Sanders Urges W.Va. Voters to Hit Polls Despite Losses in Four Primaries

Apr 26, 2016

Minutes after the polls closed in five states, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took the stage in Huntington calling on West Virginia voters to join his "political revolution."

By the end of the night, only one of the five states-- Rhode Island-- had swung in Sanders's favor, allowing front runner Hillary Clinton to pull even further ahead in the race to the Democratic Party's nomination.

Sanders spoke little of Clinton during his hour long speech. He referred to her support of trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Sanders said pushed thousands of American jobs overseas. 

Sanders also referred to the well-oiled political machine that is the Clinton campaign, both of Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in the past.

The Vermont Senator shared his thoughts on income inequality and the unequal distribution of wealth with the estimated 6,000 people in attendance, pointing as he often does at the top 1 percent of income earners.

Calling it a controversial issue for the state, Sanders spoke frankly about climate change and the human induced causes he said he speaks with scientists across the country and around the world about.

Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in Huntington.
Credit John Minchillo / AP Photo

"Number one, we have a moral obligation to our kids and future generations to make certain that we leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable," Sanders said, "but second of all, we have a moral obligation to protect those workers in the fossil fuel industry."

Sanders says workers in the coal, oil and natural gas industries cannot be left behind as the nation moves beyond an energy mix reliant on fossil fuels, and therefore, workers in those industries should receive the education and training they need for new careers.

Although early voting begins in West Virginia Wednesday, final ballots won't be cast until the state's May 10 primary. 

"When there are large voter turnouts we win," Sanders said as he has in many other election night stump speeches, "and when there is low voter turn out we lose."

Sanders called on West Virginians to turn out in large numbers assuring a victory in the state, but a victory that may be inconsequential to the nomination after Tuesday when Clinton's delegate count reached 90 percent of the total number she needs to take the party's official support. 

Editor's Note: For more on election coverage leading up to West Virginia's May 10 primary, visit elections.wvpublic.org.