Who Won The 2016 Guam Caucus? Bernie Sanders Aims For Much-Needed Victory In Pacific Island Voting

Who won the 2016 Guam caucus?

While most Americans were asleep in the evening hours on Friday through the early morning on Saturday, residents of the tiny Pacific island were heading to a shopping center to caucus for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, marking a small but still-important battle for delegates in the race that is reaching its final stretch.

[UPDATE: Guam election officials have declared that Hillary Clinton is the winner of the caucus, though final totals have yet to be verified]

Results from the 2016 Guam caucus are expected throughout the morning hours on Saturday, and will be updated here as they are available. The early projections point to a win for Bernie Sanders, though polling is light and the nature of the caucus make it difficult to project.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders injected some campaign funds into Guam, Politico noted, with each spending more than $10,000 on radio advertisements. Clinton’s ads hit the airwaves on Tuesday and ran through Saturday, with $22,000 worth of ads in all. Sanders had a smaller ad buy, with $12,000 of ads running Thursday through Saturday on the same radio stations.

Even the smallest margin could be key in Guam, where in 2008 Barack Obama won by just seven votes overall.

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The Sanders camp made a push beyond radio ads, with a massive online efforts to reach Guam voters both through social media and through online portals connecting phonebankers to Guam voters.

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Hillary Clinton pulled in some other help as well. Her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, wrote an op-ed in the Pacific Daily News about how her mother could help improve the lives of the island’s residents.

Having visited Guam, my mom is also keenly aware of the island’s importance to America’s national security. As Secretary of State, she was one of the key architects of President Obama’s pivot to Asia. With her as president, Guam will continue to be an essential base for the deployment of our armed forces, and she will ensure that the Department of Defense upholds the important understandings it outlined in the “four pillars.”

My mom knows that diagnosing a problem isn’t enough — we need real solutions from a progressive who knows how to get things done.

The Guam caucus will send seven pledged delegates and five superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer, and though small it could represent an important point for Bernie Sanders. Now trailing Hillary Clinton by close to 300 pledged delegates, he would need to win by large margins in all remaining races in order to erase Clinton’s lead.

The more likely scenario for Bernie Sanders is to win a large enough share of pledged delegates for the remainder of races to give superdelegates pause about Clinton’s prospects of winning in November. Sanders has hinted toward a strategy of winning over superdelegates, and a large win in the diverse voting base of Guam could make a strong point.

Sanders has also spoken about gathering as many delegates as he can to raise his influence at this summer’s convention. Tad Devine, one of Sanders’ top advisers, said Sanders could use his delegates to file “minority reports,” challenging Clinton on issues that are important to the Sanders campaign.

Whoever ends up as the winner of the Guam caucus, residents are happy to see their small island in the spotlight in a race that has not yet finished.

John Paul Manuel, a Sanders supporter and potential delegate, said he believes the still unresolved race will lead to high turnout..

“The closer (the race) is, the more important Guam’s votes matter, that’s why I really encourage the people to come out and vote,” Manuel told the Pacific Daily News. “The more competitive it is, then the more attention Guam gets.”

Full results from the 2016 Guam caucus can be found here.

[Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]