Bernie Sanders sweeps California primary, clashes with Joe Biden in other states


Dominic Fanaris, Layout Editor

On March 3rd, democratic candidate Bernie Sanders swept the California Primary election, with a total of 33.8% of the vote. Sanders earned 167 delegates from California as of March 4th.

“Thank you California!” said Sanders in a tweet moments after The Associated Press reported that he won the state. “You showed that Americans are ready for a government and economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%. Let’s go forward together.”

Los Angeles had a brand new voting system in place for this election. For the first time, voters could go to any polling place to vote, and voters were given 10 days in advance of Super Tuesday to fill their ballots using improved technology. 

“I had to do a provisional vote because there were some complications with my registration,” said Lucas Shortt, a Venice student who voted for the first time. “Otherwise it was pretty smooth and only took about 20-30 minutes.”

Despite these improvements, the voter turnout in Los Angeles was extremely low. L.A. County saw a voter turnout of only 20% on election day, compared to 2016’s turnout of 32.7%, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder.

On the same day, 13 other states around the country held primary elections. The two contending candidates, former vice president Joe Biden and Sanders, both won elections in multiple states. 

Biden ended up walking away with nine of them, including Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachussets, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Sanders won the last four, which were California, Colorado, Utah, and Vermont.

Super Tuesday gave Biden the lead in terms of delegates, amassing a total of 627. Sanders runs close behind with his total of 551.

Previously, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won the popular vote in the first three state elections in a row, which were Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, an achievement which no other democratic candidate has done before. Sanders officially won the elections in Nevada and New Hampshire, while Pete Buttigieg won the Iowa Caucus.

However, Biden won the election in South Carolina by a wide margin, earning 48.4% of the vote, which is thought to be a big factor in his successes on Super Tuesday.

In the days prior, three presidential candidates dropped out of the race. Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar all ended their campaigns, with the latter two endorsing Joe Biden in the hopes of rallying behind a single moderate candidate. 

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke also endorsed Biden during his rally on March 2, and former mayor Michael Bloomberg ended his campaign to endorse the former vice president the morning after super Tuesday. On March 4, Elizabeth Warren also ended her campaign for president, although she has not endorsed anyone as of now.

Both Sanders and Biden will face off on March 15, during the next democratic debate in Phoenix, Arizona, which is the first debate with only two candidates. 

Every Tuesday of this month will host more primaries in various states around the country.