Clinton Marches to Nomination as Sanders Wins Again

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Clinton: ‘Good job, Bernie’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders chalked up his sixth victory in the the last seven nominating contests, all but ensuring former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic standard-bearer in the 2016 race for the presidency.

“The momentum is clearly with Sanders,” says Mark Carpenter, a Democratic political consultant who is unaligned with any campaign this year. “He’s not only beating Hillary consistently, he’s beating her by decisive margins. So, yes, it remains Hillary Clinton’s race to lose.”

CNN Political Analyst David Thornton says Sanders’ continuing appeal to large portions of the Democratic electorate reinforces the overwhelming advantage of Hillary Clinton, who is focusing her attention on the general election. “No one expected Sanders to get so close to Hillary on the number of pledged delegates at this point,” he says. “He’s really only about 200 delegates behind her—a drop in the bucket. Which is why it’s important Clinton turn her attention to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who appears likely to be her opponent after the Republican’s brokered convention.”

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Sanders closing in on winner

Especially impressive about Sanders, Democratic party officials say, is the amount of money he’s attracting at this late stage of the contest, a feat made more impressive by his reliance on small-dollar donations from ordinary Americans. “His totals have been outpacing Clinton’s for the last three months,” says Carpenter. “So, the question is, will Clinton select Julian Castro to be her running mate or will she select someone else.”

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Catching up to the winner

Castro is a rising star in the Democratic party. He’s the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a former mayor of San Antonio.

Looking ahead, states that many analysts assumed would be Clinton’s for the taking—like Pennsylvania, California, and her adopted home state of New York—are now up for grabs as Sanders continues surging. “The good thing is, Clinton doesn’t have to pivot much to position herself well for the general election,” says Thornton. “She’s held her ground as a centrist Democrat, so she really starts from a position of strength in the general election whether she’s battling Cruz or Donald Trump.”

“This race is far from over,” says Don Campbell of the Democratic National Committee. “There are 20 states and territories that still have to hold their primaries or caucuses. We have two very strong, very qualified candidates for our nation’s highest office. When Hillary Clinton wins, we will be able to look back with pride at how well our candidates conducted themselves in comparison to the clown show on the Republican side.”

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In the driver's seat?

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Hillary Clinton said she remains the overwhelming favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee despite suffering a big loss to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire and coming in a virtual tie with him in Iowa. “Iowa and New Hampshire are very different states, and the fact that Sanders almost beat me in one and did beat me in the other means I remain well on the road to leading the Democrats in the general election against the Republicans,” Clinton said as she flew to South Carolina, which holds the next primary in about a week and a half. Barack Obama won the state when he ran against Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 election. More.

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