Even After 19th Win, Sanders Still Needs a Miracle

W. Virginia win will keep campaign alive until June
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2016 5:24 AM CDT
Sanders Still Needs a Miracle
Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Stockton, Calif., on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Bernie Sanders not only won the West Virginia primary on Tuesday, he won every county—but the victory still barely makes a dent in Hillary Clinton's delegate lead. Analysts say that while the Democratic race now looks more certain than ever to continue through the last day of voting, it's hard to see how Sanders could win it without a miracle. Donald Trump, meanwhile, running unopposed, won with 61.5% of the GOP vote in Nebraska and a slightly more convincing 76.9% in West Virginia. A roundup of coverage:

  • Nebraska also held a Democratic primary on Tuesday and Clinton won it, the Omaha World-Herald reports. But her victory there was only symbolic: Delegates were awarded at the state's caucuses in March, which Sanders won, receiving 15 delegates to 10 for Clinton.

  • Pollsters say Sanders managed to defeat Clinton among West Virginia Democratic voters who want the next president to be more liberal and those who want the exact opposite, reports Politico, which notes that the state's registered Democrats aren't that wild about Democrats: 35% of them plan to vote for Trump in the general election.
  • Sanders is now looking ahead to next week's votes in Kentucky and Oregon, and he has a strong chance of winning both states, the Washington Post reports. "West Virginia is a working-class state, and like many other states in this country, including Oregon, working people are hurting," he told supporters in Oregon Tuesday night. "And what the people of West Virginia said tonight, and I believe the people of Oregon will say next week, is that we need an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%."
  • Sanders told supporters it will be an "uphill climb" to win the nomination, and it's a steep hill, the AP notes. He picked up at least 16 delegates in West Virginia to 11 for Clinton, giving him 1,430 to her 1,716. But when superdelegates are included, her total climbs to 2,238 delegates, which is 94% of the 2,383 needed for the nomination.
  • Sanders has now won primaries and caucuses in 19 states, as he told supporters Tuesday night, but he will have to win more than two-thirds of the remaining 900 or so delegates to gain a lead over Clinton in pledged delegates, CNN reports. He couldn't hit that mark in West Virginia, a state where demographics are on his side, and where Clinton is strongly disliked.
  • Trump, meanwhile, hasn't clinched the GOP nomination yet, but that day is approaching, reports the Hill. Tuesday's victories leave him just 99 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to win.
(More Election 2016 stories.)

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