2020 Democratic Primary: Live Updates on Super Tuesday Eve


Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Democracy for America, the progressive group that started the “Run Warren Run” movement to persuade Elizabeth Warren to run in the 2016 presidential election, will spurn her candidacy to endorse her progressive rival: Bernie Sanders.

The group polled its members, and nearly 80 percent of the 38,000 votes came in for Mr. Sanders — well over the supermajority necessary for the group to endorse. It comes after many progressive groups rallied around Mr. Sanders in recent months, and he has had a strong showing in early-voting states, while Ms. Warren has languished in the second tier of candidates.

“Bernie Sanders has built a powerful multiracial, multi-generational movement and we’re excited to join the campaign at this critical moment in the Democratic race,” Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America’s chair, said in a statement. “From Super Tuesday to the Democratic convention in Milwaukee, we’ll be working every day to make sure Bernie wins the most votes, the most delegates and the most states nationwide to become the Democratic nominee.”

When Ms. Warren declined to run in 2016, Democracy for America eventually backed Mr. Sanders’s candidacy, raising more than $2 million for him and organizing about 120,000 volunteer shifts, according to the group’s estimates. With the name recognition and grass-roots base Mr. Sanders’s 2016 run has afforded him, Ms. Warren has struggled to cut into his base of progressive support.

Mr. Sanders released a statement thanking Democracy for America for its endorsement, saying “real change never comes from the top on down but from the bottom on up.”

“I’m proud to have the support of Democracy for America,” he said. “Together, we will build a movement that sweeps Donald Trump out of the White House and transforms this country so that it works for the working class.”


Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Elizabeth Warren released a plan on Monday outlining how she would combat the spread of coronavirus as president, an attempt to project preparedness amid a primary in which her political stock has fallen.

Ms. Warren, who rose to the top of the Democratic field last year by releasing a slew of policies, detailed several steps her prospective administration would take at the moment, including an emergency paid-leave program for anyone who shows symptoms, a $400 billion stimulus package to curb potential economic impacts, and efforts to ensure every American — including the uninsured — had access to care and any forthcoming vaccine.

Ms. Warren first previewed these steps in a speech in Houston over the weekend, and she released a plan to contain and treat infectious disease outbreaks about a month ago.

In Houston, Ms. Warren sought to contrast her detail-oriented approach with that of the president, who, she said “has already shown he’s not up to the task.”

The speech came the same day as the results in the South Carolina primary, in which Ms. Warren finished in fifth place. In it, she bluntly hit her rivals — Michael R. Bloomberg, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Bernie Sanders.

“This crisis demands more than a billionaire mayor,” she said, referring to Mr. Bloomberg, “whose track record as mayor shows he’ll govern to protect himself and his rich friends over everyone else.”

Of Mr. Biden, she said: “This crisis demands more than a former vice president so eager to cut deals with Mitch McConnell and the Republicans that he’ll trade good ideas for bad ones.”

She also dismissed Mr. Sanders: “This crisis demands more than a senator who has good ideas, but whose 30-year track record shows he consistently calls for things he fails to get done, and consistently opposes things he nevertheless fails to stop.”


WASHINGTON — Michael R. Bloomberg touted his strong ties to the Jewish community on Monday morning, using a morning address at a pro-Israel group to decry a growing wave of anti-Semitism and express his unqualified support for the Jewish state.

In remarks before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference in Washington, the former New York mayor stressed his personal relationship with the Jewish community, saying that he grew up in a kosher home, named wings of Israeli hospitals for his parents, and that his sister, Marjorie, attended the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh years before an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 people in a mass shooting there.

He also drew a sharp contrast with Bernie Sanders — the other Jewish candidate in the race — questioning the Vermont senator’s commitment to Israel. Unlike Mr. Sanders, who boycotted the event, Mr. Bloomberg lent his support to a wish-list of the group’s priorities: fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, keeping the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and opposing conditions on military aid to Israel.

Never before has a presidential race featured two Jewish candidates and the differences between the two men on Israel and foreign policy issues are striking. Their divide reflects the uncomfortable debate roiling Jewish Democrats who feel divided between traditional liberal American Jewish values and the political realities of an Israeli government that’s embraced hard-line policies and a deep alliance with President Trump.

