WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) — After sweeping the South, Democratic contender Hillary Clinton will win a majority of Super Tuesday contests, strengthening her grip on the party’s presidential nomination.
The former Secretary of State is projected to win the single largest prize of the night, Texas. She is also projected to win in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Arkansas, exit polling indicates.
A buoyant Clinton gave a victory speech in Miami, where she took a veiled shot at the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.
Referencing his slogan, “Make America great again,” Clinton quipped: “America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole. We have to fill in what’s been hollowed out.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is projected to win his home state’s primary in Vermont, where he was widely expected to dominate. Sanders also found victories in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado.
A defiant Sanders addressed a rowdy group of supporters in his home state shortly after polls closed there, but well before results were clear in the larger Super Tuesday states at stake — where Clinton was heavily favored to roll up victories.
Despite a big night for Clinton across the South and elsewhere, Sanders pledged to fight on and reminded voters the real race is won by the delegate count, not the candidates’ win-loss record. He pledged to continue his campaign through to the Democratic convention in the summer.
“Let me remind you what the media often forgets about,” Sanders said. “It is not winner-take-all. … By the end of tonight, we are going to win many hundreds of delegates. At the end of tonight, 15 states will have voted, 35 states remains. We are going to take our fight … to every one of those states.”
Virginia, Georgia and Vermont were called immediately after polls closed by multiple media outlets. The same was true for Arkansas, where her husband was governor, and in Texas. She looked to win each state by wide margins.
The same could not be said for liberal Massachusetts, where she squeaked out a victory, her first in the Northeast after Sanders rolled to victory in New Hampshire and his home state of Vermont. The Sanders campaign hoped to mount challenges to Clinton there and nearly pulled it off. Clinton’s margin was only about 2 percentage points.
Clinton continued to dominate among black voters. In each state she won, Clinton carried no less than 75 percent of black voters — and more than 90 percent in some states.
Earlier in the day, Clinton campaigned in Minnesota as votes were being cast across the country on Tuesday, flanked by several of the state’s most prominent Democrats, including Gov. Mark Dayton and the mayor of Minneapolis.
Clinton badly lost Minnesota’s caucus to then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, but sought to avoid a repeat this time around with a last-minute campaign push.