Former Vice President Joe Biden could clinch the Democratic presidential nomination as early as this Tuesday, if Washington, D.C., goes ahead with its Democratic primary.
Eight states will hold their primaries on Tuesday, June 2nd, many of them make-up primaries, for elections that would have been held during late March, April, or May, but were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Washington, D.C., had its primary scheduled for June 2nd, and the vote will go ahead as planned.
Biden, who is the Democrats’ presumptive 2020 presidential nominee, has yet to technically “clinch” the nomination — that is, earn the 1,991 delegates necessary to claim the nomination outright through a first-round convention vote. Currently, Biden stands at 1,566 delegates to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 1,007, according to Fox News, which previewed Tuesday’s elections on Monday morning.
Biden needs just 425 more delegates to secure his position and there are 479 delegates available on Tuesday.
There is one hiccup: Sanders and other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have not removed their names from contention on most state ballots.
Sanders, for one, is preserving his campaign in order to collect enough delegates to have an impact on the Democratic party platform, which will also be voted on at the Democratic National Convention, regardless of whether it is an in-person or fully online event. Others like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MN), have wrapped their efforts, but have made no concerted effort to force states to scrub their names from ballots.
“I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates,” Sanders said when wrapping his presidential bid. “We must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.”
He went on to ink a deal with Biden’s campaign to keep his delegates.
In some states holding make-up elections, candidates like Warren and Sanders were still active at the time of their original primaries and will be available choices on make-up ballots.
Joe Biden may be the presumptive nominee, but until he clinches the nomination outright, there is still a chance of a brokered convention — a convention where no candidate wins a statistical majority of delegates throwing the decision to a second convention vote. At that point, although Biden is still the frontrunner, the party could choose to oust the former Veep and replace him with a more viable option.
So far, Biden is running about ten points ahead of President Donald Trump nationally and within four or five points of Trump in most battleground states, leaving him a strong candidate in the 2020 presidential election, but the presidential campaign has yet to start in earnest and Biden has achieved his lead largely by staying out of the spotlight, leaving national polls more of a referendum on Trump’s performance and less of a political contest.
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