Former Vice President Joe Biden was considered an also-ran only a few days ago. But he mounted a remarkable comeback on Tuesday, winning primaries in nine states across the country, including the key battleground state of Texas.
“They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing,” Biden said to supporters in Los Angeles. “For those who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign… I’m here to report, we are very much alive!”
Biden swept the South, winning Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas. He also won Oklahoma, and scored surprising victories in Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Sen. Bernie Sanders — the clear frontrunner until Tuesday night — held on to support in the West, winning the primaries in Utah and Colorado. He was also leading in California.
“Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we are gonna win the Democratic nomination, and we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country,” Sanders told supporters in Burlington, Vt. “It is our campaign, our movement which is best positioned to defeat Trump. You cannot beat Trump with the same-old, same-old kind of politics.”
Sanders was also declared the winner in Vermont. His campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, told supporters in a fundraising email that the numbers would improve as the night went on.
“It’s going to be a good night for us when it’s all said and done,” he said.
The biggest prize is California, where the Sanders campaign expects to score a win with the aid of Latinos and young voters. The Sanders campaign filed for an injunction seeking to have polls stay open past 8 p.m., citing long lines. Dean Logan, the county Registrar-Recorder, said that voting centers would remain open long enough to allow anyone who arrived before 8 p.m. to vote.
There were also reports of long lines in Texas, even after polls were supposed to have closed. Sanders held an early lead in Texas, but Biden overtook him with about 70% of the vote counted. NBC News and the New York Times projected Biden as the winner around 1 a.m. CT.
Biden’s rally, held at the Baldwin Hills Recreation Center, was briefly interrupted by two protesters who rushed the stage. The women appeared to be animal rights activists, and one held a sign saying “Let Dairy Die.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, finished third in her native Massachusetts. At a rally early in the evening in Detroit, Mich., she urged voters to tune out pundits’ predictions.
“Prediction has been a terrible business,” she said. “The pundits have gotten it wrong over and over… Here’s my advice: cast a vote that will make you proud. Cast a vote from your heart. Vote for the person you think will make the best president of the United States.”
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, appeared on the ballot for the first time on Tuesday. After spending $500 million on ads, he was running either third or fourth in every state in early returns, though he did pick up a win in American Samoa.
Bloomberg spoke to a crowd in Palm Beach, Fla., where he said he had proven that he could “win the voters who will decide the general election.”
NBC reported that he would reassess his campaign on Wednesday morning.
Biden seemed left for dead after he finished fourth and fifth in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively. But he has revived his campaign over the last 72 hours, following a blowout win in South Carolina on Saturday. On Monday, he picked up endorsements from three former candidates — Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke.
On Wednesday, Biden is set to attend a Hollywood fundraiser at the home of Sherry Lansing. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum, are co-hosting the event.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was projected to come in second in her home turf of American Samoa, and take one delegate from the territory.