On Tuesday, March 17, three states voted: Florida, Illinois, and Arizona. Ohio was also scheduled to vote on Tuesday, but amid fears of the spread of coronavirus and encouragement of social distancing, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine successfully delayed voting in the state until June 2.
Still, even without Ohio, over half of the pledged delegates to determine the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee will have been decided once all the votes are tallied.
Thus far, this is how the delegate count is shaking out with the votes from Florida and Illinois, per Decision Desk:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden: 262 delegates
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 120 delegates
Overall, that puts Biden at 1133 delegates and Sanders at 833. Candidates have to reach 1,991 pledged delegates of 3,979 available to clinch the nomination. We’ll continue to update the results as they come in.
Ahead of Tuesday’s primaries, Vox’s Ella Nilsen laid out the stakes:
The Democratic primary has narrowed to a two-man race between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). But since last Tuesday’s primaries coincided with a growing concern about coronavirus, both candidates have transitioned their campaigns to largely virtual operations so as not to risk exposing campaign staff, volunteers, voters, or themselves to the spreading virus.
As for the state of the race itself, Biden is the current frontrunner with about 150 more delegates than Sanders. The fundamentals of the March 17 primaries look favorable for Biden as well; Arizona’s Latino population could be a bright spot for Sanders, but Florida’s Latino population is not nearly as favorable to the Vermont senator. And Florida has far more delegates up for grabs than Arizona does.
What happens next as the voting totals and delegate numbers roll in remains to be seen. The bigger Biden’s lead becomes, the harder it will be for Sanders to catch up. And looming coronavirus fears in the background could complicate it even more — already, several other states have delayed their primaries.