Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will spend coming days talking to supporters to “assess his campaign,” his campaign manager said Wednesday following decisive victories Tuesday by former vice president Joe Biden in Florida, Illinois and Arizona that gave him firm control of the Democratic nominating contest.

In an email to supporters, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said there was “no sugarcoating” the results and that Sanders planned to head back to his home state of Vermont after a Senate vote Wednesday. The email did not include a solicitation for campaign donations.

With Biden widening his delegate lead, Sanders is facing growing calls to suspend his campaign. And with more states postponing their primaries due to health concerns, the candidates are facing a hiatus in voting for at least a few weeks — and possibly much longer. The final primaries now could come only weeks before the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to convene in July in Milwaukee — if it is held as planned.

9:50 p.m.
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Sanders on Tuesday’s primaries: ‘You think those were orderly elections?'

Sanders, asked by reporters in the Capitol about how states are handling their primaries, appeared to cast doubt on the decisions by Florida, Illinois and Arizona to hold in-person elections amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“You tell me what happened yesterday. You think those were orderly elections?” Sanders replied when asked whether he’s worried about the primary votes.

Pressed further, he said that the decision is one that officials in each state are going to have to make.

“Who knows,” Sanders said when asked what he thinks the vote totals would have looked like if things had been handled differently Tuesday. “I don’t know. Don’t know.”

When asked about the future of his campaign, Sanders said he’s focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked by CNN’s Manu Raju about his time frame for making a decision on whether to continue his presidential campaign, Sanders replied, “Stop with this."

“I’m dealing with a … global crisis, you know?” Sanders said, using an expletive. "We’re dealing with it. And you’re asking me these questions, right?”

9:31 p.m.
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A battleground race to watch after the Illinois primary

While the big news out of Illinois on Tuesday was the upset of eight-term incumbent Rep. Daniel Lipinski in the Democratic primary by progressive Marie Newman, other primary wins set up races to watch in November.

Among them is the contest in the state’s 14th congressional district, where Republicans selected businessman Jim Oberweis in a seven-way primary to take on incumbent Rep. Lauren Underwood (D), who flipped the traditionally red seat in 2018 to help give Democrats the majority in the House.

Oberweis, a state senator since 2012, is a perennial candidate, having run for elected office six times, including for governor, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, but only prevailing once.

Still, Oberweis, 73, was the choice of the national congressional Republicans to run against 33-year-old Underwood. Despite his senior age, he was named to their “Young Guns” program, which was founded by a trio of congressmen in their late 30s and 40s, including now-former representative Paul D. Ryan, to represent a new generation of Republicans.

The district was held for decades by the longest-serving GOP speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. (Hastert was later convicted of violating federal banking laws to withdraw money to buy the silence of a man who alleged Hastert had molested him as a teenager.) It voted for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by four points in the 2016 presidential election, and is one of the Republicans’ top targets this year.

9:06 p.m.
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Primary for Rep. Cummings’s former seat will be early test of all-mail elections during coronavirus pandemic

An all-mail special election to fill the Baltimore-based seat of the late congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) on April 28 will present an early test of how easy it will be to provide voters safer ways to cast ballots during the coronavirus pandemic without discouraging participation.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday ordered the election to be conducted entirely by mail. Normally, mail-in balloting is an option for any voter who requests a mailed ballot. But in the state’s 7th Congressional District, a black-majority district that encompasses half of the city of Baltimore and smaller swaths of Baltimore and Howard counties, past participation in mailed ballots has been dismally low, raising concerns among voting advocates about how the state will get the word out to voters.

In last year’s Democratic and Republican primaries for governor, for instance, just under 3,000 voters mailed in their ballots in the 7th District, compared with roughly 72,000 who voted in-person on Election Day and another 33,000 who voted early and in-person.

David Becker, the head of the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research, said moving quickly to an all-mail system raises the risk that there won’t be enough time to educate voters who are unaccustomed to it. And that could harm communities of color disproportionately, he said. A study conducted in five California counties in 2018 showed that black and Hispanic voters were twice as likely to vote in person than white voters, he said.

