Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won North Dakota’s Democratic caucus on Tuesday -- a victory that will invigorate his supporters, who criticized The Associated Press for declaring that rival Hillary Clinton had clinched the party’s presidential nomination the previous day.
North Dakota has the fewest number of pledged delegates -- just 18 -- among the six states holding Democratic primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, making the outcome there largely symbolic. Even so, both Clinton and Sanders opened offices in the largely red state. Sanders campaigned in person at rallies in Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck, while Clinton dispatched her husband, the former president, to appear on her behalf in Fargo.
Clinton secured the endorsement of North Dakota’s current Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp, along with the bulk of the state’s former top Democratic officeholders, including former Gov. George Sinner, former Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, former Rep. Earl Pomeroy, and former U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon.
But the last time the state went for the Democratic presidential nominee in the general election was 1964.
Due to its small population, North Dakota is the only state in the country that doesn’t require individuals to register in advance before voting.
Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses marked the last statewide contests in the Democratic primary race. Voters in the District of Columbia will vote in the final contest next Tuesday, June 14.