Hillary Clinton won the Keystone State. Again.
Only this time, she’s playing the role of the Democratic presidential front runner, and she handily won today’s Pennsylvania primary in a landslide. It’s defeat for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has surged in the last month or so, winning more states than Secretary Clinton. CNN called the race at 8:49 PM; the Associated Press called the race at 9:01 PM.
“I want to thank the leaders here in PA — Gov. Wolf, Sen. Casey, and thank you so much Mayor Kenney for your great help. And of course I want to thank the 42nd President of the United States, my husband,” Clinton told the crowd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center around 9:15 PM. “With your help we’re going to come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates.
“We will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together, an America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.”
While one poll popped up two weeks ago that showed Sanders closing in on Clinton in Pennsylvania, the Keystone State was always hers to lose. She led in polls for months leading up to the Pennsylvania primary and, just a day before voters went to the polls, Clinton held a 15-point lead over Sanders among likely Democratic voters.
With her win tonight in Pennsylvania, Clinton hasn’t outright clinched the Democratic nomination, but she’s well on her way to creating doubt among Sanders supporters that the senator is a viable nominee. If Clinton does well among voters today in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island, she stands to end the night with 90 percent of the delegates she needs to win the nomination — no doubt bolstered by her share of Pennsylvania’s 189 delegates.
Tonight, Clinton is holding her election night party at the Pennsylvania Convention Center here in downtown Philadelphia, the same building where parts of the Democratic National Convention will be held in July. Major events for the DNC will take place at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia.
The former Secretary of State spent some significant time campaigning in Pennsylvania prior to primary day. She held rallies across the state, including in Philly where she spoke to union leaders and held a town hall event at The Fillmore event space in Fishtown. She campaigned Friday in Scranton where her family has roots, and former President Bill Clinton made several appearances in Pennsylvania for her, including that controversial tiff between him and protesters in Mount Airy.
“We’ve got other candidates talking about building walls,” Clinton told union members earlier this month in Philly. “My campaign is about breaking the barriers holding working Americans back.”
Clinton has significant support in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. She’s close with both former Mayors Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter, as well as Senator Bob Casey and multiple congressmen, and the establishment Democrats in Philadelphia have loyally backed her.
That came in handy in 2008 when Clinton beat then-Sen. Barack Obama in Pennsylvania, winning 200,000 votes more than the eventual president. That year, Obama took just seven counties in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.
This time around, Philly was for Hillary.