Sanders, Trump win in West Virginia presidential primary
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Sanders, Trump win in West Virginia presidential primary

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, daughter Ivanka, left, and son Eric, background left, as he speaks during a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Supporters wave signs to show their support as Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally, Tuesday, in Stockton, Calif.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, daughter Ivanka, left, and son Eric, background left, as he speaks during a primary night news conference, Tuesday, in New York.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. >> White House dreams fading, Bernie Sanders added another state to his tally against Hillary Clinton with a win in West Virginia on Tuesday — a victory that will do little to slow the former secretary of state’s steady march toward the Democratic presidential nomination.

Meanwhile, Republican Donald Trump also won there and in Nebraska, a week after he cleared the field of his remaining rivals. They were not victories likely to heal the party’s wounds, as some GOP leaders continue to hold off offering their endorsement of the party’s presumptive nominee.

The result in the West Virginia Democratic primary underscored the awkward position Clinton and the party’s establishment face as they attempt to turn their focus to the general election. Sanders has won 19 states to Clinton’s 23, but she is 94 percent of the way to winning the nomination — just 144 delegates short of the 2,383 required.

That means she could lose all the states left to vote by a landslide and still emerge as the nominee, so long as all her supporters among the party insiders known as superdelegates continue to back her.

Clinton needs to win just 14 percent of the delegates and uncommitted superdelegates at stake in the remaining contests, and she remains on track to capture the nomination in early June.

Still, Sanders is vowing to fight on. He campaigned in Oregon and California on Tuesday and his victory in West Virginia highlighted anew Clinton’s struggles to win over white men and independents — weaknesses Trump wants to exploit in the fall campaign.

“Let me be as clear as I can be, we are in the campaign to win the Democratic nomination,” Sanders said at a campaign event in Salem, Oregon. “We are going to fight for every last vote.”

Among those voting in the West Virginia Democratic primary, about a third said they would support Trump over either Clinton or Sanders in November. An additional 2 in 10 said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate. But 4 in 10 also said they consider themselves to be independents or Republicans, and not Democrats, according to exit polls.

While Sanders is still attracting thousands to rallies, his campaign has grown harder as Clinton closes in on the nomination. His fundraising has fallen off and so, too, has his advertising, with only about $525,000 in ads planned for California and $63,000 each in West Virginia and Oregon, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG.

That’s a significant decline from the wall-to-wall advertising campaign he ran earlier in the primary, during which his $74 million in ads outspent Clinton by $14 million.

Edward Milam, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia, is a self-described socialist who gave money to the Sanders campaign but his vote Tuesday to Clinton.

“After about six-seven months of debating and watching, I think Hillary has a lot more to offer than Bernie internationally,” the 68-year-old retiree said. “I think she handles herself well. I’ve known about her for 30 years, just like everybody else has. I don’t think there will be any surprises.”

Even as the primaries continue, Clinton has largely shifted her focus to the general election. On Monday, she courted suburban women in Virginia and on Tuesday, in Lexington, Kentucky, she released a proposal to ensure families don’t spend more than 10 percent of their income on child care.

“I don’t care about what he says about me,” she said of Trump in Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday night. “But I do resent what he says about other people, other successful women, women who have worked hard, women who have done their part.”

Clinton’s campaign hopes suburban women, turned off by Trump’s bombastic rhetoric, could be a key source of support for her in the fall.

But she’s also trying to stop Sanders from gaining the psychological advantage of a series of wins this month. Her team went up with a $160,000 ad buy in Kentucky on Tuesday, a modest effort aimed at cutting into Sanders’ support before the state’s primary in a week.

Clinton also won a primary election Tuesday in Nebraska, although the party allocated all of its delegates to the summer nominating convention at a caucus won in March by Sanders.

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  • The so called super delegates is a scam to get around democracy. But then again the bernie followers are hilarious, You want to see the end result of these polices he is suggesting and they are waving signs promoting? Take a look at Valenzuela.

  • This race is getting exciting between the Donald and Hillary. Bernie is giving it all he can but the Democratic machine is rigged in Clinton’s favor by the super delegates and Bernie will ultimately lose. Trump is closing the gap between he and Hillary and November is still a long ways off. Anything can happen. Hasn’t been this exciting in years. Now let’s see who the respective VP’s will be.

  • All elections are rigged somewhat…and to be perfectly honest, has been from the start. The founding fathers were not exactly populists at heart and did not believe that the “common” man was and is responsible enough to elect the persons governing the country. The Electoral College exists for this sole purpose. Mr. Sanders has policies that appeal to a large portion of the population, myself included. Can any one of Mr. Sanders’ ideas bear fruit? He has EIGHT years at best to change things that have been fermenting for over two centuries. He knows the task is monumental and would require a wholesale change of mindsets that include the Congress, Wall Street, Big Corporation, and the technocratic elite that steer the country.

    • I understand the logic for having educated delegates who represented the ignorant people in the old days. But today, that is not true and most of us are educated enough to vote intelligently as individuals. There is no need for delegates to represent us. Each person’s vote should count in the total, whether in national totality or individual state totality. We still have an archaic system whereby delegates may not vote the way their constituents wished. Yes, rigged is still an honest and true expression.

      • Given the standard of education in the US today (we rank well other Westernized countries in education), I put it to you that “most of us” are not educated enough to vote intelligently.

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