Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images; Ruobing Su/Business Insider
Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Illinois Democratic primary, handily beating Sen. Bernie Sanders by over 20 percentage points.
Several polling places in Chicago's suburbs were held open an extra hour after difficulties earlier in the day, delaying results.
Going into Tuesday's primaries, Biden had won 864 pledged delegates to the national convention in July, leading Sanders' 705 delegates.
Illinois has 155 delegates up for grabs, and Biden is set to take home a big majority.
Former Vice President Joe Biden decisively won the Illinois Democratic primary.
Illinois Democratic primary results:
Polls for the Illinois Democratic presidential primary closed at 7 PM Central time (8 PM Eastern), but several polling places in Chicago's suburbs were held open for an extra hour after voting difficulties earlier in the day. We'll have live results and vote totals as they come in.
Catch up on live coverage from the primary:
In Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported shortages of polling workers and equipment across the city. As of midday, turnout in Chicago was down by 50% from the same time during the 2016 primary, but early voting was far higher than four years before, according to the Tribune.
The Illinois State Board of Elections tweeted that turnout was also very low in suburban DuPage county. As of noon Central time, only about 14% of registered voters in the county had either voted in person or by mail-in ballot.
After those difficulties, the Cook County Clerk's Office announced that several polling places in Chicago's suburbs would be held open an extra hour, delaying results.
Going into Tuesday's primaries, former Vice President Joe Biden had won 866 pledged delegates to the Democratic convention in July, leading Sen. Bernie Sanders' 709. 1,991 delegates are needed to secure a majority and the nomination without a potentially contested convention.
Biden and Sanders had their first head-to-head debate Sunday night. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic was the biggest topic of the night, and the issue crystallized both candidates' differing approaches to politics: Biden emphasized the need for a steady hand in a time of crisis, while Sanders focused on structural problems in the economy and healthcare system.
Biden's commanding lead in recent primaries suggests that the Democratic electorate is more focused on beating Trump than in Sanders' proposed ambitious democratic socialist platform.
The coronavirus outbreak could have a big impact on the rest of the race. Louisiana announced on Friday that it would be postponing the Democratic primary there, originally scheduled for April 4, for over two months. Ohio postponed its primary, originally scheduled for Tuesday, until June. Georgia, Puerto Rico, Maryland, and Kentucky have also announced postponements.
What's at stake in the primary?
Illinois has 155 pledged delegates on the table. 54 of those delegates are proportionally allocated to candidates based on their statewide vote totals, and the remaining 101 are distributed among the state's 18 congressional districts.
Among the congressional districts, the biggest prizes are the 1st, 7th, and 9th districts, with eight delegates up for grabs in each. The 1st district covers most of the South Side of Chicago and many of the city's southwestern suburbs, the 7th district includes much of the rest of the city proper and several western suburbs, and the 9th district includes parts of the North Side of Chicago and northern suburbs including Evanston.
As in most other states, candidates must earn over the minimum threshold of 15% of the vote in a given district or statewide to earn any delegates. While this was a major factor in earlier primaries when there were still several candidates in the running, now that the race has largely consolidated into a two-way affair between Biden and Sanders, the 15% threshold is likely to play a less important role in Tuesday's elections.
This is what the polling said ahead of the Illinois primary:
According to Real Clear Politics' average of the latest polling data, Biden held a clear lead in the state, with the intended support of 65.4% of voters to Sanders' 22.6%. Gabbard was polling at 2%.
According to FiveThirtyEight's primary election forecast, Biden had a greater than 99% chance of winning the most votes in Illinois. FiveThirtyEight projected that Biden's probable victory will likely translate into winning just over two-thirds of the delegates up for grabs in the state and its congressional districts.
Read the original article on Business Insider