Former VP Joe Biden overwhelmed U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the Florida Democratic primary

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The pollsters and pundits expected this: Former Vice President Joe Biden beat U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont by a landslide in Florida’s Democratic primary Tuesday.

The news networks made the call early Tuesday evening, and the unofficial results from the Florida Division of Elections reported Biden with about 62 percent of the vote, compared to Sanders’ 23 percent.

One political consultant, Kevin Cate, said earlier this week: “It will be a very quick and boring night for anybody looking at Florida.”

In the GOP primary, President Donald Trump swept all challengers and had 94 percent of the vote in Florida early in the evening.

Voters went to the polls in Florida amid coronavirus fears.

After several presidential candidates dropped out, the two main Democratic contenders became Biden and Sanders.

Biden, who served as vice president to Barack Obama, is more of a centrist Democrat while Sanders has pushed for a far more liberal agenda, including programs such as Medicare for All.

Biden was already ahead in the delegate counts in the earlier primaries and caucuses, and he’ll amass even more delegates from the Florida race.

The question will be whether Bernie Sanders will drop out, paving the way for Biden to be the Democratic nominee.

The answer could be elusive.

Longtime GOP consultant Mac Stipanovich, who has switched parties and is currently a Democrat, said he isn’t sure what Sanders will do.

“I really don’t know,” Stipanovich said. “He is so hard-headed. He is so full of himself. He is so persuaded that he is the avatar of a movement; the essence of the future, that his ego and the insatiable anger of his core supporters will probably not allow him to withdraw.”

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.