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Super Tuesday live updates: Sanders wins California, Biden takes Texas, Bloomberg drops out

San Francisco Chronicle logo San Francisco Chronicle 3/4/2020 By Dustin Gardiner and John Wildermuth

Voters in California and 13 other states cast ballots Tuesday in races headlined by the Democratic presidential primary contest. Complete San Francisco, Bay Area and California results are on The Chronicle’s Super Tuesday results page.

Here’s the latest:

7:15 a.m. Bloomberg suspends campaign, endorses Biden: Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday morning he has suspended his presidential campaign and plans to endorse Joe Biden.

4:15 a.m. Sanders’ lead in California grows: Bernie Sanders’ collected 33% of the vote in California while Joe Biden trailed in second place with 24% of the vote with 93% of precincts reporting. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in third place with 14.7%.

11:44 p.m. It’s a runoff for a Los Angeles congressional seat: Voters in the 25th Congressional District, which straddles Los Angeles and Ventura counties, got to vote twice Tuesday, once for the two candidates who will face off in November and again for the person who will finish the remaining term of former Democrat Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned in November in the wake of a scandal. The two races shared the same winners. Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith finished on top, followed by GOP businessman Mike Garcia. But since neither pulled a majority in the race for the unexpired term, they will meet again in a May 12 runoff. The biggest loser in the contest was former GOP Rep. Steve Knight, who finished third in both contests.

11:17 p.m. Biden wins Texas: Joe Biden shocked Bernie Sanders in Texas, winning a state that polls had indicated the Vermont senator had a strong chance of winning. Texas was the second-biggest Super Tuesday prize after California.

10:50 p.m. Sanders sweeping CA congressional districts: While Bernie Sanders has a solid lead in California’s statewide vote, two-thirds of the state’s delegates go to the winners of each of its 53 congressional districts. Not to worry, Bernie fans. Sanders looks to be sweeping that vote too, leading in all but a couple of districts. Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden are both above the 15% needed to grab delegates in most of those districts, but they’ll have to settle for the second and third spots.

10:38 p.m. Pelosi’s November opponent still unknown: Attorney Shahid Buttar’s progressive challenge to fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi didn’t get very far Tuesday, but he might get a second chance in the fall. While the House Speaker has collected better than 70% of the vote so far, Buttar and Republican John Dennis are in a tight race for the second spot on the November ballot.

10:15 p.m. Republicans doing well in congressional races: Democrats in California flipped seven GOP-held seats in 2018, but the GOP is making a strong bid to take them back. With plenty of votes still outstanding, Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine is the only Democrat holding a lead. A number of those races are close, but in the Central Valley, former GOP Rep. David Valadao is far ahead of Fresno Rep. TJ Cox. In an Orange County rematch, Republican Young Kim of Fullerton has a big lead on Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros. A word of warning, though: Two years ago, Republicans saw early leads evaporate as late votes overwhelmingly favored Democrats.

9:42 p.m. Biden takes surprise lead in Texas: While the race in Texas is still too close to call, Joe Biden has taken a small lead that appears to be growing. With about two-thirds of the precincts reporting, the former vice president has a chance to finish on top in a state that recent polls all had given to Bernie Sanders.

9:30 p.m. No surprise that California’s count is slow: Nearly 90 minutes after the polls closed in California, the secretary of state’s website is reporting that only about 4% of the state’s precincts have reported results. Many voters now cast ballots by mail, so the actual number of votes that have come in is well above that. But a look at congressional and legislative races across the state shows that it’s still way too early to call most of them.

8:55 p.m. Khanna trumpets Sanders’ win: Bernie Sanders’ big win in California came despite having almost no endorsements from major power brokers in the state. One notable exception: Fremont Rep. Ro Khanna, Sanders’ national campaign co-chair. Khanna took to Twitter on Tuesday night to tout the victory, saying he’d been told as the “only CA House member backing Sanders” that his support was a bad political move.

“Our showing is a glimpse of the multicultural coalition that is the future of our party,” Khanna said.

8:40 p.m. Warren shows no signs of quitting: Despite a dismal showing on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave no indications that she plans to withdraw from the race. Warren, who finished a distant third in her home state of Massachusetts, flew to Detroit late Tuesday to hold a rally ahead of Michigan’s primary on March 10. Her campaign also sent a fundraising email to supporters.

“Prediction has been a terrible business and the pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,” Warren told supporters, according to the Associated Press.

