ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Vice President Joe Biden has claimed a victory in the Sunshine State’s Democratic presidential primary election.
In Tuesday’s election, 77-year-old Biden, who served as vice president to former President Barack Obama, beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist and the only other major Democratic candidate hoping to become their party’s nominee and face President Donald Trump in the November general election.
Biden, who opposes Medicare for All but says he would expand coverage if elected president, has committed to picking a woman as his running mate if nominated by his party. According to Politico, Biden also supports the idea of a $15 minimum wage and wants to make two years of community college free to students. Sanders, on the other hand, thinks college should be free and wants college expenses to be funded by federal and state governments. Click here to see where Biden stands on the rest of the big issues.
After winning Florida’s Democratic primary, Biden addressed voters and poll workers from Delaware, thanking them for making it possible for ballots to be cast amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Americans in three states went to the polls today. I want to thank all the public officials and the poll workers who worked closely with the public health authorities to ensure safe opportunities for voting, to clean and disinfect voting booths and to make sure the voters can cast their ballots while maintaining a distance from one another that was safe," Biden said.
I'm about to address tonight's election results from Delaware. Tune in to watch live: https://t.co/zNUoV08KVa— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 18, 2020
Arizona and Illinois also held primaries Tuesday, according to Ballotpedia. According to the New York Times, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana were scheduled to hold their presidential primary elections Tuesday but postponed them over growing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s important for us to get through this crisis, protect both the public health and our democracy. And today, it looks like once again in Florida and Illinios – we’re still awaiting to hear from Arizona – our campaign has had a very good night. We move closer to securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.”
Biden also had a message for those supporting Sanders, saying he and Sanders may disagree on tactics but that they share a common vision. The former vice president said both candidates recognize the need to provide affordable health care for all Americans and to take on what he called “the existential threat of our time:” climate change.
“Let me say, especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Sen. Sanders: ‘I hear you. I know what’s at stake,’” Biden said. “I know what we have to do. Our goal as a campaign and my goal as a candidate for president is to unify this party and then to unify the nation.”
Aside from Biden and Sanders, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is the only other Democrat still in the race. At last check, she had only received two of the 1,991 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.
Prior to Tuesday’s election, Biden had already received more than 860 delegates. Sanders had already received more than 700.
Florida had an estimated 248 delegates on the line, made up of 219 pledged delegates and 29 superdelegates, according to the website Ballotpedia.
The candidate who lands the 1,991 delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination will go on to secure a spot at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event is set for July 13-16.