Democrats have waited three years for a winner to call their own and take on President Donald Trump. On Super Tuesday, Joe Biden laid his claim to becoming their champion.
He won across the Deep South, showing his appeal with black voters at the heart of the party, and claimed victory in Minnesota, a predominantly white Rust Belt state in Trump’s cross-hairs this November.
He won the rich, highly educated suburbanites in Virginia and North Carolina who waffled for months over which candidate to support. He also scored an upset in Massachusetts, the home state of one rival and in the backyard of another.
And late in the night, Biden laid claim to another upset, this time in Texas — the second-biggest delegate trove — and remained ahead in Maine, states that seemed hopelessly out of reach just days ago.
In politics, you have to win to win. And in the crucial Super Tuesday primaries in 14 U.S. states, Biden did just that, and Democratic voters singularly obsessed with defeating Trump finally began coalescing around their candidate.
Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg ended his presidential campaign Wednesday after failing to persuade Democratic voters he was the best choice to defeat President Donald Trump despite record spending that topped a half-billion dollars.
In a statement, Bloomberg said he was endorsing Joe Biden.
“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
Bloomberg had staked his candidacy on gaining a critical mass of delegates on Super Tuesday and subsequent races, after taking the never-before-tried path of skipping the first four contests. But he decided to drop out after he failed to collect enough delegates to continue being a serious contender.
“Three months ago, I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.”– Michael Bloomberg
He has vowed to keep spending money and put the formidable infrastructure he built for his campaign in key battleground states at the service of the nominee. But the statement Wednesday made no mention of that.
When he announced his candidacy, Bloomberg told his employees he would step away from running the company during the campaign, turning over the day-to-day operation to a management committee. After he finished serving three terms as New York mayor in 2013, Bloomberg returned to the company he founded.
Bloomberg reconsidered a decision last year not to run for president in 2020, saying the weakness of other centrist candidates like Biden compelled him to join the fray. Biden dominated the Super Tuesday vote, winning nine states of 14. Bloomberg earned 43 delegates Tuesday but won only American Samoa.
He also flooded the television airwaves with more than $550 million in advertising over the course of his candidacy, all self-funded. Nearly 60% of Americans said they had seen one of his television or digital ads, polls showed.
He has spent at least $687 million total on his campaign.