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Joe Biden easily wins Florida Democratic primary

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    Agence France-Presse

Washington, United States   /   Wed, March 18, 2020   /   08:22 am
 Joe Biden easily wins Florida Democratic primary Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden hugs his wife Jill after a primary night speech at The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 10, 2020. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid )

Former vice president Joe Biden easily won the Florida primary on Tuesday, widening his lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, TV networks said.

Biden had a huge lead over Sanders with most of the vote counted in Florida, the largest of three states holding primaries on Tuesday under the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak, CNN and MSNBC said.

With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Biden, a 77-year-old centrist, was leading Sanders, a 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist, by 61 percent to 22 percent.

Biden also tops the polls in the other two states voting Tuesday -- Arizona and Illinois.

Victories there could give him an all-but insurmountable lead over Sanders in the race to decide who will top the Democratic ticket against President Donald Trump in November.

A fourth state -- Ohio -- had also been scheduled to hold a primary on Tuesday but Governor Mike DeWine declared a "health emergency" because of coronavirus and voting was postponed.

The coronavirus outbreak is also expected to have had a significant impact on turnout in Florida, Arizona and Illinois.