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Chicagoans react to Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday surge

Over the past week, the Democratic field has narrowed and the balance of delegates has shifted. First, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race two days before Super Tuesday. Then, former vice president Joe Biden surpassed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ delegate count, 566 to 501. Billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his campaign and endorsed Biden, as Klobuchar and Buttigieg did when they withdrew from the race.  Finally, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced the suspension of her campaign Thursday morning.

So, what are people on the street making of Biden taking the lead?

Shameer Goss, 27, of Chicago, wasn’t surprised to see the centrist Biden gaining against the more progressive Sanders. “The Democratic Party is a party of moderates, not a liberal party,” Goss said. “I think liberals are always seen as unhinged, and that’s probably why you don’t have a progressive lead form the Democratic Party.”

Rufus McClendon, 52, of Gary, Indiana, agreed. “I just think the momentum is in Biden’s quarter now,” he said. “I just feel for Bernie because I really do think his heart is in it.”

Heather Davis, 31, visiting from Atlanta, saw voting for Biden as a safer option. “People are voting based off of who can beat Trump,” she said.

“Biden has a better shot,” said Neil Laterty, 47, of Chicago.

“Biden has a lot of momentum,” added former journalist Steve Wilson, 49, of Washington, D.C. “I’ve always respected Bernie Sanders and what he stands for. Biden, I have some issues with, but at any rate, he would be better than Trump.”

Even some Republican voters agreed with that sentiment. “Typically, I lean red,” said Matt Miller, 42, of Riverside. “But I’m probably going blue this time because I’m kind of tired of the way this country is going.”

But for Joseph Armour, 52, of Chicago, no candidate provided incentive enough to go to the polls. “You can put someone in office and they say they’re going to do that and do this, they get in office, and contrary to what they say, they never do,” he said.

Carolina Ayala, Anna Busalacchi, Khaliyah Franklin, Gabriela Molina, Alex Peek, O Stecina and Ezra Wilson contributed to this story.

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