As Super Tuesday nears, Clinton is in position to move far ahead

ARLINGTON, Va. — After a rocky few weeks, Hillary Clinton is finally on a path to victory.

Clinton leads in most of the 11 states voting on Super Tuesday. Several have large minority populations. African-Americans voted for her overwhelmingly Saturday in her landslide win in South Carolina.

Clinton is expected to begin to rack up many of the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination for president. If she wins a majority of the delegates Tuesday, it will become more difficult for Bernie Sanders to catch her.

Democrats hold caucuses or primaries Tuesday in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. American Samoa will also vote.

“Tomorrow this campaign goes national,” Clinton said Saturday night. “We are not taking anything, and we are not taking anyone, for granted.”

Clinton initially stressed February’s four early states. After a virtual tie in Iowa and resounding defeat in New Hampshire, she began looking past Nevada and South Carolina and focusing on March.

Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, assured supporters in an email that the four February states represent just 4 percent of the delegates needed to secure the nomination, while the 28 states that have primaries or caucus in March will award 56 percent.

Clinton’s lopsided win in South Carolina gives her a boost going into the next phase of the race and reaffirmed her place as the front-runner.

Still, Sanders has vowed to fight all the way to the Democratic convention in July.

“On Tuesday we’re going to have over 800 delegates being selected. And I think we’re going to win a very good share of those delegates,” Sanders said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think you’ve got major states coming up. And I think the important point is that people throughout this country are resonating to our message.”

Sanders receives some delegates even if he loses. In South Carolina, for example, Clinton received 39 delegates and Sanders picked up 14.

Sanders has attracted big crowds in recent days – nearly 9,000 in Tulsa, Okla., which votes Tuesday, and 7,000 in Kansas City, Mo., which votes March 15.

On Sunday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii resigned as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and endorsed Sanders. She had been arguing with other party leaders over what she called a light debate schedule. Critics say the party set up a sparse debate schedule to protect Clinton.

Sanders is still expected to come up short in most Super Tuesday states in part because of Clinton’s broad support among African-Americans.

In South Carolina, Clinton 86 percent of the African-American vote with 86 percent, a bigger share than Barack Obama won in 2008, according to exit polls. That puts her in a strong position to win in Alabama and Georgia, where African-Americans make up more than half of Democratic primary voters, and in Tennessee and Virginia, which have smaller but still significant large populations of black voters.

Clinton also is expected to do well in Arkansas, where Bill Clinton was governor and remains popular. She beat Obama there by more than 40 points in 2008.

Sanders hopes to remain competitive in the South, while focusing most of his attention on states in the Midwest and Northeast.

He is expected to do well in his home state of Vermont. He’s running slightly ahead of Clinton in nearby Massachusetts and within a few points of her in Oklahoma. He also hopes to do well in Colorado and Minnesota, the two states that hold caucuses Tuesday.

Clinton is leading in Texas, where Hispanics make up 20 percent of the electorate, but running close in Colorado, which has a similarly diverse population.

Six more vote the following week. Clinton and Sanders debate again March 6 in Flint, Mich.

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