Super Tuesday open thread: Minnesota, Massachusetts, Vermont; Updates: Bernie wins VT; Bloomberg wins! (American Samoa); Biden surge hits MA; Whoa -- AP calls MN for Biden; Boom: AP, Fox call MA for Biden

10:53 — This is the biggest surprise of the night.  Not only did Warren fail to win her home state, Sanders also lost his neighboring state — to a guy who barely campaigned there:

Fox called it for Biden a few minutes earlier. Bernie’s still insisting that he’ll march to Milwaukee and win the nomination, but even if he gets a delegate windfall out of California, he’s going to be essentially tied with no path to a first-ballot majority for either candidate.

10:47 — 74.5% of precincts reporting in Suffolk Co (Boston and environs), and it’s now less than a point separating Sanders and Biden. Whatever else happens in Suffolk, there’s not enough votes left there to overcome Biden’s 42,000-vote lead with 56% of all precincts reporting.

10:38 — Still no call in MA, but we’re at 49% of precincts reporting and Biden’s still up by almost six points, 33.22/27.56, with Warren in third at 21.65%. Gotta think a call will come soon…

10:29 — Just to revisit an earlier point, what does Ilhan Omar’s inability to deliver Hennepin County for Bernie mean for her own political future? She endorsed Bernie and campaigned for him, but it either had no effect in her home district or perhaps even backfired. The primary for congressional races comes on August 11, and Omar already has three Democrats challenging her. More might jump in after this, or perhaps the money will line up behind one in particular.

10:28 — Forget it, he’s rolling.

10:19 — Here’s a fun fact of the moment — with 44% of Suffolk County precincts reporting, Sanders only edges Biden by less than two points. In Boston.

10:13 — I’m inclined to go with Dave Wasserman’s call here:

Nobody’s calling this yet, but I’m wondering how much longer that will be.

9:59 — Looking back to Massachusetts, Biden’s still up by five-plus points (33.59/28.18) with 30% of precincts reporting. Warren still way off the pace at 20.8%. This might be the biggest surprise of the night if Biden can hold on to win it.

9:55 — Heh.

Omar’s district is mostly Hennepin County, just to be clear. What a #fail. This raises a question as to whether Omar herself might be vulnerable in the later congressional primary.

9:51 — I am a little surprised on that call. Sanders might still have some strength in Ramsey, but I suspect — and the AP must as well — that any strength would be limited to Ramsey. Dakota County will likely go with Biden, and the rest of the metro counties as well. Amy Klobuchar’s endorsement carried a significant amount of weight, it seems. Four years ago, there were a lot of Bernie yard signs in Hennepin and Ramsey.

9:48 — Looks like the AP saw what I saw in the exits and the early returns:

9:35 — Our polls have only been closed 35 minutes and already we have the same percentage of precincts reporting as Massachusetts. Surprisingly, Biden’s ahead in both states with ~17% reporting, 36/28 in MA and 35/32 in MN. Ramsey County (St. Paul) hasn’t come in at all, but Biden’s edging Sanders in Hennepin 35/33 with 88% of precincts reporting. That’s a shock, given Hennepin’s academic identity.

9:15 — More from the exit polls in MN: Biden wins among college graduates of all types 34/26 over Sanders and those without college degrees, 39/34. Biden lost big among younger voters, 17/50 with voters under 45, which comprised 40% of the electorate. However, it reversed itself 50/17 among voters 45 and above, and that was 60% of the voters.

9:01 — Polls close in Minnesota. And surprise, surprise — Biden looks strong here, too. CNN’s exit poll shows Biden leading Sanders 40/27 among Democrats, who made up 69% of the voters, while trailing 32/43 among independents, who made up 25% of the electorate. Biden wins women 38/25 over Sanders (58% of voters), and only barely gets edged out among men (35/37, 42% of voters). Biden looks like a strong candidate for a win here, too.

Warren trails in all categories. Not much hope in this state for her.

8:57 — I have to admit, this does have its charm:

8:47 — Still tracking the vote counts in VT and MA, but so far no big changes. One broader aspect of tonight’s results is just how much better Biden’s faring in voter turnout. Remember when Sanders claimed he had the ability to generate massive turnout? Don’t see much evidence of that tonight.

In fact, with 35% of precincts reporting in VT, turnout looks significantly lower this year than in 2016. Either Bernie’s home-state voters got complacent, or they’re just not as enthused this year.

8:31 — Vermont still counting slowly, but with 27% of precincts reporting, it’s still 52/23 Sanders/Biden. That would give Biden handful of delegates. MA has only 4% of its precincts reporting so the results are unreliable, but let’s just say that it’s tracking pretty well with the exit polls.

8:11 — Holy cow, could Warren come in third in MA? CNN’s exit poll there indicates Warren might finish in the bronze slot. Look closely at the Party ID demos to figure out where it comes out. She beat Biden by four points among Dems, and Sanders beat Biden by eight points among independents, while Warren cratered with unaffiliated voters. That should leave Biden in a strong second-place finish to Sanders, and Warren without much reason to keep on going.

