(CNB News) – Joe Biden has won nine of the 14 states that voted to pick a Democratic White House candidate on Super Tuesday, a remarkable rebound for his campaign, Bernie Sanders seized Super Tuesday’s biggest prize with a win in California as the Democratic Party’s once-crowded presidential field became a two-man contest.
The former US vice-president overturned predictions to narrowly take the key state of Texas from his main challenger, Bernie Sanders.
However, Mr Sanders is projected to win California – the biggest prize of the night – as well as three other states. They lead the race to face Republican President Donald Trump in November.
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg spent more than half a billion dollars of his own money on his campaign, but did not win a single state.
And Senator Elizabeth Warren, once the frontrunner in the race, suffered a humiliating defeat to Mr Biden in her home state of Massachusetts.
Super Tuesday awards more than 1,300 of the 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic White House nomination in July. As things stand, Mr Biden has 402 delegates and Mr Sanders 314.
How important is Biden’s performance?
Only last month, Mr Biden’s campaign was all but written off by some observers after finishing a poor fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in New Hampshire.
But on Tuesday, as well as Texas, Mr Biden took Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.
Virginia and North Carolina are crucial because they are key swing states in the 2020 election.
Exit polls across the board suggested Mr Biden – who was vice-president to Barack Obama – attracted large majorities of African-American voters, a crucial bloc for the Democratic party.
Mr Biden also appears to have won among the type of suburban voters who pollsters say have been turning away from the current US president.
“We are very much alive,” Mr Biden told a crowd in Los Angeles. “Make no mistake about it, this campaign will send Donald Trump packing.”