Bernie Sanders ended Super Tuesday with four states in the bag, proving that he’s still a serious contender for the Democratic nomination.
At the end of the day, Bernie Sanders won big in Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and his home state of Vermont. By winning these states, Sanders showed he’s viable in four different geographic regions, which will all come into play in the remaining March primaries. As of this writing, Bernie won Colorado by 20 points, Minnesota by an 18-point margin, Oklahoma by 10 points, and Vermont by an overwhelming 72 points. His win in Vermont was so large that Hillary Clinton failed to get 15 percent of the vote, making her “non-viable.” Sanders will walk away with 100% of the delegates in Vermont.
Even in the states where Clinton won handily, like Texas, Virginia, and Georgia, Sanders still won handily with his core constituencies — voters aged 18 to 29, first-time primary voters, and independents. According to NBC News’ exit polls, Sanders won young voters by a 30-point margin in Texas, 39 points in Virginia, 13 points in Georgia, and even captured the youth vote in Clinton’s home state of Arkansas, where Bill Clinton served as governor, by 24 points. Among first-time primary voters, Sanders won by, again, 30 points in Texas and 8 points in Virginia. And Sanders captured independent voters by 16 points in both Texas and Virginia, 3 points in Georgia, 13 points in Tennessee, and 17 points in Arkansas.
Bernie Sanders is largely holding up to the bar set by nationally-respected pollster Nate Silver in states needed to win the Democratic nomination. While Sanders narrowly lost Massachusetts to Clinton by 2 points on Super Tuesday, he won Minnesota, Vermont, Colorado, and Oklahoma by larger-than-expected margins, and he faces a much more favorable electorate in states voting after March 15. If Sanders stays within 150 delegates by that benchmark, he can potentially narrow Clinton’s lead in the spring and overtake her in the summer as Sanders-favorable coastal states take to the polls.