Bernie Sanders has won big in 3 of the 4 States voting in the Democratic Primary this weekend. He also may well take Hawaii, making it a sweep this week.
Senator Bernie Sanders handily defeated Hillary Clinton on Saturday in theWashington State and Alaska caucuses, infusing his underdog campaign with critical momentum and bolstering his argument that the race for the Democratic nomination is not a foregone conclusion.
Mr. Sanders found a welcome tableau in the largely white and liberal electorates of the Pacific Northwest, where just days after routing Mrs. Clinton in Idaho he repeated the feat in Washington. With a handful of precincts still reporting, he was leading Mrs. Clinton by more than 40 percentage points. He performed even better in Alaska, winning 82 percent of the vote.
Washington, with 101 delegates in play, was a vital state for Mr. Sanders, whose prospects of capturing the nomination dimmed after double-digit losses to Mrs. Clinton across the South and weak showings in delegate-rich Ohio, Florida and North Carolina this month.
At a rally in Madison, Wis., late Saturday afternoon, Mr. Sanders assured more than 8,000 supporters that his victories had cleared a viable path to the nomination. “We knew from Day 1 that politically we were going to have a hard time in the Deep South,” Mr. Sanders said. “But we knew things were going to improve when we headed west.”
oting the “huge” voter turnout — in Washington, Democratic Party officials estimated more than 200,000 people participated on Saturday, close to the record set in 2008 — he told the crowd, “We are making significant inroads into Secretary Clinton’s lead.”
The victories in Washington and Alaska, which awarded 16 delegates on Saturday, slightly narrow the gulf with Mrs. Clinton in the quest for the 2,382 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. As of Saturday evening, Mrs. Clinton had roughly 280 more so-called pledged delegates, who are awarded based on voting, and 440 more superdelegates — party leaders and elected officials — than Mr. Sanders.