Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE was declared the winner of the Arizona primary Tuesday night, building on his lead in the race after wins in Florida and Illinois.
With just more than 56 percent of precincts reporting, Biden held a 42.8 percent to 30.1 percent lead over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (I-Vt.). The win in Arizona secures a clean sweep of Tuesday's three contests in Florida, Illinois and the Grand Canyon State.
Biden will get a significant boost from Arizona, which has 67 delegates to award, as the former vice president extends his lead over Sanders in the race for the party's nomination.
In a sign of improvement for the former vice president, exit polls showed Biden narrowly edging out Sanders among Hispanic voters. Latinos make up a key Democratic demographic with which Biden has trailed Sanders in recent contests.
The Tuesday sweep will add to a growing delegate lead that is increasingly narrowing Sanders's potential path to the nomination. Entering Tuesday more than 150 delegates behind, the Vermont lawmaker would essentially need a surging Biden to suddenly crater to be able to make up the deficit in the remaining states.
Arizona could play a critical role in the 2020 election. The state, which went for President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE in 2016, is one of a handful of battleground states the Democratic National Committee is targeting.