Washington: Joe Biden decisively won Michigan’s Democratic primary, seizing a key battleground state that helped propel Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy four years ago.
The former vice president’s victory there, as well as in Missouri and Mississippi, dealt a serious blow to Sanders and substantially widened Biden’s path to the nomination.
The Vermont senator’s hopes rested on Idaho, North Dakota and Washington state, where votes were still being cast or tabulated but where far fewer delegates were at stake. Biden again showed strength with working-class voters and African Americans, who are vital to winning the Democratic nomination.
Tuesday marked the first time voters weighed in on the primary since it effectively narrowed to a two-person race between Sanders and Biden. And the first three large states easily went to Biden, a dramatic reversal for a campaign that appeared on the brink of collapse just two weeks ago.
Now it is Sanders, whose candidacy was ascendant so recently, who must contemplate a path forward. Sanders did not plan to address the public on Tuesday night.
Biden planned to take the stage in Philadelph Even as the contours of the race came into shape, the campaign faced new uncertainty amid fears of the spreading coronavirus.
Both candidates abruptly canceled rallies in Ohio that were scheduled for Tuesday night. Sanders’ campaign said all future events would be decided on a case-by-case basis, while Biden called off a scheduled upcoming stop in Florida.
The Democratic National Committee also said that Sunday’s debate between Sanders and Biden would be conducted without an audience.
It is unclear when they will resume large public events given that top health officials are warning that the virus in the short term will be more widespread.
Among former White House hopefuls and leaders of powerful liberal groups, however, Biden’s momentum is now undeniable.