Rampant Biden crushes Sanders in hat-trick

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has steamrolled rival Bernie Sanders in primary elections in Florida, Illinois and Arizona.

Accelerating his momentum in the race, the former US vice-president made a clean sweep in all three states.

Mr Biden appealed for support directly to Sanders supporters.

With his hat-trick, Mr Biden took another big stride towards becoming the Democratic candidate who will face President Donald Trump in November.

Mr Biden won a smashing victory over Mr Sanders in Florida, the biggest prize of the night with 219 delegates. The former vice-president won 62% of the vote and about 130 delegates. Mr Sanders, with only 23%, took some 48 delegates, with the rest still to be distributed.

Mr Trump won that traditional battleground state by 1.2 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

In Illinois, with most precincts reporting, Mr Biden led the Vermont senator by 59% to 36%.

With most votes counted in Arizona, Mr Biden has a double-digit lead over Mr Sanders in the south-western state.

A Democratic candidate needs 1,991 delegates to clinch the nomination.

On the eve of Tuesday’s vote, Mr Biden was hoping to build on his victories in 16 of the last 21 state contests.

The former US vice-president’s triumph last month in South Carolina – his first ever primary win over three campaigns for president – resuscitated his faltering campaign.

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