominee and I really, deeply feel he will be the next president of the United States.” – Breuninger
9:35 pm: Sanders gets a needed win in Colorado
Sanders will win the Colorado Democratic primary, NBC News projects.
He will come away with at least seven of the state’s 67 delegates, according to NBC. With nearly 70% of data in, Sanders led with about 36% of the vote, followed by Bloomberg at 24%.
Both Biden and Warren were above the state’s 15% viability threshold at that time. — Pramuk
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to a large crowd of supporters at a rally in the Colorado Convention Center on February 16, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.
Marc Piscotty | Getty Images
9:25 pm: CNBC trader Brown says investors may be as happy to see Warren behind as Biden ahead
CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and CNBC regular Josh Brown says markets may be as happy to see former Vice President Joe Biden winning as they are to see Sen. Elizabeth Warren behind in the delegate count on Super Tuesday. Warren, a former law school professor who specialized in bankruptcy law, is not a favorite on Wall Street as she proposes detailed plans to break up big banks and technology companies and raise taxes.
“Stocks will be even more relieved at Warren’s coming concession as they are at Biden’s big showing,” Brown tweeted. “Wall Streeters have always secretly been more afraid of her than anyone else given her domain expertise.” — Franck
9:18 pm Biden projected to win Oklahoma
Joe Biden will win Oklahoma’s primary, NBC News projected.
It adds to a string of early projected victories for the former vice president as he rolls to a pledged delegate lead for the moment.
Biden will win at least four delegates from the state, according to NBC. It has 37 delegates up for grabs. – Pramuk
9:11 pm: Biden projected to win Tennessee
Joe Biden has won the Tennessee Democratic primary, according to NBC News’ projection. Poll closings in the state had been delayed due to damage from a deadly tornado that ripped through the state early Tuesday morning.
Support among black voters appeared to help Biden. He had 62% of support among black voters, versus 18% for Sanders, according to exit polls. The surveys said black voters made up about a quarter of the Tennessee electorate.
Biden was projected to win at least 8 of the state’s 64 delegates. – Calia
9:09 pm: Cunningham projected to win in NC
Former state Sen. Cal Cunningham will win North Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary, NBC News projected.
The victory sets him up to take on Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican who has tied himself closely to President Trump ahead of his November reelection bid. A recent NBC News/Marist poll found Cunningham narrowly leading Tillis in a hypothetical contest. – Pramuk
9:05 pm: Biden’s early wins vault him to delegate lead
By about 9 p.m. ET, Biden had picked up 114 pledged delegates on Tuesday, compared to 46 for Sanders, according to NBC News.
The haul vaulted Biden to 167 total delegates in the 2020 primary, versus 106 for Sanders.
Sanders could pick up some ground in California. – Pramuk
9:02 pm: Polls close in two of the night’s bigger states
Polls closed at 9 p.m. ET in Minnesota and Colorado, two states with relatively large delegate hauls on Tuesday night. Both states are too early to call, according to NBC News.
Biden hopes Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s decision to drop out of the race and endorse him will propel him to success in the state.
Minnesota awards 75 delegates, while Colorado has 67 delegates up for grabs. – Pramuk
9:00 pm: Too early to call in Texas
Texas, one of the states that could swing the Democratic primary race, is too early to call as polls close at 9 p.m. ET, according to NBC News.
With early results trickling in, Biden and Sanders were jockeying for first place. Sanders may need a strong showing in the Lone Star State to keep up with the delegate lead his rival built early in the night as he romped across the South.
Texas awards 228 delegates, the second most of any Super Tuesday contest.
Hispanic or Latino voters made up 32% of the Texas electorate, and Sanders won 41% of those voters, according to exit polls. Biden followed at 23% of support among Latino voters, while Bloomberg garnered 20% of support.
Sanders tends to do better with younger voters of color, while Biden fares well with older voters of color. — Pramuk
8:54 pm: Markets comfortable with Biden, analyst says
Fundstrat policy strategist Tom Block tells CNBC that “market participants should be comfortable with the rise of Joe Biden.”
