Sunday 11 December 2016

Bernie Sanders wins Democratic presidential caucuses in Hawaii

Published 27/03/2016 | 07:01

Bernie Sanders scored caucus wins in Alaska, Washington state and Hawaii (AP)
Bernie Sanders scored caucus wins in Alaska, Washington state and Hawaii (AP)

Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential caucuses in Hawaii, his third win over front-runner Hillary Clinton in the three states that held party caucuses on Saturday.

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The Vermont senator also won caucuses in Washington state and Alaska.

The Saturday sweep gives a powerful psychological boost to Sanders' supporters. But the results are barely denting Clinton's significant delegate lead in the race for the nomination.

Sanders says he expects to close the delegate gap with Clinton as the contest moves to liberal north-eastern states.

Bernie Sanders netted nearly three dozen delegates on Saturday after his win in Hawaii, having swept three states. It is a solid showing, but it didn't significantly have an impact on Hillary Clinton's overall big lead.

Sanders needs to win 67% of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates through June to be able to clinch the Democratic nomination. So far he is only winning 37%.

With 25 Hawaii delegates at stake, Sanders picked up 17. Clinton gained eight. That means on Saturday, Sanders won a total of 55 delegates, having also won Washington state and Alaska. Clinton picked up 20.

More delegates are likely to be allocated to Sanders in the next few weeks, when the Washington state Democratic party releases vote shares by district. Still, Clinton maintains a wide advantage in delegates. Based on primaries and caucuses to date, she has won 1,243 delegates to Sanders' 975.

Clinton's lead is even bigger when including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate they wish. Including superdelegates, Clinton has 1,712 delegates to Sanders' 1,004. It takes 2,383 to win.

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