Politics

Joe Biden wins Massachusetts primary, NBC News projects, a crushing blow to Elizabeth Warren

Key Points
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden will win the Massachusetts Democratic primary, according to an NBC News projection.
  • The Super Tuesday primary was likely a make-or-break contest for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign.
  • There were 91 delegates at stake in the primary.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at his Super Tuesday night rally in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 3, 2020.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Former Vice President Joe Biden will win the Massachusetts Democratic primary, according to an NBC News projection.

The result is a crushing blow to rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who represents the state.

Biden will win at least 28 of the state's 91 delegates, according to NBC News, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., will score at least 13.

Warren will chalk up at least seven delegates, according to NBC.

"I'm here to report we are very much alive," an energized Biden said at a rally shortly before NBC shared its projection.

Just a handful of Democratic presidential candidates competed in Massachusetts on Super Tuesday, when 14 states hold their primary elections. At its height, the primary field comprised more than two dozen Democrats jockeying for position in the race to take on President Donald Trump.

For Warren's campaign, Super Tuesday was set to be a make-or-break event. A WBUR poll released less than a week before the Bay State primary showed Sanders, the overall front-runner heading into Super Tuesday, edging out Warren.

Warren, who was once a top contender in the primary race, likely already faced significant pressure to end her campaign before the poll was released. She finished third place in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus, fourth in New Hampshire and Nevada, and fifth in South Carolina. 

"The pundits have gotten it wrong over and over," Warren told a crowd of supporters in Detroit earlier Tuesday night.

Perhaps more than in any other state, Biden's projected win in Massachusetts embodies the rapid transformation of his campaign, from a declining enterprise to a top competitor in barely over a week.

Political commentators were writing off Biden's White House bid as recently as mid-February, following a string of lackluster performances in the first few primary states.

But Biden maintained that his strategy hinged on South Carolina, where he was expected to find much support with the state's high proportion of black voters.

The endorsement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., on the eve of South Carolina's primary on Saturday was widely seen as a crucial boost in the Palmetto State, where Biden ultimately captured a massive chunk of the vote.

The momentum Biden gained after winning big in South Carolina appears to have carried over to Super Tuesday — particularly in states such as Massachusetts, where recent polls showed Biden wasn't even considered a front-runner.

On Monday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced she would end her campaign. She endorsed Biden at a rally in Dallas later that day.

VIDEO1:2901:29
Amy Klobuchar to end presidential bid, endorse Biden

Klobuchar's announcement came a day after former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the contest. Buttigieg, the youngest candidate in the race, called it quits after a fourth-place finish in the South Carolina primary Saturday. 

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer threw in the towel Saturday, just hours after it became clear that the tens of millions of dollars Steyer spent in South Carolina would fail to net him any delegates there.

By the end of January, Steyer spent a total of $253.7 million on his campaign, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.