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Biden Wins Democratic Caucuses in Hawaii, Moves Closer to Seizing the Nomination Again

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Updated: | Originally published:

HONOLULU — President Joe Biden won the Democratic caucuses in Hawaii on Wednesday, propelling him closer to winning his party’s nomination again after romping through the Super Tuesday contests earlier this week.

The president defeated long-shot candidates including U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson.

Biden went into the vote with the advantage of incumbency and name recognition. He’s expected to formally clinch the Democratic nomination later this month and will almost certainly face Donald Trump in the general election after his last major Republican rival, Nikki Haley, exited the race.

Biden won with 66% of the vote in a contest in which only 1,563 votes were cast, according to the Hawaii Democratic Party. Twenty-nine percent of voters chose “Uncommitted.”

John Bickel, a high school social studies teacher, voted for Bernie Sanders four years ago but showed up to this year’s caucus in a blue Biden-Harris T-shirt. He liked how Biden shepherded an expansion of the child tax credit, which cut the U.S. child poverty rate in half, and how he stood on the picket line with striking auto workers. He said no other president has done what Biden has done to “be there personally for labor.”

“Those kinds of things really impressed me about Joe Biden,” he said.

Bill Milks, an 80-year-old retiree, voted uncommitted because he doesn’t think Biden, who is 81, is capable of effectively debating or campaigning for president.

“He just is not healthy enough to exhibit a lot of enthusiasm and inspire people to believe that he can hang in there and do a good job for four more years,” Milks said.

Democrats in Hawaii cast their ballots at school cafeterias, community centers and union halls across the state. Only registered voters who were party members were allowed to participate but the party made same-day day party enrollment and voter registration possible at each poll site.

Hawaii is a Democratic Party stronghold. Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s office. All four members of the state’s congressional delegation are Democrats.

Republicans in Hawaii will hold their presidential caucuses on March 12.

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