WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Democratic presidential nominating battle moved on to three more states – Florida, Illinois and Arizona – on Tuesday as the country grappled with the spreading coronavirus.
Voter Fred Hoffman fills out his ballot during the primary election in Ottawa, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2020. The polling station was relocated from a nearby nursing home to a former supermarket due to concerns over the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS/Daniel Acker
Former Vice President Joe Biden has pulled ahead of rival U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the race to amass the minimum 1,991 delegates needed to secure the nomination and challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November’s election. But, with fears escalating about going out in public, low turnout could affect the outcomes of some of the primary elections.
Ohio had also been scheduled to vote on Tuesday, but Governor Mike DeWine postponed his state’s primary until June 2 due to the coronavirus crisis.
There are 441 delegates at stake in the three remaining states holding contests on Tuesday.
Here is a quick look at those races:
Delegate Count: 219
Polls close at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT)
All recent opinion polling in the state found Biden with a commanding lead. Sanders’ praise of literacy programs in Cuba under the nation’s Communist former leader, Fidel Castro, prompted widespread criticism of the senator from Vermont in Florida, a state with a sizable Cuban-American population.
Delegate count: 155
Polls close at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT)
Another state with a respectable allocation of delegates. A handful of recent polls conducted in Illinois since the March 3 Super Tuesday contests in 14 states showed Biden with a sizable lead. In 2016, Sanders lost the Illinois primary to Hillary Clinton, the party’s eventual nominee, by 2 percentage points.
Delegate count: 67
Polls close at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT Wednesday)
Sanders has done well in Western states so far this election, victories his supporters attribute to large support from Latinos. But even that may not be enough to give him a win in Arizona, where polling conducted this month found him trailing Biden by about 20 percentage points.
Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Scott Malone, Peter Cooney and Jonathan Oatis