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Biden Secures Florida, Illinois To Increase Lead Over Rival Sanders In Democratic Presidential Race

Former vice-president Joe Biden further secured his position as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020 general elections on Tuesday as he won both Florida and Illinois primaries.

Benzinga · 03/18/2020 03:39

Former vice-president Joe Biden further secured his position as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020 general elections on Tuesday as he won both Florida and Illinois primaries.

What Happened

Biden polled 61.7% of all votes in Florida at press time, when 97% of all votes were counted, according to data from the New York Times. Rival candidate and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders polled 22.8%.

In Illinois, Biden had grossed 58.1% of all votes by press time, ahead of Sanders' 37.2%, leaving no possibility for the latter to bounce back in the game.

Arizona is the third state voting on Tuesday, but results were yet to be counted by press time.

Ohio was scheduled to vote Tuesday as well, before Governor Mike DeWine declared a health emergency over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The state has moved the primaries to June 2.

Why It Matters

Biden emerged as the top contender to challenge President Donald Trump in November's general election after his impressive performance on Super Tuesday.

The 77-year old further solidified his position when he toppled Sanders in delegate-rich Michigan, where the latter had defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 primaries. Sanders managed to win just North Dakota last Tuesday, with the other five states going to the former vice-president.

Biden has an estimated 1,121 pledged delegates ahead of Sanders' 839, according to the Times.

What's Next

As Biden seemed headed for a win, he attempted to appeal to Sanders' voter base, which will play a crucial role in his fight against the Republican nominee Trump in November.

"So let me say especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Senator Sanders: I hear you," Biden said in his address after Florida and Arizona results became clear.

"We've moved closer to securing the Democratic Party's nomination for president and we're doing it by building a broad coalition," he added.

The next delegate-rich primaries will happen on April 28 when New York and Pennsylvania go to vote.

Photo Credit; Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia.