Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump projected winners in West Virginia primaries

May 11, 2016 6:00 am

Democratic presidential candidate Senator (L) and his Republican rival,

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and his Republican rival, Donald Trump, have emerged as the victors of primary elections in the US state of West , media projections say.
As polls closed in the state, results from the Tuesday primary elections showed that the Vermont Senator took the lead over his party’s front-runner, Hillary Clinton.
“Every vote we earn and every delegate we secure sends an unmistakable message about the values we share, the country’s support for the ideas of our campaign, and a rejection of Donald Trump and his values,” Sanders’ campaign said in a statement.
His win does little to close the delegate gap in the race and the former secretary of state is far enough ahead nationally to be the nominee.
With 2,224 delegates, Clinton is close to the 2,383 necessary to win, according to a CNN tally while Sanders stands at 1,448.
Of a total 37, the Vermont senator will take a majority of West Virginia’s 29 pledged delegates.
On the Republican side, Trump garnered the West Virginia delegates with 71.6 percent of the votes ahead of rivals Senator Ted Cruz at 14.9 percent and John Kasich standing at 8.2.
The billionaire businessman easily swept the 34 delegates at stake in West Virginia, as he closes in on the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.

Senator Bernie Sanders easily won the Democratic primary in West Virginia, the first of a string of potentially strong showings this month that may drag out, but not block, front-runner Hillary Clinton’s march towards the Democratic nomination.
Additionally, Republican Donald Trump won Republican primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska – virtually foregone conclusions given that he was the only Republican remaining in the race.
Heading into today, Clinton held a formidable lead in delegates, and because delegates will be awarded proportionally, Sanders’s West Virginia victory was not expected to make much of a dent in that lead.
However, his enduring popularity, large rallies and insistence on staying in the race until the Democratic convention in July have highlighted some of Clinton’s weaknesses and prevented her from fully turning her attention to the general-election contest against Trump.

Sanders’s advantage over Clinton in West Virginia was clear in preliminary exit polling. According to data published by CNN, roughly one in three Democratic voters identified as independents – and only one in four wants the next president to continue President Barack Obama’s policies. That number represents less than half the average across previous primaries this year. Clinton has promised repeatedly to continue and build on many of Obama’s policies.”West Virginia is a working-class state, and like many other states in this country, including Oregon, working people are hurting,” Sanders said at a rally in Salem, Oregon. “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 percent.”
Sanders also benefited from support among Democratic primary voters who said they would favour Trump over Clinton or Sanders in a general election. Roughly one in three primary voters said they would back Trump in the general over Clinton, and Sanders won two-thirds of their votes.
Clinton was weighed down by her own troubles. Three in 10 Democratic primary voters said they or a family member were employed in the coal industry, and Sanders won those voters by more than 20 percentage points. Ahead of the primary, Clinton was forced to reckon with comments she had made earlier in the campaign about putting the coal industry “out of business”.
Sanders used the West Virginia victory as a rationale to stay in the race “until the last vote is cast”. Less than 15 minutes after the polls closed, Sanders sent out an email to supporters declaring victory and asking for money to help him in the next two contests in Kentucky and Oregon.
Recent polls show Sanders likely to perform well in a string of subsequent primaries this month in Oregon, Kentucky and Washington – states with smaller minority populations where Clinton may face similar challenges as in the West Virginia electorate.
Nevertheless, Clinton may have found a purpose to these upcoming contests in addition to trying to improve her performance against Sanders: to connect with the working-class white voters who may be crucial in a general-election match-up against Trump.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) greets supporters at a campaign rally on May 10, 2016 in Stockton, California. (AFP photo)

US Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has captured the West Virginia primary, setting back his rival Hillary Clinton’s efforts to win against Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in the general election.
Clinton’s loss on Tuesday could signal trouble for the former secretary of state with working-class voters in the US Rust Belt, where she will have to prevail in major states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“West Virginia is a working class state, and like many other states in this country — including Oregon — working people are hurting. And what the people of West Virginia said tonight, and I believe the people of Oregon and Kentucky will say next week, is that we need an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent,” Sanders told his supporters at a rally in Oregon on Tuesday evening.
So far the results show that Sanders has won 51.4 percent of the votes in West Virginia, while Clinton received 36.1 percent.
“I think we are perpetuating the political revolution by significantly increasing the level of political activity that we’re seeing in this country,” Sanders said.
Sanders’ victory follows his large wins in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska with important implications for his ability to fight for his platform ahead of the Democratic convention.

Hillary Clinton speaks with voters at the Mug and Muffin Cafe on May 9, 2016 in Stone Ridge, Virginia. (AFP photo)

Even though Clinton suffered a tough loss her delegate lead over Sanders still remains virtually insurmountable. She easily won the state in the 2008 Democratic primary over Barack Obama.
Since West Virginia’s 29 pledged delegates will be split proportionally between the two candidates, Sanders needs a large margin of victory to be able to cut into Clinton’s nearly 300 pledged delegate advantage. Clinton’s margin grows to 774 delegates, when superdelegates are included.
An analysis going into Tuesday shows that Sanders needed 65 percent of all remaining pledged delegates for a pledged majority, while Clinton needed only 34 percent, according to NPR.
With regard to superdelegates, Sanders needed 36 percent of all remaining delegates, whereas Clinton needed just 14 percent.
On the Republican side, Trump got 76.6 percent, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz won 9.1 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich only 7 percent.

Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally at the Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center in Lynden, Washington on May 7, 2016. (AFP photo)

After Trump’s commanding victory in Indiana’s primary last week, his remaining challengers, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, both suspended their presidential bids, leaving the businessman tycoon on an uncontested path to the GOP nomination.
Trump’s campaign has been marred by his defamatory remarks against minorities in the US. His policy proposals include calling for a total ban on Muslims in America and forced deportation of undocumented immigrants.
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