Former Vice President Joe Biden dominated "Super Tuesday 2," possibly putting the Democratic presidential nomination out of the reach of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Majority whip Jim Clyburn, an influential Democratic representative from South Carolina — who gave Biden a key endorsement — said the Democratic National Committee should consider treating Biden as the presumptive nominee and canceling future primary debates.
What did Clyburn say?
"I think we will be at a point where Joe Biden will be the prohibitive nominee of the party," Clyburn told NPR. "And I think the DNC, the Democratic National Committee, should then step in, make an assessment, and determine whether or not they ought to have any more debates."
Clyburn's endorsement of Biden before the South Carolina primary helped push the former vice president to a dominant victory in the state — the first primary state Biden ever won in three attempts to run for president — and kicked off Biden's charge past Sanders in the race.
What happened Tuesday?
Biden easily beat Sanders in Michigan, a state in which Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary. Biden also won Idaho, Mississippi, and Missouri. Sanders won North Carolina. Washington is too close to call, but with 76% of precincts reporting, Sanders leads Biden by 0.2% — just 84 votes.
The victories give Biden a nearly 100-delegate lead, which will be extremely difficult for Sanders to overcome in the Democratic primary system that awards delegates proportionally, rather than in a winner-take-all format. FiveThirtyEight's primary forecast, which was last updated before Tuesday's results, only gives Sanders a 0.1% chance of winning the nomination.
Sanders did not address his supporters Tuesday night after the disappointing results, and instead went home to Vermont. There is no indication yet from his campaign that he will drop out ahead of the next scheduled debate, but there will be increasingly loud and frequent calls for him to exit the race for the sake of party unity against President Donald Trump.