“Markets don’t like uncertainty and Biden is steady Eddie,” he added. “From health care to tax policy, Biden is to the left of Trump but more traditional than Sanders.”
Block’s comments came as the former vice president built an early lead in the early delegate count with 167 versus Sanders’ 106. Dow Jones futures indicated an opening gain of about 0.5% at 8:51 p.m. ET, but those results could change overnight. — Franck
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets patron at the Buttercup diner on March 03, 2020 in Oakland, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
8:51 pm: Bloomberg slams Trump, gives no hint of dropping out
Mike Bloomberg took the stage of his rally in south Florida to assure his supporters that he was staying in the race — and that he isn’t afraid of President Trump.
“I know we can do it, and you know who else knows it? Donald Trump,” Bloomberg told his enthusiastic West Palm Beach crowd. “And that’s why he keeps attacking us on Twitter.”
Trump had lashed out at Bloomberg on social media earlier Tuesday night, by mocking a viral video of the Democrat licking his fingers after ripping up a slice of pizza. Bloomberg’s well-funded social media operation has been quick to hit back at Trump, and the candidate himself brought that same pugnacious attitude to his Florida rally.
“Trump the other day called me short,” Bloomberg said. “I said, ‘Donald, where I come from we measure people from the neck up.'”
But the billionaire and former New York mayor had only clinched a projected win in the U.S. territory of American Samoa by the time he began speaking.
“No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something that no one else thought was possible,” he said, referring to his building a competitive campaign in three months.
“While my fellow candidates spent a whole year focusing on the first four states, I was out campaigning against Donald Trump in the states where the election will actually be decided,” he said. – Breuninger
8:45 pm: National delegate count update
As of just after 8 p.m., Joe Biden held a lead in the national delegate count, with 127. Bernie Sanders is second with 82. Of the remaining candidates, Elizabeth Warren had eight, Mike Bloomberg had four, and Tusli Gabbard had one. All of these counts are according to NBC News projections. – Calia
8:32 pm: UnitedHealth up 4% as Biden tops Sanders early
UnitedHealth, one of the largest health insurers in the United States, rallied more than 4% in after-hours trading Tuesday as early voting results showed former Vice President Joe Biden projected to win in Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama. That stock was one named by CFRA analyst Sel Hardy as one to watch as a potential bellwether on Super Tuesday.
Dow Jones futures indicated an opening gain of about 0.7% at 8:26 p.m. ET, but those results could change significantly with more than 12 hours until the opening bell on Wednesday. — Franck
8:30 p.m. Arkansas too early to call
Polls in Arkansas closed at 8:30 p.m. ET. NBC News said the Democratic primary there was still too early to call. Joe Biden, meanwhile, has been scoring quick projected victories in the South. Thirty-one delegates are at stake in Arkansas. – Calia
8:14 pm: Biden announces travel to Missouri and Mississippi
Former Vice President Joe Biden announced weekend travel to two states with upcoming primaries as his Super Tuesday odds appeared to be looking up.
In a release, the campaign said that Biden will travel to Missouri on Saturday and Mississippi on Sunday. Both states vote on March 10, one week from Tuesday.
“Biden will lay out his vision for America and listen to voters’ concerns and ideas around restoring the soul of the nation, rebuilding the middle class, and unifying the country,” the campaign said. – Higgins
8:06 pm: Trump taunts Bloomberg over finger-lickin’ meme
After Mike Bloomberg failed to triumph in the first few races of the night, President Trump quickly lashed out on Twitter — not about the election results, but about a viral video.
The president zeroed in on a video of Bloomberg ripping a chunk off of a slice of pizza, leaving the rest of that slice in the pizza box and then licking his fingers.
“Mini Mike, don’t lick your dirty fingers,” Trump tweeted. “Both unsanitary and dangerous to others and yourself!”
The video was posted by the Bloomberg campaign’s own Instagram page, according to Mediaite.
