Democrat candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Democrat candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

The far West “felt the Bern” in today’s caucuses, giving Bernie Sanders sweeping victories over Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic presidential candidates squared off once again in three states: Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Facing Clinton’s 300-delegate lead, the Pacific Northwest became important territory for the Vermont senator.

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Sanders and Clinton competed for a total of 172 delegates chosen by the caucus and convention process. Today’s caucuses had 142 delegates up for grabs. Alaska had only 16 available, shared among three candidates (Clinton and Sanders face off against a little-known rival – Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a California real-estate tycoon). Hawaii offered 25 delegates, and Washington State had a juicy 101. Both Sanders and Clinton have concentrated their campaigning efforts in the Evergreen State this week, hoping to scoop up the majority of delegates.

Earlier in the week, Sanders spoke to a packed arena in Seattle. The crowd, described as “young and rowdy,” cheered as he spoke about health care and gay marriage.

“Ten years ago, if somebody jumped up and said, ‘I think that gay marriage will be legal in 50 states in America in the year 2015,’ the person next to them would’ve said ‘You are nuts, what are you smoking?'” Sanders said.

The crowd roared approval when he addressed racial justice, universal health care and climate change.

“In my view we have a moral responsibility to leave this planet to our children and grandchildren in a way that is healthy and habitable,” he stated.

Tuesday’s Utah and Idaho caucuses went to Sanders, while Clinton took home Arizona, which allowed her to maintain her lead in the pledged delegate count. As of this week, she had 1,223 delegates to Sanders’ 920. That count doesn’t include superdelegates, of which Clinton has 467, while Sanders has 26. Democrats need 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

Since Clinton was leading Sanders by about 300 pledged delegates, and because none of the contests are winner-take-all, Sanders needed enormous wins in each state to give the Clinton campaign any real competition. Sanders won Alaska and Washington by a wide margin.

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CNN reports even if Sanders posts strong numbers Saturday, “he still faces an uphill battle to overcome Clinton’s lead. All three states dole out delegates proportionately or by county, so even if Sanders wins a majority in each, Clinton will still nab pledged delegates along the way. And because of the relatively low populations in these states, there simply aren’t enough delegates on the table this weekend to make a significant dent.”

Sanders sent a grateful tweet to Alaska voters:

Primaries 3-26-16 Sanders tweet-1

Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the grassroots progressive group Democracy for America, heralded the outcomes and the continued momentum they give Sanders. “Bernie Sanders’s resounding wins in Alaska and Washington state are big deals, period. And, likely a victory later this evening in Hawaii will only make it even bigger,” he said in a statement. “With each victory today, Bernie Sanders is not only significantly cutting down Secretary Clinton’s delegate advantage by delivering the margins of victory he needs take the lead in June, he’s giving voice to millions of grassroots Democrats who know that Bernie continues to be our party’s strongest nominee against Donald Trump’s campaign of bigotry, hate and division.”

Results will be recorded below as they come in.

Alaska Caucuses (Democrat)

16 Democrat delegates

With 100 percent reporting:

Sanders: 82 percent

Clinton: 18 percent

Hawaii Caucuses (Democrat)

25 Democrat delegates

With 100 percent reporting:

Clinton: 30 percent

Sanders: 70 percent

Washington State Caucuses (Democrat)

101 Democrat delegates

With 100 percent reporting:

Sanders: 73 percent

Clinton: 27 percent

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