By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – Progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win California, which boasts more delegates than any other state, on Super Tuesday as former Vice President Joe Biden racked up a series of wins across the American South and Midwest.
Sanders Tuesday evening took his home state of Vermont, as well as Colorado and Utah, according to projections made by Fox News. But he looks set to importantly continue to seize on a wave of momentum among Latino Americans with his project win in California, and a strong showing in Texas where he is tightly contesting the vote with Biden.
Both states are home to strong Hispanic populations.
Addressing supporters in Vermont, Sanders maintained his campaign is uniquely positioned to defeat President Donald Trump come November.
“It is our movement that is best positioned to defeat Trump. You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics," Sanders said.
"What we need is a new kind of politics that brings working class people into our political movement, which brings young people into our political movement, and which in November will create the highest voter turnout in American political history.”
Biden, meanwhile, made a strong showing in the American South where he is projected to win Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma — states in which he holds strong support among black voters.
He is also projected to win the midwestern state of Minnesota, one day after Amy Klobuchar, the state's senator, abruptly ended her campaign and called on supporters to back him.
"It’s still early, but things are looking awful, awful good. For those that have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign,” Biden told supporters in Los Angeles.
Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg is projected to win the U.S. territory of American Samoa after skipping the primary season's first four races in the hopes of making a resounding electoral statement on Super Tuesday. But reports have indicated that after his tepid showing he is set to reassess his participation in the race.
In a major blow to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Biden is set to take top place in her home state with Sanders taking second. Warren is on track to finish in third, increasing questions about the viability of her campaign.
Candidates apportioned delegates on a proportional basis so long as they clear a 15% threshold, meaning even a second or third-place finish in a state could still be vitally important in the tightly-contested race for the nomination.
A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination at the party's convention in July.
The race has been too close to call in Maine as Biden and Sanders wrangle for the top spot and Warren trailing far behind.
Still, Biden and Sanders' strong showings on the most pivotal day in the months-long campaign season could very make the quest for the nomination a two-man race.