POLITICS

Hillary Clinton Wins Pennsylvania's Democratic Primary

Pennsylvania was the largest state of the five holding contests Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton beat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary, nabbing the biggest prize in Tuesday's elections and further widening her delegate lead over Sanders. 

It was a big night for Clinton. She won four out of the five states holding elections Tuesday -- Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, in addition to Pennsylvania. Sanders won Rhode Island. 

"With your help, we're going to come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention -- with the most votes and the most pledged delegates," Clinton jubilantly told a crowd at her election night party in Philadelphia. "And we will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together -- an America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down."

Clinton won Pennsylvania in 2008 as well, in part because of her deep ties to the state. Her grandfather worked in a mill in Scranton, her father was born and raised there and Clinton herself often visited. It was a welcome win after she faced a string of losses to Barack Obama. 

The former secretary of state brought up those local ties during a Friday rally in the northeastern part of the state when talking about her support for gun control measures. 

"I want to be really clear about this, because I learned how to shoot a gun behind our cottage in Lake Winola. And I know how important gun ownership and particularly hunting is here in northeastern Pennsylvania," she said. "And I want you to know that we can’t ignore the Second Amendment and we can’t ignore that 33,000 people a year die from gun violence. And I think we are smart enough to figure out how to do that."

Clinton also had the backing of Democratic officials in the state, including the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the governor and the Democratic U.S. senator. 

Clinton had been leading in the polls in the run-up to Tuesday, although it was by a small enough margin that many Sanders supporters hoped he could pull off a win there by winning over many of the state's rural, white, working-class voters -- some of whom may have supported Clinton over Obama in 2008. He attracted big crowds to his rallies and called the state's contest "enormously important," stressing, as he often does, that he would do well if turnout was high. 

Sanders spent election night in West Virginia, which holds its primary on May 10. He gave no indication that he intends to bow out before the convention, maintaining that he is best positioned to beat GOP front-runner Donald Trump in the general election. 


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