Bernie Sanders swept the Pacific northwest Saturday, gaining victories over Hillary Clinton in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state Democratic caucuses. Front runner Clinton maintains a big lead in the delegate count, but that hasn’t tempered Sanders’ enthusiasm heading into April.
“We knew things were going to improve as we headed west,” Sanders told supporters Saturday evening at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, a crucial state that holds its primary April 5. “We are making significant inroads in Secretary Clinton’s lead and we have, with your support coming here in Wisconsin, we have a path toward victory.”
Washington state, with 101 delegates up for grabs, was Saturday’s biggest prize. Sanders fought hard for the state, holding big rallies in the last week to drive turnout among the kinds of young and liberal voters who have helped him prevail in earlier caucuses.
Clinton headed into Saturday’s contests with a big lead among pledged delegates. When party officials, known as superdelegates, are added in, her advantage grows even larger.
Clinton had a 1,223-to-920 lead on Sanders in so-called pledged delegates, who are bound to candidates by their states’ elections.
Sanders still needs to win 58 percent of the remaining delegates from primaries and caucuses to have a majority of those delegates by June’s end.