Hillary Clinton Beats Sanders In The Northern Marianas

Hillary Clinton has defeated Bernie Sanders in the Northern Mariana Islands Democratic Caucus.

The Democratic frontrunner earned 54 percent of the vote in Saturday’s contest, sailing past Sanders by a comfortable margin of 20 points.

Clinton will consequently come away from this weekend’s sole Democratic Party caucus with four pledged delegates. Sanders earned two delegates for his share of the vote.

Saturday’s vote was split between the islands of Tinian, Saipan, and Rota. Just 189 votes were cast, 102 of which went to Hillary Clinton. Sanders came away with 65.

That being said, Clinton had already earned the support of an unpledged superdelegate from the Northern Marianas.

There are several additional superdelegates that have not yet declared their support for either candidate.

Nestled around 5,800 miles southwest of the California coastline, the Northern Marianas are one of just two American territories that enjoy commonwealth status – the other being Puerto Rico. The Northern Marianas’ 15 islands played a major role in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The American plane responsible for dropping an atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945, the Enola Gay, famously took off from the island of Trinian.

As an American commonwealth, those born on the Northern Mariana Islands are considered natural-born U.S. citizens. Yet the islands’ 52,000 residents have few rights where elections are concerned.

Voters in the Northern Marianas are entitled to take part in the American presidential nomination process, but are not allowed to vote in November’s election. Voters in Guam, which is located just about 130 miles north, don’t get a final say in the presidential election either.

Beach on Norther Mariana Islands
SAIPAN, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS - JUNE 27: A rainbow over the sea is seen during Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko's visit to their island on June 27, 2005 in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are on a 2-day visit to Saipan to pay their respects to war dead who died in the Battle of Saipan, fought 60 years ago between Japan and the United States. It is their first trip to overseas battlefield to mourn the war dead. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida Getty Images)

Although these tiny island nations do not get to take part in the general election, their delegates are certainly sought after.

In 2012, Republican candidate Mitt Romney deployed his son Matt to visit the Northern Mariana capital of Saipan in order to woo the island’s GOP voters. The flight paid off, with Romney earning 740 of the 848 ballots cast that year.

“The Northern Mariana Islands may be far away from the mainland, but one of the great things about our democracy is that every voice has a chance to be heard in selecting a presidential candidate,” Romney said that year in a statement.

Fast forward four years, and islanders are still making big contributions to the democratic process taking place 8,000 miles away in Washington. With the race between Hillary Clinton and Vermont upstart Bernie Sanders heating up, each and every vote is crucial to decide who will stand for the Democratic Party in November.

Following Clinton’s win in the Northern Marianas, she now boasts 766 delegates to Sanders’ 551. Including superdelegates, Clinton currently leads with 1,227 delegates to Sanders’ 576.

Bernie Sanders speaks at debate
DERRY, NH - FEBRUARY 03: Democratic Presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a CNN and the New Hampshire Democratic Party hosted Democratic Presidential Town Hall at the Derry Opera House on February 3, 2016 in Derry, New Hampshire. Democratic and Republican Presidential are stumping for votes throughout New Hampshire leading up to the Presidential Primary on February 9th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Saturday’s contest in the Northern Marianas was Clinton’s second win in a U.S. territory. She had previously won the Democratic caucus in American Samoa on Super Tuesday.

According to pollsters at RealClearPolitics, Clinton is projected to come away with 51 percent of the vote at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this July.

Although the Northern Mariana Islands caucus was Saturday’s only Democratic contest, a number of Republican primaries are taking place across the globe this weekend. GOP voters in Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and Guam will all be going to the polls on Saturday.

Each of the Republican candidates were bending over backwards this weekend to earn Guam’s 19 delegates.

Phoning in to Guam’s Republican State Convention on Saturday, pugnacious GOP frontrunner Donald Trump attempted to relate to islanders through his experience as a hotelier

“I understand the tourism industry better than anyone else who’s ever run for president,” Trump said. “It’s very, very, important if we can get Guam and the delegates. And I will never forget you people.”

Although Texas Senator Ted Cruz had previously earned the endorsement of the island’s governor, polls indicated the vote was still very much up for grabs.

[Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images]