Joe Biden won enough delegates on Saturday to become the Democratic presidential nominee in November’s election against President Donald Trump, NBC News projects.
To win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on the first ballot at the party's convention, a candidate must receive support from a majority of pledged delegates — at least 1,991 of the total 3,979 pledged delegates available.
Heading into the weekend, Biden had already amassed a projected 1,970 pledged delegates after winning a series of Democratic primaries on June 2. He now has 2,000, according to NBC News.
The presumptive nominee will be officially selected by delegates at the Democratic National Convention, which was postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak and will now be held August 17-20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"This is a difficult time in America’s history. And Donald Trump’s angry, divisive politics is no answer," Biden wrote in a Medium post.
"The country is crying out for leadership. Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that can bring us together," he said. "We need an economy that works for everyone — now. We need jobs that bring dignity — now. We need equal justice — and equal opportunities — for every American now. We need a president who cares about helping us heal — now."
But by the time voters had a chance to begin making their preferences known in early February, the contest had essentially narrowed to a six-way race between Biden, Warren, Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
The former vice president got off to a rough start, finishing a distant fourth in an Iowa caucus marred by technical glitches and irregularities, and netting an even worse fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary. He fared slightly better in the Nevada caucus, coming in second to Sanders — but finishing with less than half the votes earned by the Vermont senator.
He turned his campaign around in South Carolina, where in the state’s primary he took nearly half the vote, won every county in the state and crushed Sanders 49 percent to 20 percent, buoyed by exceptionally strong support from black voters.
Within days, both Klobuchar and Buttigieg dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden, setting the stage for a Super Tuesday near-sweep by Biden, who emerged from the big day of primary voting with more delegates than any other candidate.
From there, there was no looking back. Warren dropped out two days after Super Tuesday, while Sanders waited a few weeks but bowed out in early April as stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus outbreak upended the remaining primary voting nights.
Trump, meanwhile, became the presumptive GOP nominee in March, according to NBC News' Decision Desk, following his projected wins in the Florida and Illinois Republican primaries. Those projected wins put him over the threshold of delegates needed to officially become his party’s nominee.