The video quickly made the rounds on social media. Commenters often noted that Bloomberg’s etiquette didn’t comport with the sanitary measures that health officials have advised Americans to take to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus. – Breuninger
8:00 pm: Dow implied open up 200 points as Biden scores early wins
Dow Jones futures indicated an opening jump of 200 points around 7:40 p.m. ET after early Super Tuesday results showed former Vice President Joe Biden projected to win Virginia and North Carolina.
Many investors on Wall Street say they prefer Biden to win the Democratic nomination because they see him as less likely to introduce strict regulations or crack down on corporations to the same degree as Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren could. — Franck
8:00 pm: Polls close in four other states
Along with Alabama, polls closed at 8 p.m. ET in Massachusetts, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Maine.
Here are NBC News’ characterizations of the primaries in those states:
Mass.: Too early to call
Tenn.: Too early to call
Okla.: Too early to call
Maine: Too early to call — Pramuk
8:00 pm: Biden continues his dominance in the South
Biden will win Alabama’s primary, NBC News projects, adding to an early run of victories in the South.
The former vice president’s success with black voters in South Carolina’s primary has carried over to Super Tuesday. In Alabama, 44% of Democratic primary voters identified as black, according to exit polls.
Biden had more than 70% of support among black voters in Alabama, the surveys found.
Biden will win at least 19 of Alabama’s 52 delegates, according to NBC. After the call, Biden led Sanders by a 120 to 68 margin in national pledged delegates. — Pramuk
7:42 pm: Mike Bloomberg wins American Samoa caucus
Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg makes a stop at one of his campaign offices in the Little Havana neighborhood on March 3, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
Mike Bloomberg will win a nominating contest, after all.
The former New York mayor will carry American Samoa’s caucus Tuesday, NBC News projects. He will come away with at least four of the territory’s six delegates.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will also win her first delegate of the 2020 race in the territory’s contest. — Pramuk
7:34 pm: Warren rallies voters as Biden, Sanders projected to clinch first states
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivers a campaign speech at East Los Angeles College on March 2, 2020 in Monterey Park, California.
Mario Tama | Getty Images
Elizabeth Warren rallied supporters in Detroit as the first results started rolling in.
She acknowledged that many Democratic voters are taking a cautious approach to supporting a candidate that they think has the best chance of defeating President Trump in 2020. She also pushed back on political commentators, many of whom view her campaign as being on its last legs.
“The pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,” Warren told the Detroit crowd.
“Cast a vote that will make you proud. Cast a vote from your heart. And vote for the person you think will make the best president of the United States of America,” she continued.
The Massachusetts senator also gave every indication that she plans to stay in the race past Super Tuesday.
“I’m in this race because I believe I will make the best president of the United States of America,” she said, because “I was not born a politician, but I was born a fighter.”
Polls in Warren’s home state close at 8 p.m. ET. — Breuninger
7:30 pm: Biden’s good night continues early
Biden got another piece of good news early in the night.
The former vice president will win the North Carolina primary, NBC News projects. It means Biden will carry the third and fourth biggest delegate prizes of the night.
Biden will win at least 14 of North Carolina’s 110 delegates, NBC said.
As of now, he leads Sanders in national delegates by an 83-68 margin. — Pramuk
7:13 pm: Wall Street eyes health-care stocks as Super Tuesday results trickle in
Wall Street’s top brokerages are advising clients on ways to try to capitalize on the results, and especially how to navigate health-care stocks if one of the more progressive candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren look likely to win a significant share of the delegates.
Big-ticket proposals like “Medicare for All” and banning private health insurance, as advocated by the progressive wing, could have an outsized impact on the sector.
CFRA analyst Sel Hardy wrote that Sanders’ unexpected Nevada win “increased the risk perception for health insurer stocks” and advised readers to look for downside moves in stocks like Humana, UnitedHealth and Centene if Sanders looks likely to win a plurality of delegates.
RBC Capital Markets Head of Equity Strategy Lori Calvasina wrote that the “2020 race for the White House has been a more important driver of price action in the US equity market than many investors realize.”
“We think the equity market has also been spooked by the decline in expectations that Trump will get reelected in the betting market, as well as Sanders’ early 2020 surge in the betting markets and the polls,” she added.
