Former vice president Joe Biden seems headed to become the Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 general election as he solidified his lead over rival candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday.
Biden clinched four states voting on Tuesday, including Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, and Idaho by a comfortable margin, according to the New York Times.
Results in North Dakota and Washington were too early to call, but Sanders maintained the lead in both states. The contest seems particularly close in Washington, where Sanders is leading by about 2,000 votes, with 67% of the results in.
The Sanders campaign was counting on a win in Michigan to keep the presidential hope alive, as the Vermont senator had defeated Hillary Clinton in a close contest in 2016 in the state. Michigan pledges 125 delegates, the most of any state that voted on Tuesday.
Why It Matters
Biden's campaign was revived after his stellar performance on Super Tuesday, as he failed to make it among the top three candidates in the first three primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
This was the first head-to-head contest between Biden and Sanders, after all, but one other candidate dropped out of the race following Super Tuesday results. Tulsi Gabbard, the only other contestant in the race, has two pledged delegates.
If Sanders doesn't win both Washington and North Dakota, it seems Tuesday's results would serve as the demarcation line for the Democratic Presidential Race. Biden leads with 823 pledged delegates against Sanders' 663 at press time, based on the Times data.
As early results came in, former rival candidate Andrew Yang also endorsed Biden as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, as reported by CNN. A number of other candidates, including Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar, have previously endorsed Biden for the contest.
If the race isn't settled, four delegates-heavy states Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Arizona will hold Democratic primaries next Tuesday.
As Michigan results became clear, Biden called for unity in the party.
"We share a common goal and together we are going to defeat Donald Trump," Biden said, thanking Sanders and his supporters for their "energy as passion," as reported by Reuters.
"Winning means uniting America. Not sowing more division and anger," Biden added.
Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.