Biden hopes to blunt Sanders momentum

Updated 04 Mar 2020

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“Today’s the day!” tweeted Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president who is making his third bid for the White House. “Make sure to get out and vote.” — AP/File
“Today’s the day!” tweeted Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president who is making his third bid for the White House. “Make sure to get out and vote.” — AP/File

HOUSTON: Americans were voting in 14 states on Tuesday with Joe Biden counting on a wave of endorsements by other moderate candidates to help blunt the momentum of leftist frontrunner Bernie Sanders and catapult him atop the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren were also on the ballot as voters from Maine to California trooped to the polls on Super Tuesday to decide who will face Donald Trump in November.

“Today’s the day!” tweeted Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president who is making his third bid for the White House. “Make sure to get out and vote.”

After disappointing finishes in the first three contests, Biden revived his flagging campaign with a landslide win in South Carolina on Saturday and is hoping the energy from that victory carries over into Super Tuesday.

A total of 1,357 delegates are at stake on Tuesday and Biden needs a good performance to prevent Sanders from taking a potentially insurmountable lead ahead of the next contests.

A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the nomination at the party convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July. Biden’s hopes received a major boost on Monday when he received the endorsements of three of his defeated rivals for the nomination.

The Democratic establishment is desperate to unite around a centrist candidate who can triumph over Sanders, who they see as too far to the left to represent the party against Trump.

Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, threw his support behind Biden a day after quitting the race himself.

Biden also delivered a tough message intended to warn voters away from Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who has called for a “political revolution” in America. Biden took the stage at another rally with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who also endorsed him for president. By endorsing Biden, Klobuchar could deprive Sanders of a large delegate claim in her home state of Minnesota on Tuesday.

The trio of endorsements could be political gold for a resurgent Biden. His campaign was on life support after Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, but he is suddenly the main challenger to Sanders on the biggest day of the primary campaign.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2020