8:31 p.m. Does it matter who wins Texas?: Texas, with 228 delegates, is Tuesday’s second-biggest prize, still hasn’t been called hours after the polls closed. But with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden locked in a tight battle at the top, does it really matter who wins? Unlike the November election, where it’s winner take all, the primary is winner take some, with everyone finishing above 15% splitting the delegates. So if the result is close, the leaders win almost the same amount of delegates. The top finisher does gets bragging rights, however, which can count for something.

8:23 p.m. California goes to Sanders: The Associated Press has called California for Bernie Sanders, based on exit polls and a handful of early votes. The question now is how big that victory will be and whether any of the other candidates can crack the 15% barrier to win some statewide delegates. But since about two-thirds of California’s delegates are selected in the state’s 53 congressional districts, the delegate numbers could be a long time coming.

8:17 p.m.: Sanders jumps to early lead in California: The first California results are in, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the field with 26% of the vote. Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is in second place with 20% and former Vice President Joe Biden in third with 18%, with less than 2% of precincts reporting.

8:00 p.m. Polls close in California. The counting is set to begin in California, Super Tuesday’s last and biggest prize with 415 delegates. But it’s important to remember that there are likely to be millions of votes still uncounted after Tuesday night, as election officials deal with mail ballots turned in at the polls on Tuesday and those arriving in the mail as late as Friday. It will probably be days and maybe weeks before the final numbers are available in the state.

7:50 p.m. Biden wins Massachusetts: Joe Biden has won the Massachusetts primary, the Associated Press projects, extending his momentum into progressive New England. Biden has a large margin there, leading Bernie Sanders. The two trounced home state Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is expected to finish a distant third.

7:45 p.m. Bloomberg to reassess campaign: Following a series of poor showings, Mike Bloomberg will reassess Wednesday if he should drop out of the Democratic primary race, the Associated Press has reported, citing an unnamed Bloomberg staffer. The billionaire and former New York mayor staked his campaign on a strong Super Tuesday showing. He has spent more than $500 million on the race, funding an avalanche of campaign ads. So far, the only race he has won is the primary in America Samoa.

7:30 p.m. Sanders wins Utah: Bernie Sanders has won the primary in Utah, the Associated Press projects. Sanders has won three states so far, compared with seven for Joe Biden. Sanders also holds a strong lead in Texas, the second most delegate-rich state of the night, and recent polling suggests Sanders could also perform well in California, the crown jewel of Super Tuesday.

7:25 p.m. Biden celebrates early wins: Joe Biden basked in his early victories during a speech in Los Angeles. He took stock of his victories in at least seven Super Tuesday states, noting many pundits had counted him out before a strong comeback in the South Carolina primary Saturday.

“They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing,” Biden said. “Folks, it’s still early, but things are looking awful, awful good.”

Midway through his speech, two people protesting the dairy industry swarmed the stage and were removed by Biden’s security detail.

7:15 p.m. Sanders gives spirited speech: Bernie Sanders delivered a defiant election-night speech, telling a raucous crowd in his home state of Vermont that he expects to win California, the biggest prize of the night. He spoke about 45 minutes before the polls closed in the state.

Sanders blasted Joe Biden, who’s on track to beat him in the majority of Super Tuesday states. Sanders also ticked off some of his most familiar campaign lines, including a pledge to stand up for working people against the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

“But tonight, I tell you with absolute confidence we’re going to win the Democratic nomination,” Sanders said, “and we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country.”

7:02 p.m. Biden wins Arkansas: Joe Biden has claimed another victory, this one in Arkansas, the Associated Press projects. He has won seven states so far, compared with two for Bernie Sanders.

7:00 p.m. It’s a disastrous night for Warren: California’s polls haven’t closed yet, but the state won’t change what’s been a terrible night for Elizabeth Warren. So far, the senator has cleared the 15% needed for delegates in only three states, Colorado, Minnesota and her home state of Massachusetts. She’s close to that magic number in Texas and Maine. But she hasn’t won anywhere. Although she’s said she’s in the race to stay, her dismal performance may force her to reconsider.

6:48 p.m. Biden wins Minnesota: Joe Biden’s night just keeps getting better, with the former vice president notching a win in Minnesota. His victory there, projected by the Associated Press, signals he’s gaining ground on Bernie Sanders in more progressive-leaning states outside of the South. It also didn’t hurt that Biden was endorsed by home state Sen. Amy Klobuchar, his former rival for the Democratic nomination, on the eve of Super Tuesday.

6:35 p.m. Biden wins Tennessee: Joe Biden has added Tennessee to his Southern victory streak, the Associated Press projects. Biden has already won five of the 14 states holding contests Tuesday. Bernie Sanders has won two. Polls in some areas of Tennessee, including Nashville, were open late due to deadly tornadoes the night before.

