Vermont Sen.Bernie Sanders claimed victories in Democratic presidential caucuses Saturday in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, scooping up key delegates in the primary race against front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Clinton’s staff was dismissive of the performance, noting that Sanders has been long favored to win in the mostly White states. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook “told supporters earlier this month that it is nearly impossible for Sanders to make up ground,” writes the Washington Post. Clinton polls and performs well in more diverse states.
Sanders scored 101 delegates in Washington, 25 in Hawaii, and 16 in Alaska, bringing his total to 1,004, according to The Associated Press. Clinton leads with 1,712 pledged delegates. To win the nomination, a Democratic candidate must secure 2,383 delegates.
Sanders spent millions on television ads in the three states. One ad featured Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who is one of Sanders’s most high-profile backers. Sanders’s wife, Jane, campaigned for him in Hawaii.
Sanders hopes that momentum from victories Saturday will carry forward to a much-watched contest April 5 in Wisconsin, which shares borders with two states — Michigan and Minnesota — that Sanders won over Clinton in previous contests. Wisconsin, however, also shares economic and demographic characteristics with Ohio and Illinois, Midwestern states that have gone for Clinton.
The next contests on the Democratic calendar are New York, which awards 247 delegates on April 19, and Pennsylvania, with 189 delegates, on April 26. Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware also vote on April 26 and together offer 195 delegates, notes the report.