By Jennifer Goetz
Nation & World Editor
Sen. Bernie Sanders won all three presidential contests on Saturday, March 26, taking the delegates from Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, and is trying to catch up to Hillary Clinton’s lead.
In Washington and Alaska in particular, Sanders performed very well, winning by a significant percentage. Sanders won Washington, the biggest prize of the night, with 101 delegates at stake, the New York Times reported.
He won by 72 percent there (a larger margin than his campaign predicted), by 70 percent in Hawaii and by 82 percent in Alaska, according to National Public Radio (NPR).
The three states were all expected to be won by Sanders. According to the New York Times, all three states have a small percentage of black and Latino voters who have supported Clinton over Sanders. Sanders has been favored by young and liberal voters, but will need to make headway in states that are more ethnically diverse in the next couple of Democratic presidential contests, according to NPR.
The New York Times reported that, as a result of these victories, Sanders is likely to gain greater online donations that will help fuel his campaign going forward. These donations will be able to help fund advertisements in states such as New York or Pennsylvania, which are holding primaries next month. These states have a significant number of delegates at stake, so the extra money will only help him appeal to them.
There are 2,382 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination and although Clinton has maintained a comfortable lead, these wins are keeping Sanders in the race to the presidency. NPR reported that Clinton leads Sanders 1,243 to 975 in the pledged delegate count and 1,712 to 1,004 overall, when superdelegates are included. Sanders has to win all the states he’s projected to and more to get the nomination.
Sanders will need 58 percent of all the remaining delegates to secure a pledged majority and this is what is campaign is focused on (since super delegates can change their allegiances). His campaign will try to maintain the momentum from these victories to the presidential contests coming up in the next few weeks, according to NPR. Republicans didn’t hold any caucuses or primaries on Saturday, March 26. Both parties will be holding contests in Wisconsin on Tuesday, April 5.
“We knew things were going to improve as we headed west,” Sanders told his supporters in Wisconsin at a rally on Saturday night, according to CNN. “We are making significant inroads in Secretary Clinton’s lead and…with your support coming here in Wisconsin, we have a path toward victory.”