November’s presidential election is shaping up to be a contest between President Donald Trump and the former vice president.
By Michael Lehman, Editor-in-Chief
Former vice president Joe Biden has all but clinched the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidency. Biden currently has 1,217 of the 1,991 delegates required to secure the nomination.
This puts him more than 300 delegates ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the only other candidate remaining in the race. Projections show that Sanders, who has 914 delegates, has virtually no chance of winning the nomination or of forcing a contested convention, which occurs when no candidate reaches the 1,991-delegate threshold.
Exactly 27 states and territories have yet to cast their ballots. Many of them, including Indiana, have postponed their contests in response to the present COVID-19 outbreak. Others, such as Wisconsin, are still planning to hold their primaries on their original dates despite urgent calls for social distancing.
Indiana, like many of states, will offer mail-in ballot options for anyone unwilling to visit polling locations.
Indiana rescheduled its primary election from Tuesday, May 5 to Tuesday, June 2, a date when 686 delegates will be at stake across 11 different primaries. Polls suggest that Biden is on track to win the lion’s share of these remaining contests.
It was a much different story just a little over a month ago, back when Sanders was leading in both national polls and the delegate count. Biden’s poor voter turnout earlier this year was possibly caused by the success of several mid-tier candidates, whose support came at the cost of Biden’s in February.
Unlike previous election cycles, a total of six candidates received a significant amount of national support heading into the Iowa caucuses, a time when usually just two or three prominent candidates are left battling it out.
In addition to Biden and Sanders, four mid-tier candidates managed to emerge from a historically diverse field of 29 candidates. They included Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, businessman Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Warren, a high-profile senator, struggled to garner the support many expected her to find and ended her run with 81 delegates. Bloomberg, who spent a record-shattering $900 million on his last-minute campaign, won 55 delegates.
Buttigieg, the young breakout star of the 2020 primaries, won 26 delegates, and Klobuchar won 7 delegates after outperforming the likes of Warren and Biden in the New Hampshire primary.
All of them have since dropped out and, with the exception of Warren, endorsed Biden for the nomination. Warren has yet to make any formal endorsement and may not make one until the Democratic National Committee declares a winner.
Trump, meanwhile, secured the 1,276 delegates required to win the Republican nomination back in mid-March after facing minimal competition from former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who won one delegate, and former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh and businessman Roque De La Fuente, both of whom won zero delegates.
Sanders maintains a willingness to stay in the 2020 race despite current projections. He has announced his intent to participate in the 12th and final Democratic debate with Biden, which is set to occur at some point in the future.
Campaign rallies and events have come to halt since the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting Sanders and Biden to resort to virtual town halls and other digital tools to reach American audiences.
Sanders may be on track to lose the Democratic nomination for the second time, but he has mobilized a large block of younger, far-left voters who will more than likely play a vigorous role in political discourse and Democratic elections for years to come.
Biden recently met with Sanders and informed him that he is moving forward by exploring picks for vice president and various cabinet roles.
The general election for the presidency is slated for Tuesday, November 3.