Connecticut becomes latest state to postpone 2020 primary as coronavirus spreads

Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at a press conference at the UConn School of Business Graduate Learning Center in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2020.

Brad Horrigan | Hartford Courant | Getty Images

Connecticut will move its 2020 primary to June 2 from the originally planned April 28 in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Thursday. 

“In coordination with other states and our Secretary of the State, and in an effort to carry out Democracy while keeping public health a top priority, I have decided to move our presidential primary to June 2nd,” Lamont tweeted. “I will provide more information later today.”

Connecticut, with 60 delegates up for grabs, is the latest state to postpone its primary because of looming threats brought on by the coronavirus, which has roiled markets and infected hundreds of thousands of people globally.

The outbreak has upended the 2020 Democratic presidential primary between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders as they push to take on President Donald Trump in November. The rivals have stopped holding in-person campaign events. Sanders, who has fallen behind Biden in the race for pledged delegates, is now mulling his prospects. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the last female candidate in a field of six, dropped out on Thursday and endorsed Biden. 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Connecticut in 2016 over Sanders. She went on to lose the general election to Trump. 

Several states have already changed their election schedules as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the United States and paralyzes normal activity. Louisiana and Georgia delayed their planned primaries. Wyoming also canceled the in-person portion of its Democratic caucus. 

Ohio also delayed its in-person primary voting that was supposed to take place Tuesday. Arizona, Florida and Illinois moved forward with Tuesday voting but took precautions, emphasizing mail-in ballots and increasing sanitation at polling places. 

Rhode Island could be next. It is awaiting a decision on whether its primary will be postponed. The Rhode Island Board of Elections voted to postpone the state’s primary from April 28 to June 2, but the decision is “pending the Governor signing an emergency order,” according to the board’s deputy director of elections, Miguel Nunez.

The Democratic National Committee has so far said it will move forward with its convention in July despite the disruptions.

The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to dozens of countries globally, with more than 229,000 confirmed cases worldwide and at least 9,300 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

There are at least 10,755 cases in the United States and at least 150 deaths, according to the latest tallies.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Back to top