By Apsara Senaratne
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020, otherwise known as Super Tuesday, was a day crucial to presidential candidates’ electability. In delegate-rich states such as California, Texas, and North Carolina, residents rushed to polls or sent in their ballots by mail to vote for the future nominee of the Democratic party.
This year, it pushed into the spotlight two strong candidates to win the nomination, one of whom Democrats hope to back in order to ensure the defeat of the current President of the United States and de facto Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
Joe Biden, a candidate who began his run as a strong contender for the nomination due to his support of former President Barack Obama’s policies and his two-term tenure as Vice President of the United States to Obama, had prior to his surprising South Carolina win become a longtime straggler in the race. Biden’s poor debate performance as well as his struggle to articulate political stances has rendered Democrats hesitant to back him, though his moderate policies made him a more feasible option for the nominee.
Super Tuesday marked an astounding turnaround for Biden, winning him middle-age and older working-class Democratic voters as well as the majority of African American voters. Biden has since won 860 delegates, while Sanders has won 710; the total number of delegates required to win a nomination is 1,991, and 2,582 delegates are still at stake. Prior to Super Tuesday, major moderate candidates Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar suspended their campaigns lending their support to Biden. He has since been endorsed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, all of whom were former Democratic presidential candidates. Elizabeth Warren, who dropped out of the race following Super Tuesday, has declined to back either candidate.
While support for Sanders, a self-named Democratic socialist, remains strong among younger groups and ethnic minorities. It is largely his massive campaign efforts that have gained him such a strong and vocal following. On the other hand, Biden on Super Tuesday won states in which he did not campaign or advertise, as a result of his overwhelming support from African American and older Americans.
In a CNN broadcast this weekend, loyal Sanders supporters admitted that if Biden were to win the nomination, they would ultimately back Biden for the greater purpose of ousting the current president, rising above their personal beliefs to achieve a broader victory for democracy and for our country. It has become clear that in the process of uniting as a party, many Democrats have begun to admit to Sanders’ inability to appeal to older and working-class Americans, who make up the bulk of Biden’s support and of the Democratic voting pool.
Though many of these younger supporters are thoroughly unwilling to unite with Biden supporters and vice versa unless absolutely necessary, the overwhelming anger that many voters feel towards the Trump administration contributes a unique sense of desperation to the Democrats’ collective campaign against Trump. As the third “Super Tuesday” comes around, Democrats must carefully consider which candidate is capable of reliably carrying the Democratic party to victory against an incompetent and poisonous president; that we, as a country, are slowly realizing the urgency of preventing another disastrous Trump presidency should be impetus enough to form a united front behind the best candidate for nominee.