Vice President Joe Biden continued to widen his lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as more ballots were tallied Thursday in Washington’s March 10 presidential primary.
Biden led with nearly 37% of the vote, compared with Sanders, who had nearly 35%, as of Thursday evening — a gap of more than 26,000 votes.
A couple hundred thousand ballots remain to be counted statewide, according to estimates from the Secretary of State’s office. But barring a late reversal, Biden will wind up winning a state that many had pegged as favorable for Sanders.
Biden’s lead has steadily increased over Sanders since the two ended election night in a virtual dead heat.
A win by Biden here would add to his national momentum.
Coming off victories on Super Tuesday, Biden also won four of six states that voted on March 10 — Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri. Sanders won North Dakota, and was looking for a win in Washington, which has 89 pledged delegates at stake — the second most of any state that voted last week.
Under Democratic Party rules, the election is not a winner-take all situation, and Biden and Sanders will split delegates here — although the final allocation won’t be known for weeks.
Turnout in the primary was surging, with more than 1.3 million ballots counted so far in the Democratic primary, which had 13 candidates on the ballot. Nearly 30% of the votes counted so far went to candidates who have ended their campaigns, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren receiving about 10% support and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg getting 9%.
By comparison, about 600,000 had voted so far in the Republican presidential primary, which included only President Donald Trump.