For the second Tuesday in a row, Bernie Sanders has won a Democratic primary in a state that Hillary Clinton won in the party’s 2008 nomination race. Last week he took Indiana from Clinton. This week he has taken West Virginia.
The Sanders win in West Virginia was a big one. The senator secured 51 percent of the vote to 36 percent for the former secretary of state. He carried every county in the state—taking several with over 60 percent of the vote.
The senator is still trailing Clinton, who has prevailed in 26 contests and secured more than 1,716 delegates. Even as she was losing West Virginia, Clinton picked up 11 pledged delegates. And with unelected superdelegates counted in, Clinton is over the 2,200 mark in a race where 2,384 delegate votes are needed to win the nomination.
Yet, with another primary state counted in his column, Sanders continues to upend the argument that Democratic race is done. He is still in the running. He will continue to compete for states and delegates—having declared in Oregon on Tuesday night that “we will keep fighting for every last vote.” He will continue to look for opportunities to shape the Democratic message for a fall race against the most divisive Republican nominee in modern political history.
“Our message to the Democratic delegates who will be assembling in Philadelphia is, while we may have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one area we agree: We must defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders told thousands of cheering supporters in Oregon on Tuesday night.
That Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2016 was reaffirmed by the voters of West Virginia and Nebraska on Tuesday. (Nebraska Democrats caucused on March 5 and gave Sanders a 57-43 win. However, in Nebraska’s non-binding primary vote Tuesday, Clinton was ahead.)