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The center holds: Biden thrives on Super Tuesday

With huge African American backing, Biden surges. But Bernie still wins in the west

Joe Biden doesn’t have the organization that Bernie Sanders has behind him. He doesn’t have the money that Michael Bloomberg has. But he does have ‘Joementum’ and that could be all that matters. It’s been more than enough for him on Super Tuesday so far.

Having had his campaign written off in almost all media quarters, Biden suddenly finds himself with the kind of ‘comeback narrative’ energy that wins elections. Bloomberg’s expensive experts can only look on jealously: Bloomberg has. Bernie Sanders had invested quite a lot of time and money in Virginia, the first state to announce results. But with Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropping out, it seems Biden has hovered up the vast majority of their support.

Moreover, Biden’s ability to win over a large majority of black voters is impressive — exit polls suggest that 60 percent plus of African Americans in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia backed Biden. Like Bill Clinton, he has some connection to black voters that white people struggle to understand. It could be religion: Biden is a man of faith, Sanders is not. It could be that black voters are less interested in socialism and more interested in beating Donald Trump. It could be something else.

Biden not only the south: he pulled off an upset in Texas. The Democrats’ winner-doesn’t-take-all delegate system also means that his better-than-expected showing in California could help him. The reforms that were meant to be make the race fairer after 2016 could end up hurting Sanders in 2020.

There are 99 delegates up for grabs in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where it appears Biden has benefited from the capitulation and endorsement of fellow so-called ‘moderate’ Democrats, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. Ahead of the vote, he had led Sanders by 17.5 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Northern Virginia is home to a number of government employees, contractors and lobbyists, many of whom would baulk at the prospect of having to vote for a democratic socialist, while reviling President Trump.

Sanders has won his home state of Vermont, Colorado and Utah. And the nomination is still going to be a close contest thanks to his victory in California, the night’s biggest prize.

Biden, meanwhile, has cruised to victory in Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Tennessee. More significantly, he edged out Sanders in Texas too. July’s convention in Milwaukee is set to be a ruckus. Thank the Lord there’ll be plenty of beer.

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