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Bernie Sanders Takes Wisconsin Democratic Contest


Sanders bests Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin and gives a shout-out to the gay rights movement.


Bernie Sanders has won Wisconsin's Democratic presidential primary, major news outlets report.

The race was called for the U.S. senator from Vermont not long after polls closed at 8 p.m. local time. Two hours later, with 55 percent of the vote counted, Sanders had 55 percent and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 45 percent, NBC News reports.

Sanders gave a shout-out to the gay rights movement at his victory speech, given at a rally in Laramie, Wyo. Wyoming will hold a presidential caucus Saturday. The fight against homophobia, like other fights for social justice, shows that change comes from the grassroots, he said.

The American people, he said, understand that "real change in our country's history, whether it is the trade union movement, whether it is the civil rights movement, whether it is the women's movement, whether it is the gay rights movement ... never, ever takes place from the top on down, it takes place from the bottom on up." He pointed out later in the speech that change came with people saying, "We will pass gay marriage in all 50 states."

Pre-election polls had indicated Sanders was likely to win Wisconsin. The state has 86 Democratic delegates at stake in the primary, awarded proportionally, some by congressional district and some statewide. The Associated Press reports Sanders winning 44 of the delegates and Clinton 28 so far. The state also has 10 superdelegates, consisting of elected officials and party leaders who can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of the primary outcome.

Clinton still leads Sanders in the cumulative delegate count. She has 1,740 delegates (1,271 pledged and 469 superdelegates) and Sanders 1,055 (1,024 pledged and 31 superdelegates). A candidate needs 2,383 to win the nomination.

Watch Sanders's speech below.

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