Biden strengthens his lead over Sanders on virus-hit primary night

JoeBidencoasted to a resounding victory over Bernie Sanders in the Florida Democratic presidential primary and is expected to win Illinois on Tuesday, approaching the nomination to face President Donald Trump in the November elections.

Biden, 77, and leader, was screened by Edison Research and television networks to reach Arizona after triumphs in Florida and Illinois earlier in the night.

Bidenrolled on Sanders by almost 40 percentage points in Florida and more than 20 percentage points in Illinois, expanding its almost unbeatable advantage in the campaign to choose a Republican Trump challenger in the Nov. 3 elections, before the race does not go into overtime with no vote scheduled for weeks.

The easyBidenwins seemed to be a sign that the Democrats were ready to unite for the campaign against Trump, and could increase the pressure on 78-year-old Sanders to end his presidential candidacy.

Democrats worry about a possible repeat of 2016 when they think his long and bitter main battle with Hillary Clinton played a role in his upset defeat against 73-year-old Trump.

In dark remarks broadcast from his home in Delaware, Bidens said the coronavirus epidemic required White House leadership and called the many young supporters attracted to Sanders, a US socialist Democrat senator.

“Let me say in particular to the young voters who were inspired by Senator Sanders: I can hear you. I know what is at stake. I know what we need to do,” he said. “Our goal as a campaign and my goal as a presidential candidate was to unify this party and then unify the nation.”

Biden’s victories were propelled by a broad coalition of voters of all ideologies and demographics, polls by Edison Research have shown. Young voters between the ages of 18 and 44 were the only major demographics to support Sanders in Florida and Illinois, according to polls.

Voters see Biden as the antidote

Florida, where Trump barely beat Clinton in the general election by 1.2 percentage points in 2016, was the biggest prize of the day with 219 delegates.Biden was believed to have won 104 delegates at Sanders 36 in Florida and in Illinois so far, with over 100 still to be allocated.

Despite growing concerns about the coronavirus epidemic that has closed large public gatherings across the country, Edison Research has estimated the democratic turnout in Florida at 1.85 million – more than the 1.7 million who voted in 2016 and 1.75 million in 2008.

A majority of voters in the three states have trusted Bidenmore more than Sanders to manage a major crisis, according to surveys by Edison Research, the worsening of the health crisis has contributed to increase the attractiveness of Biden in as a firm and experienced hand.

They also found that seven in 10 voters in the three states believed that Biden had the best chance of beating Trump, a crucial factor in this year’s Democratic race where eligibility was the priority for many voters.

Because of the coronavirus, Edison Research, which normally conducts exit surveys, spoke by telephone to early voters and those who intended to vote.

Biden has taken command of the Democratic Race in the past two weeks, scoring victories in 16 of the last 21 state contests and building an advance of about 150 delegates over Sanders in pursuit of the 1991 delegates required to clinch the nomination at the Democratic Convention in July.

“A real disaster”

Polls have also shown that about half of Illinois voters are “very concerned” about the potential effects of the epidemic, which prompted Ohio to cancel its scheduled nomination contest on Tuesday.

“Our goal is that no one has to choose between their constitutional rights and the risk to their health,” Ohio governor Mike DeWine said on Tuesday at a press conference, adding that the completion of the vote would have been “a real disaster”.

Several states have postponed their Democratic presidential primaries, including Georgia, which was due to vote on March 24; Louisiana, April 4; Maryland, April 28; and Kentucky, May 19.

Tom Perez, chairman of the National Democratic Committee, urged the main remaining states not to postpone their vote but to focus on ways to make it safer, such as voting by mail and extending the first hours of voting.

Officials from the three states that voted on Tuesday assured the public that he was safe despite fears about the coronavirus, which has significantly changed American life, forced campaigns to abandon public events and urged other states to postpone future primary elections.

In remarks broadcast live online before the vote ended Tuesday, Sanders did not mention Tuesday’s primaries, but presented a detailed $ 2 trillion plan to deal with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus.

Tracy Finger, 53, wore a face mask as he voted for Sanders in Miami on Tuesday. He said he expected the pandemic to offer the potential Democratic candidate a political boost given the response from the Trump administration, which has drawn criticism for its lack of urgency.

Armed with hand sanitizer in his jacket pocket, Bill Monnin, a 60-year-old bartender recently laid off due to lack of activity due to coronavirus, went to vote in Chicago.

“This is important, it is our responsibility,” he said as he entered Kilmer Elementary School on the north side of Chicago. “It is not yet an impossible situation. You do not have to stay at home.”

(REUTERS)