Biden wins Maine, gets Bloomberg endorsement

As Biden's campaign strengthens, Trump's team looks at altering its plan

(AP/Gray News) — Joe Biden notched his 10th Super Tuesday victory by winning Maine’s Democratic presidential primary.

The state was called Wednesday afternoon for Biden and has 24 delegates at stake. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said turnout was higher than he had anticipated.

It was the state’s first presidential primary in 20 years. Maine last used primaries in 1996 and 2000 and then switched to the caucus system for the next four presidential election cycles.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders handily won Maine’s Democratic caucuses in 2016.

Biden also won Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, while Sanders captured California, Colorado, Utah and Vermont.

Many Democratic voters in Super Tuesday’s presidential primaries made up their minds just before casting a ballot — a sign of fluidity in a race recently upended by Biden’s blowout in South Carolina.

The share of late deciders ranged from about a quarter of voters in Texas to roughly half in Minnesota, according to AP VoteCast surveys of voters in several Super Tuesday contests.

Moderate and conservative voters in each state were slightly more likely than their liberal counterparts to delay a decision to the last minute.

The indecision shows voters grappling with their choices in a race that is changing quickly.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and has endorsed Biden.

“Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump," Bloomberg said in a statement. “Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.”

It was a stunning collapse for the former New York City mayor, who had pinned his 2020 hopes on the Super Tuesday states and drained more than $500 million from his own fortune into his ultimately unsuccessful campaign.

Bloomberg announced his departure Wednesday after a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday in the slate of states that account for almost one-third of the total delegates available in the Democratic nominating contest.

“I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs," Bloomberg said.

“I’ve had the chance to work with Joe on those issues over the years, and Joe has fought for working people his whole life. Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States."

Mainstream Dems express relief at Biden presidential upsurge

Some of his former Democratic rivals had coalesced around Biden as the moderate alternative to Sanders.

And Mainstream Democrats are rejoicing over the rousing Super Tuesday performance by Biden.

Many of the party’s centrists are nervous that should self-proclaimed socialist Sanders win the presidential nomination, it will threaten the party’s office holders in the House and Senate.

Now, many say they’re encouraged by Biden’s string of victories on Tuesday.

But liberals are not giving up on Sanders, who they say is unjustly having to battle against the fear his opponents are sowing about him.

Sanders lashed back in a news conference in Vermont.

He declared himself in a “neck-and-neck” race with Biden, despite the former vice president’s overwhelming support from the Democratic establishment.

In 2016, Sanders promised a revolution. In 2020, he promised a coalition broad enough to make it happen.

Elections across the country on Super Tuesday showed where he’s falling short.

For all his early success in the Democratic primary, including a decisive California victory on Tuesday, AP VoteCast surveys show that Sanders is struggling to expand his support beyond his core base.

He’s failing to bring in African Americans, women, suburbanites, older and college-educated voters in numbers he’d need to secure the nomination.

It’s unclear how long it will take for Democrats to decide whether Biden or Sanders will be their standard-bearer.

Warren reevaluates presidential bid

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is reassessing her candidacy as the winnowing process in the Democrats’ 2020 nomination fight lurched forward after a consequential Super Tuesday.

Warren was huddling with her campaign team, trying to determine if there was a reason to stay in the race after her Super Tuesday wipe-out.

An aide to the Massachusetts senator said she was speaking to staffers and assessing the path forward.

The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign moves.

Warren’s White House run was in serious doubt after she finished a surprisingly weak third in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in her home state of Massachusetts.

That disappointing result — and a decidedly underwhelming showing in other Super Tuesday contests — marked a striking collapse for the onetime favorite of progressives.

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