WASHINGTON D.C.: Hillary Clinton felt the ‘Bern’ as rival Bernie Sanders swept all three Democratic presidential nomination contests, giving the frontrunner a warning that the race for the party’s nomination is far from over.
The self-styled Democratic Socialist dominated the Pacific Northwest on Saturday, routing Clinton in Washington state by 72.3 percent to 27.5 percent, smoked her in Alaska by 80.7 percent to 19.3 percent and won in Hawaii by 70.6 percent to 29.2 percent.
While Washington had 101 delegates up for grabs, Hawaii and Alaska were relatively small prizes — with just 25 and 16 delegates at stake respectively.
As all three states allocate delegates proportionately, Sanders would likely corner three fourths of them.
Sanders called the results of the Western caucuses a “resounding” win and proclaimed his campaign has a “path toward victory”.
“We knew things were going to improve as we headed West,” Sanders said at a jubilant rally before 8,000 people in Madison, Wisconsin — a state that will hold the next major contest in 10 days. “We have a path toward victory.”
But as of Saturday evening, Clinton was maintaining a 278-delegate lead over Sanders and a 469-to-29 advantage among super delegates, party officials and functionaries who are free to vote for any candidates.
Clinton did not address the results publicly and tweeted on Saturday: “We need serious leadership, shouting and chest-beating are not a strategy.”
Sanders in a speech in Wisconsin criticised Republican rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for “spending time attacking each other’s wives”.
“How crazy is that?” he said. “The reason we are doing well is because we are talking about the real issues facing America and we’re telling the truth.”
Sanders added that the one issue on which he and Clinton agree is that “no Republican should make it to the Oval Office.”
In Hawaii, Sanders was backed by the first Hindu-American member of the US House Tulsi Gabbard, who broke with the Democratic Party leadership to show her support for Sanders.
An emotional Sanders campaign ad featuring Gabbard, who served a 12-month tour in Iraq, said: “The American people are not looking to settle for inches. They’re looking for real change.”