Vermont senator Bernie Sanders today won the West Virginia primary defeating Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton by more than 15 percentage points even as the former US secretary of state looks set to secure the party nomination.
However, Sanders’ win is unlikely to prevent Clinton from emerging as the presumptive Democratic nominee, given that she has a massive lead over him in the delegates count.
At a campaign rally in Oregon, Sanders acknowledged that he has an uphill climb in terms of becoming the party’s nominee, but said he would continue his fight till the end of the primary season.
As a consolation, Clinton won the Nebraska primary, but she is not getting any delegate from it. The delegates were allocated in the March 5 primary, which was won by Sanders.
Clinton received 10 delegates as against Sanders’ 15. In the Republican party, the sole candidate Donald Trump won both the primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska taking his total delegate count to 1,107.
Trump now needs 130 delegates to officially become the presumptive nominee of the party. This seems to be a forgone conclusion given that he is the only candidate left the in fray.
“It is a great honour to have won both West Virginia and Nebraska, especially by such massive margins. My time spent in both states was a wonderful and enlightening experience for me,” Trump said in a statement.
“I learned a lot, and that knowledge will be put to good use towards the creation of businesses, jobs, and the strengthening and revival of their economies. I look forward to returning to West Virginia and Nebraska soon, and hope to win both states in the general election,” he said.
“Likewise, my time spent last week with the great people of Oregon will hopefully lead to another victory next Tuesday,” said Trump who was attacked for the first time by Sanders.
In his victory speech in Oregon, where the primary is scheduled for next Tuesday, Sanders said the country should not elect Trump.
“Our message to the Democratic delegates who will be assembling in Philadelphia is, while we may have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one area (where) we agree. And that is, we must defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders said.
“And after all the votes are cast and counted and this contest moves to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the delegates will decide which candidate is the strongest nominee to take on Donald Trump in November. All of the evidence indicates that I am that candidate,” he said.
A latest opinion poll released today revealed that Sanders defeated Trump in a hypothetical match in the November general elections but Sanders conceded that he has an uphill climb.