Bernie Sanders Just Made Things Worse for Hillary Clinton
U.S. Democratic White House candidate Hillary Clinton lost a nominating contest to Bernie Sanders in economically struggling West Virginia on Tuesday, a setback that could signal trouble for her in industrial states in the November general election.
The defeat slows Clinton's march to the nomination, although she is still slightly favored to become the Democratic candidate in the Nov. 8 election. Still, her failure to win over voters deeply skeptical about the direction of the economy underscored the work she will need to do to court working-class voters in the Rust Belt, which includes key states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. West Virginia has one of the highest unemployment rates in country. Sanders, who has vowed to take his campaign all the way to the Democrats' July 25-28 convention in Philadelphia, said he is the stronger candidate to beat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in November.
"Working people are hurting," Sanders said in Oregon Tuesday night after his West Virginia win. "We need an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent."
Trump, 69, handily won contests in West Virginia and Nebraska on Tuesday. Trump is set to meet with party leaders in the U.S. Congress on Thursday, including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan.
To secure the Democratic nomination, a candidate needs 2,383 delegates.Going into West Virginia, Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, had 2,228 delegates, including 523 so-called superdelegates, elite party members who are free to support any candidate. Sanders had 1,454 delegates, including 39 superdelegates. Another 29 delegates will be apportioned based on West Virginia's results.
Clinton and Sanders will compete in another primary contest on May 17. Both candidates are also looking ahead to the June 7 contests, the last in the long nominating season, in which nearly 700 delegates are at stake, including 475 in California, where Sanders is now focusing his efforts.