A few weeks ago, many were writing Joe Biden’s political epitaph, but his strong showings, first in South Carolina Saturday and then on Super Tuesday has earned him the title of “Come-Back Kid.” What changed for the former vice president’s campaign? He won over voters who decided their vote late, especially on Super Tuesday after the departures over the weekend of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar and their subsequent endorsements of Biden Monday.
According to exit polls aggregated by FiveThirtyEight.com, Mr. Biden won at least 40% of late deciders in every Super Tuesday state except for Vermont. He won 64% of late deciders in Alabama, 61% in Tennessee, 59% in Virginia, 53% in Minnesota and North Carolina, 47% in Maine, 45% in Texas, 43% in Massachusetts, 41% in Oklahoma and 35% in Vermont. By comparison, Mr. Sanders did not win more than 22% of late deciders in any state except his home state of Vermont, where he won just 32%.
There is still time left in the primary for Mr. Sanders to reclaim his lead but after a series of candidate withdrawals from the race and a surge in late support, Mr. Biden has the momentum going into the next round of primaries. Should he win the nomination, South Carolina will be seen as the turning point and Super Tuesday as when he gained critical mass.