With about a third of precincts reporting, Decision Desk HQ is projecting former Vice President Joe Biden to win the Minnesota Democratic presidential primary.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders decisively won the state in the 2016 primary over Hillary Clinton, but is projected to narrowly lose to Biden this year.
Biden’s victory comes after home state Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race on Monday and endorsed the former Vice President.
Minneapolis political reporter Theo Keith noted on Twitter that Biden was dominating in the Twin Cities area, despite having less campaign infrastructure and not holding any events in the metro area than Sanders
What’s at stake in the primary?
The state has been allocated 75 delegates who will go to Milwaukee in July to select the nominee, or 1.9% of the total number of delegates. 26 of those delegates will be allocated proportionally based on the state-wide vote, while the remaining 49 are won at the congressional district level.
As in all the Democratic primaries and caucuses this year, delegates at both the state and congressional district level are distributed in proportion to each candidate’s vote share among those with at least 15% support in either the state or district.
The biggest prizes at the congressional district level are the state’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th districts, which together account for a third of the delegates up for grabs tonight. Those districts are dominated by Minneapolis and its suburbs.
Minnesota is the home state to one of the former major contenders in the race, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who ended her campaign on Monday. Before she dropped out, she had been narrowly favored to win the state by FiveThirtyEight’s projection model.
Who does the polling say is ahead?
According to RealClearPolitics’ average of the latest polling data, all taken before Klobuchar’s departure from the race, Klobuchar is in the lead with 28% of Minnesotans supporting her, ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders with 22% of the vote. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in third place, with 13.5% of the vote, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 8.5%, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6.5%, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg at 6%, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at 2.5%.
Notably, all the candidates aside from Klobuchar and Sanders are below the critical 15% threshold, which could put a serious limit on the number of delegates they could win in the state.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast, Sanders was a favorite to win the state, with a 2 in 3 chance of winning the most votes. Even after dropping out, Klobuchar was still the second-most-likely to win, with a 1 in 4 chance. She had previously been a slight favorite in her home state before suspending her campaign.