Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders See Victories in West Virginia, Nebraska Primaries
Donald Trump cruises through West Virginia and Nebraska's GOP primaries, while Bernie Sanders wins West Virginia and Clinton, Nebraska. Also on Tuesday, Trump's campaign addressed how a white nationalist made it on a list of potential California delegates.
Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska, adding to his claim on the GOP's nomination. Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential primary in West Virginia and Hillary Clinton took Nebraska, but those delegates had already been allocated in an earlier caucus won by Sanders.
Trump's victory in West Virginia means he will get at least three delegates. The 31 other delegates in West Virginia are elected directly by voters. Whereas Nebraska awards all 36 of its delegates to the statewide winner.
The billionaire businessman became the party's presumptive nominee after his victory last week in Indiana, which led his last remaining rivals to drop out of the race.
Sanders' victory will do little to slow Hillary Clinton's steady march toward the Democratic presidential nomination.
The former secretary of state is just 144 delegates short of the 2,383 she needs to secure the nomination. Sanders has won 19 states to Clinton's 23, but she is 94 percent of the way to winning the nomination.
That means she could lose all the states left to vote by a landslide and still emerge as the nominee, so long as all of her supporters among the party insiders known as superdelegates continue to back her.
Still, Sanders is vowing to fight on. He campaigned in California on Tuesday for the state's June 7 primary, and his victory in West Virginia highlighted anew Clinton's struggles to win over white men and independents — weaknesses Trump wants to exploit in the fall campaign.
Also on Tuesday, Trump's campaign addressed how a prominent white nationalist, William Johnson, was included on a list of potential California delegates, an embarrassment for a candidate who has been criticized before for being too slow to distance himself from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Trump's California director Tim Clark said in a statement that a "database error" was at fault and that the name has been withdrawn, with a correct list resubmitted to state officials. He said that Johnson had been rejected and removed from the campaign's list in February.
Johnson, a white nationalist leader and Trump supporter, told The Associated Press that he received an email from Clark earlier Tuesday informing him that his name had been "erroneously listed" as a delegate. Johnson runs the American National Super PAC, which made automated phone calls supporting Trump's candidacy across the country.
The Los Angeles attorney told the AP it had been a mistake for him to submit his name for consideration. In California, Republican candidates pick potential delegates to the GOP's summer convention. They are selected based on the outcome of voting in the state's June 7 primary.
"I was naive," Johnson said. "I thought people wouldn't notice, and if they did notice I didn't think it would be a big deal." He added that he is resigning from his role as delegate, effective immediately. Johnson's appearance on the list was first reported by Mother Jones magazine.
Previously, Trump has drawn criticism for hesitating before denouncing former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who said not voting for Trump was "treason to your heritage." Johnson said he never disclosed his white nationalist beliefs in his application.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was rallying supporters in Louisville shortly before the polls were closing in West Virginia's Democratic primary on Tuesday. She made no mention of the West Virginia race.
She was urging Kentucky voters to "have a big vote" next week in the state's presidential primary to help her campaign "get ready to go all the way to November."
Even as the primaries continue, Clinton has largely shifted her focus to the general election. As for presumptive Republican nominee Trump, she said at the campaign event in Louisville that she is looking forward to debating.
Clinton predicts Republicans will "throw everything including the kitchen sink at me" in the general election, but the Democratic frontrunner has a message for them: "They've done it for 25 years and I'm still standing."