Bernie Sanders scored three wins in Western caucus contests Saturday, giving a powerful psychological boost to his supporters but doing little to move him closer to securing the Democratic nomination.
While results in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii barely dented Hillary Clinton’s significant delegate lead, Sanders’ wins underscored her persistent vulnerabilities within her own party, particularly with young voters and liberal activists who have been inspired by her rival’s unapologetically liberal message.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Sanders cast his performance as part of a Western comeback, saying he expects to close the delegate gap with Clinton as the contest moves to the more liberal northeastern states, including her home state of New York. He also said his campaign is increasing its outreach to superdelegates, the party insiders who can pick either candidate, and are overwhelmingly with Clinton.
“The Deep South is a very conservative part of the country,” he said. “Now that we’re heading into a progressive part of the country, we expect to do much better.”
He added: “There is a path to victory.” With Clinton far in front, however, it is a difficult path.
Clinton anticipated the losses: She barely campaigned in the three states, making just one day of stops in Washington state, and was spending the Easter weekend with her family.