First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
We mapped out yesterday morning what we thought might be a super Super Tuesday for Joe Biden. We just didn’t realize how great for him it would actually be.
Biden won nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) versus three for Bernie Sanders (Colorado, Utah and Vermont), with two states still not called by NBC News (California and Maine).
More significantly, Biden has won — so far — 87 more delegates than Sanders from yesterday’s contests, according to NBC’s Decision Desk. And even when all of the California delegates eventually get allocated, we still believe Biden will emerge as the delegate winner from Super Tuesday.
And here’s why that’s a problem for Sanders: The future contests don’t get any easier for him.
On March 10, the Democratic presidential race moves to Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state.
On March 17, it heads to Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
And on March 24, Georgia holds its primary.
While Sanders could conceivably win Michigan, Washington, Arizona and Ohio that could help him cut into Biden’s delegate lead, Florida and Georgia — combined — could conservatively net Biden 100 delegates.
So any Sanders gains could be quickly erased — and more — by states in the South.