RBC says that sectors including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and large banks can expect to come under pressure if Sanders wins and if Democrats sweep in 2020.
Investors will be keeping a close eye on funds such as the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF or the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF, which track the performance of biotechnology companies in the U.S. — Tom Franck
7:04 pm: Tornado-ravaged Tennessee county’s polling hours extended
Primary election results projections in tornado-ravaged Davidson County in Tennessee won’t be revealed until at least 9 p.m. ET, NBC News reported, after a judge extended the hours that polling centers in the area will remain open.
The Tennessee Democratic Party filed a lawsuit earlier Tuesday in order to extend the voting time in Davidson County. Davidson is the second-most-populous county in the state and the home of Nashville.
The state’s Democratic Party said that “more than 15 polling locations suffered electrical and structural damages” and “hundreds” of voters were unable to vote at 7 a.m. local time, when centers were scheduled to open.
The judge ruled that all polling sites in the county must stay open until 9 p.m. ET. A handful of other sites in the area were ordered to stay open until 11 p.m. ET.
“This is a victory for all voters and this decision will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in this historic election,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini said in a release.
The tornado ripped through Tennessee, killing more than 20 people and destroying thousands of properties near the center of the state, including parts of Nashville. — Breuninger
7:00 pm: Biden projected to win Virginia
Biden will win Virginia’s primary, NBC News projects. The state awards one of the biggest delegate hauls of the night, with 99.
The former vice president will win at least 16 of those delegates, according to NBC. After the projection, Biden at least briefly surpassed Sanders for the national delegate lead, 69 to 68. — Pramuk
7:00 pm: Sanders projected to win Vermont
One of the two senators still in the race will defend their home turf Tuesday.
Sanders will win the Vermont Democratic primary, NBC News projects. With 16 delegates up for grabs, it’s the smallest prize out of the 14 U.S. states holding primaries Tuesday. The senator will come away with at least 8 of those delegates, according to NBC.
Sanders overwhelmingly won his home state in 2016. — Pramuk
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders take the stage during a campaign rally at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium March 02, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
6:52 pm: Warren looks beyond Super Tuesday
Elizabeth Warren may be in a tough spot after tonight. She is expected to tally some delegates tonight, but it’s not clear whether she will win her own home state, Massachusetts. But she’s trying to project a confident front and has announced campaign events for the days after Super Tuesday. She is headed to Idaho, Michigan and Arizona. Idaho and Michigan hold their primaries next Tuesday, while Arizona votes March 17. – Calia
6:36: Biden says he raised $15 million in March
Joe Biden looked content during a campaign stop in east Los Angeles on Tuesday night. He greeted supporters and voters in his element: a cup of ice cream in his hand and aviator sunglasses on his head.
Biden, while projecting confidence in his performance in California and the 13 other states voting on Super Tuesday, said his campaign continues to rake in cash early in March. “The first three days I think it’s been $15 million, just March,” he said.
He added: “Don’t hold me to exact numbers.” – Pramuk
5:59 pm: Voters don’t like Mike
In three states where exit polls asked how voters felt about a broad swath of candidates, Mike Bloomberg was by far the least popular. The figures followed polling in South Carolina, where voters overwhelmingly viewed him unfavorably.
Here’s how voters in three states answered when asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable view of Bloomberg:
- California: 30%-60% (every other candidate had a higher percentage of favorable than unfavorable ratings)
- Virginia: 38%-58% (only Klobuchar and Sanders had underwater favorability ratings, but by 1 percentage point, a much smaller margin than Bloomberg)
- Colorado: 41%-52% (every other candidate had a higher percentage of favorable than unfavorable ratings) – Pramuk
5:31 pm: Health care is top of mind for Super Tuesday voters
The first batch of exit polls in 12 of the 14 states holding Democratic primaries Tuesday cast some light on what voters are considering when casting their ballots.
In all 12 of those states (data is not available yet for Arkansas and Utah), voters chose health care as their top concern among four issues. The other issues were climate change, income inequality and race relations.
