With its 125 delegates, Michigan is the biggest prize of the March 10 primaries.
It’s also one of the most fiercely contested elections on Tuesday night: Sen. Bernie Sanders had a surprise win here in 2016 after most polls showed him losing to Hillary Clinton by double digits. Polls in the state have shown a similarly lopsided lead for former Vice President Joe Biden in recent days.
In addition to having the largest number of delegates, Michigan is also important symbolically; it’s one of the key Midwestern states Democrats are desperate to win back from President Donald Trump during the November general election. The victor here can make an electability argument going into the fall.
Some polls in the state close at 7 pm CT / 8 pm ET; the rest will close at 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. The state was also accepting absentee ballots until 4 pm on Monday, March 9.
Vox will be covering the results live Tuesday night and until the race is called. It could take a while until we find out which candidate was successful; Michigan election officials are anticipating delays in reporting results Tuesday night owing to the over 800,000 absentee ballots that have been submitted so far, according to NBC News. The Michigan secretary of state is anticipating not having final results until Wednesday, per MLive.
What we know about who will win
A slew of recent polls in Michigan largely showed Biden with a commanding lead. But Sanders has been in this situation before, in 2016.
A Monday Monmouth University poll found Biden ahead of Sanders by 15 points, and a Data for Progress poll released the same day showed Biden 21 points ahead. Earlier polls by Mitchell Research and EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press in the days before Tuesday showed Biden 21 points and 24 points ahead of Sanders in the state, respectively.
It’s important to note that Sanders pulled off an upset win in the 2016 primary after polls showed him 21 points behind Clinton. But while those polls had not accounted for the young voters who make up much of Sanders’s enthusiastic base, the 2020 polls have been adjusted to account for young voters.