Joe Biden speaks about President Donald Trump's response to protests and rioting across the United States during an event in Philadelphia.(REUTERS)
Joe Biden speaks about President Donald Trump's response to protests and rioting across the United States during an event in Philadelphia.(REUTERS)

Joe Biden inches closer to Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden’s nomination is assured and despite early talk of a contested convention when Bernie Sanders had looked strong.
Hindustan Times, Washington | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2020 11:00 PM IST

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the White House, won seven state primaries on Tuesday that together took him into touching distance of the 1,991 delegates he needs to pocket the nomination; he now has 1,922.

With the last serious rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, out of the race for weeks now, the former vice-president has had the field all to himself.

More than 400 delegates were up for grabs in the seven states that held their primaries on Tuesday, in the twin shadow of the country-wide protests against racism triggered by the killing of George Floy, an African American man, in police custody and the Covid-q9 epidemic that has killed more than 106,000 people in the United States.

Biden won all the seven states — Maryland, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota — and the District of Colombia. New Jersey and Connecticut were also scheduled to hold their primaries on Tuesday but have postposed to a later date in July.

Georgia and West Virginia are next, on June 7.

In all, 4,750 delates — included 3,979 pledged delegates and 771 superdelegates (past and former presidents, other elected officials) — will pick the Democratic nominee at the party convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin starting August 17.

Biden’s nomination is assured and despite early talk of a contested convention when Sanders had looked strong. The South Carolina primaries of February 29 changed the course of the race completely, setting Biden on the path to the nomination.

Just the formal nomination now stands in the way of Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, in a direct fight President Donald Trump in the November 3 elections.

The former vice-president has been beating Trump in polls, and by wide margin. He is ahead of the president by 8 points in the RealClearPolitics average of all polls (49.3-41.3),

Trump has been been faring poorly in polls. After a brief uptick in favorability number in early days of the Covid-19 epidemic, its his unfavorable numbers that have since been climbing as deaths and infections surged and his administration stumbled from one shortage to another, marked by his own pronouncements, such as the suggestion to use of household disinfectants to combat the coronavirus.

After been confined indoors at home in Delaware by the virus for weeks, Biden traveled to Philadelphia for a highly anticipated address the nation in which he delivered a stinging rebuke of the president’s handling of the civil unrest, and offered, his supporters argued, the kind of leadership and vision that is currently missing.

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