Biden wins in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri

Author: CBS News
Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Joe Biden picked up wins in Tuesday’s contests in Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and Michigan, the state with the night’s largest delegate prize, CBS projects. Washington and North Dakota are toss-ups, CBS News estimates.

As of 2 a.m. ET, Biden had been allocated 820 delegates so far in the race and Bernie Sanders had been allocated 670. Tulsi Gabbard, who remains in the race, has 2 delegates.

Losing Michigan, with 125 delegates, came as a blow to Sanders, who won the state in an upset in 2016. According to exit polls, Biden also won white voters without a college degree — 51% to 45%. This is a group Sanders won in 2016, when he upset Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary.

Biden also prevailed among union households, winning 54%, compared with Sanders’ 42%. And it’s also Biden who voters think has the best chance of beating President Trump in November — 55% to Sanders’ 32%. Defeating Mr. Trump is consistently a top priority for Democratic primary voters.

As Americans remain jittery about the coronavirus outbreak, early exit polls also showed that voters in Michigan and Missouri choose Biden as the candidate they trust the most to handle a major crisis. In Missouri, voters trust Biden (61%) over Sanders (27%) to handle a major crisis. In Michigan, voters trust Biden (51%) over Sanders (32%) to handle a major crisis.

In a somber speech in Philadelphia, Biden called for party unity, thanking Sanders and also Biden’s recent high-profile backers.

“This campaign is taking off and I believe we’re going to do well from this point on. I take nothing for granted. I want to earn every vote in every state,” Biden said.

While Biden’s delegate lead isn’t insurmountable, at this point, Biden now would have to win 50% of the delegates that are yet to be allocated to win a majority outright. Sanders would need to win 56%, Kabir Khanna, of CBS News’ Election and Survey unit, noted.

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