Bernie Sanders Decisively Wins Western State Caucuses
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington State.
The Associated Press and others declared Sanders the winner in Alaska Saturday afternoon. At the end of the day, with 100 percent of the vote counted, Sanders had 81.6 percent and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 18.4 percent, according to AP. The state has 16 delegates to the national nominating convention, awarded proportionally. The AP shows Sanders with 13 of those delegates, Clinton with three, and the remainder to be allocated.
In Washington, Sanders was declared the winner about 3:30 p.m. Pacific time. By the time all the votes were tallied, he had 77 percent of the vote to Clinton's 23 percent. The state has 101 delegates, also awarded proportionally. So far Sanders has been allocated 23 and Clinton eight, according to AP.
Speaking to supporters in Madison, Wis., Sanders pointed to today's results along with his victories Tuesday in Idaho and Utah as a sign that his campaign has the momentum to gain him the nomination, even though Clinton still leads in the cumulative delegate count (1,703 for Clinton and 985 for Sanders, with 2,308 needed for the nomination).
In Wisconsin, which will hold its primary April 5, Sanders touched on his usual themes, denouncing economic inequality and the role of big-money donors in campaigns. He also discussed the need to reform the criminal justice system. He said he and Clinton agree that a Republican must not be allowed to win the presidency, but he said he believes he's the Democrat who can prevail. The current Republican field, he added, is an embarrassment to reasonable Republicans.
He also lambasted the Republican concept of "family values," saying that for conservatives its includes "that our gay brothers and sisters should not have the right to marry," and he added, "I disagree." Watch the full rally and speech below.
Hawaii also held a Democratic caucus Saturday and results arrived that evening. Even though Hawaii was seen as the most friendly to Clinton of the three states voting on Saturday, the Vermont senator scored another big win, taking nearly 70 percent of the vote to Clinton's 30 percent. With Hawaii, Sanders adds 17 delegates and Clinton takes eight.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.