Joe Biden sweeps 3 states in Tuesday primaries, gets closer to securing Democratic nomination
Former Vice-President Joe Biden swept all three states that held their nominating contests Tuesday, getting closer to securing the Democratic party nomination to take on President Donald Trump, who clinched his nomination officially, wrapping up the Republican primaries practically unopposed.
Senator Bernie Sanders’s path to the nomination is nearly closed now and is expected to come under increasing pressure to end his campaign. Many Democrats declared the race over, and publicly called and signalled for him to give up and not repeat 2016 when he had refused to concede till the end, considerably hurting Hillary Clinton, the nominee.
President Trump, meanwhile, easily wrapped up the Republican primaries, winning 1,330 delegates, way more than the 1,276 needed (Democrats have a different count and threshold). He faced no serious challenge. Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, finished a distant second with just one delegate.
Biden will now need to unify the Democratic party and win over Sander’s supporters. And he began in real earnest in his victory speech Tuesday, which was sombre given the mood of a nation concerned by the spread of coronavirus that has infected more than 5,600 people and killed ate least 100.
“Our campaign has had a very good night,” Biden said, after he was projected to win Florida and Illinois (Arizona was awaited). “And we’ve moved closer to securing the Democratic party’s nomination for president.”
But he sought to quickly reach out to Sanders and his supporters. He said he and the Vermont senator “may disagree on tactics, but we have a common vision”. And to Sanders’s supporters, Biden said, “and let me say, especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Senator Sanders: I hear you. I know what is at stake. And I know what we have to do.”
Biden won Florida and Illinois with massive leads and was set to win Arizona as well, building on momentum that started in South Carolina, grew on Super Tuesday victories in 10 of 14 states, and continued to roll since picking up five of the six states in the next round, last week.
And three out of three on Tuesday, which helped put Biden way beyond Sanders’s reach, according to experts. “No Dem (Democrat) has ever come back from anything like this deficit,” wrote David Axelrod, a key strategist of President Barack Obama’s elections in 2008 and 2012 and now a CNN commentator, wrote on twitter. “The race for the nomination is over. That is the reality.”