Sanders Celebrates West Virginia WinMay 11, 201602:12
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the West Virginia Democratic primary, NBC News projects, a victory that will add yet more fuel to his argument that he should remain in the race despite badly trailing front runner Hillary Clinton in the overall delegate count.
The win comes one week after Sanders prevailed in Indiana’s Democratic primary and two weeks after Clinton dominated a series of contests in the northeastern United States.
Democrats also voted on Tuesday in a presidential "beauty contest" in Nebraska, although the delegates from that state were all previously assigned during a March 5 caucus. In that contest, Sanders won 15 pledged delegates, compared to 10 for Clinton.
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While Sanders is likely poised for even more success later this month, with upcoming contests in Oregon and Kentucky, he has almost no chance of stopping Clinton from obtaining the majority of delegates required to clinch the Democratic nomination.
Sanders has consistently argued that his big crowds and small-dollar fundraising are evidence of a political revolution that Democratic officials are unfairly dismissing in favor of Clinton’s political network. He also points to polls that show him performing better than Clinton against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
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Still, he trails Clinton in both pledged and unpledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
Among pledged delegates, Clinton holds a lead of 282 over Sanders, meaning that he would have to win 65 percent of the remaining delegates to catch up.
When unbound elected officials, or “super delegates,” are factored into the equation, Clinton only needs to gain 15 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nod.
NBC News' overall delegate count early Wednesday put Clinton at 2236 and Sanders at 1475.