Biden Loses American Samoa Caucus to Obscure Candidate
Biden Loses American Samoa Caucus to Obscure Candidate

By Jack Phillips

President Joe Biden suffered one loss on Super Tuesday.

It was to little-known candidate Jason Palmer in the Democratic Primary’s caucus in American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean.

The Democratic Party in American Samoa issued a statement on March 5, saying that Mr. Palmer received 51 votes, and the incumbent president received 40.

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), a long-shot candidate, received zero.

Although the territory has a population of about 45,000 people, only 91 people voted.

The American Samoa Democratic Party will certify the results this week along with delegate selections, the statement said.

In 2020, the territory voted in favor of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over former Vice President Biden, giving the New Yorker his only win on Super Tuesday.

American Samoa cast ballots on Super Tuesday, along with 15 U.S. states.

President Biden has yet to lose any states so far, including on Super Tuesday, while President Trump won 14 out of 15 states that day, losing only Vermont—which has an open primary—to Nikki Haley. Ms. Haley also won in Washington, D.C. on March 3.

President Biden is the first incumbent president to lose either a state or U.S. territory in 44 years.

The last incumbent president to do so was President Jimmy Carter, who lost 12 states and territories in 1980 to Sen. Ted Kennedy, a longtime Massachusetts Democrat and scion of the famous political family.

President Carter went on to win the Democratic Party’s nomination but lost his reelection in a landslide to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 general election.

President Biden’s reelection campaign has not released a statement about the American Samoa loss.

The outcome will hardly derail the president’s march toward his party’s nomination. Only six delegates were at stake in the U.S. territory, a tiny collection of islands in the South Pacific.

Mr. Palmer and President Biden each earned three delegates from the race.

Meanwhile, Mr. Palmer, a technology worker, told the Associated Press that he’s never been to American Samoa. “I found out that I had won because my phone started blowing up with friends and campaign staffers texting me,” he said in an interview with the outlet.

“I have been campaigning remotely, doing Zoom town halls, talking to people, listening to them about their concerns and what matters to them,” he added.

On the day before the caucus, Mr. Palmer posted on X that, “Washington D.C. is long overdue for a president who will be an advocate for American Samoa.” His account includes pictures of young people holding homemade campaign signs.

Mr. Palmer is a Baltimore resident who has worked for various businesses and nonprofits, often on issues involving technology and education. He said that voters want “someone who is more of the 21st century than Joe Biden” to serve as president.

According to campaign finance records, he has loaned his campaign more than $500,000 of his own money.

“You can’t take the money with you when you die,” he told AP. “But you can change the world while you’re here.”

Trump Loss in Vermont

Ms. Haley, President Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, secured her only state win in open-primary Vermont on Super Tuesday. Voters don’t have to be registered with a political party, so it is likely that some Democrats voted for her as a way to punish President Trump.

Over the years, Vermont, whose elections are determined by a plurality vote, has leaned heavily Democratic in presidential elections, going for Democrats in every race since 1992.

The state also repeatedly has re-elected U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist who favors a left-wing policy agenda.

Despite her lone win on Super Tuesday, Ms. Haley is far behind President Trump in the delegate battle.

She dropped out of the race on March 6 and was critical of the former president.

She also suggested that she wouldn’t support his reelection bid despite pledging to the Republican National Committee (RNC) last year that she would do so to participate in debates.

Reacting to her departure, President Trump wrote that she got “TROUNCED last night” and noted that Democrats are allowed to vote for Republicans in Vermont’s open primaries. “Much of her money came from Radical Left Democrats, as did many of her voters,” he wrote on Truth Social.

“I’d like to thank my family, friends, and the Great Republican Party for helping me to produce, by far, the most successful Super Tuesday in HISTORY, and would further like to invite all of the Haley supporters to join the greatest movement in the history of our Nation,” the former president continued to say.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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