Biden wins latest Democratic primaries, builds formidable lead President Biden

WASHINGTON Joe Biden coasted to blowout victories in Tuesday’s three Democratic presidential primaries, expanding his nearly unbeatable lead in the race to challenge President Donald Trump in November and increasing pressure on rival Bernie Sanders to end his campaign.

The dominating wins in Florida, Illinois and Arizona were a sign Democrats were ready to rally behind Biden and turn their focus to the looming Nov. 3 election battle against Trump, before the campaign enters an extended hiatus with no primary votes scheduled for weeks amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

The victories also raised questions about whether Sanders should continue his pursuit of the White House. Party leaders have worried about a repeat of 2016, when they believe the U.S. senator’s long, bitter primary battle with Hillary Clinton played a role in her upset loss to Trump (73).

Biden (77) strung together a series of decisive wins, routing Sanders by nearly 40 percentage points in Florida, 20 points in Illinois and more than 10 points in Arizona.

In somber remarks broadcast from his home in Delaware, the former vice president said the coronavirus outbreak demanded leadership from the White House, and made an appeal to the many young supporters drawn to Sanders, a democratic socialist.

“Let me say especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Senator Sanders: I hear you. I know what’s at stake. I know what we have to do,” he said. “Our goal as a campaign and my goal as a candidate for president was to unify this party and then to unify the nation.”

Biden’s sweeping victories were powered by a broad coalition of voters of every ideology and demographic, Edison Research polls showed. Young voters between ages 18 and 44 were the only major demographic that backed Sanders on Tuesday, the polls found.

A majority of voters in all three states trusted Biden more than Sanders (78) to handle a major crisis, the polls found, in a sign the deepening health crisis has increased Biden’s appeal as a steady and experienced hand.

They also found seven of 10 voters in all three states believed Biden had the best chance of beating Trump, a crucial factor in this year’s Democratic race where electability has been the top priority for many voters.

Biden’s overpowering performance in Florida, a traditional battleground state where he won every county, was an encouraging general election sign for Democrats. Trump narrowly beat Clinton in Florida in 2016. Al Jazeera

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