The exit survey also asked this question: “How do you feel about replacing all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone?” A majority of respondents in those dozen states said they support such a system.
Of course, some states felt stronger about the proposal than others. It’s been a central question in the race, as Sen. Bernie Sanders has championed a single-payer system and Joe Biden has criticized such a plan.
Here’s how those answers stacked up in every state, listed from the largest to smallest delegate haul.
California: 33% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 58%-35% support to oppose
Texas: 45% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 64%-33% support to oppose
North Carolina: 43% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 55%-41% support to oppose
Virginia: 43% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 52%-46% support to oppose
Massachusetts: 40% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 52%-43% support to oppose
Minnesota: 41% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 64%-34% support to oppose
Colorado: 36% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 57%-36% support to oppose
Tennessee: 43% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 55%-41% support to oppose
Alabama: 46% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 53%-41% support to oppose
Oklahoma: 48% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 54%-42% support to oppose
Maine: 47% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 72%-27% support to oppose
Vermont: 40% listed health care as the top issue
Government insurance plan: 75%-23% support to oppose
5:20 pm: Tennessee Dems sue to extend polling hours
The Tennessee Democratic Party filed a lawsuit Tuesday in order to extend the time polling centers are open in Davidson County, where a deadly tornado damaged numerous polling sites.
The state’s Democratic Party said in a press release obtained by CNBC that “More than 15 polling locations suffered electrical and structural damages,” and “hundreds” of voters were unable to vote at 7 a.m., when centers were scheduled to open. The party seeks a legal injunction against Davidson County’s election commission and Tennessee’s secretary of state, Tre Hargett, to keep the sites open an extra three hours.
The tornado ripped through Tennessee, killing more than 20 people and destroying thousands of properties near the center of the state, including parts of Nashville.
UPDATE at 6:23 p.m.: A judge ruled that Tennessee must extend voting hours for some polling stations. As a result of the judge’s ruling, all polling stations in tornado-ravaged Davidson County will stay open until at least 8 p.m., the Democrats said in the release. Additionally, five so-called mega polling sites will stay open until 10 p.m., according to the Democrats.
“This is a victory for all voters and this decision will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in this historic election,” the Tennessee Democrats’ chair said in a release. – Breuninger
5:06 pm: Polling leaders in the biggest states
The five states that will award the most delegates Tuesday will allocate 943 combined.They account for about 70% of the delegates up for grabs in the day’s contests.
Here are the recent polling leaders in those states, according to RealClearPolitics averages (note that many of the polls will not have accounted for Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar’s departure from the race, or Biden’s South Carolina primary win):
- California (415 delegates): Bernie Sanders, 35%, Joe Biden, 23%
- Texas (228 delegates): Sanders, 29.5%, Biden, 28%
- North Carolina (110 delegates) Biden, 36.7%, Sanders, 23.3%
- Virginia (99 delegates) Biden, 42%, Sanders, 24.5%
- Massachusetts (91 delegates): RealClearPolitics does not have an average listed for the state. However, the two most recent polls it tracked found a 2 percentage point-lead for Elizabeth Warren over Sanders, and a 2 percentage-point edge for Sanders over Warren. – Pramuk
4:16 pm: SCOTUS to debate abortion in election year
President Trump pledged during his 2016 election campaign that he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision.
Four years later, Trump is seeking reelection, and his two appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, will determine whether that promise is kept.
On Wednesday, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will hear arguments in the first major abortion case since either was confirmed to the bench. A decision is expected by the end of June, a month before Democrats are scheduled to convene in Wisconsin to formally select their presidential nominee. Read our preview here. – Tucker Higgins
3:24 pm: Trump hits a sore spot for Dems
President Trump on Tuesday afternoon continued to try to exploit divisions within the Democratic electorate over Bernie Sanders’ front-runner status. The president acknowledged Joe Biden’s gains in the polls, and accused Democrats of trying to snatch away Sanders’ lead in the primary.
“Biden has come up a little bit and I don’t know what’s happened with Bernie,” Trump said at the National Institutes of Health after a reporter asked him about Super Tuesday. “I think they’re trying to take it away from” Sanders, Trump added.
