U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has defied the polls and won the Democratic primary in Michigan, delivering a stunning upset to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to projections based on actual results.
With 92 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders led with 50.1 percent against Clinton’s 48.0 percent, securing a small but unexpected victory in one of the country’s most important states in terms of available delegates.
The Democratic primary in Michigan was widely expected to go to Clinton, with some polls putting the secretary’s advantage at more than 20 percent. Opinion poll analysis website FiveThirtyEight had predicted a Clinton win with a “greater than 99% chance.”
“In what might be one of the greatest shockers in presidential primary history, The Associated Press has called Michigan for Sanders,” said FiveThirtyEight analyst Harry Enten. “Most of the polls were not close, and any thought that Sanders would exit this race in the foreseeable future has been put to rest by a stunning victory.”
Responding to the news, Sanders said the results show he has national potential. “This is a critically important night. We came from 30 points down in Michigan and we’re seeing the same kind of come-from-behind momentum all across America,” the senator said in a statement.
A total of 130 pledged delegates were up for grabs in Michigan’s Democratic primary, and the initial results indicate that Sanders will receive at least 63 of them, while Clinton will get at least 53. Fourteen Michigan pledged delegates have not yet been allocated by the Associated Press.
Earlier on Tuesday, Clinton was declared the winner of the smaller state of Mississippi, winning the heavily African-American state by 83 percent, according to preliminary results, which indicate the secretary received as much as 89 percent of the African-American vote in Mississippi.
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