Ex-vice president Joe Biden wins Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri primaries
Former vice-president Joe Biden expanded his lead over Senator Bernie Sanders with projected victories in three of the six states that held their Democratic presidential nominating contests Tuesday, including the prize catch of the evening, Michigan, a key state rich in delegates needed to win the race.
Biden also picked up Mississippi and Missouri, continuing his winning spree from the South Carolina primaries. He had gone on to win 10 of the 14 states that polled in the Super Tuesday contests last week in a stunning reversal of fortunes, resurrecting his campaign that had been given up for dead.
Washington state, Idaho and North Dakota, the other three states that went to polls Tuesday, had not been called yet.
Biden struck a conciliatory tone in a victory speech from Philadelphia. “I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless passion,” he said, with his wife, the former second lady Jill Biden, by his side. “We share a common goal and together we’ll defeat Donald Trump.”
Sanders uncharacteristically made no remarks.
The Tuesday results may not have sealed the race for Biden, but they certainly made Sanders’s path to the nomination improbable because of the widening gap between him and the former vice-president in their tally of delegates to reach the finishing line with 1,991 — Biden leads Sanders 724-591.
Sanders had won four of these six states in the 2016 primaries against Hillary Clinton, including Michigan. And his chances look bleak in the next four states that hold their nominating contests next Tuesday, that are expected, instead, to put Biden even further out his reach.
Some Democrats don’t see a path for Sanders to the nomination at all after the Tuesday results and are calling for the primaries to be shut down. Jim Clyburn, the South Carolina Democrat whose endorsement is widely seen to have turned around the race for Biden, told NPR, “I think when the night is over, Joe Biden will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and quite frankly, if the night ends the way it has begun, I think it is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates.”