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Biden increases delegate lead over Sanders after more allocated in Texas

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Image: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate former Vice President Jo
Joe Biden at a campaign event in Dallas on March 2, 2020.   -   Copyright  Eric Thayer Reuters
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A majority of Texas' pledged delegates for its Democratic primary were allocated Thursday, increasing Joe Biden's lead over Bernie Sanders in the race to amassenough delegates to clinch the party's presidential nomination.

Biden won Texas— which, with 228 pledged delegates, was the second-largest Super Tuesday prize — netting 34.5 percent of the vote in the primary, compared to 29.9 percent for Sanders. Mike Bloomberg, who dropped out of the race on Wednesday, got 14.4 percent.

As a result according to NBC News, Biden has, as of Thursday morning, been awarded 94 delegates in Texas. Sanders has netted 78 in the state, and Bloomberg has been awarded 4. Elizabeth Warren, who dropped out of the race Thursday morning, got 3.

Only 49 delegates in Texas remain unallocated.

The latest allocation in Texas increases Biden's lead in the overall delegate count. As of Thursday morning, Biden had 565 pledged delegates, compared to 506 for Sanders, according to NBC News.

In addition to his surprise victory in Texas on Tuesday, Biden won nine other states, according to NBC News projections. The biggest prize of the night, however, California, remained unclaimed.

The total delegate haul from Super Tuesday has yet to be completely determined because many states have yet to fully report their results — including California, where 415 delegates are at stake, and where Sanders is leading the popular vote 34 percent to 25 percent, with 57 percent of the state counted. NBC News has not yet projected in California.

California is notoriously slow to count its ballots, but, as of Wednesday night, NBC News had allocated 161 of its delegates to Sanders, and 100 to Biden. Warren had received 3.

On Super Tuesday, Biden won more states and by wider margins than many observers had expected, easily making up his delegate deficit coming out of the first four early contests. His showing puts him in position to potentially win the 1,991 delegates needed to secure an outright majority and clinch the Democratic presidential nomination.

In addition to Texas, he prevailed in the Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts Democratic primaries, according to NBC News projections, sweeping the South with his strength among black voters and making an inroad in the upper Midwest after a key endorsement from Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. He was also the apparent winner in the Maine Democratic primary, according to NBC News.

Sanders, meanwhile, won his home state of Vermont, Colorado and Utah.

The goal of the Democratic presidential primary, however, is to amass delegates to capture the nomination, not popular votes, and winning states does not necessarily mean a candidate will win the most delegates. Candidates need to cross a 15 percent threshold to win any delegates, which are awarded both at the statewide level and usually by congressional district.