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Super Tuesday Preview


The former Vice President Joe Biden says his campaign has raised $5 million in the last day following his convincing win here yesterday. And he's sharpening his attacks on the current front-runner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Here he was this morning on NBC's "Meet The Press."


CHUCK TODD: So do you believe Bernie Sanders would lead the Democratic Party to a big loss?

JOE BIDEN: I do. I think Bernie Sanders' position on a number of the issues, even the Democratic Party are going to be very - are very controversial.

MARTIN: The race turns national quickly, with Super Tuesday just days away. And to talk about all this, we're joined by NPR political correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben. Danielle, welcome back. Good to talk with you again.

DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, BYLINE: Yeah, good to talk to you.

MARTIN: OK. So, first of all, where are you? Tell us where you are, and what are you doing?

KURTZLEBEN: I am in Selma, Ala. I have been here most of the day. There was a commemoration for Bloody Sunday and the civil rights marches. And, of course, most of the major presidential candidates are here or at least have been here. Joe Biden, who we just heard - Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. Klobuchar and Warren both just finished up speaking at a presidential candidates forum here as well. Now, that forum aside, it's not your typical campaign stop because yeah, of course, the candidates want the votes here - Alabama is a Super Tuesday state - but, you know, the candidates have also just been here for the commemoration activities. And a lot of the folks came out for that as well, not necessarily to hear candidates give speeches.

MARTIN: Well, but there are candidates, and they are still on the trail.


MARTIN: And Biden had a decisive win here in South Carolina last night. Do you have a sense of whether that's significantly altered the trajectory of the race going into Super Tuesday?

KURTZLEBEN: I think you can pretty safely say it does. I mean, look. Biden had a bigger win than polls projected, you know, a week or two ago. It looked like it might be closer. And he won decisively among black voters, who, as we always say rightly, it is necessary to win them to win the presidency and win the presidential nomination. So that gives him renewed momentum. As he said last night, we are very much alive. But like you said, we are no longer in that realm of one primary or caucus per day. You know, we are now in a national primary with 14 states. And Sanders is right now the delegate leader. And he's leading in polls in California, which is where there is a huge trove of delegates. So it stands to reason, like in that clip you just played, that Biden would target his record and his electability.

MARTIN: Well, you know, to that end, though, a national primary requires a lot of resources and staffing. So how are the candidates doing on that measure? I mean, who has the resources to go forward?

KURTZLEBEN: Well, let's start with Sanders because it sure looks like he does. He raised $46.5 million last month. That is a huge haul. Now, aside from that, Biden, like you also just said, he announced that he had pulled in $5 million around the South Carolina primary just in one day. So that's a big pull. It shows he has more momentum. We can't talk about money and not talk about Michael Bloomberg as well. He has spent more than $200 million on ads in Super Tuesday states as of a few days ago. And then finally, Elizabeth Warren announced that she had taken in $29 million last month, also a huge pull for her. So both candidates have at least some fuel.

MARTIN: And what about Warren? Just for the couple minutes we have - couple seconds we have left. You've been following that campaign. They just announced this, you know, decent fundraising haul despite four disappointing finishes. What's the campaign saying?

KURTZLEBEN: So her campaign manager, Roger Law, sent out a memo today saying they expect her to have a strong performance on Super Tuesday and they're counting on the convention.

MARTIN: All right. That is NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben talking to us from Alabama, one of the Super Tuesday states. Danielle, thank you.

KURTZLEBEN: Yes, thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political correspondent assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on The NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.
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