Clinton Wins 7 States, Sanders 4; Still a Race

Clinton Wins 7 States, Sanders 4; Still a Race
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Hillary Clinton proved her strength against Bernie Sanders Tuesday and began steering the Democratic Party toward what she expects will be a wild and divisive battle against a GOP nominee who could be Donald Trump.

“It’s clear tonight that the stakes in this election have never been higher,” Clinton said during a jubilant rally in Florida, a state that holds its primary March 15. “The rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower. Trying to divide America between `us and them’ is wrong, and we’re not going to let it work,” she said.

The former first lady, perceived by voters as one of the most universally known and polarizing political figures, offered an antidote to the tough talk and insults lobbed by GOP presidential candidates – the flip side of her recent persona as a “fighter” who promises to tear down barriers to Americans’ success, if elected president.

“I believe what we need in America today is more love and kindness,” she said.

In the 11 contests that give Super Tuesday its name, Clinton outpaced her rival in delegate-rich Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Alabama. She won in Arkansas, where her husband was governor, and she also captured delegates in American Samoa.

Sanders reveled in his victories in Vermont, his home state, Oklahoma, and the caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, making good on a promise to chase Clinton in the pledged delegates needed to secure the nomination, although she remains well ahead of him.

Sanders and Clinton vied for nearly 900 total delegates Tuesday.

The Democratic socialist, who from the outset of the race was seen as a long shot to defeat Clinton, told supporters Tuesday his message of income equality is resonating nationwide. Sanders, who built a formidable donor base that will help him remain competitive for months, has vowed to challenge the former secretary of state through the July Democratic National Convention, and he urged his backers to focus on the remaining 35 primary and caucus contests.

“Let me assure you that we are going to take our fight for economic justice, for social justice, for environmental sanity, for a world of peace to every one of those states,” he told cheering friends and supporters in Burlington, Vt.

Sanders will campaign hard for support in the March 8 Michigan primary. He has said he will compete April 19 for pledged delegates in New York, where he was born and where Clinton was a senator, and campaign to win delegates on June 7 in California.

Clinton delivered her televised speech from Florida because she’s already competing in the Sunshine State, hoping to snag the lion’s share of the 214 total delegates in play there in two weeks.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited an erroneous date for the California primary.

Alexis Simendinger covers the White House for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at asimendinger@realclearpolitics.com.  Follow her on Twitter @ASimendinger.

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