Biden Says Voters Not Looking for Revolution: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden argued Monday that voters in economically distressed places are not looking for the broader “revolution” that opponent Bernie Sanders is promising, as he seeks to expand his delegate advantage in Tuesday’s primaries.

“We’re not looking for a revolution. What we want to do is to be able to trust the water that comes out of the pipes,” Biden said in Flint, Michigan, where a water crisis that began in 2014 still hasn’t been resolved.

Biden focused on his hope to quickly rally the Democratic Party behind him and move on to the battle against President Donald Trump.

“Folks, to unify this nation we first have to unify this party. Over the past week, we’ve gone a long way toward doing that,” he said, joined by former Democratic presidential rival Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator who announced his endorsement of Biden earlier in the day. He cited the endorsements he’s received from most of the other Democratic rivals.

To the supporters of these candidates, he said he had a “simple message,” that “we want you, we need you, there’s a place in our campaign for you.”

Campaigning ahead of primaries Tuesday in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Washington State and Idaho, Biden urged voters to turn out for him and not to take anything for granted after his big wins last week on Super Tuesday.

Biden Holds 24-point Lead in Michigan Primary (10:18 A.M.)

The news keeps getting worse for Bernie Sanders in Michigan, as Joe Biden looks set to extend his delegate lead there on Tuesday.

A Detroit Free Press poll released Monday put the former vice president’s lead in Michigan at 24 points, its highest yet recorded in the state.

In a poll taken just after Super Tuesday, Michigan Democrats preferred Biden by 51%, followed by 27% for Sanders, 13% who declined to answer and 9% for other.

Sanders noted that a similar poll in 2016 showed Hillary Clinton with a 25-point lead in Michigan, which he went on to win narrowly.

The survey of 400 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted March 4-6 by EPIC-MRA for the Free Press. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Biden Holds Double-Digit Lead in National Poll (7:37 a.m.)

Joe Biden has widened his lead over Bernie Sanders to double digits heading into the next batch of Democratic nominating contests Tuesday, a CNN national poll found.

Democratic voters prefer Biden by a 16 percentage-point margin -- 52% to 36% for Sanders -- the poll of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents found.

Biden, who has re-emerged as the front-runner following a stronger-than-anticipated Super Tuesday performance, also saw a spike in his favorability rating, which rose nine points from December to 48%. Sanders, meanwhile, registered his highest unfavorability rating in CNN polling dating back to 2015: 52% hold an unfavorable view of him, up from 44% in December.

Biden registered a nearly 20-point edge among white voters and 10-point one among non-whites. But Sanders has retained strength among Latino voters, the poll found.

The poll of 540 Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, conducted by SSRS on March 4-7, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus five percentage points. -- Kathleen Hunter

Coming Up

Six states hold nominating contests Tuesday: primaries in Michigan, Missouri, Washington state, Mississippi and Idaho, and a caucus in North Dakota.

Democratic candidates debate again on March 15 in Phoenix.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, also sought the Democratic presidential nomination. He endorsed Joe Biden on March 4.)

--With assistance from Kathleen Hunter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Washington, D.C. at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Wasserman

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