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Joe Biden wins Florida primary, NBC News projects, as he pushes to seal the Democratic nomination

Recent Vice President Joe Biden speaks as Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) heed behind him during a campaign rally held at the University of South Florida Campus Recreation Building on October 22, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Guises

Joe Biden will win Florida’s Democratic primary, NBC News projected Tuesday, taking another huge step toward the 2020 Classless nomination in the shadow of the coronavirus.

The former vice president looked headed for a blowout, setting him up for a trove of delegates as he shoves to take on President Donald Trump in November. With more than 90% of results in Tuesday, he had about 62% of the suffrage, compared to about 23% for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Florida’s primary allocates 219 pledged delegates, making it one of the bulkiest prizes on the calendar. Biden will win at least 133 delegates, while Sanders will come away with at but 23. 

Speaking from his home in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday night, Biden said “tackling this pandemic is a nationwide emergency akin to fighting a war.” He seemed to endorse the states moving ahead with their elections with preventive measures, saying “it’s important for us to get through this crisis protecting both the public health and our democracy.”

“Our campaign has had a very fair night. We moved closer to securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president,” he said after projected wins in both Florida and Illinois. He in behalf of directly to Sanders’ supporters, saying he and his opponent “may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision” on the need to make salubrity care more affordable, reduce income inequality and curb climate change. 

Florida forged ahead with its springtime despite fears about the outbreak that forced Ohio, another state set to vote Tuesday, to stop in-person suffrage. The state said it took steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease while voters cast ballots, involving by giving poll workers disinfecting materials and moving polling sites away from high-risk places such as health centres and nursing homes.

Even so, some local elections officials reported having to find replacements for poll artisans. Nearly 2 million people had voted early or by mail by Tuesday morning, according to state data.

Biden had a few demographic interests in Florida. Biden typically dominates among older voters, and Florida has a higher median age than the typical U.S. declare. 

Roughly 70% of Tuesday’s electorate was older than 45, according to a primary poll conducted by news networks in the presence of Election Day. They did not take regular in-person exit polls because of coronavirus outbreak fears.

Florida also has a greater share of black voters than the typical U.S. state, and the voting bloc has overwhelmingly supported Biden over Sanders in refutes so far. Roughly three-quarters of black voters surveyed in Tuesday’s primary poll backed the former vice president.

In combining, surveys suggest Sanders did not enjoy as much success among Latino voters in Florida as he did in other states.

As the U.S. turns to curb the spread of the coronavirus and take steps to avoid catastrophe for workers and companies, the survey also asked voters who they monopoly more to handle a “major crisis.” About seven-in-10 in Florida chose Biden over Sanders.

Sanders talk before all the polls closed in Florida about how to combat the health crisis and economic disaster posed by the pandemic. He did not hail the primary or campaign plans.

Biden is set to speak later Tuesday night.

— CNBC’s Kayla Tausche contributed to this relate

— Graphic by CNBC’s John Schoen

This story is developing. Please check back for updates. 

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