Joe Biden stretches lead after winning Michigan Democratic primary

Joe Biden has won Michigan’s Democratic primary, seizing a key battleground state that helped propel Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy four years ago.

The former vice president’s victory in Michigan, as well as Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho, has dealt a serious blow to Mr Sanders, who is urgently seeking to jump-start his flagging campaign.

He could still get a boost in North Dakota or Washington state – but fewer delegates are at stake than in Mississippi, Missouri and Michigan, where Mr Biden’s decisive performance again showed his strength with working-class voters and African Americans.

Joe Biden argued with a worker about his gun control policies at Mack Assembly plant in Detroit

Joe Biden loses his temper at voter

Washington’s primary was too early to call with all votes there cast by mail or by dropping them off in ballot boxes.

The six-state contest marks the first time voters were able to give an indication as to which candidate they preferred since it effectively narrowed to a two-person race between Mr Biden and Mr Sanders.

Mr Sanders’ disappointing performance in a state that he won in the 2016 Democratic primary will increase pressure on the democratic socialist and senator from Vermont to exit the race and help Democrats prepare for an election

campaign against Donald Trump.

Speaking in Philadelphia, Mr Biden thanked his opponent and his supporters for their passion and made an appeal for party unity.

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He said many had “declared that this candidacy was dead” only days ago but said it was not “very much alive”.

Mr Biden added: “We need you, we want you, and there’s a place in our campaign for each of you. I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion.

Bernie Sanders responds to a question from Sky News
Image:There will be pressure on Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race

“We share a common goal and together we’ll defeat Donald Trump.”

The comments come after both candidates cancelled rallies in Ohio that were due to take place on Tuesday night over fears of the coronavirus spreading further.

Mr Sanders’ campaign said all future events would be decided on a case-by-case basis given the concerns over the outbreak. And Mr Biden has since cancelled a planned stop in Florida.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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