Sun, Mar 27, 2016 - Page 7 News List

Sanders presses Clinton as western states head to polls

AFP, WASHINGTON

Alaska, Hawaii and Washington were to take their turn voting in the Democratic presidential nominating contest yesterday, with Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton unlikely to deliver a knockout blow against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

The trio of western caucuses marks a chance for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, to chisel away at Clinton’s formidable lead in the delegate count.

Sanders gave a rousing rendition of his standard stump speech in Seattle late on Friday, just hours ahead of the caucus there, speaking out over police brutality, a too-low minimum wage, soaring student debt and other issues.

“Real change historically always takes place from the bottom on up when millions of people come together,” Sanders said to applause and cheers from the crowd in Seattle’s Safeco Stadium. “We need a political revolution.”

However, he still has a steep climb to get within striking distance of Clinton.

She had a commanding lead in the delegate race with 1711, including super-delegates who are un-elected by voters, compared with 952 for Sanders, according to a CNN count.

To win the Democratic nomination, 2,383 delegates are needed.

On the campaign trail, the former secretary of state has already shifted her focus toward November’s general election. Clinton delivered a somber counterterrorism speech on Wednesday in the aftermath of deadly attacks in Brussels, using it as an opportunity to launch vigorous assaults on Republican hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and warn that their “reckless” foreign policies would harm US interests.

“We need to rely on what actually works, not bluster that alienates our partners and doesn’t make us any safer,” she said.

Sanders has refused to throw in the towel, repeatedly stressing that his grassroots campaign is heading all the way to the nominating convention in Philadelphia in July.

Millennials and first-time voters have been flocking to Sanders’ message of economic equality, universal healthcare and his call to reduce the influence of billionaires on the campaign finance system.

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