After their first-choice candidates had withdrawn — and then endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday — supporters of Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke delivered.
On Tuesday, Biden carried Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Massachusetts — where Buttigieg, where the former South Bend, Ind., mayor had a strong grassroots organization; Minnesota, which is represented in the Senate by Klobuchar; and Texas, where O’Rourke had been a congressman — as well as Alabama, Oklahoma and North Carolina. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won his home state, Colorado, Utah and California. Maine had not yet been called as of 5:30 a.m., Wednesday.
The delegate count now sits at 399 for Biden, 322 for Sanders, 44 for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and 42 for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — with 536 still to be awarded. Buttigieg had released his 26 delegates to Biden.
Bloomberg suspended his campaign on Wednesday and endorsed Biden. Warren’s campaign told the Boston Globe that they will press on, still seeing a path forward.
In Whitman, Biden garnered 996 votes to Sanders’ 754, Warren’s 350 and Bloomberg’s 288. Buttigieg took 127 — mostly from early voting the week before his withdrawal, with Klobuchar receiving 44.
In Hanson, Biden garnered 676 votes to Sanders’ 508, Warren’s 250 and Bloomberg’s 231. Buttigieg took 68, with Klobuchar receiving 29.
The primary was an educational experience for two WHRHS students volunteering as election observers in the Whitman Town Clerk’s office. Ian Brown and Samantha Thompson are co-presidents of the school’s History National Honor Society.
They hosted a voter registration at W-H for students who will be 18 by the Nov. 3 Election Day and then asked Town Clerk Dawn Varley if they could observe the election “to see how the whole process works,” Thompson said.
Because Hanson Middle School is a polling location, there was no school in the district on Tuesday.
“I’m seeing a lot of people post on their stories to get out and vote,” Brown said of his fellow students sharing of their interest in the election on Snapchat. He plans to study international affairs through an economics/political science major at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. next year.
“It’s nice to see,” said Thompson of the interest. “I’ve always been very interested in politics, and making sure everyone’s rights are respected,” She will be a nursing student at Curry College in the fall.
While sign-holders were unusually scarce at local polling places for a Presidential Primary, Hanson Democratic Town Committee member Kathleen DiPasqua-Egan was volunteering to provide visibility for Warren.
“We want everyone to vote, we’re unified in that,” DiPasqua-Egan said in agreeing to a photo with fellow sign-holder Benjamin Fletcher, a member of the Hanson Republican Town Committee.
“I really am quite a true believer in Warren,” she said. “Her ideals are ones I believe in and I’m hoping that she prevails as far as the convention — and maybe even further. I think she’d make a great president.”
Rather than being concerned about former Democratic candidates’ endorsements of Biden, DiPasqua-Egan said she supported that development.
“I’m happy that they are coalescing around Biden, because at least they are coalescing around someone who’s a viable candidate to beat Trump. I want Elizabeth Warren to be the one, but if she’s not the one, I’m happy to have it be Biden.”
She disagreed with the perceived need in some quarters of the party that the support of Biden is needed to control Sanders.
“I don’t want to get Bernie under control, I think his ideas are great,” she said. “So I’m happy to have his ideas … which are basically what Elizabeth Warren had, but maybe not everything. … I think any of them would be a huge improvement over our current president.”
DiPasqua-Egan said the country can’t go back in time, it has to move forward.
While Warren, who finished third in her home state of Massachusetts, had a paid full-time staff operating here, supporters of Buttigieg — and to a lesser extent — Klobuchar, throwing their support to Biden were seen as the difference.
Buttigieg did not have an office in the commonwealth, but instead ran a grassroots campaign focused on relational organizing, according to Laura DeVeau of Newton and Marilé Borden of Northborough, grassroots volunteer co-leads for Buttigieg campaign in Massachusetts.
“Pete was the adult in the room, he pulled us all together, he did exactly what he said we needed to do since Day One, which is we need to come together and unite this party to defeat Donald Trump,” DeVeau said. “You know what last night meant to me? It meant we won Massachusetts.”
She said Buttigieg would have surprised people in every state where Biden did well, with the possible exception of North Carolina, on Super Tuesday.
“What this whole experience tells me is that a candidate can light a fire under people and then become an army of happy warriors who want to spread the word about that candidate,” she said.
DeVeau said she could not count the number of people called her or sent her direct messages on social media Tuesday for advice on for whom they should vote.
“These were not volunteers,” she said, but knew of her support for Buttigieg. She did not advise them as to for whom they should vote.
“No one could have anticipated a win by Joe Biden in Elizabeth Warren’s home state,” Borden said Wednesday morning. “But, then again, no one knew the weight that Pete Buttigieg carried in Massachusetts.”
Borden and DeVeau pointed to the grassroots nature of the organization that had been building through volunteer efforts for the past 10 months.
“When our candidate dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden, mountains were moved,” she said. “I have no doubt that we impacted the outcome of the race in our state, and across the nation.”
Benjamin Fletcher, a member of the Hanson Republican Town Committee was among GOP members in both towns out holding signs for state committee candidates Geoff Diehl and KathyJo Boss, while reminding voters that President Trump was also on the ballot.
In Hanson, Diehl won with 723 votes for committeeman to 129 for Gordon Andrews and 21 for Lawrence Novak. Boss won for committee woman with 596 votes to 237 for Jeanie Falcone. In Whitman, Diehl won with 992 votes for committeeman to 89 for Gordon Andrews and 21 for Lawrence Novak. Boss won for committee woman with 774 votes to 273 for Jeanie Falcone
Trump received 805 votes in Hanson to 61 for former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld, 12 for Roque De La Fuents, and 7 for Joe Walsh. In Whitman, Trump garnered 1,012 votes in Hanson to 69 for former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld, 3 for Roque De La Fuents, and 9 for Joe Walsh
“I’m giving some support to Geoff Diehl and KathyJo Boss for the Mass. GOP and also to give President Trump some support,” he said of his reason for sign-holding. “I like his agenda, I like what he’s doing for our country. I like the fact that the economy’s doing well with jobs for people.”
Asked for his reaction to several Democratic candidates’ assertions that the economy still requires many people to hold down more than one job, Fletcher said he agrees.
“I don’t think you’re going to get an argument out of me with that one, because I tend to agree with that logic,” he said as a disabled American. “I do know that President Trump has stated that people with disabilities have — their job number have gone up, too. I personally, living in Massachusetts, have not seen that, so I won’t argue with that point.”