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Sanders Looks to Wisconsin and New York After Western Sweep

The Vermont candidate won Hawaii, Alaska and Washington state contests

The Vermont senator held a rally in Madison, Wis., on Saturday.
The Vermont senator held a rally in Madison, Wis., on Saturday.

Bernie Sanders won big weekend presidential contests, chipping away at the still-sizable gap in pledged delegates for the Vermont senator compared to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.  

Sanders said Sunday the wins on Saturday gave him a path to victory.  

“We’re doing better now that we’re out of the South,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” Sanders argued that his path is two-fold, and it begins with continuing to win big like he did Saturday night in Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii.  

“We knew things would begin to improve when we moved west,” Sanders told crowds in Wisconsin on Saturday night. “That is what momentum is about!” Wisconsin’s presidential contest is April 5.  

Also on Sunday on CNN, Sanders pointed to national polls showing he would defeat Donald Trump in a head-to-head match up, suggesting that super-delegates — among whom Clinton has a clear advantage — may eventually shift their allegiances to him.  

Sanders’ Saturday wins were largely expected, but the definitive majorities boost his campaign’s momentum moving forward. He’s already on a swing through Wisconsin and his campaign is planning an aggressive push in New York. Clinton represented the state in the Senate and her campaign is headquartered in Brooklyn, where Sanders grew up.  

Sanders told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would like to debate in New York, which votes April 19, but he has “a little bit of concern” that Clinton won’t debate him anymore.  

There were 172 delegates at stake in the caucuses in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington. The prize was Washington with 118 delegates, where Sanders won 72 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.  

Sanders rallied 15,000 people at Seattle’s Safeco Field on Friday after another rally earlier in the week.  

In Hawaii, Sanders won about 70 percent of the vote compared to Clinton at 30 percent. Sanders recently gained the support of popular Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who resigned her vice chairmanship with the Democratic National Committee to endorse him. Ahead of the caucus, Gabbard — an Iraq War veteran — cut an ad highlighting her support for Sanders and saying she supports him for commander in chief.  

Sanders also won Alaska’s caucus handily with about 82 percent of the vote.  

The Democratic delegates will be distributed proportionally in most states. As of Sunday, the Associated Press had Clinton with 1,712 total delegates and Sanders with 1,004. The magic number of delegates for clinching the nomination is 2,383. When not counting super-delegates, Clinton has 1,234 and Sanders has 975.  

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