Former Vice President Joe Biden Clinches Democratic Presidential Nomination


Courtesy of Eric Sucar // University of Pennsylvania

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Presidential Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, shared the stage with Penn President Amy Gutmann in 2019.

Emily Cox Co-Editor-in-Chief

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been the presumptive Democratic nominee since April, when Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the primary, but Biden’s electoral victories last week allowed him to surpass the necessary 1,991 delegates to claim the nomination on the first ballot of the party’s convention, set to be held in August. 

Biden formally clinched the nomination on June 5, after seven states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, confirmed results from their primary elections on June 2. He is now officially the Democratic nominee for president, and America will be deciding between Biden and President Donald Trump in November. 

“It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded and I am proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party,” Biden said, according to The New York Times. 

Biden spent much of 2019 battling questions about whether he had resources to compete with better-funded primary opponents and whether he was in step with more progressive Democrats who have set the Party’s agenda since Biden and Former President Barack Obama left the White House. 

In February, Biden finished fourth in the Iowa caucus that kicked off the 2020 nomination process. He finished fifth in the New Hampshire primary but rebounded in the Nevada caucus, where he placed second. Biden solidified his comeback in South Carolina, beating Sanders by nearly 29 points. In the following Super Tuesday contests in early March, he took 10 of 14 states. 

As coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders across the United States suspended all in-person campaign activities, Biden spent almost all of the past three months at his Delaware home with wife Dr. Jill Biden, who received her Master of Arts in English from the University. 

The coronavirus death toll, record unemployment and Trump’s uneven and unpopular response to the crisis had boosted Biden’s poll numbers in the past few weeks. Now, as the president has taken a confrontational approach to protests nationwide, several national polls give Biden a significant lead. The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, released last Friday, shows the former vice president leading Trump 50% to 43% a gap that is outside the margin of error.

“I am going to spend every day between now and November 3rd fighting to earn the votes of Americans all across this great country,” Biden promised in a statement released late Friday night, “so that together, we can win, the battle for the soul of this nation, and make sure that as we rebuild our economy, everyone comes along.