“I don’t know if that’s fair, but I guess it’s politics,” he said. “When you get right down to it, what’s fair?” – Breuninger
3:06 pm: Biden banks on the South
If Joe Biden hopes for success on Super Tuesday, his path will likely have to go through southern states following his blowout win in South Carolina over the weekend.
Biden’s aides have signaled to allies that there are hundreds of districts throughout states that have large concentrations of black voters, according to people familiar with the matter. Biden has repeatedly touted his relationship with black voters on the campaign trail. and that strong connection paid off in the Palmetto State. There, Rep. James Clyburn, the highest-ranking black lawmaker in the House, endorsed Biden. In turn, the former vice president was able to rack up a substantial amount of delegates and pull into second place overall just behind Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Biden is confident he’ll do well in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas and North Carolina, these people added. Texas and Minnesota are also up for grabs, and Biden might be in a better position in both states than recent polling suggests. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota endorsed Biden. – Brian Schwartz
2:54 pm: Joe Biden’s high hopes
Joe Biden made a stop at the ButtercuP Diner in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday as he pushed to gain traction in the day’s most important state.
“My hopes are high. I think we’re going to do well on Super Tuesday,” he said, according to local station ABC7.
As Biden tries to consolidate the support of voters who do not support Bernie Sanders, he needs a strong showing in California to stop the Vermont senator from running away with the pledged delegate lead. Hitting the 15% threshold both statewide and in the state’s congressional districts will help him cut into Sanders’ delegate haul from the state.
Sanders has led recent polls of California, which awards 415 pledged delegates in its primary. – Pramuk
2:32 pm: Trump vs. the media in 2020
From the Trump campaign, a reminder that the president isn’t just taking aim at his Democratic rivals this year. The campaign on Tuesday sued the The Washington Post for defamation, citing two opinion articles published in 2019 about the campaign allegedly benefiting from Russian assistance.
The lawsuit came a week after the campaign sued The New York Times for defamation in connection with an op-ed entited “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.” Read our full story here. – Dan Mangan
2:21 pm: Dem donor says Super Tuesday is crucial for Biden
Democratic megadonor Marc Lasry downplayed concerns about Joe Biden’s fundraising abilities on Tuesday, arguing this week was critical to the former vice president’s ability to stay in the primary.
“I think he’s got enough money. A lot of it will depend over the next couple days,” the billionaire investor said on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report.” “If he does well in a number of these states he’ll get more money.”
Lasry, a part owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, had been supporting Sen. Kamala Harris, but opened up his donor network to Biden in December shortly after the California Democrat withdrew from the primary race. — Kevin Stankiewicz
1:26 pm: Biden aide rejects Comey endorsement
Former FBI Director James Comey offered his endorsement to Joe Biden — and one of Biden’s campaign officials swiftly swatted it down.
“We need candidate who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office,” tweeted Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017 and has since become one of the president’s regular critics. “There is a reason Trump fears @JoeBiden and roots for Bernie,” Comey added with the hashtag #Biden2020.
Andrew Bates, Biden’s rapid response director, quickly replied to Comey’s tweet: “Yes, customer service? I just received a package that I very much did not order. How can I return it, free of charge?”
Bates did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the tweet.
Comey has come under fire from Democrats and Republicans since the 2016 election. Democrats have accused him of costing Hillary Clinton the presidency by announcing in a high-profile press conference that the FBI would investigate Clinton’s emails shortly before the election.
Republicans have attacked Comey as a biased public official who was working to undermine Trump by, among other things, taking notes on their private conversations. Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian interference in 2016, possible obstruction of justice by Trump, within a month after Trump fired Comey.
12:36 pm: Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race
The primary may be looking more and more like a two-man race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren are still in the fight — as is Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who continues to campaign despite near-nonexistent poll numbers and a total lack of support from the party establishment.
