Biden Wins Florida, Illinois and Arizona — Can Sanders Still Win?
Three more states conducted their Democratic primaries last night. As anticipated, Joe Biden is once again the big winner of the night, particularly in Florida, where Biden duped his opponent. Prior to the primaries, the latest polls had indicated that Biden commanded an unequivocal lead in Florida, Arizona, and Illinois.
Biden’s Big Wins
Biden won Florida with 61.9 to Sanders’ 22.8 percent. In Illinois (99 percent of votes reported), Biden prevailed against Sanders with 59.1 to 36.1 percent of the vote. Biden also won comfortably in Arizona. In the Copper State, he obtained 43.6 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 31.6 percent with 88 percent of votes reported.
Besides the aforementioned states, voting should have been taken place in Ohio. However, due to the spread of the Coronavirus, Ohio’s governor had previously ordered that the polling stations be kept closed.
Pressure on Sanders to End His Hopeless Campaign
However, even without an Ohio result, where Biden is also far ahead in the polls, pressure on Sanders to end his hopeless candidacy is likely mounting. So far, the large donations Sanders has received from his supporters has kept him in the race. In February alone, he raised $46.5 million. However, this number also includes Super Tuesday support and thus will not mirror any March donations. Instead, it seems more likely that the campaign donations have started to decline. The latest results now will thus not help Sanders’ financial capabilities. Although Sanders seems reluctant to accept his destiny, a lack of support will eventually force him to leave the race.
Prior to the primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, Biden had already led the race with more than 150 delegates. Assuming that today’s results do not change significantly, Biden will receive 130 additional delegates for his win in Florida, 93 for Illinois, and 26 for Arizona. Combined, Biden will thus win 249 additional delegate votes, bringing the total number to 1129. Almost two thousand votes (1991) are required for the nomination.
Biden Knows He Has Already Won
Sanders, on the other hand, obtained 48 delegates in Florida, 46 in Illinois, and 22 in Arizona. His total number now amounts to 861 – 268 votes behind Joe Biden. However, those eternal optimists, who believe Sanders could still turn the tide, ought to take a look at the next noteworthy primary dates. In April, Biden is set to win Louisiana on April 4th and then win Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and of course, Joe Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania on April 28th. Sanders could not win any of these states in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. Needless to say: Biden leads the polls in all of these states.
Meanwhile, Biden addressed Sanders’ supporters directly after his victories and stated that he and Sanders were both sharing a “common vision.” Both were striving for better health care and sought to combat climate change. “I hear you!” Biden said in the direction of Sanders’ supporters.
The message was clear: Biden is cognizant that he has won the nomination and wants to bring Sanders supporters into the fold. Now he seeks to unite the party and the country. Sanders himself has yet to comment on his further plans. However, one can assume that Sanders will address his supporters at one point today. He needs to answer the question of whether he is finally willing to end his nightmare or whether he wants to continue for reasons of pure vanity and ideology. If he drops out it will be a positive step and and the Democrats can cease to unnecessarily prolong the race any further.
Given Sanders’ history, however, one should not be surprised if he came out today, gave his standard grassroots movement speech, and stated that he was in this fight to win it. The smart and honest decision, however, would be to announce what the whole world — except for Sanders himself — seems to know at this point: the Sanders campaign is over and Joe Biden will become the Democratic party’s nominee.