Donald Trump Wins West Virginia Republican Primary

The presumptive Republican nominee was declared the winner in the Mountain State almost immediately after polls closed there.

Donald Trump, who drove his remaining competitors from the race last week, was declared the winner in Tuesday’s Republican primary in West Virginia, the Associated Press reported, and was expected to formally pick up Nebraska too.

The Democratic race in West Virginia was too early to call, but was shaped by Clinton’s comment at a town hall in Ohio in March that “we are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” This month, a man in West Virginia who said he had lost his job in the coal industry confronted her over the comment, which Republicans all over the country have seized on.

trumpwestvirginia2_small1 Donald Trump Wins West Virginia Republican Primary

Two polls compiled by RealClearPolitics had pointed to a narrow Sanders win in West Virginia. Sanders, who won the Nebraska Democratic caucuses on March 5, has frequently bested Clinton in states like West Virginia with heavily white electorates. Clinton defeated Barack Obama in West Virginia in 2008.

Before Tuesday’s results, Clinton was just 155 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to secure the Democratic nomination, according to the Associated Press. Sanders needed 929 delegates. West Virginia has 37 Democratic delegates, most of which will be awarded proportionately.

Sanders has vowed to fight through the final contests in June, if not the national convention in July. He has said he plans to appeal to superdelegates, who can switch their votes but overwhelmingly support Clinton, to join an effort he says has a better chance against Trump in the fall. Not counting superdelegates, Clinton still leads by nearly 300 delegates. 

Trump faced voters for the first time since his victory in the Indiana primary on May 3 prompted leading rival Ted Cruz to drop out and made Trump the presumptive Republican standard-bearer.

Earlier Tuesday, Cruz told conservative radio host Glenn Beck he didn’t expect to win Nebraska but that if voters chose him, he would “respond accordingly.”

Trump, meanwhile, campaigned last week in West Virginia, but told supporters there to sit out the primary. 

“What I want you to do is save your vote—you know, you don’t have to vote anymore. Save your vote for the general election, okay? Forget this one. The primary is gone,” Trump said at a rally in Charleston. “Save your vote for the general election in November, and we’re going to show you something, and then you’re going to show me something, okay?”