United States Elections

March 10 Primaries: Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington

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March 10 Primaries - 2020 election

Fresh off of the impact of Super Tuesday, next up on the slate are the March 10 primaries, featuring six more states plus the Democrats Abroad primary.

Entering these new contests, March has already been a month of great upheaval in the 2020 presidential election, specifically the Democratic primaries. When February began, Bernie Sanders pulled away from the field while Joe Biden sank. Biden, in the end, fell back to a defensive position in his firewall state, South Carolina. Yet, when he received the endorsement of Rep. Jim Clyburn, things began to change. Couple this with a halt to Mike Bloomberg’s ad-driven momentum and Biden busted through in South Carolina. It was followed up by a much stronger than expected showing on Super Tuesday, winning ten states out of 14. This included several that Bernie Sanders expected to win, such as Maine, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

What can we expect to see in the coming contests? For Joe Biden, he hopes it is continuing momentum to bolster his leading delegate count. Bernie Sanders, the only major candidate left to oppose him, he needs to bank at least a few states in the March 10 primaries not only to keep pace, but to show Biden’s not a runaway winner. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii also remains in the race, but she has not shown strength in any remaining state with the possible exception of her own. For all intents and purposes, a campaign that started with two debate stages due to too many podiums has become a two-candidate race.

See more about the upcoming contests, what we expect, and the results.

Map of March 10 Primaries

March 10 Primaries 2020

Democrats Abroad Primary

DA Result: To be announced on March 23.

This began on Super Tuesday and has carried on all week across the globe. Voting ends on March 10 with the results to follow. There is no polling for this and how would you even find all the Democrats living abroad to poll them in the first place? All this by way of saying there is no way to know how this will turn out except to say that Bernie Sanders won this one in a rout in 2016.

There are 13 pledged delegates at stake in this contest.

Idaho Primary

ID Result: Joe Biden claimed a narrow victory in this 2016 Bernie Sanders state, and a former caucus state. Biden got 49 percent and Sanders took 43.

One of the reddest states in America and with a relatively low population, Idaho contributes just 20 pledged delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Still, when there are not a lot of Democratic voters, a few thousand could swing the result one way or another.

It makes no sense to compare this too much to the 2016 result, in which Bernie Sanders won the Idaho caucuses. This is now a primary, and as caucuses are typically a much more time-consuming activity, there is going to be higher turnout. Nevertheless, with this being in the West, where Sanders has done well so far, we can assume he is the favorite.

Michigan Primary

MI Result: This was a solid win for Joe Biden, taking 53 percent while Bernie Sanders got 36 percent.

Of the March 10 primaries, this is the big prize of the night with 125 pledged delegates at stake. Michigan’s winner may end up the big winner of March 10, but as for who that could be, it’s unclear. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden both want this one and have campaigned like it.

Being in the critical Midwest, and a state that Donald Trump won by a very narrow margin, Michigan will get plenty of attention between now and November. Yet, who will win this primary? Some polling indicates that Biden is pulling ahead in Michigan, but remember that the polls were well off in 2016, calling for a Hillary Clinton blowout when in fact Bernie Sanders won.1 Maybe we don’t know who will win.

Missouri Primary

MO Result: This state generated a landslide win for Joe Biden. The former vice president received 60 percent and Bernie Sanders got 35 percent.

As it is on the general election level, or can be, Missouri looks like a swing state this time in the Democratic process. This would be a good one for Joe Biden but a better one for Bernie Sanders, who has yet to win a state in or close to SEC Country. Recent polls indicate that this will be a tight race.

This is yet another Midwestern state at the polls in the March 10 primaries, and while not as delegate-rich as Michigan, is important nonetheless.

Missouri has 68 pledged delegates at stake this time.

Mississippi Primary

MS Result: This was the biggest rout we have seen in any state so far. Joe Biden won with 81 percent of the vote; Bernie Sanders missed viability at just under 15 percent statewide.

This is the only one of the March 10 primaries to take place in the Deep South. As such, you can imagine given the other results to date that this is a very likely win for Joe Biden. Mississippi has the largest percentage of African-Americans of any admitted state, and Biden has won that vote so far by overwhelming majorities. Expect that to continue in Mississippi.

Mississippi has 36 pledged delegates.

North Dakota Caucus

ND Result: Bernie Sanders won the caucuses with about 53 percent of the vote to Joe Biden’s 40.

North Dakota’s pledged delegate stake is 14. This is one of the few states to remain a caucus in name only, but like those in the know are aware, it’s not a caucus in the sense you would see one in Iowa or Nevada.

This is not a state that’s going to be polled in any detail prior to the caucus. Bernie Sanders won here in a rout in 2016.

Washington Primary

WA Result: Though close, it appears Joe Biden has narrowly won Washington. Biden has 38 percent and Bernie Sanders 36 percent. Washington is a vote-by-mail state, so over a quarter of the vote went to candidates who have dropped out of the race.

Washington State is, as we all know, on the West Coast, and the West Coast, as we all know, is a place that we would assume is naturally more amenable to Bernie Sanders’ politics. After all, while Joe Biden was mopping the floor almost everywhere else, he was picking up Western wins in the last few weeks, including California, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. One would think Sanders is the candidate to beat in the Great State of Washington. However, there have been indications that Biden may be running neck and neck with Sanders here.

If Biden were to win Washington, it may not be a great night for Sanders. Biden has Mississippi locked up and will be competitive everywhere else. This is Bernie’s opportunity for his own big score in the second-largest state of March 10th’s festivities. It would also mean Biden has established a foothold in the West, winning everywhere in the country whereas Sanders has not.

This Pacific Northwest state adds 89 pledged delegates to the till.

References

1: Carl Bialik, “Why The Polls Missed Bernie Sanders’s Michigan Upset,” FiveThirtyEight, March 9, 2016, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-the-polls-missed-bernie-sanders-michigan-upset/)

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