Biden wins Washington, splits delegates with Sanders 46-43

More than 20,000 votes seperated the remaining Democratic candidates after the final tally.

EVERETT — Joe Biden’s win in Washington’s Democratic Presidential Primary netted the former vice president 46 of the state’s 89 delegates, with the rest going to Bernie Sanders, according to numbers from the Washington State Democrats.

After the last tally, Biden took 38% of the vote to Sanders’ 37%. About 20,000 ballots separated the two remaining Democrats running to take on President Donald Trump in November. Biden, who struggled early in the race, has won 19 of the last 26 contests and now leads Sanders in pledged delegates by about 300, according to the Associated Press.

“I think at its core, we’ve all had an opportunity to experience what I’ve called the greatest political comeback in modern history,” said state Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, a Biden supporter.

Across the state, Biden beat Sanders in 26 counties. Sanders had the most votes in 13.

Locally, Biden’s strongest support came in Edmonds, Mill Creek and Mukilteo, where his leads hit double digits. Sanders’ best showing was in Everett, where he took 42% of the vote to Biden’s 25%.

The majority of the state’s 89 delegates are pledged by results in congressional districts. Biden won seven of 10, including the 1st, which covers eastern parts of the county like Monroe and Lake Stevens. Sanders won the 2nd and 7th districts, which include the rest of Snohomish County.

In total, Biden took 30 of the 58 delegates pledged by congressional districts.

The statewide vote accounts for the rest. Biden gained 16 of the 31 delegates from the popular vote.

“We’re not happy with the results of course, but we did increase the base of support,” said Carin Chase, Washington state director for the Sanders campaign. “It was a multi-generational, multi-racial campaign, and after Super Tuesday, it was going to be a lot harder of a race going up against the billionaires. But really, it’s all about the delegates.”

Since Biden’s win in the South Carolina primary, he’s taken the lead in pledged delegates and votes in the Democratic primary.

Endorsements from former candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, and a strong local campaign gave Biden the edge in Washington, Liias said.

“We’ve seen Vice President Biden bringing more people into the folds,” he said. “That’s how we’re going to unite the Democratic Party and make Trump a one-term president.”

At this point, securing a majority of delegates will be difficult for Sanders, but there’s still hope, Chase said.

“There’s a lot of states that have not had an opportunity to vote, let’s let those sates have their say,” she said.

There were 13 candidates on the Democratic ballot, although 10 had exited the race prior to Tuesday’s primary.

The candidates who dropped out accounted for a quarter of the votes statewide.

On the other side of the aisle, nearly 700,000 Washington voters cast a ballot for President Donald Trump, who ran unopposed in the primary.

That was the most votes ever cast for a candidate in the state’s presidential primary.

“I think certainly having an engaged group of Republicans will help us down the ticket in Washington state with our state house and senate races,” state Republican Party Chairman Caleb Heimlich said. “Given the fact that there was no competition, it’s pretty impressive that we had as many Republicans turn out as we did. “

Overall, half of the state’s registered voters cast a ballot in the primary, a 15% increase from 2016.

Herald writer Jerry Cornfield contributed to this story.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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