Former Vice President Joe Biden continued his impressive comeback Tuesday night with wins in at least four states thanks to support from moderate and liberal Democrats as well as those who want the nominee to be someone who can beat President Trump, according to exit polls.
Biden defeated Bernie Sanders in Michigan, Idaho, Mississippi and Missouri, while Sanders claimed North Dakota. Washington state was too close to call.
“We share a common goal,” Biden said during a victory celebration. “And together we’ll defeat Donald Trump. We’ll defeat him together. We’ll bring this nation together.”
After losing the first three states on the Democratic calendar (Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada) Biden has roared back thanks, in part, to liberal voters – Sanders’ base – supporting the former vice president.
Self-described liberals comprise 61 percent of Michigan’s Democratic primary, but Biden won 47 percent to Sanders’ 47 percent in that category, according to exit polls. Biden also won 66 percent of Michigan Democrats who are self-described moderates.
Missouri saw a similar pattern, where 61 percent of Democrats are liberal and Biden won 52 percent of them. (Biden won 73 percent of the moderate vote in Missouri.)
Democrats want to nominate someone who can defeat Trump, according to exit polls.
By a margin of 58-37 percent, Democrats in Michigan said they want to nominate someone who “can beat Trump” over someone who “agrees with you on the issues.” Biden won the majority of voters in the former category, while Sanders claimed the majority of support in the latter category.
Similarly, a majority of voters in Missouri, Mississippi and Washington state said it’s more important that the nominee be someone who can beat Trump, according to exit polls. (Exit polls were not conducted in Idaho and North Dakota.)
Sanders on Wednesday said he is not dropping out and urged the Democratic Party to appeal to the younger voters who have backed him.
“In order to win in the future, you need to win the voters who represent the future of our country. And you must speak to the issues of concern to them,” he said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Scott Olson/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.