Joe Biden has been declared the winner of last week’s Democratic presidential primary in Washington state, giving him victories in five out of six states that voted last Tuesday.
After nearly a week of counting votes, the former vice president on Monday morning held a small lead over Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, which later in the day became insurmountable.
Washington was a state Mr Sanders had been hoping to win. In 2016, he won more than two-thirds of the delegates from the Washington caucuses over Hillary Clinton.
Mr Biden won four other states last Tuesday: Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan and Idaho. Mr Sanders won North Dakota.
If I win the nomination, my pick for vice president will be a woman. If I win the presidency and have the opportunity, I will name the first black woman ever to the Supreme Court.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 16, 2020
A Biden administration will reflect the country we are proud to work for. pic.twitter.com/1rFvE94YIg
In Washington, Democrats used the vote-by-mail presidential primary — moved up this year from May — for the first time to allocate delegates instead of the smaller caucuses used in previous years.
Three states — Arizona, Illinois and Florida — are scheduled to hold primaries on Tuesday, while Ohio is set to cancel its primary owing to the coronavirus.
While an Ohio judge on Monday denied a request to delay that state’s election, hours later the state’s governor Mike DeWine said the state’s health director would declare a health emergency and order the polls not to open.
Officials in Arizona, Illinois and Florida say they are making preparations to ensure the safety of voters, even as concerns mount that there will not be enough poll workers in some precincts and voters will be confused after polling booths in nursing homes were moved to other locations.
Elsewhere, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana have postponed their scheduled primaries.