“We can disagree with specific policy positions of presidents from both sides of the aisle without resorting to personal attacks or trying to claim Israel as the exclusive domain of one political party,” he said. “Israel should never be a football that American politicians kick around in an effort to score points.”

In a speech at a prominent synagogue near Miami last month, Mr. Bloomberg spoke directly to Jewish Americans who may worry that progressive Democratic front-runners have too sharply criticized Israel, or who may dislike some of Mr. Trump’s agenda but support his Israel policy.

In Washington, he cast anti-Semitism as part of a “rising tide of hatred” against immigrants, Muslims, black Americans, women and the L.G.B.T.Q. community.

“The fact is: Attacks on Jews have been taking place with horrifying regularity,” he said. “When hatred against Jews rises, so too does hatred against the world’s only Jewish state and Israel always ends up paying the price.”

Like Mr. Sanders, Mr. Bloomberg is a secular Jew who has not been particularly religiously observant. But he has turned to his Jewish roots in past campaigns, as in his 2005 mayoral re-election campaign when he addressed Hasidic Jews in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on a stage dotted with blue balloons that read “Mike the Mensch.”


Credit…Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

President Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee said on Monday that they had collectively raised more than $86 million in February.

They have $225 million in cash on hand, officials said.

The numbers were announced as the campaign has been eying the massive sums of money spent by Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, who is running in the Democratic primary.

Mr. Trump’s donors and advisers have discussed whether they need to accelerate their fund-raising efforts in light of Mr. Bloomberg’s spending, which his aides have indicated will continue on behalf of whoever is the Democratic nominee.

Mr. Trump’s donors were pleased by the numbers posted for February.

“Trump has an avalanche of cash pouring in,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor, as he pointed to the durable tumult on the Democratic side. “The Democrats are still trying to push a rock uphill.”


Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Michael R. Bloomberg attacked Bernie Sanders by name Monday morning in a speech to a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, highlighting criticism Mr. Sanders has leveled at the group and accusing him of having weakened the relationship between the United States and Israel.

In remarks Monday morning at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference in Washington, Mr. Bloomberg noted that some of his Democratic rivals had not attended one of the group’s conferences before. He singled out Mr. Sanders, who has expressed concern about “the platform Aipac provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”

Mr. Sanders, Mr. Bloomberg said, had “spent 30 years boycotting this event,” adding, “as you’ve heard by now, he called Aipac a racist platform.”

“Well, let me tell you, he’s dead wrong,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity, and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

“The reality is: Aipac doesn’t fuel hatred. Aipac works to combat it — and the violence that it can produce,” he continued. “And if more elected officials spoke to the people here, they’d understand that.”


How much does California matter on Super Tuesday? A lot. Some 415 pledged delegates will be rewarded based on the results in California — the biggest haul of any state in the country and more than all four early states combined.

With so much still unclear in the race, what happens in the country’s most populous, and arguably most liberal, state will play a key role in who becomes the nominee and ultimately shape the fate of the Democratic Party. We’ve put together a guide to the race in California, laying out what the polls show, who’s gotten big endorsements, the demographics of the state’s voters and expected turnout.

Take a look:

What to Watch For in California on Super Tuesday

Everything you need to know ahead of the California primary.

March 2, 2020


Credit…Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune, via Associated Press

Pete Buttigieg is weighing whether to endorse Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the presidential primary race, according to a Democratic official familiar with his thinking.

Mr. Buttigieg spoke with Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama on Sunday night, according to the official. Mr. Biden asked for Mr. Buttigieg’s support and the former mayor indicated he would consider the request.

Mr. Buttigieg wanted to sleep on the decision, he told aides, some of whom believe he should move quickly to endorse Mr. Biden.

Mr. Obama did not specifically encourage Mr. Buttigieg to endorse Mr. Biden, said the official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations. But Mr. Obama did note that Mr. Buttigieg had considerable leverage at the moment and should think about how best to use it.

Should Mr. Buttigieg endorse Mr. Biden on Monday and many of his supporters shift to Mr. Biden on Super Tuesday, it could reshape the Democratic primary, creating a more formidable centrist challenge to Bernie Sanders’s progressive bid.

Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in South Carolina has given him a new chance to retake control of the Democratic presidential primary, opening a space for him to assert the fundamental strengths of his candidacy: his experience; his reassuring and empathetic image; and, most of all, his close bond with African-American voters, who are a cornerstone of the Democratic coalition. These are the attributes that made him a front-runner 10 months ago, and they made him a landslide winner in South Carolina on Saturday.

But Mr. Biden’s new opening in the race has also come about through a series of fortunate events largely beyond his control — contingencies that hobbled his most formidable competitors for the affections of the political middle, or that eased opposition to Mr. Biden himself in the weeks before South Carolina.

Unlike many candidates who mount political comebacks, Mr. Biden had no breakthrough performance or stirring moment of political synthesis that prompted voters to reassess his candidacy, like Hillary Clinton’s tearful moment in the 2008 New Hampshire primary or Mitt Romney’s masterly filleting of his primary opponents ahead of Florida’s primary in 2012.

Instead, there was a sequence of external circumstances that thwarted Mr. Biden’s rivals and revived his campaign. There was the vote-counting fiasco in Iowa that denied Pete Buttigieg a moment of exultant triumph in prime time, leaving the former mayor without the sudden influx of cash and media attention that might have propelled him to victory in New Hampshire and allowed him to displace Mr. Biden as a centrist standard-bearer.

There was the debate in New Hampshire at which Amy Klobuchar set Mr. Buttigieg back on his heels, frustrating his efforts to gain traction without quite achieving an upset win of her own. Had either of them defeated Mr. Sanders in New Hampshire, we could be looking at a transformed race right now; instead, they finished second and third.

There was Michael R. Bloomberg’s national onslaught of television ads that paralyzed most of the Democratic field in the biggest Super Tuesday primaries, pulling votes away from Mr. Biden but hoarding them for Mr. Bloomberg rather than one of his competitors in the early states.

And then there was Mr. Bloomberg’s calamitous debate performance in Las Vegas, where in the space of two hours Elizabeth Warren broke his dearly bought national momentum — loosening the former New York City mayor’s grip on voters who were favorably disposed toward Mr. Biden all along.

All the while, Mr. Biden slogged his way toward South Carolina, where for a combination of African-Americans and moderate white voters he was ultimately the only desirable option. And for many, he was a very desirable option, indeed: If his numbers plunged after his humiliating losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former vice president never fell below the midteens in national polls, and no other moderate candidate ever really overtook him. Mr. Biden hunkered down and waited for the map to turn in his favor, and it did.

That last-man-standing approach has given Mr. Biden his best shot in months to take control of the race and organize moderates into a wall of opposition against Mr. Sanders. Mr. Buttigieg’s withdrawal from the race on Sunday — another happy surprise for Mr. Biden — served as powerful confirmation that the basic dynamics of the campaign have changed.

But the strategy of patient endurance that worked for Mr. Biden in South Carolina may not allow him to best Mr. Sanders in a long campaign. And Mr. Biden can no longer count on a dynamic that has been one of his greatest assets in recent weeks — his rivals’ lack of interest in challenging him directly.


It’s the day before the most consequential day of the Democratic presidential primary, when voters in 14 states will go to the polls, and the race looks very different from how it did at the start of the weekend.

With his landslide win in South Carolina, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has asserted himself as the leading alternative to Bernie Sanders, and has a few dozen new endorsements to prove it. Tom Steyer, who poured tens of millions of dollars from his fortune into the early states, has dropped out, raising serious questions about the effectiveness of saturation advertising. And Pete Buttigieg, sensing that discretion is the better part of valor, also dropped out rather than face a series of embarrassing losses on Super Tuesday.

Each of these three developments carries implications for Tuesday’s contests.

A rallying around Mr. Biden by moderate Democrats could cement him as the candidate best positioned to defeat Mr. Sanders, and chase other contenders out of the race.

If television ads aren’t delivering votes, as they didn’t for Mr. Steyer, then Michael R. Bloomberg may not have much to show for his $500 million spending onslaught in Super Tuesday states.

And where Mr. Buttigieg’s supporters line up on Tuesday could help determine whether Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar win enough delegates to carry on.

Will any of those candidates score big upsets on Tuesday? Or will Mr. Sanders have built an insurmountable advantage by this time Wednesday morning? There’s one day left before we start to find out.

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