Sanders Defeats Clinton in Wisconsin

Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin / AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is projected to win the Democratic primary in Wisconsin.

Fox News declared Sanders the victor over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin soon after polls closed at 9 P.M. EST on Tuesday. NBC News shortly later called the race in favor of Sanders. The Vermont senator captured 57 percent of the vote among primary voters, while Clinton fell behind with 43 percent.

Sanders held a slight 3-point lead over Clinton among likely Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin going into Tuesday’s voting, according to an average of polls provided by Real Clear Politics.

Sanders had increased his edge over Clinton in the state in recent weeks. A survey released Monday by the Emerson College Polling Society indicated that Sanders had an 8-point lead over Clinton, a significant change from an identical poll conducted about 10 days prior that showed Clinton besting her competitor by 6 points.

Early exit polls showed that Sanders did very well among younger voters, as well as among those who rate honesty as the most important candidate characteristic.

Eighty-six delegates were up for grabs in the Wisconsin Democratic primary. Delegates were awarded proportionally depending on the results of the state’s Democratic contest.

While Clinton headed into Tuesday’s contest with a significant delegate lead, Sanders’ campaign has shown little signs of slowing down. In fact, the Vermont senator has outraised Clinton for three consecutive months. In March, Sanders’ campaign netted $44 million in mostly small-dollar contributions, while Clinton’s campaign raised $29.5 million.

The FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of private email at the State Department has also presented hurdles for the former secretary of state’s campaign. Last week, the editorial board of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel warned voters about Clinton’s poor record on transparency, citing the ongoing probe into her use of email.

The investigation, which has reportedly turned criminal, is said to be in its final stages. FBI agents are expected to move to interview Clinton’s top aides at the State Department and possibly Clinton herself as the investigation draws to a close.

Though critics have accused Clinton of putting national security at risk by using an unsecured email system, she has repeatedly insisted that she neither sent nor received classified information on her email. Clinton has also denied that the FBI has contacted her regarding an interview over her email server.

The federal government has determined that more than 2,000 emails held on Clinton’s server contain classified information, though none were marked as such when they originated on the system.

As voters in Wisconsin headed to the polls, Clinton was already focusing her attention on the upcoming primary contest in New York, campaigning there on Monday and Tuesday.

Clinton and Sanders will face off in the Empire State, Clinton’s home turf, on April 19.

The Clinton and Sanders campaigns clashed in recent days over the scheduling of a presidential debate in New York ahead of the primary there. Both campaigns eventually agreed to participate in a debate hosted by CNN and Time Warner Cable News NY1 on April 14, they announced Monday.