Former vice president Joe Biden further cemented his path to the Democratic nomination by sweeping all three primaries on Tuesday night, winning by over a million total votes in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois to further his delegate lead over Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)
Biden won the biggest prize of the night, Florida, in a blowout over Sanders, capturing every county and more than doubling Sanders’s vote count. Despite typically polling well with Latinos across the U.S., Sanders saw consistently low support among Florida’s large Hispanic population, after drawing ire for favorable comments about Cuba and its former dictator, Fidel Castro.
Illinois and Arizona were also poor showings for Sanders, who lost by over 20 percent in Illinois, and was down 12 percent in Arizona with 88 percent of precincts reported Wednesday morning.
The projected delegate count for the night showed Biden hauling in 249 to Sanders’s 116, with the former vice president’s overall lead widening to nearly 300 delegates, 1,147-861.
“We’ve moved closer to securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president,” Biden said in a victory speech address streamed online from his home in Wilmington, Del. He also made a pitch for Sanders voters, saying “I hear you. I know what is at stake. And I know what we have to do.”
“Our goal as a campaign, and my goal as a candidate for president, is to unify our party — and to unify our nation,” Biden stated.
The other state which was supposed to vote Tuesday, Ohio, postponed its primary after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a “health emergency” over the coronavirus outbreak, which has upended campaigning for both candidates.