It will also be challenging for the state to produce the far greater volume of mail-in ballots on such short notice, said Judd Choate, the elections director in Colorado, which spent years implementing its all-mail voting system.

Officials with the Maryland Board of Elections did not immediately respond to inquiries about the special election. Armstead B.C. Jones Sr., the elections director for the city of Baltimore, said he is worried about lower turnout, the difficulty for homebound or ill residents to vote by mail, and the high frequency of younger voters failing to update their voter registration after they’ve moved.

But Jones said he pushed for an all-mail election “because I did not want to jeopardize the staff, the election judges as well as the citizens coming to polling places. I would not intentionally do anything that would hinder anyone from voting.”

The two candidates running in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, which became vacant after Cummings’s death, are Kweisi Mfume (D), the former president of the NAACP, and Republican Kim Klacik.

Last year, after Klacik tweeted about blight in Baltimore, Trump criticized Cummings and described the city as “rat and rodent infested.”

8:29 p.m.
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Biden calls Trump ‘xenophobic’ for using phrase ‘Chinese virus’

Biden joined the chorus of criticism over Trump’s morning tweet in which he referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” calling the president’s terminology “xenophobic fearmongering.”

“Stop the xenophobic fearmongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job,” Biden tweeted about eight hours after Trump’s tweet.

Trump was pressed on his continual use of that nickname for the deadly virus during an earlier news briefing and whether he thought it was racist.

“It’s not racist at all, no. No, not at all. It comes from China; that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,” Trump said.

Earlier in the day, Trump wrote: “I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China — against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”

8:15 p.m.
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Citing coronavirus, DNC and Wisconsin Democrats sue state elections commission over voting barriers

The Democratic National Committee and the Wisconsin Democratic Party on Wednesday sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission in federal court, seeking an emergency judgment extending the deadline for registering to vote for the spring primary, currently scheduled for April 7.

Wednesday marks the deadline for electronic and by-mail voter registration.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, also seeks the invalidation of proof of residence and voter identification for absentee ballot applications, as well as of the requirement that ballots be received by Election Day.

The filing represents the latest chapter in an escalating and nationwide legal contest over how to ensure voting access as cases of the novel coronavirus spread. Five states already delayed their contests — Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio — with others possibly following suit in the coming days.

In Wisconsin, the election calendar is inscribed in state law. The elections commission has been proceeding under the assumption in-person voting will take place.

Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said state officials have been attending webinars and conference calls with the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while also working with the state’s Department of Health Services. The commission last week suspended plans to dispatch special voting deputies to deliver absentee ballots to nursing homes, moving to place the materials in the mail instead.

The joint action from the state and national party similarly predicts a scenario in which the governor and legislature do not take more sweeping emergency actions to delay in-person voting.

“As Wisconsin citizens continue to distance themselves to ensure their safety, many will be unwilling to risk their safety and the safety of others by waiting in line to register to vote and cast their vote on election day,” the filing states.

It alleges, “the regulatory scheme that governs the process for Wisconsin citizens to obtain and cast absentee ballots is completely unequipped to handle this unprecedented situation. Multiple provisions of law that establish requirements for registering to vote and absentee voting are now posing direct and severe obstacles to voting.”

Most voters in the state are required to show photo identification when voting at the polls or via absentee ballot. Exceptions include voters in special-care facilities, who can use a witness signature on their absentee ballot as a substitute.

8:08 p.m.
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U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois concedes primary to progressive Marie Newman

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), the first incumbent to lose in a primary this year, conceded the race Wednesday, saying he had run “a campaign to be proud of” but that it appeared he had lost.

“As the numbers stand right now, it appears that I will not prevail,” Lipinski said at a news conference. “If the current numbers do hold, I wanted to congratulate Marie Newman on her victory. I already called Ms. Newman and spoke with her.”

Lipinski attributed the loss to his support for “babies in the womb,” saying that he had alienated members of his party with his antiabortion views, but that he was proud to have never wavered.

