DENVER – Bernie Sanders is projected to win the statewide vote in Colorado’s Democratic presidential primary and was leading by 13% over the second-place finisher as of 11:10 p.m., with 63% of ballots tabulated.
The Associated Press called Colorado for Sanders as polls closed at 7 p.m. The Vermont senator had been expected to win Colorado, as he has wide support here and won the Democratic caucus here in 2016 by 19 percentage points. A poll released last week showed Sanders with a double-digit lead in Colorado as well.
But his statewide victory here was one of the lone bright spots for him on a Super Tuesday that saw Joe Biden continue his surge after South Carolina. As of 11:15 p.m. Biden had won the statewide races in Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The Associated Press declared Biden the winner in Texas just before midnight MT.
Sanders had been declared the statewide victor in California, Utah and Vermont, his home state, in addition to Colorado. Sanders narrowly trailed Biden in Maine, though the race had not been called so far. He is expected to pick up delegates in most of the Super Tuesday states, but Biden is expected to maintain the delegate lead overall in the Democratic primary race.
Sanders led in California, which has the most delegates of any state, with 29%, to Biden’s 19% and Michael Bloomberg’s 18% as of 11:15 p.m. MT, with 35% of votes tabulated.
In Colorado, with 63% of votes tabulated, Sanders won 36%, followed by Biden (23%), Bloomberg (21%), Elizabeth Warren (17%) and Tulsi Gabbard (1%).
There are 67 pledged delegates available in Colorado on the Democratic side – 23 will come from the statewide results and 44 will come from the results within each of the state’s seven congressional districts.
Candidates need 15% of the share of the vote in each congressional district, or statewide, to earn delegates, which means that as of 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sanders, Biden, Bloomberg, and Warren could all earn a share of the statewide delegates.
The Colorado Democratic Party is expected to release a preliminary breakdown of Colorado’s delegates in coming days, though there are still eight days for the ballot curing process and for military and overseas ballots the be received in Colorado.
The higher numbers in Colorado for Biden and Bloomberg could potentially have come from late voters who cast their ballots in recent days after Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar formally withdrew from Colorado’s ballot, as votes for them were no longer counted and people who had not voted but were eyeing one of them cast ballots for other candidates.
Many Colorado counties stopped counting ballots at 10 p.m. Tuesday and some of the larger metro districts are expected to stop counting at midnight.
President Trump handily won Colorado’s Republican primary, with 93% of the vote as of 11:15 p.m.
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