Biden coasts to victory in New Jersey, Delaware primaries, NBC News projects

Amy Kennedy won the chance to run against Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who changed his party affiliation in 2019 because he opposed efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, The Associated Press projected.
Image: FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Biden holds campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware
Former Vice President Joe Biden thrusts his fist while answering questions from reporters during a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on June 30, 2020.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

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By Adam Edelman

Joe Biden has won the Democratic presidential primaries in New Jersey and his home state of Delaware, NBC News projects.

The pair of wins Tuesday night allows Biden, who is already the presumptive Democratic nominee, to build on the delegate haul he’s already amassed heading into next month’s scaled-down Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. Biden officially became the party’s presumptive nominee last month when he exceeded the 1,991 pledged delegates needed to do so.

Both states are conducting their primaries almost entirely by mail, due to the coronavirus pandemic. And in New Jersey, where politics watchers were closely following several congressional primaries, election officials cautioned that results were not likely to be known for several days, because ballots can be postmarked as late at 8:00 p.m. ET Tuesday.

In recent weeks, all registered Democratic and Republican voters have received a ballot in the mail, while unaffiliated and inactive voters have received absentee ballot applications. Additionally, every municipality in the state will open at least one polling location.

Mail-in ballots were sent to 2.3 million registered Democrats and 1.3 million registered Republicans and approximately 100,000 registered unaffiliated voters, an official with the state’s office of the secretary of state, which runs elections, told NBC News Tuesday.

The official added that, as of Monday night, about 950,000 mail-in ballots had been returned.

In the state’s Second Congressional District, one of the Garden State's most closely-watched races,which covers the southern portion of the state, The Associated Press projected Amy Kennedy emerged victorious as the Democrat who will run against Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who changed his party affiliation in 2019 because he opposed House Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.

Kennedy, a former public school teacher who is the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy and the daughter-in-law of former Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, received the support of the state’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, as well as a handful of progressive groups.

Her opponent, political scientist Brigid Callahan Harrison, had the backing of both of the state’s Democratic U.S. senators, as well as key local union groups and politicians.

Democratic Sen. Cory Booker also faced a progressive primary challenger, and a number of Republicans are competing for the chance to challenge him this fall. But Booker was not threatened in the primary as NBC News projected his win.

Alex Domb contributed.