TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Joe Biden has overwhelmingly won a Democratic presidential primary in Kansas that the state party conducted exclusively by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former vice president had been expected to prevail in Saturday’s vote and capture a majority of the state’s delegates to the Democrats’ national nominating commission. Biden took 77% of the vote.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was still in the race when the Kansas party began mailing ballots at the end of March, but he suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden.
Biden won 29 delegates and Sanders got 10, inching Biden closer to the number of delegates he needs to clinch the Democratic nomination. He has a total of 1,435 delegates and needs 1,991 to win the nomination on the first ballot at the party’s national convention this summer, a threshold Biden is likely to reach in June after many states postponed their primaries. Sanders has 984 delegates, according to the count by the Associated Press released Sunday.
Democratic leaders originally had planned to set up polling places across the state in addition to allowing mail balloting. But they scrapped plans for in-person voting at the end of March after Kelly issued a statewide stay-at-home order, and the change nearly tripled participation over four years ago, with 34.7 percent of registered Democrats casting ballots.