A resurgent former US vice president Joe Biden yesterday seized momentum in the race to become the Democratic challenger to US President Donald Trump with a string of Super Tuesday victories, including the key prize Texas, against his main rival, US Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, a 78-year-old leftist who wants to reshape the US’ economy, had been the clear leader and was looking for a knock-out blow on the most consequential voting day on the primary calendar.
Instead, the results signaled a remarkable comeback for Biden, who was projected to win at least nine, and possibly 10, of the nomination contests held across 14 states.
Just one week earlier, the 77-year-old saw his campaign teeter on the edge of collapse. Now he is vying once again for front-runner status.
“It’s a good night and it seems to be getting even better. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing,” Biden told cheering fans in Los Angeles.
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, won his home state of Vermont, and was projected to win Colorado and Utah.
He was also ahead in California, the biggest delegate-rich state of all, with a nine-point lead as the count continued yesterday morning.
Biden was projected to win in Alabama, Tennessee and Massachusetts, and had won in Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and even Minnesota — a state where Sanders had been expected to win handily.
Well after midnight, the projection was made for Biden to win Texas, the second-largest state, and by the morning he had a narrow lead in Maine with three-quarters of the vote counted.
Sanders had been polling ahead in both states.
“We expected a surge. We got a tsunami,” tweeted analyst David Axelrod, chief strategist for former US president Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns.
“New race. Completely,” he said.
A defiant Sanders celebrated his own wins earlier in the night by tearing into Trump, calling him “the most dangerous president in the history of this country.”
However, he also attacked Biden for having voted for the invasion of Iraq and painted him as tarnished by billionaire contributors.
“We’re taking on the political establishment,” Sanders said. “You cannot beat Trump with the same-old, same-old kind of politics.”
Biden saw the results as proof that his bid to bring US politics back to the center, after four years of Trump’s right-wing populism, is on a roll.
“We are very much alive,” he told a crowd in Los Angeles. “Make no mistake about it, this campaign will send Donald Trump packing.”
A key takeaway from Biden’s long list of wins was his strong support among African Americans — vital for any Democratic presidential candidate.
He seemed to fare less well with the large Hispanic electorate, which in California reportedly went heavily for Sanders, but a victory in Texas, which also has a diverse population, suggests Biden has the capacity to build a broad coalition.
That was bolstered by Biden winning all five other southern states on the ballot on Tuesday.
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, 78, and US Senator Elizabeth Warren, 70, were the other big-name candidates.
Despite spending record amounts of his own money on advertising, it was an embarrassing debut for billionaire media entrepreneur Bloomberg, who failed to win any state — although he did get a consolation victory in American Samoa.
Trump, who watched the results on television, tweeted his customary insults about the Democrats, deriding Warren for losing her state of Massachusetts.
Biden answered on Twitter: “Come November, we are going to beat you.”
Bloomberg faces calls from within Democratic circles to exit the race and not split the centrist vote.
Biden is making his third White House bid, after failed runs in 1988 and 2008.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
‘INCREASINGLY FAVORED’: Taiwan’s ‘transparent laws and efficient courts’ as well as its financial institutions give it a major advantage to become a financial hub, Tsai said Taiwan would liberalize banking and investment rules to establish itself as a regional financial hub, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Taiwan Capital Market Forum in Taipei yesterday. Recent world events could be an opening for Taiwan to become an international center for business investments and financial management, Tsai said at the forum, which was organized by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister publication of the Taipei Times). “We’re facing unknowns in the world right now, including the continuing impact of US-China trade tensions and the reorganization of the global supply chain after COVID-19,” Tsai said. “These bring new challenges and opportunities.” Tsai
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would