With the 2016 Democratic primary more than half way over, it was time to head out west today where the state of Washington was easily the biggest prize of the day. While not a massive delegate haul like New York, Texas, Florida or California, with 101 delegates, Washington still brings with it a good chunk of delegates.
That’s great news for Bernie Sanders as he’s been declared the winner of the Washington caucus (he had already been declared the winner in Alaska earlier today). Though I don’t think this win comes as a big surprise to many as most experts had figured Sanders was going to win the state.
As with every other state, for Sanders, it’s not just about winning – but by how much. We won’t know the final results for a little while, but this victory is expected to be rather sizable for the senator from Vermont.
So, what does this win mean for both candidates?
Well, it was another must-win for Sanders. While he got two big victories on Tuesday in Idaho and Utah, he lost Arizona by a sizable enough of a margin where that one loss mostly negated the delegates he gained from his two wins. Though this was a state I think both he and Clinton knew he would win. I don’t think this victory is a big jolt to future plans for either candidate, but it’s clearly a win Sanders had to have. Being that he went into today down over 300 delegates, every victory is a big deal for his campaign. Especially in a state with a good amount of delegates, where it looks like he should wind up with the vast majority of them.
For Clinton, while no candidate wants to lose any race, she had to expect that Washington wasn’t going to go her way. While she did campaign there, it was clear from the start that Washington was a place where Sanders was sinking far more money into winning. For Clinton, she’s clearly focusing on Wisconsin on April 5th and New York on April 19th. Then there’s April 26th when Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island go to the polls. So, while a loss is never a good thing, I’ve gotten the sense from the Clinton campaign that they’ve looked past this string of states out west where they knew beating Sanders was going to be unlikely.
With all that said, I would like to congratulate Bernie Sanders and implore everyone in every state that hasn’t voted yet to get your butts out and vote!
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