Bernie Sanders Earns At Least 45 Delegates In WI

by Alex Gladu

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has made up a lot of ground in the race for the Democratic nomination for president as of late. On Tuesday, he needed a good showing in Wisconsin to keep the momentum alive, but the proportional system in the state's primary meant that he could garner delegates even with an overall loss. Fortunately, he did win, and Sanders picked up a number of delegates in Wisconsin.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, Sanders won at least 45 delegates, according to the New York Times' count. Heading into Tuesday's primary in the Badger State, Sanders trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a margin of nearly 300 pledged delegates. (Reminder: Pledged delegates are those allotted by state primaries and caucuses. Clinton led Sanders by more than 400 superdelegates, who aren't allotted but instead can vote for whomever they choose at the party's convention in July.) Still, that pledged delegate margin isn't nearly what it used to be.

As Sanders himself has pointed out, he won five of the last six state contests, prior to Wisconsin. Where he won, he tended to win big, earning 82 percent of the vote in Alaska, 72 percent in Washington, and 70 percent in Hawaii. These wins came not only with delegates, but also with a big uptick in momentum, which is particularly important as the race heads into big states, like New York and Pennsylvania, later this month.

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With more than half of the votes tabulated, it was clear that Sanders handily won the Wisconsin primary, but not by as large of a margin as his previous victories. Still, he picked up more than half of the Badger State's Democratic delegates. As a result, he left Clinton with just a fraction of the available delegates, at a time when her campaign could have used an overwhelming win.

Clinton will get another chance to take back some of Sanders' momentum on Saturday, when Democratic voters in Wyoming set out to caucus for their preferred candidate. Wyoming has just 18 delegates for Democrats, but it's an important next step on the road to some much bigger races. Along the way, Sanders' recent momentum will be put to the test.