Sanders beats Clinton in Washington Democratic caucuses

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle on March 25, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle on March 25, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SEATTLE (AFP) - Bernie Sanders won the Democratic caucuses in Washington on Saturday, adding crucial momentum to his campaign as he seeks to upset Hillary Clinton in the race for the party's presidential nomination.

The Vermont senator was projected to have won by 76 percent against nearly 24 percent for Clinton in the western state where 101 delegates were up for grabs. Sanders on Saturday also won by a wide margin the caucuses in Alaska, where 16 delegates are at stake.

The two candidates on Saturday were also facing off in Hawaii where 25 delegates are up for grabs.

Appearing at a campaign rally in Wisconsin, Sanders said his wins in Alaska and Washington were proof that the tide was turning in his favor as the campaign moves west.

"We knew from day one that we were going to have politically a hard time in the South," he told a cheering crowd. "That is a conservative part of our country. But we knew things were going to improve as we headed west."