With votes still being counted in Washington and North Dakota, here’s the total delegate count for the March 10 Democratic primary contests so far, powered by results from our partners at Decision Desk and the Virginia Center for Politics.
Voters in six states — Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, North Dakota, and Washington — headed to the polls Tuesday, with approximately 9 percent of national pledged delegates at stake.
As of Wednesday morning, the race has been called for former Vice President Joe Biden in Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, and Idaho. Here are the pledged delegates awarded so far:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden: 163 delegates
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 97 delegates
The results will be updated as more results come in.
Candidates have to earn 1,991 pledged delegates of the 3,979 available to clinch the nomination. The easiest way to do that, as Vox’s Andrew Prokop explained, is to run up large margins in individual states:
In the Democratic contest, it’s not just about winning states, it’s about how much you win by and how much of the vote you get in both states and congressional districts. There are no winner-take-all states; instead, all delegates are awarded proportionally.
Going into Tuesday, Biden had a slim delegate lead on Sanders, having netted 608 delegates to the Vermont senator’s 532, by Decision Desk’s estimates. The delegates Biden has won so far will make it mathematically difficult (though still not impossible) for Sanders to catch up to his rival. But as Prokop again explained, the way the primary calendar is arranged this year will make Sanders’s effort to narrow Biden’s delegate advantage even more of an uphill battle:
This coming Tuesday, March 10, features six contests (Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho, and North Dakota). The following Tuesday, March 17, features four (Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio). Then on March 24 is Georgia.
That is a lot of big states in a very short period. Right now, 62 percent of delegates in the Democratic contest are still up for grabs, but after March 24, only 36 percent will be left.
Even more worryingly for Sanders, Biden is currently favored to win big in some of these states — most notably Florida and Georgia.
And if Biden does as well in Florida and Georgia as he did in Virginia and North Carolina, just those two states would result in a Biden +110 net delegate advantage — more than doubling his lead, and putting it into the “likely insurmountable” territory.
So while Tuesday’s contests likely won’t be the end of the primary cycle, they may spell serious trouble for Sanders if Biden can continue to decisively build his lead in the delegate count.