Washington: Former vice president Joe Biden is all-but-guaranteed to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee after defeating Bernie Sanders in a swag of primary contests.
A week after his stunning Super Tuesday comeback, Biden claimed big delegate victories in Missouri, Mississippi and the crucial electoral prize of Michigan on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT). Results have not yet been counted for primaries in Idaho, Washington and North Dakota.
Joe Biden cleaned up big in the Democratic primaries in Missouri, Michigan and Mississippi. Credit:AP
The most closely-watched contest was Michigan in the industrial Midwest, a state where Sanders scored a surprise win over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary.
Donald Trump then went on to flip the state in an extremely narrow victory over Clinton in the presidential election.
With half of Michigan's precincts reporting, Biden was leading Sanders by 53 per cent to 41 per cent. CNN called the race for Biden soon after the polls closed.
Biden ran up big victories with inner-city African American voters and suburban white voters in cities such as Detroit.
Meanwhile, Sanders underperformed in college counties with large numbers of the young and progressive voters he relies on for support.
In Mississippi, Biden was ahead by a resounding 82-14 per cent and by 53-27 per cent in Missouri.
Biden is expected to win big next week in primaries in Florida and Arizona, states where voters tend to be older and more conservative.
Guy Cecil, the head of majority Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, tweeted: "The math is now clear. Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for president and @prioritiesUSA is going to do everything we can to help him defeat Donald Trump in November."
Former Democratic candidate Andrew Yang endorsed Biden on CNN, saying: "The math says Joe is our prohibitive nominee. We need to bring the party together. We need to start working on defeating Donald Trump in the fall."
More to come
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