KEY POINTS

  • Super Tuesday 3 crowns Joe Biden as Donald Trump's opponent on November 3
  • One poll shows 59% of voters in states yet to vote support Biden versus only 27% for Sanders
  • All three states said they trusted Biden over Sanders to handle a major crisis like the COVID-19

It will be Joe Biden that will take the measure of Donald Trump on November 3.

The man from Delaware proud to be called Barack Obama's vice president swept to victory in three state primaries on Super Tuesday 3. Biden's overwhelming wins now make it mathematically impossible for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, to win the nomination, not with Biden having 1,147 delegates to Sanders' 861.

A total of 1,991 delegates are needed to clinch the Democratic Party's nomination for president. One analyst pointed to a poll showing that 59% of voters in states yet to vote support Biden as against only 27% for Sanders.

On Super Tuesday 3, Biden won big in Arizona (42% of the vote with 69% counted), Illinois (59% with 97% counted) and Florida (62% with 93% counted). Ohio postponed its primary to June out of coronavirus fears. Biden, however, was also favored to take Ohio if the poll in the state did take place.

Heading into Super Tuesday 3, Biden had won 898 delegates to Sanders' 745 delegates. The third person in the race, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, has a mere two delegates. Biden also led in polls in both Illinois and Florida.

A confident Biden exuded the confidence of a winner in his victory speech. He called for unity among Democrats and said his goal is to unify the Democratic Party, and then to unify the nation.

“You know, it's in moments like these we realize we need to put politics aside and work together as Americans," declared Biden. "The coronavirus doesn't care if you're a Democrat or Republican."

Voters seemed to agree Biden stood out as the more presidential and more capable of both beating COVID-19 and Trump in November. Heading into the polls, Democratic primary voters in all three states said they trusted Biden over Sanders to handle a major crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic racing through the U.S.

Some six in 10 voters in Illinois and Arizona said they trust Biden more in a crisis. In Florida, the Biden trust factor was higher at seven in 10. These pre-voting results reflects findings from exit polling last week, which found Biden trusted by a wide margin over Sanders among Democratic primary voters in Michigan, Missouri, and Washington.

Former US vice president Joe Biden, who leads the Democratic presidential nomination race, has appealed to supporters of his rival Bernie Sanders, saying it is time to unite the party and the country to defeat President Donald Trump in November 2020 Former US vice president Joe Biden, who leads the Democratic presidential nomination race, has appealed to supporters of his rival Bernie Sanders, saying it is time to unite the party and the country to defeat President Donald Trump in November 2020 Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB

After the debacle of Super Tuesday 3, Sanders seems to have only one path left: surrender. Displaying defiance, however, Sanders brushed aside the adverse election results in remarks to dismayed supporters.

One Sanders' adviser told CNN's Jeff Zeleny the senator has to weigh if staying in the race is the best way to keep his democratic socialist movement alive.

“If he ends his candidacy, will someone else step into the void and lead the movement?” said the Sanders’ adviser. “Is the best way to stay relevant by staying around for the rest of the race?”

In all three states Biden won on Super Tuesday 3, it was Biden's core voting constituencies of African-Americans and older Americans that paved the way for his win. In Florida, where close to 40% of the population is over 60 years old, voters over the age of 65, moderates and black voters carried Biden to victory, according to the CNN Primary Poll. More than three-quarters in each demographic voted for Biden.

These voters said they preferred a candidate that will unite the country. They also oppose the single payer healthcare system championed by Sanders. Many of them wanted a nominee that can beat Trump. It was these same voters -- those over 65, moderates and African Americans -- that powered Biden to his win in Illinois.