After several profoundly successful weeks, Joe Biden entered Tuesday night’s primaries as the odds-on favorite yet again. According to the latest polls, Biden is going to win in all four states. However, after Ohio postponed its primary due to the coronavirus, only Illinois, Florida, and Arizona are voting today on March 17.
Biden’s Surge to Dominance
Biden gained a decisive lead in the Democratic race with a series of victories in South Carolina, which was then followed by spectacular victories on Super Tuesday, March 3 and his decisive win in Michigan the next Tuesday on March 10.
Tonight will look no different. In Florida, where 219 pledged delegates are available, Biden leads Sanders by over forty percent (63.5 to 22.9). Four years ago, against Hillary Clinton, Sanders did not stand a chance either but was at least able to obtain one-third of the vote. However, Sanders would not be Sanders if he had not done everything he could in the past few weeks to become persona non grata in Florida. First, Sanders doubled down on the high praise he had once given the vicious Fidel Castro regime and its “literacy program.” Unsurprisingly, his words were not well received in a state with a high proportion of exiled Cubans. Moreover, Sanders’ statement that the Israeli government was racist did not transform the high proportion of Jewish voters in Florida into Bernie Bros either. Who would have thought?
Tonight’s Primaries Likely to be a Debacle for Sanders
Biden also remains ahead of Sanders in Arizona (55.2 to 31.8), Illinois (58.7 to 29.9), and Ohio (59.6 to 31.8). The polling exposes Sanders’ pseudo momentum and the faulty power of his so-called grassroots movement. In 2016, Sanders also lost all those states to Clinton. However, he managed to receive at least forty percent in every state. Today’s primaries are likely to be a debacle for Sanders, which could easily culminate in humiliation.
Naturally, the coronavirus crisis will have a massive impact on the Democratic primary, too. Not only that, Biden and Sanders canceled a series of campaign events, but the states of Louisiana and Georgia had already postponed their primaries. Earlier on, the news broke that tonight’s primary in Ohio would also be rescheduled.
Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine arbitrarily postponed the state’s primary just hours before voting began. DeWine declared a public health emergency due to the virus’ outbreak, after his previous request to postpone had been rejected by a judge. According to DeWine, the decision was made because the coronavirus outbreak put both voters and campaign workers in potential danger.
Sanders Will Now Suffer Defeats in Only Three States Tuesday Night
Instead of four, Sanders will now suffer defeats in “only” three states. Nonetheless, a scenario in which Sanders becomes the Democratic nominee remains hopeless and this will be further exacerbated tonight. After all, all tonight’s states are delegate-rich. Biden currently leads the race with 880 to 729 delegates. Florida, Illinois, and Arizona alone are awarding another 441, and the majority is going to be obtained by Joe Biden, further increasing his lead.
A “miracle” for Sanders would be if the majority of Biden voters remain at home due to the current crisis. It seems the only way for Sanders to avoid defeat tonight would be if his supporters showed up in large numbers. In any other election year, his current situation would have been judged much more dramatically. However, the coronavirus has rightfully taken over the headlines, and Sanders’ disastrous campaign has thus been flying somewhat under the radar.
With the anticipated results, however, it seems unlikely that the pandemic can continue to provide cover for Sanders and the fact that his race has ended since Joe Biden annihilated him and his aspirations on Super Tuesday and Bernie shows no signs of a comeback.