Tuesday primaries could cement Biden as Dems’ candidate

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The last candidates standing in the Democratic presidential race will put their support to the test on Tuesday in another round of primaries.

Voters in six states, including Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington will all weigh in. The outcome could be a tipping point in the race to face President Trump.

The field of nearly 30 candidates, now down to just two frontrunners, includes progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders and moderate former Vice President Joe Biden. On Monday, they made their final pitch to voters in Missouri and Michigan.

Todd Belt, a political scientist at George Washington University, says with Biden now leading in delegates, Tuesday’s results could be make or break for Sanders.

“Right now, Democrats really want someone who can beat Trump,” Belt said. “If Bernie can’t pull off Michigan, it’s not like he’ll be on life support, but he’ll be pretty close.”

Michigan is the biggest prize on Tuesday, holding more than a third of the 352 delegates up for grabs. It will also be the first of November’s battleground states to weigh in on the presidential election.

President Trump was able to snag the state in the last election with a strong trade message. Thanks to new trade deals, Liz Harrington with the Republican National Committee says the GOP is confident the president will defeat either Democratic candidate.

“Now they see he’s brought real results,” Harrington said. “He’s kept his promises.”

But trade expert Bill Reinsch says farmers and manufacturers who were hurt by the president’s tariffs could shift gears.

“I think in the farm community we’re not going to see the same degree of support for the president that we saw four years ago,” he said.

And with the polls showing that health care and wages top voters’ list of concerns, Reinsch said Michigan could flip back blue.

Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri will host open primaries on Tuesday, which allow any voter — Democrat, Republican or Independent — to vote in the Democratic primary race.

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