By HOPE YEN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has cut into Hillary Clinton’s lead by more than two dozen delegates, based on new data from Washington state, but his chances of winning the nomination haven’t gotten much better. Clinton won the Guam caucus.
In Guam, the party said Clinton won 60 percent of the vote to earn four of the seven delegates at stake. Sanders will pick up three delegates.
The Pacific island is one of five U.S. territories that casts votes in primaries and caucuses to decide the nominee, even though those residents aren’t eligible to vote in November. Often overlooked, Guam this election cycle drew attention from both the presidential candidates, who ran radio advertisements in a bid to scoop up any possible delegate in the final stretch of primaries and caucuses.
Combined with some delegate gains in Washington state, Clinton now has more than 93 percent of the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination as she seeks to look ahead to a November matchup against Republican Donald Trump. Sanders has said he will take his delegate fight to the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.
In Washington state, Sanders handily won the caucus on March 26, when the Vermont senator won 25 of the 34 delegates awarded that day. An additional 67 district-level delegates could not be divided up until the state party could produce vote data broken down by congressional district.
District-level data provided Saturday to The Associated Press show that Sanders will pick up 49 of those delegates, while Clinton will receive 18.
The 67 district-level delegates from Washington had generated some debate on social media, where Sanders supporters questioned why he had not yet received any of those delegates in a state he won big. Like Iowa, Colorado and Maine, Washington state has a multistep process for awarding delegates to the national convention. It said it could not immediately generate the more detailed information until its county conventions were complete on May 1.
Meanwhile, at Maine’s state convention on Saturday, party officials said Sanders ultimately gained one additional delegate – and Clinton lost one – after he picked up additional support following the state’s March 6 caucus.
Still, even with the additional delegates for Sanders, his mathematical chances of winning the nomination haven’t improved.
Based on primaries and caucuses to date, Clinton now has 1,705 delegates while Sanders has 1,415 – or a lead of 290 delegates, according to the AP count.
If he hopes to overtake her based on just those primary and caucus delegates, he still must win 66 percent of the remaining delegates – a figure unchanged from before.
Clinton’s lead is bigger when including superdelegates – party officials who can support any candidate.
She now has a total of 2,228 delegates, or more than 93 percent of the 2,383 delegates needed to win. Sanders has 1,454.
Just 155 delegates short, Clinton remains on track to clinch the nomination early next month.
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