West Virginia Democrats, motivated by coal country’s economic woes and their anti-free-trade angst, handed Bernie Sanders another primary victory Tuesday, although Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead remains on pace to make her the party’s nominee within weeks.
“We just got word that we won our 19th state,” Sanders told supporters in an email moments after NBC News projected he would win early in the evening. With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders claimed 51 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 37 percent. “There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump, someone who must never become president of this country,” he said.
Sanders’ triumph over the former secretary of state, following his win in Indiana May 3, bolstered the Vermont senator’s determination to fight on in Kentucky and Oregon May 17, and in California June 7, where the Democratic socialist believes his coalition of progressives and independents can pressure a Democratic establishment to either view him as the candidate who can trounce a GOP nominee, or adopt his ideas.