What to expect from the 6 states voting on Tuesday

Bonnie Cash

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are preparing to go head-to-head in six states in the aftermath of Super Tuesday.

Michigan, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state will all hold their contests on Tuesday, with a collective 352 delegates at stake.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from each state on Tuesday.



The Great Lakes State will be the biggest prize of the night, with 125 delegates up for grabs. 

Sanders unexpectedly bested Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016. However, a number of polls show Sanders trailing Biden in Michigan. 

A Monmouth University poll released on Monday showed Biden leading Sanders by 15 points in the state, while the RealClearPolitics polling average on Monday showed the former vice president with a 22.6 point lead.

“Right now, at this hour, at this moment, it looks like Joe Biden has the momentum to move forward, and Bernie is in survive-and-advance mode,” said Kelly Dietrich, the founder and head of the National Democratic Training Committee, which works with Democrats running for office. “He needs to come out tomorrow night closing the gap in delegates and still have a path to victory moving forward.”

Polls have been wrong in the past though. Sanders trailed Clinton by double digits in some polls leading to the 2016 primary, and he was able to pull off a victory of less than 2 percentage points.

“I feel good about the momentum we have. I think we are going to do well on Tuesday and beat Biden,” Sanders said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to Michigan. “You know, last time, as you indicated, it was seen as a big upset because polling had us down literally 20 points one day to the election.”



Missouri could mirror Michigan in how it votes in the Democratic primary, though it will award only 68 pledged delegates. Sanders lost the state to Clinton in 2016, but only by roughly 1,500 votes.

“It’s similar,” Dietrich said, comparing the two states. “I don’t see how he [Sanders] would do well in Missouri and not do well in Michigan.” 

Biden appears to hold a lead in the state, with a recent Emerson College poll showing Biden with 48 percent support and Sanders at 44 percent. The survey was conducted before Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) dropped out of the race.

The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Biden with a 18.6 point lead in Missouri.

Black voters will likely play a key role in this contest, as they have in past primaries. CNN exit polls from the 2016 Missouri primary show Clinton carrying 67 percent of the black vote, while Sanders received 54 percent of the white vote.

Biden overwhelmingly won over black voters in South Carolina and in the Super Tuesday contests.



Washington state’s Democratic primary could prove to be one of the more competitive races of the evening, with polls showing Biden and Sanders running close in the state.

Washington will allocate 89 pledged delegates, the second-biggest haul of the night after Michigan.

The RealClearPolitics average shows Biden just 2 points ahead in the northwestern state.

Sanders won the liberal-leaning state in 2016 when Washington held caucuses, a format that favors the progressive senator because of its focus on organization and passionate followers.

However, Washington is switching to a primary this year, making it potentially more competitive. 



Mississippi will likely bode well for Biden. The former vice president has performed well in the South, especially with black voters.

A Data for Progress poll, conducted earlier this week, showed Biden with a 55-point lead in the state.

Biden also garnered a key endorsement from Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson (D), appearing on Sunday with the congressman at New Hope Baptist Church, a predominately African American church, in Jackson.

“We know what it means to be picked out, to be picked on,” Thompson said to the church’s congregation. “We know Joe. I’m going to give him another name,” he continued, calling Biden “the comeback kid” after his Super Tuesday wins last week.

The former vice president was also accompanied by NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

The state will award 36 pledged delegates.


North Dakota

Sanders won North Dakota by nearly 40 points in 2016, making it potentially promising for the progressive senator.

The state has ditched its caucus system for one that more resembles a primary, however, and will also accept mail-in ballots, making it easier for rural residents to vote.

The new rules could benefit Biden given that they could increase turnout.

However, the state is only awarding 14 delegates on Tuesday, making it the smallest prize of the evening. 



Idaho is the third state of the night to ditch the caucus system used in 2016. It will instead hold a primary this year, a move that could favor Biden.

Sanders beat Clinton by more than 55 points in 2016. The results are more unpredictable this year given no polls have been conducted recently.

The state will award just 20 pledged delegates.

Tags 2020 super tuesday voting democrats democratic primary election nomination biden sanders Bennie Thompson Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton Joe Biden
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