Not Quite a Sweep for Biden

By Jim Ellis

March 11, 2020 — Former vice president Joe Biden expanded his lead for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he didn’t quite deliver the knockout blow that many predicted.

He racked up big percentages over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Michigan (53-37 percent), the biggest delegate prize of the night with 125 bound first-ballot votes, Mississippi (81-15 percent), and Missouri (60-35 percent), and carried Idaho with a smaller margin (49-43 percent), but looks to have fallen short in North Dakota (42-49 percent), and Washington (33-33 percent).

Biden earned an approximate total of 211 bound first-ballot delegates as opposed to Sen. Sanders’ projected 138, as the following unofficial list suggests (updated vote totals as reported in the Daily Kos Elections website; delegate projections from The Green Papers website):

Idaho (99% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 48.9%
Sanders …………….. 42.5%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 20
Biden ……………….. 11
Sanders …………….. 9
Turnout: …………… 103,577   |   2016 Turnout: 23,884 (caucus)


Michigan (99% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 52.9%
Sanders …………….. 36.5%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 125
Biden ……………….. 73
Sanders …………….. 52
Turnout: …………… 1,557,615   |   2016 Turnout: 1,205,552


Mississippi (98% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 81.0%
Sanders …………….. 14.9%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 36
Biden ……………….. 34
Sanders …………….. 2
Turnout: …………… 262,252   |   2016 Turnout: 227,164


Missouri (100% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 60.1%
Sanders 34.6%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 68
Biden ……………….. 44
Sanders …………….. 24
Turnout: …………… 664,305   |   2016 Turnout: 629,425


North Dakota (78% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 42.4%
Sanders …………….. 48.5%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 14
Biden ……………….. 6
Sanders …………….. 8
Caucus: North Dakota does not report caucus turnout figures


Washington (67% reporting – all mail vote)

Biden ……………….. 32.5%
Sanders …………….. 32.7%
Warren ……………… 12.3%
Bloomberg …………. 11.1%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 89 (projected results)
Biden ……………….. 43
Sanders ……………….. 43
Bloomberg …………. 2
Warren ……………….. 1
Turnout: …………… 1,024,530 (in progress)   |   2016 Turnout: 26,314 (Caucus)


The delegate figures could change to a degree once the final numbers are tabulated. Though just a few votes remain in Mississippi, Sen. Sanders could still reach the 15 percent mark (current total: 14.9 percent), which would slightly change the delegate total. Should the final votes allow him to reach 15 percent statewide, the delegate ratio would change from Biden 34-2, to Biden leading 32-4.

Both former candidates Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren look to have picked up a stray delegate vote at this point in the counting in several of Washington’s congressional district allocations. A candidate receives congressional district delegates when they exceed the 15 percent vote threshold in a particular CD.

Turnout was up in every state, though North Dakota does not report participation figures from their caucus system and both Idaho and Washington switched from holding precinct caucuses to primaries. Therefore, the turnout in both of the latter states would naturally increase substantially.

Washington conducts its elections completely through the mail, and it is legal to postmark a ballot on Election Day. Therefore, it will be several days before the Evergreen State’s final totals become known.

Updated National Delegate Standing (The Green Papers’ national projection):
Biden …………….. 892
Sanders …………. 746
Warren ………….. 81
Bloomberg ……… 81
Buttigieg ………… 27
Klobuchar ……….. 7
Gabbard …………. 2
Unassigned ……… 69

Most of the above delegate numbers are subject to change pending the final vote totals being reported in the various states. We still could see a significant alteration in the Washington count since only two-thirds of its votes are tabulated at this point. The national count figure reflects Sen. Sanders not qualifying for at-large delegates in Mississippi, but that could change if the final count pushes him above 15 percent, which is still possible. He did receive two congressional district delegates in the Magnolia State.

Overall, Biden is quickly approaching majority support, as his overall bound delegate total is 46.8 percent of the delegate pool from the 25 states that have now voted. Sen. Sanders’ total translates into 39.2 percent of the total allotment to date.

Should the polling for next week’s primary prove accurate, Biden should well exceed 50 percent nationally at that time since he is currently enjoying strong projected leads in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio. Though the race continues, Biden is well on his way to securing the Democratic presidential nomination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.