Presumptive nominee Joe Biden has won Oregon’s 2020 Democratic presidential primary, early returns indicate, giving Biden his fourth consecutive win in the Pacific Northwest, a region that went big for Bernie Sanders four years ago.
As of 9:30 PM Pacific Time, Biden had a whopping 68.84% of the vote (with 289,688 ballots cast for him), compared to 18.24% for Bernie Sanders, who was just above the viability threshold. Elizabeth Warren was in third place with 9.17%.
Write-in candidates accounted for another 2.06%. Tulsi Gabbard had 1.7%.
420,844 total votes have been tabulated in the Democratic presidential primary thus far. The total will increase before the nominating event is certified.
Biden is winning every Oregon county that has reported results so far, including the progressive strongholds of Multnomah and Lane. Three counties (Yamhill, Klamath, and Lake) haven’t reported any results at all so far.
Sanders’ performance is Multnomah (home to Portland, Oregon) is not much higher than his statewide performance. He has 23.07% of the vote there compared to 18.24% statewide. Biden has over 61% in Multnomah.
A substantial contingent of Multnomah voters are clearly still in Elizabeth Warren’s camp, as she has 13.36% of the vote in Multnomah.
Oregon is a vote at home state — the first vote at home state, in fact — so it did not face the same obstacles that other states have recently faced in trying to hold a nominating event or state-level primary election during the coronavirus pandemic. Voters are mailed ballots by the state, which can be returned through the United States Postal Service or directly to elections officials through a drop box.
Previously, Biden won Washington State and Idaho’s presidential primaries on March 10th, then romped to victory in Alaska’a party run presidential primary, the first nominating event to be held following Bernie Sanders’ withdrawal.
Biden’s margin of victory in Oregon will be far greater than his margins in any other Pacific Northwest state, undoubtedly thanks to the fact that he has been the presumptive nominee during the entirety of the voting period. Biden was able to take Washington and Idaho out of Sanders’ win column back when Sanders was still an active candidate, demonstrating that his candidacy had far greater appeal amongst Democratic voters than Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign did.
Here’s a comparison of each nominating event:
|State||Joe Biden||Bernie Sanders|
|Oregon (in progress)||68.84% | 289,688*||18.24% | 76,746*|
|Alaska (April 4th)||55.3% | 10,834||44.7% | 8,755|
|Washington (March 10th)||37.94% | 591,403||36.57% | 570,039|
|Idaho (March 10th)||48.92% | 53,151||42.44% | 46,114|
* indicates as of press time
Sanders was closest to Biden in Washington State, one of his 2016 bastions, which he overwhelmingly dominated in 2016, when the state used caucuses to allocate all of its national convention delegates. However, Washington’s Democratic voters ultimately joined Idaho’s in favoring Biden by a plurality.
Sanders’ campaign never recovered from the one-two punch of Super Tuesday (March 3rd) and Super Tuesday II, or Mini Tuesday (March 10th).
Though Sanders initially pressed on in the wake of Elizabeth Warren’s exit, he was unable to secure any key wins, and the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to do in-person field organizing catalyzed by rallies and events. The day after voting ended in Wisconsin’s presidential primary, Sanders announced he would suspend his campaign. He endorsed Biden less than a week later.
Montana, the one other state in the greater Pacific Northwest, has yet to hold its nominating event. The state is slated to hold its presidential primary on June 2nd.