What to expect from the March 10 primaries

Photo by Bryan Giardinelli/Bernie 2020 Campaign Photographer

Bernie Sanders will look to fight back as attention turns to the Midwest and West on Mini Tuesday. Results will be in from 6 states as well as the Democrats Abroad primary, with Michigan being seen as a particularly crucial test for Sanders.

Democrats Abroad

13 pledged delegates

Bernie Sanders claimed a big win with overseas Democrats in 2016, 69 percent to 30 percent against Hillary Clinton, and preliminary numbers from in person voting are again a positive sign for Sanders, who should again win big with Democrats abroad.


20 pledged delegates, polls close 10/11pm Eastern

Idaho was one of Sanders’ best states in 2016, winning over 78 percent of the vote here, though it could be a bit tighter this time around. This is also another state that has gone from holding caucuses to primaries this time around. The biggest counties are Ada (Boise), with around 30 percent of the state’s votes, followed by Canyon County (Caldwell) with around 15 percent, followed by slightly smaller Kootenai (Coeur d’Alene) and Bonneville Counties, all of which were won by Sanders with at least 70 percent of the vote. There isn’t a lot of polling to go on, but Sanders should again win Idaho


125 pledges delegates, polls close 9pm Eastern

Sanders surprise win here in 2016 after polls showed him down and out was one of his most momentous and memorable. He’ll be hoping to replicate this time around, in spite of the polls being once again not in his favour. He managed to overcome Clinton winning in the 3 biggest counties, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb (all in the Detroit metro area) with wins in other cities including Grand Rapids (Kent County), Ann Arbor (Washtenaw), Ingham (Lansing) and Kalamazoo, as well winning just about every smaller town and rural county. Sanders will again look to these areas to help him get a win, whilst he will also hope to pull back in some areas, with his popularity with Muslim voters potentially helping him in Wayne County, home to Dearborn and its large Middle Eastern population. It’s hard to make a call on Michigan at this point, but a big final push and his solid performances of late could get Sanders over the line once again.


36 pledged delegates, polls close 8pm Eastern

This should be another good state for Joe Biden, who like Hillary Clinton in 2016 has been solid in the South. African-Americans made up 71 percent of the electorate in the state in 2016, in what is the state with the highest African-American population in the union, a group which has been good for Biden. Sanders will be hoping to at least improve on his 16 percent in 2016 here and collect a few more delegates in the face of what will be a big win for Biden


68 pledged delegates, polls close 8pm Eastern

The Show Me State was won narrowly by Hillary Clinton in 2016, and looks to be another interesting contest this time around. Clinton won narrowly in the bigger cities of St Louis and Kansas City (Jackson County), whilst Sanders won most of the medium and smaller towns and cities. It will be once again St Louis (consisting of the independent city and surrounding St Louis County) and Kansas City that make up the bulk of the vote, but a big trend in favour of a different candidate elsewhere could swing the margin back. Biden is favourite, but don’t rule Sanders out here

North Dakota

14 pledged delegates, polls close 8pm/9pm Eastern

North Dakota was another good state for Sanders in 2016. Whilst it is one of the smaller contests, he will again hope to replicate that outcome here. Areas to watch are Cass County (Fargo), Burleigh County (Bismarck) and Grand Forks. There isn’t much polling and it is however difficult to tell where sentiments in the state lie at present, but we think Sanders should win here.


89 pledged delegates, vote by mail state

Washington will be the second most closely watched contest tomorrow, and is a crucial test for Sanders. The state caucused last time around, with Sanders winning every county for a total 72 percent (Clinton won a non binding primary in late June after the race was effectively over). This time around it will doubtless be closer, with the fact ballots have been being mailed in for some time also likely to have an impact. The state is a largely liberal one, and the primary is open, so with Sanders doing better with liberal voters and independents, we do expect him to win here, though it’s a messy race to predict.

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