WASHINGTON, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden widened his lead over veteran Senator Bernie Sanders in six-state Democratic presidential primaries on Tuesday.
Biden was projected to win Mississippi in the south, as well as Missouri and Michigan in the midwest, local media reported.
Biden has garnered substantial support from voters looking for someone who can unite the country and voters whose top priority is beating incumbent President Donald Trump, many political analysts said.
In Michigan, the top prize of the six states, Biden was leading by double digits with 21 percent of precincts reporting on Tuesday night, dealing a heavy blow to Sanders who won the Michigan primary over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Local media said Biden was backed by both African Americans and white working class in Michigan. Moreover, with 85 percent of the expected vote in, turnout surpassed 2016's levels in the state.
In Mississippi, black voters were thought to have delivered decisive victory for Biden, since exit polls found that about two-thirds of Democratic voters in the deep south state are black, the highest rate of any state that has voted so far.
About 75 percent of voters in Mississippi said Biden best understands the concerns of people of color, according to a TheHill news report.
An NBC News exit poll showed that broad-based support underpins Biden's Missouri victory, with especially strong backing from black voters and voters 45 or older.
As polls close in northwestern Washington state amid the coronavirus outbreak, voters picked Biden by 46-27 percent over Sanders in preliminary poll results as best able to handle a major crisis, said an ABC News report.
As many as 38 percent of Washington voters in initial poll results said they were very concerned about the impact of the epidemic, with an additional 44 percent somewhat concerned, said the report, noting that those who were very concerned voted 52-24 percent in favor of Biden.
The polling results remain unclear in Idaho and North Dakota. There are 352 delegates up for grabs across the six states.
Also on Tuesday night, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, an Asian American tech entrepreneur, endorsed Biden live on CNN, calling him "the right man for the job to help us not just defeat Donald Trump, but govern the country in the years ahead."
Tuesday's contests come a week after Super Tuesday's Democratic primaries, in which Biden won 10 of the 14 states voting that day, while Sanders won the other four. Biden led Sanders in pledged delegates with 670 to 574 as of Tuesday morning.
U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is still in the Democratic primary race but is trailing well behind Biden and Sanders.
Trump is expected to win the Republican primaries as he faces no major challengers in the party.