Big Tuesday was a big night for Joe Biden. The former Vice President defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders in four of the six states who voted in their primaries, taking Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, and Idaho (Washington has not yet been called and Sanders won North Dakota). With these victories, the path to receiving the Democratic nomination seems clear for Biden, who now boasts a total of 823 delegates to Sanders’ 663.
In Michigan and Missouri, women played a huge role in Biden’s victory. In Michigan, Biden held a 20-point advantage with women over Sanders on Tuesday. In Missouri, that gap was even bigger, with Biden holding a 30-point advantage with women. Biden performed better against Sanders with women in Michigan than Clinton did — in 2016, Clinton won women voters by seven percentage points; on Tuesday, Biden had 59 percent of female voters, while Sanders had 36 percent.
Throughout the primaries, Biden has done well with Black voters, including Black women. “People are seeing the importance of the African-American vote and the importance of African-American women voting and how we always go to the polls,” voter Jacqueline Barksdale told the Boston Globe. And many of those Black women are voting for Biden. But on Tuesday, white women swung his way, too. According to the Edison Research exit polls, Biden beat Sanders by double digits among white women in both Michigan and Missouri, both those with and without a college degree — despite the fact that Sanders won white women in Michigan in 2016.
Despite this landslide win, Biden’s troubling history with women — he has been accused of inappropriately touching multiple women, and tends to make uncomfortable jokes — has not seemed to deter the base from voting for him. A poll last year showed that a majority of women did not believe any of the sexual misconduct allegations against Biden should disqualify him from running for president.
Sanders is struggling to stay afloat in the race, with many pointing to his active supporter base as a reason that he is losing votes. Although Sanders has spoken out against behaviors of some aggressive supporters on multiple occasions, he is faltering in primaries. He also apologized to women who were sexually harassed while working on his 2016 campaign.
As of right now, Biden seems poised to clinch the Democratic nomination and to be the candidate the party hopes can defeat Trump. But Sanders supporters are not giving up — especially women. "The media tends to project Biden in this huge lead even though he's not in this huge lead," Ayesha Wadhawan, a 26-year-old Sanders volunteer told Newsweek. "I'm hopeful he can catch up in delegates, it's not such a big margin to cover."