Presidential Primaries: Biden Emerges Victorious in Florida, Illinois and Arizona on ‘Super Tuesday III’

Voters headed to the polls amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Last Updated: March 17, 2020 @ 9:44 PM

Former Vice President Joe Biden dominated Tuesday’s Democratic primaries with early victories in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona, while President Donald Trump’s success in Florida — which also happens to be his new home state — pushed him across the delegate threshold needed to obtain the Republican nomination.

Biden’s early victories on Tuesday have continued to widen the gap between the former vice president and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. A total of 1,991 delegates are needed to secure the Democratic nomination: Biden has won just over 1,120 delegates, while Sanders has won 839. Of the three states holding their primaries on Tuesday, Florida has the most delegates — 219 — up for grabs, while Illinois follows with 155.

Whether the coronavirus pandemic will affect overall voter turnout on Tuesday remains to be seen, however. Ohio was also scheduled to hold its primary on Tuesday, but a last-minute request from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to delay the primary because of the pandemic, followed by an order signed by Ohio Dept. of Health Director Amy Acton, closed all polling locations.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez reminded voters that their “health comes first” and urged the remaining primary states to have vote-by-mail, no-excuse absentee voting, and expanded hours for early voting in place.

“What happened in Ohio last night has only bred more chaos and confusion, and the Democratic Party leadership in Ohio is working tirelessly to protect the right to vote,” Perez said in a statement. “Eligible voters deserve certainty, safety, and accessibility. That’s why states that have not yet held primary elections should focus on implementing the aforementioned measures to make it easier and safer for voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote, instead of moving primaries to later in the cycle when timing around the virus remains unpredictable.”

Florida (polls close at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET)
Winner: Biden

Illinois (polls close at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET)
Winner: Biden

Arizona (polls close at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET)
Winner: Biden

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