St. Patrick’s Day marked one step closer to the end for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as former Vice President Joe Biden swept the three states up for grabs in the March 17 Democratic presidential primaries. As expected, Biden routed Sanders in delegate-rich Florida, and he tacked on convincing wins in Illinois and Arizona as he continued to steamroll his way toward the party’s nomination after seeming to be dead in the water less than a month ago. Ohio had been scheduled to vote as well, but Republican Gov. Mike DeWine shut down the election due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Race on Autopilot Now?
Biden gained some 82 delegates on Sanders in Florida alone, a state where the self-proclaimed democratic socialist was expected to do poorly, especially on the heels of his controversial defense of communist Cuba’s domestic “achievements.” Florida is home to 1.5 million Cuban Americans. Biden further padded his numbers by coasting past Sanders in Illinois, all but making it impossible for the Vermonter to gain a simple plurality of pledged delegates heading into the Democrat convention in Milwaukee in July. Sanders has stated that he will drop out of the race if Biden claims a plurality of delegates.
In a live-streamed speech after Florida and Illinois were called for him, Biden reached out to Sanders’ progressive backers, some of whom have vowed not to support the longtime U.S. senator from Delaware in a general election showdown with President Trump. “Senator Sanders and I may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision – for the need to provide affordable health care for all Americans, reduce income inequity that has risen so drastically, to tackling the existential threat of our time – climate change,” Biden said, championing issues repeatedly stressed by Sanders throughout the primary season.
“So let me say, especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Senator Sanders – I hear you, I know what’s at stake, I know what we have to do,” Biden continued. “Our goal as a campaign and my goal as a candidate for president is to unify this party and then unify the nation.”
Bernie Tunes Results Out
As Biden was speaking like a presumptive nominee, Sanders spent the evening focusing on his attempts to address the Coronavirus calamity in the U.S. Senate. In a live-streamed address of his own early in the evening, Sanders ignored hovering blowout losses in Florida and Illinois and called for the federal government to provide “a direct, emergency $2,000 cash payment to every household in America every month for the duration of the crisis to provide them with the assistance they need to pay their bills and take care of their families.”
The two candidates sounded very much like they were getting accustomed to their new roles moving forward. Biden as the man who will be the Democratic presidential nominee and Sanders as the would-be progressive revolutionary whose White House hopes have been extinguished.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.