“I was pilloried with millions of dollars of TV ads and mailers because of this,” Lipinski said. “The pressure in the Democratic Party on the life issue has never been greater than it is now.”

The eight-term congressman, whose district covers the southwest suburbs of Chicago, is one of a few Democratic incumbents actively opposed by the progressive wing of the party, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Women’s rights groups poured money into the race on behalf of Newman, erasing the financial advantage that usually comes with being an incumbent.

7:39 p.m.
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Bill Weld ends GOP primary bid against Trump

Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, one of three Republicans who challenged President Trump in the GOP primary but never gained traction, became the last to suspend his campaign Wednesday after Trump formally clinched the nomination.

“Two years ago I became concerned enough about the future of this country to begin exploring the possibility of running for President. It is a job I feel certain I have the experience and vision to do,” Weld said in a statement.

Weld was the first Republican to enter the race against Trump in April. Former congressmen Joe Walsh of Illinois and Mark Sanford of South Carolina also entered the ring. Sanford dropped out in November, and Walsh ended his bid in February.

Trump has won almost unanimously in the states where Republicans held primaries. Weld won one delegate, in Iowa, to Trump’s 1,330.

6:03 p.m.
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Biden campaign memo touts ‘increasingly clear’ path to nomination

Biden’s campaign touted his “increasingly clear” path toward the Democratic nomination in a new memo Wednesday to “interested parties” that highlighted the improbably steep climb Sanders has to catch up in the delegate count.

The memo, by deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, estimates that Biden’s delegate lead over Sanders will double after Tuesday’s contests in Arizona, Florida and Illinois, growing to about 320.

That, Bedingfield says, shows a race “nowhere near as close” as the 2008 contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton or the 2016 contest between Clinton and Sanders.

In 2016, Clinton did not open a 320-delegate lead until the California primary in June, she writes, while Obama held about a 100-delegate lead over Clinton at this point in 2008.

To catch up, Bedingfield says, Sanders would need to hit 70-percent support in the remaining nominating contests.

5:26 p.m.
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Sanders’s Jewish liaison feels that history has been made

Calls for Sanders to drop out of the presidential race were growing louder Tuesday, but for the only Jewish liaison for the only Jewish candidate still standing, there was a feeling that history had been made. And couldn’t be unmade.

That meant something big to Joel Rubin, whose career has taken him from the establishment Bush and Obama administrations to the upstart, grass-roots Sanders campaign, where he did Jewish outreach for a man who had seemed until Super Tuesday to have a real shot at becoming the country’s first Jewish major-party presidential nominee and — perhaps — its first Jewish president.

“With the Jewish work we’ve done, we’ve made an impact on the debate in a way one can’t turn back,” Rubin said Tuesday night, as votes were coming in showing Sanders getting swept in primaries in Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

Sanders simply being Jewish wasn’t the significance, Rubin said. It was the way the independent senator from Vermont forcefully rejected that his more left-leaning views — backing diplomacy with Iran and being willing to withhold aid to Israel among them — conflicted with his Jewish identity.

Read more here.

5:16 p.m.
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Trump touts his approval numbers, attacks Biden again amid coronavirus response

President Trump has continued to deny criticism of his administration’s failures to ramp up coronavirus testing sooner, stock hospitals with equipment to keep people alive and take more-decisive measures to protect Americans.

He tweeted Wednesday morning that he gives himself a 10 out of 10 on the coronavirus response. But when a reporter asked him Wednesday how he reassures Americans who don’t trust him to handle this crisis, he repeated his familiar defense: that he is unequivocally doing a good job.

“We have very great approval numbers. People like the job we are doing,” he said, without citing a specific poll. “I’m beating Sleepy Joe Biden by a lot in Florida and a lot of other states,” he said later, again without mentioning which poll he was referring to.

A Pew Research Center survey finds 52 percent of Americans don’t think Trump has taken the threat seriously, and an average of recent approval rating polls show a 52 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing as president. And Trump has for weeks played down the threat of the virus, comparing it to the flu, but he denied Wednesday he did that, either.

