Apr 9, 2016 11:13 PM
Sen. Bernie Sanders won Wyoming's Democratic caucuses Saturday, NBC News projects, collecting another victory in the West and extending his winning streak in the race for the White House.
Wyoming's Democrats were picking their favorite candidate for the party's nomination at the state's 23 county caucuses.
A total of 14 pledged delegates were up for grabs in the state, and Sanders and Clinton will split those delegates at 7 each, according to estimates based on the state convention delegates elected at Saturday's county convention.
The delegates will be finally allocated and named at the Wyoming state convention on May 28.
Clinton currently has the support of 4 super delegates from Wyoming. That gives her a total of 11 delegates from Wyoming to 7 for Sanders.
With Clinton falling short in Wyoming, she has now lost seven of the last eight nominating contests — although she still holds a significant lead in pledged delegates. It's a margin that widens when the unpledged party elders, known as "superdelegates," are included in the count.
Sanders, who is trailing Clinton in the overall race for Democratic delegates, performed well — although the former secretary of state did better than expected.
"U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders extended his victory streak on Saturday when he won the Wyoming caucuses, his eighth victory in the last nine contests," the Sanders campaign said in a statement, noting that the candidate was speaking at a rally in New York when his wife approached him on stage to tell him the news.
"Alright, news bulletin. We just won Wyoming," Sanders said at the rally at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. "We appreciate and thank the people of Wyoming so much for their support," he said.
Many of Sanders' best performances have been in states that hold caucuses rather than primaries, in part because the former typically highlights a higher level of engagement by progressive activists.
"I think that it is very fair to say that we were way, way behind during the first half of this contest, but we are having, to say the least, a very strong second half," Sanders said during a brief news conference after his win, postulating that his progressive views didn't play well in the early Southern contests.
"I think it is beyond debate that the momentum in this campaign is with us," Sanders said. "We're looking forward to New York and other states as well."
Sanders campaigned in Wyoming Tuesday, and his wife Jane also made a separate appearance during the past week.
The Clinton campaign congratulated Sanders on the win in Wyoming Saturday, but then went on to tout what it called a "nearly insurmountable lead in pledged delegates."
"We congratulate Senator Sanders on a spirited campaign in Wyoming. Outperforming expectations, Hillary Clinton tied in pledged delegates today and now leads Senator Sanders by approximately 220 pledged delegates nationwide," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement.
While Bill Clinton stumped for his wife on Monday, Hillary Clinton did not campaign in Wyoming, choosing to focus instead on events in New York, where she is currently viewed as a favorite for the upcoming primary.
Both candidates are also now fully engaged in barnstorming New York, where a huge pool of 247 pledged delegates will be meted out according to the results of the primary on April 19.
The Sanders campaign said he is edging closer to Clinton in the New York polls. Losing the state would be blow to morale for either campaign, as Clinton represented New York in the Senate and Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn.
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