BURLINGTON, Vt. – In a three-state sweep on Saturday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won caucuses in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii as his campaign for the White House gained momentum.
“We are on a path toward victory,” Sanders told a Saturday evening rally in Madison, Wisconsin, as the first two states were called in his favor. He and his wife, Jane, later flew home to Vermont to await the outcome in Hawaii. “It is hard for anybody to deny that our campaign has the momentum,” he told more than 8,100 cheering supporters who filled an arena on the University of Wisconsin campus.
He won Washington with 73 percent of the vote, took Alaska by a landslide 82 percent and cruised to victory in Hawaii with 71 percent, according to the vote tallies by The Associated Press.
Altogether, Sanders has now notched six wins in the past week. He defeated Clinton by double-digit margins last Tuesday in Idaho and Utah. The day before he was the overwhelming victor in balloting by Democrats Abroad.
He said the momentum building behind his campaign comes from big crowds at rallies, from overwhelming victories, from record turnouts at caucuses and primaries, from a grassroots campaign taking on the political establishment and from more than 2 million supporters who donated less than $30 apiece on average.
Saturday’s caucuses were expected to result in a big gain in pledged delegates for Sanders.
The victories came after he edged two days ago into a nationwide lead over Clinton in a major national poll conducted for Bloomberg Politics.
Sanders also consistently has fared much better than the former secretary of state in matchups with Republican White House hopefuls, including GOP front-runner Donald Trump. In a recent CNN/ORC poll, Clinton had a 12-point edge over Trump but Sanders outpolled him by 20 points. Sanders also was liked by more voters than U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Clinton tied Cruz and lost to Kasich.
Wisconsin is the next stop in the contest with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Eighty-six pledged delegates will be at stake in the April 5 primary election.