Biden Wins Big in “Mini Super Tuesday,” Especially in Michigan

Image: Hannah Yoon/NYT

Last night former Vice President Joe Biden handily won the Michigan primary, defeating Senator Bernie Sanders and amassing 53 delegates to Sanders 35. As of writing this last night Biden also claimed Idaho, Mississippi, and Missouri while Washington State and  North Dakota had not fully reported their votes.

Michigan was arguably the most important state for either candidate to win not only for its delegate count but also because Michigan could be a litmus test for how enthusiastic voters there are for a Democratic candidate. In 2016 President Trump barely won Michigan and last night Biden fared well with white voters but also 2 out of 3 black voters, in a state where water rights continue to be a top concern.

Why This Matters: Biden drew heat from activists for attending an event in Flint earlier in the week and hardly mentioning the Flint water crisis (in contrast to the way in which Sanders addressed the issue at his own stop in Flint). Many African Americans in Flint still live without running water and the city finally had to offer $25 water restorations as fears of coronavirus mount. Lack of access to clean and affordable water is a life or death situation for countless Michigan residents and deserves to be made a priority by candidates. As of last night, Joe Biden looks like he has a strong path to become the Democratic nominee and as such he can’t forget the millions of black voters who will have handed him the nomination–he must make environmental justice a central focus of his campaign going forward, nothing less will do. 

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