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Bernie Sanders seems poised to regain momentum in West Virginia's primary election Tuesday, leaving some of front-runner Hillary Clinton's backers uneasy that her path to the Democratic presidential nomination figures to be rocky to the end.
Donald Trump, who drove his remaining competitors from the race last week, was declared the victor in Tuesday's Republican primary in West Virginia, the Associated Press reported, and was expected to formally pick up Nebraska too.
Polls close in Nebraska in just 15 minutes.
Clinton's loss will probably matter little to her presidential nominating battle with Sanders.
At campaign rallies, Trump has promised to help coal miners.
Meanwhile, Republican Donald Trump also won there and in Nebraska, a week after he cleared the field of his remaining rivals. "I'll announce whoever it will be at the convention" in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump said. "He loves this country". He says he'd like to see this type of turnout for every election. Trump has echoed the state's complaints against the Environmental Protection Agency, but otherwise hasn't detailed how he would fight the many forces crushing West Virginia's coal industry. Ted Cruz out of the race. "You can't just notch wins in a string of states, as Sanders did in late March and early April", writes Milo Beckman at FiveThirtyEight. He campaigned in California on Tuesday for the state's June 7 primary.
"People are upset our state has changed", he said, but "I would hope they look at the individual", he added of Clinton.
During Clinton's visit to West Virginia and OH last week she repeatedly apologized to displaced coal and steel workers for her comment, which she said had been taken out of context, and discussed her plan to help retrain coal workers for clean energy jobs. The polls showed him with a slight edge over Clinton heading into Tuesday.
West Virginia has 29 pledged delegates up for grabs.
That's a significant decline from the wall-to-wall advertising campaign he ran earlier in the primary, during which his $74 million in ads outspent Clinton by $14 million. He has held the lead in most polls going into the primary contest but still faces an almost insurmountable delegate deficit in his underdog quest for the nomination.
Still, most of the most attention will be on the Democratic side of the race Tuesday with Clinton still unable to emphatically snuff out the Sanders challenge so that she can turn her full fire on Trump. Those figures call into question his contention that he will be able to convince super delegates at the convention to back him and not the former secretary of state.
Although nearly certain to win the Democratic nomination she is only about 160 delegates short of that goal-Clinton's ability to excite young and white working-class Democrats going into the general election has been put in doubt by Sanders's primary successes. Barack Obama that boosted her morale even if it wasn't enough to change the basic delegate math that made it impossible for her to win the nomination.
Roughly 44 percent went for Clinton, compared to 33 percent for Trump, while 21 percent picked neither candidate.
Mrs. Clinton's loss is a major reversal for the former U.S. senator who beat Barack Obama in West Virginia's Democratic primary in 2008 by more than 40 percentage points. The delegates were awarded in the party's March caucus. Counting unpledged delegates, also known as superdelegates, Clinton is ahead by more than 700. Clinton won 10 delegates and the support of three superdelegates. Trump is ahead of Clinton by 27 points in West Virginia, according to a recent Public Policy Polling survey.
Among those voting in the state's Democratic primary, about a third said they would support Trump over either Clinton or Sanders in November. "That's a tough one to explain".