“I think my earlier comments are to be calm,” he said.

5:03 p.m.
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Biden calls for stepped-up focus on Trump’s ‘inaction’ on coronavirus

Biden sought Wednesday to make the case that while Trump’s “tone” toward the coronavirus outbreak has changed in recent days, his administration’s response is still falling short, and he outlined several steps he said the president should take.

“Much has been made of changes in the President’s tone in recent days,” Biden said in a lengthy statement. “But with our health care system at risk, a virus spreading, our economy on the brink — and so many lives at stake — it’s time to be less interested in the President’s words and more focused on his actions — or inaction.”

Biden’s statement included several steps he said Trump needs to take, including a more transparent reporting process regarding testing, an expansion of the number of facilities ready to accept sick patients and a surge in medical personnel to the most heavily impacted places.

Some of Biden’s exhortations referenced remarks he made last week as part of an effort by both the former vice president and Sanders to appear presidential during a crisis for which Trump has received mixed marks.

“Last week, I called for the Administration to report every single day on how many tests have been ordered, how many have been conducted, and how many have produced positive results. That reporting still is not happening. It must,” Biden said in his statement.

He also said that “vital equipment” for addressing the coronavirus outbreak remains in short supply, including personal protective equipment for health-care providers and first responders, as well as basic supplies for lab technicians and ventilators for patients

Biden said part of the blame could be traced to Trump’s “misguided trade war with China,” which Biden said led to tariffs on essential medical supplies and reduced their availability in the United States.

4:21 p.m.
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Sanders aides deny report he is suspending his campaign

Sanders’s aides moved swiftly Wednesday to deny a report that he is suspending his campaign.

In a statement, Sanders communications director Mike Casca called the report “wrong.”

“He’s not suspending,” Casca said. “Nothing has changed since this morning’s statement.”

The earlier statement Casca referenced said Sanders would be talking to supporters in the coming days to assess his campaign in the aftermath of losses in three primaries on Tuesday to Biden.

4:13 p.m.
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Klobuchar says Sanders dropping out is ‘so his decision’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who has become a major booster for Joe Biden since ending her own presidential bid, said Wednesday that whether Sen. Bernie Sanders should end his campaign is “so his decision.”

Asked about the prospect during an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Klobuchar heaped praise on Sanders and his supporters and was careful not to appear to be pressuring him.

“That is so his decision, and Bernie, as I said, is a friend,” Klobuchar said. “We came into the Senate together. We’ve worked together on all kinds of things including the price of pharmaceuticals, and we have some major bills on that, and I just have faith that he will make a decision when that decision is right for him. He’s built a movement. He has a lot of people that strongly believe in him.”

Klobuchar went on to praise Biden for his words about Sanders during a live-streamed address Tuesday night amid election returns that showed the former vice president racking up three more decisive primary victories.

“I think Joe Biden’s words last night say it all,” Klobuchar said. “He wants to bring Bernie’s people with him, but it’s going to be on Bernie to make that decision at the right time.”

3:56 p.m.
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Democrats bring on elections expert to advise states on coronavirus disruptions

The Democratic National Committee is bringing on an elections expert and former Virginia elections commissioner to help states sort through changes needed to be made to their primary process to account for the coronavirus pandemic.

The adviser, Edgardo Cortés, will serve as a central point of contact as states grapple with voting delays and other procedural changes, said James Roosevelt, co-chair of the DNC’s rules and bylaws committee.

Five states delayed their contests — Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio — with others possibly following suit in the coming days.

Louisiana’s new date falls outside the DNC’s window for holding nominating contests, which could result in the state losing delegates at the party’s national convention. The DNC’s rules and bylaws committee is expected to weigh emergency calendar changes.

Cortés, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, is an adviser to the Brennan Center’s election security team. He was Virginia’s first elections commissioner and also has served as chairman of the Board for the Electronic Registration Information Center and chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Standards Board.