Joe Biden Jr. swept to victory in the South and Midwest tonight, demonstrating the strength of his multiracial coalition and extending his delegate advantage over Senator Bernie Sanders as he took command of the Democratic presidential race.

Biden won Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi with overwhelming support from African-Americans and with large margins among suburban and rural white voters, replicating an advantage he displayed on Super Tuesday a week ago when he captured 10 of 14 states.

Based on trends, actual votes and delegates, JimHeath.TV is projecting former Vice President Joe Biden will be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president.

 

Sanders had an opportunity to slow Biden in the polls, but he suffered a grievous blow in what was the most closely watched and biggest delegate prize of the day: Michigan.

One week after suffering a series of unexpected losses on Super Tuesday, Sanders had raced to revive his candidacy in the state.

But even after holding several events across Michigan and mounting some of his most pointed attacks against Biden, he was defeated in what could be a pivotal Midwestern bellwether in a race where the former vice president has triumphed in the South and Sanders has won in the west.

The contest in Michigan held great symbolic significance for both candidates, each of whom has presented himself as uniquely capable of reclaiming the Midwest for Democrats in 2020.

Biden has long boasted of his bond with working-class voters there, while Sanders has enjoyed a lasting political glow from his upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary four years ago.

His inability to replicate that feat against a more popular opponent, Biden, further undercuts his argument that only a candidate who trumpets far-reaching change can energize voters there.

The Michigan and Missouri results were especially foreboding for Sanders because they suggested his strength among rural Midwestern voters in 2016 largely owed to their opposition to Clinton.

Against Biden, Sanders was routed across the countryside of both states.

Sanders, a Vermont liberal, has been reduced to a coalition of only the most liberal Democrats, voters under 30 and some Hispanics, as working-class white voters, a pillar of his base four years go, have abandoned him.

More important on Tuesday was the scope of Biden’s victories: With 365 delegates up for grabs, the former vice president was poised to build what could become an insurmountable advantage

. If he wins with similarly large margins next week in delegate-rich Florida, where Sanders trails badly in polls, he may make it all but impossible for the senator to catch up.

In both Missouri and Mississippi, Biden won black voters by colossal margins, including by more than 70 points in Mississippi, where African-Americans made up nearly two-thirds of the primary electorate, according to exit polls.

But Biden also won white voters by double digits in both states, and carried white voters without college degrees — a friendly constituency for Sanders in 2016 — by a narrower margin.

In a sign that Sanders may struggle to compete with Biden across the Midwest, the exit polls from Missouri showed that Biden carried union households by a 25-point margin over Sanders.

The sudden alliance of Democrats supporting Mr. Biden was in evidence at a rally on Monday evening in Detroit, where the former vice president appeared with two of his former rivals, Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, all of whom endorsed his campaign in the past week.

Embracing a transitional role for himself, Biden said at the rally that he regarded himself “as a bridge” between a trying political moment and the next cadre of Democratic leaders.

“There’s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me,” Biden said. “They are the future of this country.”

 

Attribution:The New York Times
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