Democratic primaries: Biden, Sanders vie for Florida, Illinois and Arizona

Voters in three states braved coronavirus fears to head to the primary polls on Tuesday, with former Vice President Joe Biden looking to expand his already commanding Democratic delegate lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Arizona, Florida and Illinois all held their contests despite federal recommendations to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more, with a cumulative 441 party delegates up for grabs between the states.

Ohio, home to an additional 136 Democratic delegates, was also slated to vote on Tuesday, but Gov. Mike DeWine won out in an eleventh-hour legal battle with a state judge to postpone the primary to guard against further contamination.

The Buckeye State is now tentatively scheduled to hold its primary on June 2.

Of the three states still voting Tuesday, Florida is the biggest prize with 219 party delegates, while Illinois holds 155 and Arizona has 67.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, lost all four states to Hillary Clinton in 2016, and polls project Biden to continue the run of moderate dominance this year.

A clean sweep would heap even more pressure to concede on Sanders, who entered Tuesday with 745 delegates to Biden’s 898.

A candidate needs the backing of 1,991 delegates to clinch the nomination and avoid a tense brokering process at the Democratic National Convention in July.

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