You’d be forgiven for forgetting that Gabbard, a frequent guest on Fox News opinion shows but a no-show in the last five national debates, is still trying to become the Democratic nominee. Polling aggregates place Gabbard at 1% or less, well behind the three Democrats who dropped out of the race after the South Carolina primary. But she’s still running, and took her campaign to Austin, Texas, Monday night to rally supporters ahead of Super Tuesday. – Kevin Breuninger
12:29 pm: The Public Enemy primary
Bernie Sanders may pitch himself as a unity candidate, but his presidential campaign has contributed to one notable breakup.
Legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy dumped co-founder and clock-wearing hype man Flavor Flav after a spat over the group’s appearance at the senator’s rally in Los Angeles on Sunday. Vaunted MC Chuck D and an offshoot known as Public Enemy Radio joined Sanders as he made his final push for Tuesday’s pivotal California primary.
Flavor Flav wasn’t believing the hype around Sanders. After the event, which the Sanders campaign promoted with the title of one of Public Enemy’s most famous songs, “Fight the Power,” Flavor Flav’s lawyer issued a cease and desist letter arguing the campaign used his client’s likeness without permission.
Public Enemy then issued a statement saying it was “moving forward” without its core member. A Twitter spat between Chuck D and Flavor Flav ensued. Early Monday, Chuck D wrote that his former bandmate will “NOT do free benefit shows,” adding that he “better find REHAB.”
Flavor Flav later shot back: “You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years OVER POLITICS???” He went on to say that he has been “clean for 10 years,” adding that “you can’t fire me” and “there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”
The group issued a statement late Monday saying it “did not part ways with Flavor Flav over his political views.” It wrote that the dispute over Sanders “was the last straw for the group” after the hype man missed several public appearances in recent years.
The statement concluded: “It’s time to move on and everyone wishes Flavor well.” – Pramuk
Chuck D of Public Enemy Radio greets Senator Bernie Sanders at a Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign rally at Los Angeles Convention Center on March 01, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Tullberg | Getty Images
12 pm: The stakes in Texas
The Lone Star State will allocate 228 delegates, more than any state voting this week other than California (415). The huge and still growing Texas will test Bernie Sanders’ efforts to boost turnout among young and Latino voters, core parts of a coalition he hopes will propel him to the Democratic nomination and the White House. Carried to his first primary win by overwhelming support from black voters in South Carolina, Joe Biden hopes black voters in Texas and elsewhere Tuesday will help him keep pace with Sanders in the national delegate race. For more on the Texas primary, read our preview here. – Jacob Pramuk
11:41 am: Warren’s brainchild in jeopardy?
Tuesday might end up doubly bad for Elizabeth Warren. Her presidential candidacy is hanging on by a thread and might be in worse shape if she underperforms in Super Tuesday primaries. Meanwhile in Washington, CNBC’s Tucker Higgins reports that the Supreme Court, which held oral arguments Tuesday, appeared likely to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Warren had envisioned the agency when she was a professor at Harvard. The CFPB, established in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, was designed to rein in abusive consumer financial practices by banks and other private institutions. – Calia
11:10 am: Seeking a hometown advantage
Both Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s home states are holding their primaries today. Vermont, which Sanders represents, is almost certain to go to the self-proclaimed democratic socialist senator. The state has 16 delegates up for grabs. Massachusetts, which Warren represents in the Senate, is a much bigger prize, offering 91 delegates. But Warren can’t count on home cooking. Polls have shown that she and Sanders are in a tight race to win Massachusetts. – Calia
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren reaches to greet a supporter next to her husband Bruce after voting on Super Tuesday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 3, 2020.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) cast his vote with his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders at a polling place March 3, 2020 at Robert Miller Community Center in Burlington, Vermont.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
10:57 am: Bloomberg bets on contested convention
