Biden takes lead after ‘Super Tuesday,’ Sanders supporters say they need to ‘fight harder’
Students followed along on “Super Tuesday” as Vice President Joe Biden regained the front-runner position in the 2020 Democratic Primary.
Biden earned the most delegates so far in the Democratic primary after his successful “Super Tuesday” –– when the most states, 14 this year, hold primary elections and caucuses and nearly one-third of delegates are up for grabs –– with 566, as of Wednesday night. Biden’s success left Senator Bernie Sanders, the former front runner, in second place with 501. The democratic field has narrowed since last week, and students have a smaller pool of candidates to choose from: Biden, Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Prior to “Super Tuesday,” Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden, and Mike Bloomberg did the same Wednesday. Warren has not won a state yet, including her home state of Massachusetts which she lost to Biden, and has won 61 delegates so far.
UB College Democrats doesn’t endorse any candidates but members “overwhelmingly” support Sanders, according to club president and sophomore psychology and political science major Brandon Hoolihan. Some members still say they support Biden and that they feel he is more likely to beat President Donald Trump in the presidential race, but Sanders supporters say the race is not over and unity around Biden means they have to “fight harder” to win the democratic nomination. The New York State primary election will take place on April 28 and there are 274 democratic delegates up for grabs.
Andrew Komula, vice president of UB College Democrats and a junior political science major, said the primary race between Biden and Sanders is “representative” of a “dialogue” within the Democratic Party, but that the two candidates’ goals aren’t “completely” different.
“I think really it’s representative of an internal, institutional dialogue between the democrats who are very progressive and those who are willing to proceed more cautiously toward liberal policies,” Komula said. “At the end of the day, they’re both running as democrats and so their goals can’t be completely –– and I emphasize completely –– different.”
Savannah Chadwick, a freshman political science and economics major and a member of UB College Democrats, supports Biden over Sanders because she is “worried” about Sanders’ policies and thinks he could lose in the general election.
“I think that healthcare for all and free college are amazing ideas, but I am not quite sure they are practical,” Chadwick said. “I am just unsure about where Bernie plans to get the money to do his plan when you add in the fact that we are $23 trillion in debt.”
Sam Nelson, treasurer for both UB College Democrats and Young Democratic Socialists of America and a sophomore biochemistry major, supports Sanders and said Sanders’ policies don’t go “too far.”
“The other, more moderate candidates say that his policies go too far, but people in this country are dying due to lack of healthcare, struggling in debt and our planet is in danger as well,” Nelson said. “We need these aggressive reforms now before things get worse.”
Hector Chaidez Ruacho, Campus Corps Leader for Students for Bernie and a master’s social work student, said “Super Tuesday” was not a bad day for the Sanders Campaign, “as many people in the media paint it out to be.”
“[Biden’s success on ‘Super Tuesday’] means we have to fight harder, canvass more, phone bank more, organize more,” Ruacho said. “… People often forget that a few months ago when Bernie had his health situation, everyone assumed the campaign was over. The resilience of the political revolution movement is real. We know this is not going to be an easy fight, but we are ready to continue fighting for what we believe.”
Hayden Gise, chairperson of SA’s board of directors and a junior political science major, is a Sanders supporter and said young people will be “energized” to vote for Sanders in the primaries because “the stakes are too high.”
“[‘Super Tuesday’] was a two-way race and we never got to frame it that way,” Gise said. “I think when people continue organizing in the next states, voters and especially young people will be energized to vote for Bernie. The stakes are too high and no one wants to vote for Joe Biden.”
Ruacho said Sanders gives him hope for future generations.
“As a Mexican-American immigrant, I know the ‘American Dream’ is not made for me, but Bernie gives me hope that one day it will become a reality for future generations.”
Julian Roberts-Grmela is a senior news editor and can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @GrmelaJulian