Sanders seeks caucus trifecta win to close delegate gap

DEM 2016 Sanders

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bernie Sanders pushed for a trifecta of wins in Saturday’s Democratic presidential caucuses in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington state, hoping to stoke a spring comeback against the commanding front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont senator spent much of the week on the West Coast, trying to build his enduring support among liberal activists into a Saturday sweep that could help him narrow a gap of 300 delegates won in primaries behind Clinton. That’s about double the margin that then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama held over Clinton in the 2008 primaries.

While Sanders faces a steep climb to the nomination, a string of losses for Clinton would highlight persistent vulnerabilities within her own party. Sanders continues to attract tens of thousands to his rallies — drawing more than 17,000 in Seattle this week — and has collected more than $140 million from 2 million donors.

But turning that passionate support into the party nomination is growing increasingly difficult. Clinton has a delegate lead of 1,223 to 920 over Sanders, according to an Associated Press analysis, an advantage that expands to 1,691-949 once the superdelegates, or party officials who can back either candidate, are included.

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