8:05 — Back to Vermont, where vote reporting is going slowly, it looks like Sanders is seriously underperforming against his 2016 results. With 10% of precincts reporting, he’s got 51% of the vote, where he got 86% against Clinton four years ago. Biden has 23% and might end up with a few VT delegates if this trend continues.

8:01 — Polls just closed in Massachusetts, and it looks like a tight race there — with Biden a factor after all, according to the exit polling:

7:57 — Hey, it’s a real win, and it puts Bloomberg on the scoreboard for tonight — and Tulsi Gabbard, who’s still in the race:

If that’s the only delegates Bloomberg wins tonight, he’ll have blown $500 million on four delegates. So far he’s out of the money in Virginia and in Vermont, but could still pick up enough in both states to win a delegate.

7:42 — Massachusetts’ polls don’t close for another 18 minutes, but Warren says she plans to keep going after tonight:

Either she has polling showing a win in MA, or she just figures to stick around as long as the money holds out. If she can’t win in MA, she’s not going anywhere in the primaries, and she certainly won’t be a brokered-convention option. Winning your home state has to be a prerequisite, no?

7:31 — Did Biden manage to pick off a delegate in Vermont?

The reporting numbers are too small to guess the answer so far, but that might be a real surprise.

7:19 — Ah, what might have been …

7:12 — NBC says Joementum looks pretty real, at least from the exit polling:

All of the news agencies made an early call for Biden in Virginia, which unlike Vermont was supposed to be competitive. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, Biden was running third in polling there. His South Carolina win has breathed new life into his campaign, but he probably won’t be a major figure in the other two states I’m covering in this thread.

7:03 — No big surprise here, but they waited a whole two minutes for this call:

CBS and NBC also called it for Bernie, who should win this one in a rout. We haven’t yet seen any numbers posted. It’ll be another hour before we get to the more competitive battle in Massachusetts.

Update, 6:53 pm ET: Still a couple of hours to go before polls close here in MN, but this is probably not what Democrats hoped to see here:

Original post follows …

Welcome to Super Tuesday, the Bernie Sanders Proving Ground Edition. The race’s Great Socialist Hope has to score well in all three states not just to boost his delegate haul, but also to push another of his competitors out of the race. Sanders should win his home state of Vermont easily, but Elizabeth Warren will fight like hell to hold onto her home state of Massachusetts, and might have some draw in Minnesota now that Amy Klobuchar has pulled out.

Massachusetts looks like a real battleground at the moment, with 91 delegates up for grabs. The latest poll from Democratic pollster Data for Progress shows Warren up two over both Sanders and Joe Biden, 28/26/26, which is a big step up … for Biden. It’s the first time Biden shows up over 20% in any poll tracked by RCP since last September, when Warren began her short-lived polling surge. If Biden can score 25 or more delegates out of Massachusetts, that will be a surprisingly good rebound for him. If Bernie can’t shut out either Biden or Warren in his neighboring state — if in fact Warren beats him in MA — then it’s tough to see how Warren feels compelled to get out of the race at this time.

The same firm sees the same three-way split in Minnesota, too, only with Sanders on top. In this case, Klobuchar’s exit seems to have benefited all three candidates nearly equally; it now stands 32% for Sanders, 27% for Biden, and 21% for Warren. Mike Bloomberg gets 16% in this poll, a result which would earn him a share of the state’s 75 delegates. A four-way split wouldn’t help Sanders much, although it could help slightly in keeping Biden from winning more than he’d normally get. This state was pretty Bernie-crazy in 2016, however, and I wonder if 32% isn’t just a tad low in 2020 too.

Speaking of Klobuchar’s exit, I found it surprising that she didn’t stick around through Super Tuesday. Yes, the Black Lives Matter protest would have been uncomfortable, but it would have been manageable, and Klobuchar is still very much well-liked here. There wouldn’t have been any other path to the nomination for her, as I wrote last week in the Washington Examiner Magazine, but at least she would have gone down fighting.

Polls close in these three states at different times; Vermont at 7 pm ET, Massachusetts at 8, and Minnesota at 9, which is about the functional limit of our social lives anyway. As usual with live blogs, updates will come at the top in reverse chronological order, with the latest updates on top. Our friends at Decision Desk HQ do not have live-results widgets for these states, so be sure to keep an eye on all the other widgets in our live-results post. Meanwhile, I’ll post the delegate tracker, which started off in a very close split between Sanders and Biden, 60/53, with 3,825 delegates left to win. If it’s this close on the other side of tonight, it’s going to be a long slog to the convention.

Just for fun, too, here are a couple of points about Minnesota in the ABC News exit polls. Maybe Klobuchar was heading for a beating here after all. These make Minnesota look like Bernie Country, at least in the primary.