Former Vice President Joe Biden won three more Democratic state primaries on Tuesday, increasing his lead in the race to become the presidential nominee.
Voters in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois on Tuesday chose Biden, with some attributing the wins to Biden’s strong support among African-Americans, senior citizens and party moderates.
Ohio was originally scheduled to hold their primary on Tuesday. However, concerns over the novel coronavirus led officials to postpone it until June.
The decision to delay was opposed by the Ohio Democratic Party, which opted to sue Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose over the postponement.
From his home in Delaware, Biden thanked supporters via livestream for the primary victories, emphasizing the need for unity in advance of the November election.
“Our campaign has had a very good night,” stated Biden on Tuesday, as reported by CNN. “We've moved closer to securing the Democratic Party's nomination for president, and we're doing it by building a broad coalition that we need to win in November.”
Biden also commended the Sanders campaign, saying that they “brought a remarkable passion and tenacity to” various public policy issues.
“So let me say especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Sen. Sanders, I hear you. I know what to stake,” he added.
“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.”
As of Wednesday morning, Biden has secured 1,147 delegates, putting him more than halfway to the minimum 1,991 delegates needed to become the Democratic presidential nominee.
In second place is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont with 861 delegates and in a distant third is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii with two delegates.
Regarding the latest losses, Sanders Campaign Manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement on Wednesday that the senator was going to talk with supporters about the future of his campaign.
“Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign,” stated Shakir, as reported by NBC News.
“In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”