BREAKING: Joe Biden projected to win Illinois Democratic primary

March 17, 2020

Update 10:07 p.m.: Joe Biden is the projected winner of Arizona, according to NBC.

Biden cruised to a relatively easy sweep of the March 17 primaries, claiming Florida, Illinois and Arizona. Gov. Mike DeWine postponed the Ohio primaries amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus COVID-19.

Biden handily defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders in Maricopa County, home of Phoenix and its surrounding suburbs, winning 42% of the Maricopa County vote. Sanders currently sits second among Maricopa County voters with 30% of the vote while Mike Bloomberg collected 13% of the vote.

The current 12 percentage-point margin in Arizona is the thinnest of the three participating states, with Biden winning in a landslide in both Illinois and Florida.

Joe Biden is projected to win the Illinois Democratic primary as the former vice president continues his march toward the Democratic nomination.

With 7% of the vote reported, Biden surged to a massive lead, owning 58.5% of the vote. Sanders remains a distant second, earning 36.8% of the vote, an underwhelming result for the Vermont Senator who put up a fierce battle in the 2016 Illinois Democratic primary before succumbing to Hillary Clinton by less than two percentage points.

The defeat continues a disheartening trajectory for a Sanders campaign that began strong. After a closely contested Iowa caucus won by former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sanders claimed both the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries, solidifying his position as a Democratic frontrunner.

However, Biden’s clean sweep of southern Super Tuesday participants commenced an unrelenting comeback for a Biden campaign that was once left for dead. On March 3, Biden won 10 of the 14 participating states, including Texas, a state the Sanders’ campaign comfortably predicted would fall in his favor. While Sanders did win California, the night’s grandest prize, the victory wasn’t enough to quell the momentum Biden collected.

In addition to the Land of Lincoln, Biden also won Florida, the largest delegate pool available among states voting on March 17.

With the Ohio primary postponed amid concerns surrounding novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Sanders’ campaign will hope to salvage Arizona, which holds 56 delegates. However, falling short in Illinois (155 delegates) and Florida (219) might prove insurmountable.

During Monday’s Democratic debate, Biden pledged to appoint a woman as his vice president running mate, though he did not specify who was in consideration. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Democratic hopeful Kamala Harris, former Georgia House of Representatives member Stacey Abrams and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama each emerged as speculative favorites to accompany the former vice president.

Throughout the debate, both Biden and Sanders expressed their intention of supporting one another should their opponent earn the Democratic nomination.

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