In clean sweep, Bernie Sanders today won in all three Western states of Washington, Alaska and Hawaii that voted for the Democratic presidential nominee, giving him the much-needed boost against party frontrunner Hillary Clinton who still enjoys a strong lead.
The 74-year-old Vermont senator made “inroads” into the former secretary of state’s substantial lead in the race for the party’s nomination in the race to the White House.
Sanders won Washington state - the biggest prize with 101 delegates up for grabs - by getting more than 72 per cent of the total votes counted. In Alaska - which has 16 delegates at stake, he received over 80 per cent of the votes while securing 71 per cent in Hawaii.
“Thank you, Alaska! Together we are sending a message that this government belongs to all of us,” he tweeted.
“Washington, thank you for your huge support! It is hard for anybody to deny that our campaign has the momentum,” said another tweet.
For Clinton, 68, who continues to lead in the delegate count and her path to the White House appears to be much easier as compared to Sanders, a defeat in the crucial state of Washington is seen as a major setback.
Home to major iconic US companies like Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks, Washington state has more than 100 delegates, a large chunk of which has now gone to Sanders.
“We knew things were going to improve as we headed west,” Sanders said at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin. “We are making significant inroads in... Clinton’s lead... We have a path toward victory.”
Clintons, including the former president Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsie Clinton, spend quite a bit of time in Washington.
“With your help we’re going to win right here in Wisconsin,” he said at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. “So don’t let anyone tell you we can’t win the nomination, or win the general election. We’re going to do both of those things.”
“We are on a path toward victory,” Sanders said in Wisconsin, where the Democratic primaries are scheduled for April 5. There are 86 pledged delegates at stake in Wisconsin.
To become a Democratic party presidential nominee, Clinton or Sanders need at least 2,382 delegates of the total 4,763 delegates including 712 super delegates, who are party office bearers and are not elected as part of the presidential primaries. Super delegates are independent and are free to vote to any of the candidates.
So far, Clinton leads the race to the White House in the Democratic party as she has 1,703 delegates. This includes 1,234 delegates she won during the presidential primaries and 469 super delegates who have said they would vote for her.
On the other hand, Sanders has 985 delegates to his kitty. These include 956 delegates won by him and 29 super delegates, who have pledged support to him.