Detroit: Surging US presidential candidate Joe Biden has urged Michigan voters to help him bolster his lead over Bernie Sanders as the rivals made their final pitches hours before the battleground state holds its Democratic primary.
The veteran politicians — Biden a moderate former vice president and Sanders a leftist senator calling for nothing less than a political revolution — are locked in a political duel to decide who faces President Donald Trump in the November election.
Michigan is the top prize with the largest number of delegates at stake among six states, and the candidates campaigned heavily here.
While Sanders is desperate to right his listing ship with a strong showing, Biden is riding high, having won 10 of 14 states that voted last Tuesday, and was hoping to continue the momentum.
”Michigan, I’m counting on you in a big way!” Biden told a cheering crowd at a majority black high school in Detroit.
Biden, 77, is flush with the endorsements of several high-profile former rivals in the Democratic race, including two prominent African-American senators: New Jersey’s Cory Booker, who threw his support behind Biden early Monday, and Kamala Harris of California.
Both lawmakers are touted as possible vice presidential picks for Biden.
Michigan ‘could be the turning point’ of the campaign, Booker said at a Biden rally in Flint.
Later in Detroit, he implored Michiganders to get out the vote to help secure a Biden victory.
”We can’t pray he wins, we can’t hope he wins, we can’t wish that he wins,” Booker said.
”We’ve got to vote him in.”
Biden took the stage with Booker, Harris and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, hugging each of them before the quartet held hands and raised them triumphantly aloft.
Biden, who served eight years as deputy to Barack Obama, America’s first black president, has repeatedly warned that Americans were not looking for a revolution — a jab at Sanders, the 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist.
In Detroit, he pushed his Rust Belt roots, highlighted his extensive work in Michigan and reprised his blue-collar message that he honed earlier in the race.
”Wall Street didn’t build America, you built America,” Biden said.