Biden extends his lead over Sanders for Democratic nomination
Joe Biden has stretched his lead in the race to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate after taking the latest three primaries to be contested.
The former vice president beat his only remaining rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, in Florida, Illinois and Arizona. A total of 441 convention delegates were up for grabs, with 1,991 needed in total to win the nomination.
Currently Biden has 1,147 pledges to Sanders’ 861.
Ohio was also due to vote but called off the poll because of concerns over coronavirus. It is now due to hold its primary on 2 June.
There are currently at least 3,650 confirmed cases in the US and more than 100 deaths. It is now present in all 50 states after West Virginia reported its first case of the infection on Tuesday.
In fact the spread of COVID-19 was the dominant theme of the night, with neither candidate addressing live election rallies after President Trump told people to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
Instead Mr Biden used a video stream on his YouTube page to appeal for Americans to put on a united front, whatever their political persuasion.
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“It’s moments like these we realise we need to put politics aside and work together as Americans,” he said. “The coronavirus doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. … We’re all in this together.”
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He also addressed his opponent directly in what sounded like a tribute to a valiant but vanquished foe.
“Senator Sanders and his supporters have brought a remarkable passion and tenacity to all of these issues,” he said.
“Together they have shifted the fundamental conversation in this country. So let me say especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Sen. Sanders, I hear you. I know what to stake. I know what we have to do.
“Our goal is as a campaign, and my goal as a candidate for president is to unify this party, and then to unify the nation.”