Amid Biden’s state win, Sanders steals University-area precincts

Biden struggled to build support among University students, only winning about 10% to 20% of voters at polling places around campus.

Student supporters of Bernie Sanders gather to watch the Super Tuesday primary results in Bruininks Hall on Tuesday, March 3.

Liam Armstrong

Student supporters of Bernie Sanders gather to watch the Super Tuesday primary results in Bruininks Hall on Tuesday, March 3.

MN Daily Staff

Joe Biden clinched the top spot in the Minnesota Democratic primary on Super Tuesday — but he wasn’t the leading candidate among students voting in the primaries near the University of Minnesota.

Bernie Sanders won all University-area precincts by a wide margin, claiming polling places in Marcy-Holmes, the West Bank, Prospect Park, and on campus at the Weisman Art Museum.

“I can’t say that it’s not something I considered,” said Michael Reinhardt, a student organizer for Students for Bernie. “I kind of expected that to happen that, he would win Super Tuesday states.” He said looking forward, he thinks that the primary schedule will begin to favor Sanders. 

Although many students canvassed for political candidates, Biden is one of the only top Democratic contenders without a student group registered with the University.

Biden won the Minnesota vote at 38.5% as of around midnight. The Associated Press called the race for the former vice president less than an hour after polls closed.

Biden struggled to build support among University students, only winning about 10% to 20% of voters at some polling places around campus. Warren polled at similar percentages to Biden at most polling places. 

Sanders gained 61% of the vote at the First Congregational Lutheran Church on 8th Street Southeast in Marcy-Holmes, and 69% at Van Cleve Park in Southeast Como. Biden came in second at the Marcy-Holmes church with 20% of the vote, while Warren was the runner-up at Van Cleve with 16%, followed by Biden at 10%.

Taylor Larick, a senior finance major and member of Students for Warren, a student group that has been canvassing in favor of the candidate for the primaries, said he is still optimistic about Warren’s turnout in other states after Biden’s Minnesota win.

“My second choice would be Bernie, but we’ll see what happens there. And I don’t think Elizabeth is going anywhere anytime soon,” Larick said.

“I appreciate how progressive [Sanders] is and how his campaign isn’t bought out by billionaires,” said Mariam Karkache, a University senior who voted at Brian Coyle Center on the West Bank. “I like his Medicare for All proposal as well as the Green [New] Deal.”

Biden gained momentum in the state, following Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s announcement that she would be dropping from the election on Monday. At Biden’s Dallas campaign rally on the eve of Super Tuesday, Klobuchar threw her support behind the former vice president, shifting many Minnesotan voters into his camp.

University senior Ethan Fogel voted Sanders in hopes of greater change within the political and healthcare systems. “I think that his promises are what will lead to that,” Fogel said.

Candidates who have dropped out could still receive state delegates, both from early and Super Tuesday votes. 

“The country’s in a super critical moment,” said Julia Beczkalo, a sophomore who voted for Bernie Sanders. “And I think that these 2020 elections are really going to define how America decides to move forward.”