US POLITICS

Sanders Is Three For Three In Saturday’s Caucuses

Team Sanders celebrated a string of wins across the West on Saturday

US POLITICS
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. — (AFP/Getty Images)
Mar 27, 2016 at 6:34 AM ET

Bernie Sanders’ fans were handed fresh ammo in their war of words against Team Hillary on Saturday when Sanders secured overwhelming wins in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.

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His biggest victory was in Washington, historically one of the bluest states in the country. Sanders took 73 percent of caucus votes and the majority of the 101 pledged delegates there that were up for grabs. The Vermont senator also won in Alaska, with 82 percent, and earned nearly 71 percent of the vote in Hawaii with almost 88 percent of votes counted, according to the Associated Press. 

Sanders’ win out West in Washington came after his loss to Clinton in the South, where she secured victories in several states, including Texas and Florida, that have large populations of African American and Latino voters. Latest Census data shows that Washington is more than 80 percent white, and it has consistently ranked among the bluest of states.

His win in Alaska also came in a state with a similarly small number of minority voters. In Hawaii, which held a “presidential preference poll,” a caucus-like event in which voters attend a scheduled meeting but vote in a secret ballot like they do in primaries, Team Bernie ran an advertisement aimed at reminding voters that Sanders voted against the Iraq war, unlike Clinton. The advertisement featured House Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who had earlier endorsed Sanders, the New York Times reported.

The wins surely give Sanders’ campaign a boost, and narrow Clinton’s lead. But Sanders is still very much the underdog. While his latest wins follow his successes in Idaho and Utah earlier this week, Hillary took the Arizona primary, which had far and above the most delegates to offer last Tuesday. Clinton also leads in pledged delegates, with 1,234 compared to Sanders’ 956 by 6:00 a.m. ET on March 27.