6:27 p.m. Virginia shows romp for Biden: Virginia, with 99% of the vote counted, is the first Super Tuesday state to finish up its election night count. It was a romp for Biden, with 53%. He was followed by Sanders at 23%, and no one else was near the 15% needed to win statewide delegates.

6:13 p.m. Biden wins Oklahoma: Biden wins his first state outside the South as the Associated Press calls Oklahoma for the former vice president. It currently appears that Sanders and Bloomberg also will win delegates.

6:03 p.m. Sanders wins Colorado: Bernie Sanders is projected to win the Colorado primary, according to the Associated Press. The victory is Sanders’ second following a slew of early, decisive victories for Joe Biden. Sanders also won his home state of Vermont.

6 p.m. Long lines at polls in Los Angeles: Voters at some polling locations in California’s largest city have waited more than two hours to cast a ballot, CBS Los Angeles reported. Social media posts show lines of frustrated voters snaking far outside voting centers. Polls close at 8 p.m., and all voters in line before then will be allowed to vote.

5:45 p.m. Gabbard could net one delegate: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii might not walk away empty handed on Super Tuesday. She’s projected to come finish second in American Samoa, behind Mike Bloomberg. That means Gabbard could secure at least one of the 1,357 delegates up for grabs Tuesday.

5:38 p.m. Bloomberg brushes off bad results: Despite a slew of poor showings in early results, Mike Bloomberg delivered an upbeat election night speech. He told supporters in Palm Beach, Fla., that President Trump’s Twitter taunting of him shows he’s “scared stiff of facing us.” Bloomberg has failed to secure any pledged delegates so far outside of American Samoa.

5:05 p.m. Biden projected to win Alabama: Joe Biden picked up another early victory in the South. He’s projected to win overwhelmingly in Alabama, where polls just closed, the Associated Press has projected.

Results are still too early to call in five other states where polls just closed: Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

4:57 p.m. Early worries for Bloomberg, Warren: It’s still really early, but Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren have to be concerned. While Bloomberg was looking to roll in his first appearance on primary ballots, he’s not even near the 15% qualification number to win delegates in Virginia and Vermont. Likewise, Warren is hovering around the 10% mark. If that continues, the primary could quickly morph into a two-person contest between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

4:49 p.m. Bloomberg projected to win American Samoa: Super Tuesday might not be a total blowout for Mike Bloomberg. NBC projected he will win in American Samoa, the U.S. territory. But that victory won’t do much for the billionaire’s long-shot campaign — the island has six pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention. By comparison, California has 415 pledged delegates.

4:32 p.m. Biden projected to win North Carolina: Joe Biden clinched another early victory, this one in North Carolina, NBC projected, based on exit polling. That bodes well for Biden’s fortunes heading into the night, and suggests his strong support among African American voters could provide a firewall against Bernie Sanders in the South.

4:30 p.m. Biden makes Los Angeles swing: Biden visited a waffle house in Los Angeles as news of his early victory in Virginia broke. He traveled south after visiting a diner in Oakland, his first Northern California campaign appearance, hours earlier.

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave an early election night speech at her campaign headquarters in Charlestown, Mass. Warren is trailing her competitors in her home state in early results.

4:26 p.m. Here are the biggest prizes Tuesday: When it comes to delegates, all states aren’t created equal. Biden’s win in Virginia is especially important because that state’s 99 delegates constitutes the fourth-largest number up for grabs Tuesday. California’s 415 delegates is by far the biggest prize, followed by Texas (228) and North Carolina (110). And Vermont, which Sanders won? Its 16 delegates ranks last among the Super Tuesday states.

4:08 p.m. What it takes to win delegates: On Super Tuesday — and in every other Democratic primary — the magic number is 15%. If a candidate reaches that percentage of the vote, either statewide or in an individual congressional district, they are guaranteed at least some delegates. If they get less, they’re shut out. And remember, that number can change throughout the night.

4:01 p.m. First projection for Super Tuesday: The Associated Press has called Virginia for Joe Biden and Vermont for home state Sen. Bernie Sanders. No surprises in either state, but the question in Virginia is going to be how big a victory Biden won and who else will pick up some of the state’s 99 delegates.

3:55 p.m. Polls about to close on the East Coast: Polling places will soon close in the first two states, Vermont and Virginia. Vermont is Sen. Bernie Sanders’ home state, and he is expected to win easily. Former Vice President Joe Biden has led in most polls in Virginia.

Dustin Gardiner and John Wildermuth are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: dustin.gardiner@sfchronicle.com and jwildermuth@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @dustingardiner and @jfwildermuth

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