Joe Biden takes a decisive advantage in a democratic race threatened by the coronavirus

The televised debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, in an empty bar, during the Covid-19 epidemic, in Los Angeles, on March 15.
The televised debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, in an empty bar, during the Covid-19 epidemic, in Los Angeles, on March 15. MARIO TAMA / AFP

Joe Biden widened an arguably irremediable lead in the presidential Democratic nomination race on Tuesday March 17, adding three states to his already long list of wins. The former vice president crushed rival Bernie Sanders in Florida and Illinois, two states rich in delegates, with 61.9% and 59.1% of the votes, respectively. He also dominated it in Arizona (43.5%, versus 31.3% for his opponent), the third and last to rule.

The primary scheduled for the same day in Ohio had been postponed by state health officials just hours before the opening of polling stations for fear of the threat that the coronavirus now poses in the United States.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Coronavirus catches up to Democratic nomination in tense U.S.

After a disastrous start in Iowa and New Hampshire, from which Bernie Sanders had benefited, Joe Biden took an ascendancy that nothing seems to be able to thwart. Rightly or wrongly, the former vice president appears to be the candidate capable of fulfilling the main mission that Democratic voters expect of him: to beat Donald Trump in November.

Silent Tuesday night for the second consecutive election night, Bernie Sanders knew in advance that it would be complicated for him in three states that he had not been able to win in 2016, when he ran for the first time presidential inauguration.

Sanders back to the wall

Not only did it not come as a surprise, but it has been on the decline in both Florida and Illinois. Offensive during the debate which opposed him to the former vice-president on March 15, the independent senator from Vermont had hoped that his rival, often borrowed, would miss this appointment. Without being particularly flamboyant, Joe Biden had passed the obstacle without incident.

The senator now finds his back to the wall. Unable so far to get more than 40% of the delegates who will theoretically vote in July at the National Convention in Milwaukee (Wisconsin), he must now capture more than 58% of the rest to continue to hope. This objective seems all the more out of reach since the majority of the states which had declared themselves in favor of it in 2016 have already voted: it no longer has any reservations.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also US Presidential J-230: Bernie Sanders on the verge of losing the Democratic nomination contest

The dramatic turn taken by the Covid-19 epidemic in the United States also weighs on Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator focused his campaign on the need for a "Political revolution", very ambitious. The former vice-president highlights, on the contrary, his experience in managing comparable health crises and reiterates that voters "Want results", a message more suited to an emergency situation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here