Sen. Bernie Sanders trounced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his home state’s Democratic primary Tuesday night in an anticipated, but needed, victory for the self-declared Democratic socialist.
Sanders captured 86.1 percent of the Democratic vote versus Clinton’s 13.6 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting as of 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. Sanders was the heavy favorite in Vermont where he has an 83 percent approval rating — the highest of any sitting senator. Political blog FiveThirtyEight predicted he had a “greater than 99 percent chance” of winning the Vermont Democratic primary.
The Democratic Party in Vermont requires candidates to reach a certain threshold to earn delegates, so Clinton walked away empty-handed and Sanders carried all 16 delegates.
Sanders won among all income and education demographics in Vermont, according to CNN exit polling.
It was the hope Sanders needed on a night heavily predicted to be in Clinton’s favor in other states. Sanders spent Super Tuesday night in his hometown of Burlington, Vt., where he began his political career as a mayor in 1981.
“It is good to be home!” Sanders told a cheering crowd. “We are going to win many hundreds of delegates.”
Vermont consistently ranks as one of the most liberal and least religious states in the country.
Gallup last month found only New Hampshire surpasses Vermont for the title of least religious state, with 22 percent of Vermonters describing themselves as “very religious.” Compare that with Mississippi, where the largest swath of residents described themselves as “very religious” — 63 percent.
Vermont also ranks the second-most liberal state in the country behind only Massachusetts, with nearly 30 percent of residents identifying themselves as “liberal” or “very liberal,” according to Gallup. The state also has more politically moderate residents than most. Nearly 39 percent of Vermonters describe themselves as “moderate,” making it the state with the seventh-most self-described moderates. Close to 27 percent of Vermonters describe themselves as “conservative.”
This post was updated at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
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