Super Tuesday was to be Bernie Sanders' pivotal day, that day in history the self-described Democratic socialist will seal the Democratic nomination that had barely slipped out of his grasp in 2016. But the biggest primary day of the year turned out to be Joe Biden's comeback day -- the day when the genial vice president to Barack Obama scraped off some of the gloss that had been laid on thick on Sanders.

Biden barreled to victory in state after state, riding on overwhelming support from African American voters in the South, showing he had the chops to build a viable and diverse coalition while advocating centrist ideas. He capped off the sweep with a surprisingly powerful victory in Texas, which he snatched from favorite Sanders in a closely fought finish.

In doing so, Biden brought cheer to establishment Democrats and Democratic donors worried of Sanders' intend to bring radical change to government and industry. He also transformed the race, which was a crowded field just a few days ago, to a fight between two seasoned politicians with two very different visions. And that race could now drag on for a long time.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hopes to capitalize on a blowout victory in South Carolina's primary
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hopes to capitalize on a blowout victory in South Carolina's primary AFP / JIM WATSON

Sanders' magic loses shine: Just days before, Bernie Sanders looked unstoppable; Biden's campaign seemed on the verge of collapse, and none of the other contenders for the Democratic ticket seemed to even have a long shot at reining in Sanders.

Since he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Sanders had built up a formidable coalition and a grassroots organization of loyal volunteers. It seemed there was no limit to what he could do.

But Super Tuesday seems to have busted a myth peddled by the Sanders' campaign -- that he is the guy to build the biggest coalition, and he wins when turnout grows. Instead, it looks like the Sanders campaign has failed to grow, and when voters turned out in large numbers, they rooted for Biden -- like in Texas.

Whither Bloomberg and Warren

Super Tuesday was noteworthy not only because Sanders struggled to live up to the hype around his charisma, but also because two of his challengers have been left without a credible path ahead.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who hoped to claim the progressive throne in the Democratic party, lost in her home state and was left a distant third behind Biden and Sanders.

Multi-billionaire Bloomberg, who had spent millions of dollars from his personal fortune to muscle his way to the top of the ticket, could score only one win -- in the territory of American Samoa. Reports have quoted sources close to the Bloomberg campaign that his advisers would meet Wednesday to decide the way forward.

Biden builds up momentum while Sanders slows: Biden's victory in Massachusetts was particularly unexpected- he had never led in any polls in Warren's home state, where Sanders was long considered the favorite. It just showed Biden, despite a late turnaround starting from his South Carolina victory, had built considerable momentum to upset even long-entrenched political equations.

He also swept to victory in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

Biden credited Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who had dropped out of the ticket just a day earlier, for his win in her home state Minnesota.

Sanders won in California, Colorado, Utah and his home state Vermont. But the expectation that he will build up a formidable lead to his closest rival post Super Tuesday has been shattered.

California holds 415 delegates, and Sanders seems to have got the largest delegate haul to date with the win in the Golden State where Latinos and young voters have found his populist agenda attractive. But the final delegate count in the state may not be known for days, even weeks, as state officials count the postal ballots and late votes.

Texas has 228 delegates and the Associated Press has called the race for Biden.

Delegate count

Biden: 252
Sanders: 215
Elizabeth Warren: 15
Michael Bloomberg: 4
Tulsi Gabbard: 1

Democratic White House hopeful Bernie Sanders said the US needs "a foreign policy that not only protects Israel but deals with the suffering of the Palestinian people as well"
Democratic White House hopeful Bernie Sanders said the US needs "a foreign policy that not only protects Israel but deals with the suffering of the Palestinian people as well" AFP / Eric BARADAT

Democratic race just got longer: The race for the Democratic nomination -- which requires a candidate to earn 1,991 delegates -- just got longer.

Six states vote Tuesday, March 10. And four states vote on March 17. Biden and Sanders are expected to divide the spoils on both days.

See the full list here.

Market set to cheer Biden comeback: Stock futures were up, indicating the markets were set to recover Wednesday after their battering the previous day.

Futures on the benchmark S&P 500 expiring in March increased more than 1% after Biden won eight states on Super Tuesday. Futures on the Dow and the NASDAQ both gained more than 1.2%.

Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust in California, told Bloomberg News, “Biden would be a less severe change for markets that already have enough to worry about, with all these external shocks.”

Trump mocks Bloomberg, Warren

Trump, the master politician, used the opportunity to taunt former New York City mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg who had spent a fortune in ads in an attempt to muscle his way into the top of the Democratic ticket.

Trump tweeted: "The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg. His “political” consultants took him for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!

He also took aim at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the other leftist challenger to Bernie Sanders, who crashed and burned Super Tuesday.

"Elizabeth 'Pocahontas' Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts. Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer!"