US election 2016: Hillary Clinton coasts to one last primary victory in Washington DC

The presumptive Democratic nominee also met for a 'wide-ranging conversation' with Bernie Sanders, who has said he intends to fight on to the party's convention in Philadelphia next month

Tim Walker
US Correspondent
Wednesday 15 June 2016 03:38 BST
Hillary Clinton campaigned in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, before returning to Washington DC to meet with Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton campaigned in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, before returning to Washington DC to meet with Bernie Sanders ((Getty Images))

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Hillary Clinton coasted to an easy victory in the District of Columbia primary on Tuesday, the final skirmish in a protracted and often prickly Democratic presidential race. With more than 90 per cent of the vote counted, the former Secretary of State led her challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, by 78 to 21 per cent in the nation’s capital.

As the polls closed, the two rivals met face-to-face at a downtown Washington DC hotel, for the first time since Ms Clinton claimed the mantle of the party’s presumptive nominee a week ago. The final days of Mr Sanders’s campaign have been overshadowed by the violence in Orlando, but he and Ms Clinton have, at least, been united in their criticism of Donald Trump.

The Democratic establishment will hope the two can find further common ground as the party gears up to face Mr Trump at November’s general election. A new Bloomberg Politics national poll released on Tuesday showed Ms Clinton opening up a double-digit lead over the contentious Republican billionaire.

However, Mr Sanders this week reiterated his intention to fight on until the party convention in Philadelphia next month and make the case not only for his progressive policy agenda, but for changes to the party’s leadership and nominating process. “The time is long overdue for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party,” he told reporters in DC on Tuesday.

Since she clinched the nomination with primary wins in New Jersey and California last Tuesday, Ms Clinton has been endorsed by several top Democrats, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the standard-bearer for the party’s left flank.

Speaking to Telemundo, Ms Clinton said she looked forward to a “wide-ranging” conversation with Mr Sanders, saying they would discuss “common goals and how we can work together” and insisting: “We have a lot in common.”

Mr Sanders, meanwhile, told NBC’s Meet the Press that he would press the former Secretary of State on policy. “I simply want to get a sense of what kind of platform she will be supporting, whether she will be vigorous in standing up for working families and the middle class, moving aggressively in climate change, health care for all, making public colleges and universities tuition-free,” he said.

Mr Sanders’s spokesman Michael Briggs said on Tuesday that he would not be dropping out of the race “today, tomorrow or the next day.” But the Vermont Senator has scheduled a live, online video address for Thursday evening to outline “what’s next” for his campaign.

In an email to supporters, he said: “After today, the voting is done, but our political revolution continues… This campaign is about more than Bernie Sanders. It is about all of us together. It is about millions of people from coast to coast knowing that we can do much better as a nation."

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