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Sanders wins primary caucuses in Alaska and Washington state

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016,10:42 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Bernie Sanders has won Democratic presidential caucuses in Alaska and Washington state, a victory he hopes will stoke a spring comeback against front- runner Hillary Clinton, who holds a commanding lead in the all-important delegate count. The Vermont senator tried to build his enduring support among liberal activists into a three-state sweep that could help him narrow the gap with Clinton.

The former secretary of state had won 300 more delegates than Sanders in state primaries and caucuses before yesterday’s contests. The two Democrats were also competing in Hawaii’s caucuses. While Sanders faces a steep climb to the nomination, a string of losses for Clinton would highlight persistent vulnerabilities within her own party.

Sanders continues to attract large enthusiastic crowds to his rallies including 15,000 on Friday night at a Seattle sports stadium. He has collected more than USD 140 million from 2 million donors. Speaking at a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, before voters in Hawaii gathered for their caucuses, Sanders cast his wins yesterday as part of a Western comeback, citing recent victories in Utah and Idaho as a sign that his campaign still had a path to the nomination. We just won the state of Washington. That is what momentum is about, he said. Don’t let anybody tell you we can’t win the nomination or we can’t win the general election.

We’re going to do both of those things. Most of his dozen primary-season wins have been in states with largely white populations and in caucus contests, which tend to attract the most active liberal Democrats. He’s heavily favoured by younger voters, who were a key part of the coalition that boosted Obama to victory twice.