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Bernie Sanders wins in 3 states but Clinton holds delegate lead

Bernie Sanders scored three wins in Western caucus contests, giving a boost to his supporters but doing little to move him closer to securing the Democratic nomination.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2016 01:28 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
2016 US primaries,Bernie Sanders Alaska Washington,Democratic presidential nominee
Democratic US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders holds a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. Sanders’ wins still do not put him on a level playing field with Hillary Clinton for the nomination.(REUTERS)

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders swept his party’s three nominating contests on Saturday, keeping himself in the race but still without a clear shot at the nomination.

The three wins helped Sanders close the gap in the count of delegates between him and frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but without inflicting serious damage on her chances.

Clinton leads the count of delegates 1,712 to Sanders’s 1,004. It takes 2,382 to clinch the nomination, with some large states such as New York and California still to come.

Republicans didn’t have any contests this Saturday. Both parties and poll pundits are getting ready for the next big showdown, which is expected be in Wisconsin state on April 5.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes pictures with supporters after a campaign event. (AP Photo)

Sanders won the Saturday contests — all caucuses — by massive margins. He secured 82% of the votes in Alaska, 71% in Washington state and 73% in Hawaii.

“We knew things would begin to improve when we moved west,” Sanders told cheering supporters at an election rally in Wisconsin, soon after the Alaska results were in. Washington was added to his tally while he was speaking. While announcing the new result, he said, shouting into the microphone: “That is what momentum is about.”

“Don’t let anybody tell you we can’t win the nomination or win the general election,” Sanders, who has run an insurgent campaign funded by small online donations.

“We’re going to do both those things.”

But poll experts averred his path to nomination is looking more difficult with every passing contest. And he needed to win in the coming contest by

wide margins to stay in the reckoning.

Sanders has done well in states that are predominantly white with small black and Hispanic populations, and that hold caucuses and not primaries, such as the three on Saturday.

To catch up with Clinton, and overtake her, experts said, Sanders needed to expand his appeal, which he has failed to do so far, despite large turnouts at his election rallies and events.

Many Sanders supporters concede he may not win but, they contend, he would have most certainly changed the conversation in the country by the time he was through, and he has already.

First Published: Mar 27, 2016 09:58 IST