Mike Bloomberg is seriously lowering expectations for Super Tuesday. Fueled by more than $500 million in ad spending, the billionaire had bet big on success in the 14 states voting Tuesday to help him rack up delegates and seize momentum in the race. But now he is expressing doubt about whether he will win any states Tuesday, although he pledged to stay in the race all the way through the convention in July. In fact, he suggested he doesn’t see another path to the nomination beyond winning at a contested convention, in which no candidate has at least 1,991 delegates, which would be a majority. He told reporters in Miami that he doesn’t see he “can win any other way.” Florida holds its primary March 17. – Calia
10:24 am: Forecasts move toward Biden
Betting markets are now favoring Joe Biden to win the Democratic nomination after his big win in South Carolina, as he has pulled ahead of Bernie Sanders, according to Real Clear Politics. Meanwhile, polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight has Biden in a much better position in its forecast than it did before Saturday’s South Carolina primary. Heading into the weekend, Sanders was ahead of the former vice president. As of the most recent reading, Biden has a 31% chance of winning the Democratic primary, while Sanders has an 8% chance. But here’s the key thing: FiveThirtyEight’s model currently says there is a 61% chance that no one will reach the delegate majority threshold heading into July’s Democratic National Convention. – Calia
9:54 am: Trump-Bloomberg tweet fight
While voters are hitting the polls, the two billionaires in the campaign, President Donald Trump and Mike Bloomberg, are teeing off on each other on Twitter. After more than three months in the race and more than $500 million spent, Bloomberg is finally on some Democratic primary ballots Tuesday. While he had surged in the polls for a while, his momentum stopped dead due to his weak debate performance in Nevada last month. Trump on Tuesday continued targeting Bloomberg over the former New York mayor’s widely panned turn in that debate and a subsequent one in South Carolina. Bloomberg’s well-paid social media team replied in kind. – Calia
9:40 am: There are key Senate primaries, too
The White House isn’t the only thing on the line this November. Republican control of the Senate is also up in the air, with the GOP defending 23 Senate seats, while Democrats are defending only 12. Alabama, North Carolina and Texas are also holding Senate primaries Tuesday. The biggest race is in Alabama, where former Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions is running to get his old Senate seat back. He is facing off against Rep. Bradley Byrne and political newcomer Tommy Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach. If no one gets a 50% majority on Tuesday, the top two finishers will face off later this month in a runoff. – Christina Wilkie
9:24 am: Tennessee tornado aftermath
9 am: And we’re off!
Welcome to the CNBC Politics team’s coverage of Super Tuesday, the most pivotal day yet in the Democrats’ campaign for the right to take on President Donald Trump in November. The party’s presidential field has consolidated dramatically since Joe Biden romped in the South Carolina primary Saturday. The victory resurrected the former vice president’s campaign and compelled three candidates – Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar – to drop out. Buttigieg and Klobuchar, along with long-departed candidate Beto O’Rourke, endorsed Biden on Monday.
Polls started opening at 6 a.m. Sen. Bernie Sanders remains the race’s front-runner, as he holds a narrow lead in delegates over Biden coming into Tuesday, and is expected to do well in delegate-rich states such as California and Texas. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg remain in the race, however, and they both are aiming to rack up delegates themselves across the 14 states voting Tuesday. It looks like Biden’s momentum and Sanders’ strong base of support, however, could make this a two-person race after Tuesday. But stranger things have happened. — Mike Calia
Here are the states voting Tuesday, how many delegates are at stake, and the times their polls close (all times Eastern):
- Alabama, 52 delegates: 8 p.m.
- Arkansas, 31 delegates: 8:30 p.m.
- California, 415 delegates: 11 p.m.
- Colorado, 67 delegates: 9 p.m.
- Maine, 24 delegates: 8 p.m.
- Massachusetts, 91 delegates: 8 p.m.
- Minnesota, 75 delegates: 9 p.m.
- North Carolina, 110 delegates: 7:30 p.m.
- Oklahoma, 37 delegates: 8 p.m.
- Tennessee, 64 delegates: 8 p.m.
- Texas, 228 delegates: 8 p.m., with some polls at 9 p.m.
- Utah, 29 delegates: 10 p.m.
- Vermont, 16 delegates: 7 p.m.
- Virginia, 99 delegates: 7 p.m.
CNBC’s Yelena Dzhanova, Christina Wilkie, Kevin Breuninger, Tucker Higgins, Brian Schwartz, Dan Mangan, Kevin Stankiewicz and Tom Franck contributed to this live blog.