News/OP-Ed: Biden Continues to Dominate Primary Race with Huge Delegate Lead, Amid Coronavirus Postponements
by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor
Following the conclusion of Super Tuesday, nine more states have held their Democratic Primaries. All but one of these states went to Joe Biden, who now takes a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates that seems to secure his spot as the inevitable nominee.
It seemed that Biden had all the momentum following a surprisingly dominant performance on Super Tuesday, one that saw him win ten of the 14 states available off the endorsements of Klobuchar and Buttigieg. This momentum did not slow down in any way, as he won big the following week with victories in key states such as Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. These states were key for Bernie Sanders to make a comeback and build momentum for upcoming races, however, he performed worse than poll-predictions in these states and suffered from low youth-voter turnout.
Biden did not stop there, as he continued to widen his lead to his almost assured victory, sweeping the three primary races held on March 17. These states were Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, three big delegate states with 440 delegates combined of which Biden won 295 off, nearly 70 percent. This huge delegate victory comes from the margin that Biden is winning by, as he dominated in Florida with 62 percent of the vote, well above poll projections. Biden now has 1217 delegates, a 303 delegate lead over Sanders, virtually guaranteeing his victory. He will almost certainly win the delegate lead, it is now just a matter of if he wins the nomination outright or at the convention.
Sanders still can remain in the race and push for a contested convention, which is what he intends to do according to his campaign. He may also benefit from postponements in 14 states due to the Coronavirus. The postponement of states such as New York and Pennslyvania to as late as June, with New York’s being postponed to June 23, could help halt Biden’s momentum. Many states have also decided to switch to voting by mail with extended deadlines as well. Sanders has also gained some momentum himself for his criticism of the Coronavirus relief bill that was pushed in the Senate, which could help him, as the issue becomes more pressing and of concern to voters.
However, Sanders would have to dominantly win the remaining states to stay competitive and just push for a contested convention, which would not favor Sanders as many superdelegates have stated their intent to block a Sanders nomination. So this momentum is too little and too late, and Sanders’s choice remaining in the race can hurt the democratic party in its general election campaign. Similar to 2016, Sanders’s plan to remain in race hurts unification plans, which could lead to many distraught Bernie supporters staying at home rather than supporting who they view as corporate and status-quo.
With the Convention getting even closer, it appears that the race is nearing its conclusion, as Biden will work to expand his support and bring the party together for the general election. His Vice President pick will also be essential and it appears that it will be coming soon, as he is reported to have a shortlist of 10-12 women that he is deciding between according to CNN.