Joe Biden officially clinches Democratic presidential nomination

  06 June 2020    Read: 725
Joe Biden officially clinches Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden has officially captured the Democratic presidential nomination, crossing the delegate threshold to represent the party in a general election contest against Donald Trump.

The Associated Press called the nomination for the former vice-president on Friday night.

“It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded,” Biden said in a statement, “and I am proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party.”

Though Biden has been the presumptive nominee for months, his primary victories in states across the country on Tuesday helped him secure the 1,991 unpledged delegates necessary to win the nomination. His rival, Bernie Sanders, who exited the race in April, is still collecting delegates in an effort to influence the party’s platform at its August convention.

The milestone comes as the nation faces compounding crises wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, soaring unemployment and a wave of protests over racism and police brutality. Biden enters the November 2020 general election in a strong position, with polling showing him ahead in a number of key battleground states. 

Biden and Trump have set out opposing visions amid the upheaval over police brutality, with Biden opting for a somber and unifying tone.

“This is a difficult time in America’s history. And Donald Trump’s angry, divisive politics is no answer,” he said in a statement on Friday night. “The country is crying out for leadership. Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that can bring us together … We need a president who cares about helping us heal – now.”

Constrained by the dangers of the virus, the former vice-president has been forced lately to campaign mostly from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, after dashing around the country to rallies and fundraisers, as is traditional, before the pandemic hit the US.

But he recently began to leave his home, traveling on Tuesday to Philadelphia, where he delivered a searing speech on race in America, assailing Trump’s leadership and accusing his opponent of inflaming rather than calming a nation convulsed by protests and unrest. 

Biden was labeled the comeback kid after his campaign was nosediving in early 2020, with Sanders surging ahead and challengers such as Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg pressing hard in debates, but Biden suddenly revived.

After he suffered in key early nominating votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, leading African American political influencers swung behind Barack Obama’s two-term vice-president in the run-up to the South Carolina primary and the Super Tuesday series of primaries and Biden scored unexpectedly resounding victories.

He ended up sweeping the south and surfed the momentum – or “Joementum”, as his campaign called it – to the nomination at age 77.

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