Bernie Sanders Wins Wisconsin by Double Digits | Off Message
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bernie Sanders Wins Wisconsin by Double Digits

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 10:15 PM

click to enlarge Sen. Bernie Sanders in Nevada in February - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders in Nevada in February
Updated Wednesday, April 6, at 7:42 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) bagged another one Tuesday, winning Wisconsin’s Democratic presidential primary by double digits.

The senator from Vermont defeated former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the Badger State 56.5 percent to 43.1 percent. He won at least 45 additional delegates to Clinton’s 31 delegates, according to the Associated Press, with another 10 yet to be allocated Wednesday morning.

Sanders, who had camped out in Wisconsin for much of the week ahead of the state’s primary, addressed the results Tuesday night from Wyoming, which hosts the next round of Democratic caucuses on Saturday.

“With our victory tonight in Wisconsin, we have now won seven out of eight of the last caucuses and primaries,” Sanders told a crowd in Laramie. “And we have won almost all of them with overwhelming landslide numbers.”

In his remarks, Sanders previewed the next major contest in the Democratic presidential campaign: the April 19 primary in New York, when 291 delegates are on the line. A week after that, another five mid-Atlantic and New England states are scheduled to vote.

“I know a little bit about New York,” the Brooklyn native said. “I believe we’ve got an excellent chance to win New York and a lot of delegates in that state.”

Clinton, who left Wisconsin over the weekend to focus on winning the Empire State, did not hold a public appearance Tuesday night. Instead, she addressed the results via Twitter.

“Congrats to @BernieSanders on winning Wisconsin,” she wrote. “To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward! –H”

According to exit polls, Sanders attracted the most support from young, white and independent voters. Wisconsin, a relatively homogenous state in which independents are free to cast ballots in the Democratic primary, was well suited to Sanders’ strengths. He cleaned up among voters under 30, who chose him over Clinton by a margin of 60 percentage points. Clinton led among those age 45 and older.

Whether Sanders’ impressive series of wins puts him any closer to the Democratic nomination is a matter of some debate. Before Tuesday’s primary, many analysts agreed that in order to close Clinton’s sizable delegate gap ahead of July’s Democratic National Convention, he would have to win at least 57 percent of the delegates in Wisconsin and each of the remaining primaries.

As of Wednesday morning, Clinton was leading Sanders 1,274 to 1,025 among pledged delegates. Counting superdelegates who’ve publicly pledged support to either of the candidates, she was leading him 1,743 to 1,056. A candidate needs 2,283 to clinch the nomination.

Delegate math aside, Sanders’ campaign hailed his recent string of victories as evidence that his fortunes are improving — and that Clinton is not nearly the formidable candidate she’s made out to be. It quickly used the news to replenish Sanders’ campaign coffers.

Minutes after the AP called Wisconsin for Sanders, his campaign sent out a fundraising email imploring supporters to donate more to the cause.

“Tonight kicked off the most important three-week stretch of the campaign, and we did it with another overwhelming victory,” Sanders wrote in the email. “If we can keep our momentum going through the states that vote and caucus over the next three weeks, we’re going to win this election.”

That strategy has worked in the past. Last month, Sanders out-raised Clinton $44 million to $29.5 million.

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz is a staff writer and political editor for Seven Days. He wrote the "Fair Game" political column from May 2012 through December 2016.

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