Biden sweeps three primaries, Trump secures Republican nomination

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
March 18, 2020: Joe Biden wins primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. Donald Trump crosses the delegate threshold to secure the Republican nomination. Maryland moves its primary from April 28 to June 2. blank    blankblank   

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the presidential primary updates you need to know:

  • Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland’s primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, would be postponed to June 2.

Notable Quote of the Day

“The perspective here should be: How do we hold the election in November? Not whether. We had elections during World War II. We held elections during the Civil War. We’re going to hold an election this year. We’ve got to figure out how to do it and to do it in a way that gives us a result that conforms to the idea that it’s the ‘will of the people.’”

– Edward Foley, Ohio State University election law professor

March 17 primary results

Three states—Arizona, Florida, and Illinois—held primaries on TuesdayJoe Biden won all three Democratic primaries and ended the night with at least 249 of the 441 pledged delegates available. Bernie Sanders is projected to receive at least 116 pledged delegates.

In the Republican primary, Donald Trump crossed the delegate threshold necessary to clinch the Republican nomination—1,276 delegates—with his primary win in Florida.

Click here for March 17 presidential primary results by state.


  • Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called on state election officials to implement no-excuse absentee voting and mail out ballots to all registered voters rather than postpone primaries. “The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and we must do everything we can to protect and expand that right instead of bringing our democratic process to a halt,” he said.

  • The Secret Service began providing protection to Joe Biden on Tuesday. His code name is Celtic, the same name used during his vice presidency.

  • Biden discussed the coronavirus pandemic and appealed to Bernie Sanders supporters during an online address Tuesday night.

  • Tulsi Gabbard tweeted that primaries should not be held at this time because of the coronavirus pandemic. She said it would lead to senior voter suppression.

  • During a livestream on Tuesday night, Sanders proposed providing every household with a $2,000 cash payment each month during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Michael Bloomberg is donating $2 million to Swing Left to help organize grassroots campaigns in presidential battlegrounds and competitive congressional races.


  • Donald Trump discussed economic stimulus initiatives during a briefing on Tuesday, including deferring IRS payments and possibly sending checks to every American.

Flashback: March 18, 2016

U.S. District Court Judge Jill Parrish dismissed a lawsuit challenging Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. blank

Click here to learn more.