“We have a path toward victory,” says Sanders following pair of landslide wins.
Updated Sunday, March 27, 7:30 am:
Bernie Sanders claimed three resounding victories on Saturday as caucus-goers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington overwhelmingly backed the Vermont senator, proving that his campaign has the “momentum” to battle Democratic rival Hillary Clinton all the way to the convention.
While Sanders was predicted to win in Alaska and Washington, as CNN reports, “the real news is in the sheer size of his victory.”
Indeed, Sanders bested Clinton by more than sixty points in Alaska, where he took 81.6 percent to her 18.4 percent. In Hawaii, he won 70.6 percent to 29.2 percent and in the delegate-heavy Washington, Sanders beat Clinton 72.7 percent to 27.1 percent.
During his victory speech in Madison, Wisconsin, which holds its primary on April 5, Sanders took direct aim at the state’s notorious Republican Governor Scott Walker.
“Democracy means one person and one vote and whether Gov. Scott Walker likes it or not that is exactly what we are going to bring to every state in this country, including Wisconsin,” Sanders told the estimated crowd of 8,000. “And I say to Gov. Walker and all of the other cowardly Republican governors if you can not win or participate in a free and fair election where everybody votes, get out of politics and get a new job.”
“I know that our Republican friends and elected officials tremble at the idea of large numbers of Americans participating in the political process,” Sanders continued. “I’ve got bad news for them. That is exactly what is going to happen in this country.”
Sanders’ speech in Madison was streamed live. Watch:
Saturday 9 pm:
Bernie Sanders did exactly what his campaign said he could do on Saturday if voter turnout was high: win and win big.
While voting was still ongoing in Hawaii, Sanders was able to claim landslide victories in both the Washington state and Alaska caucuses. As of this writing, with approximately 75 percent of precincts reporting in both those states, Sanders was leading rival Hillary Clinton 72% to 28% in Washington and by 79% to 21% in Alaska.
At a victory speech to supporters inside a packed arena at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Sanders said that though the establishment media and political class continue to count his campaign out, it would be “hard for anybody [tonight] to deny that our campaign has the momentum” in the Democratic primary race.
“We are making significant inroads in Secretary Clinton’s lead,” Sanders told the more than 8,000 people in the crowd. “We have a path toward victory.”
As Scott Bixby, national political reporter for the Guardian, pointed out, Sanders’ victories on Saturday show him outperforming Barack Obama’s 2008 victories in what is sometimes called the “Pacific Primary”:
Obama vs. Clinton, 2008:
WA – 68%-32%
AK – 75%-25%
Sanders vs. Clinton, 2016*:
WA – 76%-24%
AK – 79%-21%https://t.co/gPeEWEfkHT
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) March 26, 2016
According to Bixby, Saturday’s results make it “the best night of [Sanders’] campaign thus far.”
This post first appeared in Common Dreams.