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Sanders' Indiana victory breathes life into waning campaign

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Indiana primary, narrowing Hillary Clinton's wide delegate lead. Sanders is not likely to clinch the nomination, but it is possible with enough landslide victories in remaining primaries and by convincing superdelegates to side with him. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Indiana primary, narrowing Hillary Clinton's wide delegate lead. Sanders is not likely to clinch the nomination, but it is possible with enough landslide victories in remaining primaries and by convincing superdelegates to side with him. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- Bernie Sanders caused an upset for Hillary Clinton by winning the Indiana primary on Tuesday and although the Vermont senator is far from a nomination victory, he vows the race is far from over.

Sanders received 43 delegates to Clinton's 37 delegates after securing victory in Indiana. Polls showed the Sanders campaign trailing Clinton days ahead of the primary, so the victory came as a surprise to many.

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"For the past few weeks, the corporate media has counted us out of this election," the Sanders campaign said in a statement. "The political and financial establishment of this country have been vocal in their desire for us to go away, to get in line. Today, Indiana voters had another idea."

The delegate results for Democrats are not official until the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to begin July 25. The formality is due to the use of superdelegates, who can support any delegate, whereas pledged delegates support the winner of a state's primary. A Democrat needs a total of 2,383 delegates out of an available 3,393 to win the party's nomination.

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Clinton has 1,700 pledged delegates to Sanders' 1,410 -- but if superdelegates are counted, Clinton's lead rises to 2,220 to Sanders' 1,449.

Sanders' path to a nomination victory seems unlikely but not impossible. He would need landslide victories in the remaining states, where 859 delegates are still available. The Sanders campaign hopes to convince superdelegates to side with him by arguing that polls repeatedly show Sanders has a better chance of beating Republicans in the general election.

"I sense a great deal of momentum," Sanders said in Indiana after results were delivered. "We understand -- and I do not deny it for one second -- that we have an uphill battle in front of us," adding that there is a "path to victory, although it is a narrow path."

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Sanders would need to win about 65 percent of remaining delegates to pass Clinton's pledged delegates. Although the Republican nomination is all but confirmed with Donald Trump as the GOP's candidate, the Democratic side is less conclusive. Sanders has a slim chance of defeating Clinton and voters in Indiana gave his campaign a much-needed boost.

About three-quarters of Indiana Democratic voters described as energizing the primary battle between Sanders and Clinton, NBC News reports. About 73 percent of Indiana Democratic voters also said they expect Clinton to be the party's nominee, while 79 percent they would definitely or probably vote for the former secretary of state.

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About 57 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters said they want Sanders to stay in the race until the Democratic National Convention in July, USA Today reports. About 89 percent of Sanders supporters desire him to stay, while about 28 percent of Clinton supporters also want him to stay until July.

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