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Joe Biden Clinches Democratic Presidential Nomination

President Joe Biden clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, making official an outcome that was not ever in doubt.

Biden is now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. His formal nomination is set to occur at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

With his victory in the Democratic primary in Georgia, Biden locked in 1,968 pledged convention delegates ― a bare majority of the total number to be awarded. Results in Mississippi and Washington state’s Democratic primaries later Tuesday night were expected to be similarly lopsided.

Biden has already begun to campaign as if the general election were underway. He repeatedly lit into former President Donald Trump in his aggressive State of the Union address on Thursday. Referring to him as his “predecessor,” Biden slammed Trump for, among other things, cozying up to dictators including Russian President Vladimir Putin, fomenting the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and appointing the Supreme Court justices who overturned the national right to an abortion.

Following the speech, Biden hit the campaign trail with new vigor and launched a $30 million ad blitz in seven battleground states.

“Donald Trump believes the job of the president is to take care of Donald Trump,” Biden says in the first TV spot of the blitz. “I believe the job of the president is to fight for you, the American people.”

Incumbent presidents generally have little difficulty winning their party’s presidential nomination. 

Amid unfavorable poll numbers and progressives’ frustration over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, however, Biden might have been expected to field more serious challengers. 

But Democratic voters’ and insiders’ loyalty to Biden extinguished that possibility. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental attorney and conspiratorial vaccine skeptic, initially ran against Biden in the Democratic nominating contests before giving up to run as an independent in October. 

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally in Goffstown, New Hampshire, on Monday. He has kept a busier campaign schedule since his State of the Union speech on Thursday.
President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally in Goffstown, New Hampshire, on Monday. He has kept a busier campaign schedule since his State of the Union speech on Thursday. Josh Reynolds/Associated Press

Self-help author Marianne Williamson and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) ran credible campaigns for the Democratic nomination but still failed to pick up traction. Phillips dropped out last Wednesday.

Biden’s biggest threat from within the Democratic coalition comes from pro-Palestinian activists who have encouraged people to vote “uncommitted” in the Democratic primaries as a protest against Biden’s support for Israel. The activists, who are demanding a permanent cease-fire and an end to U.S. funding of the war, succeeded in obtaining convention delegates in Michigan and Minnesota, and launched a last-minute bid to do the same in Washington state.

The electoral risk of cease-fire advocates staying home on Election Day is greatest for Biden in states like Michigan, where margins are expected to be close and where the Arab-American community, which largely supports the Palestinian people, make up a critical voting bloc.

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