The race for the US Democratic presidential nomination turned sharply into a battle for Hispanic and African American voters, who are expected to play a decisive role in a long list of upcoming contests in Southern and Western states.
Although former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys a dramatic advantage over Senator Bernie Sanders among minorities, his resounding victory in the New Hampshire primary gives him a shot of momentum. Making clear how crucial minority support will be, Sanders's first stop was in Harlem, where he met civil rights activist the Rev Al Sharpton and Benjamin Jealous, a former head of the NAACP.
"If the elections were held today in both those states, we would lose," Sanders said, referring to Nevada and South Carolina. "But I think we have momentum, I think we have a shot to win, and if we don't win, we'll do a lot better than people think we will."
The Sanders campaign predicted that his message of economic fairness will resonate regardless of race.
Clinton and Sanders meet for another Democratic debate today in Milwaukee. Clinton is expected to strike a more aspirational, optimistic tone that is a tacit acknowledgment that simply knocking down Sanders's ideas as unrealistic was not enough. A chief complaint among Clinton backers appalled by her 22-point loss in a state with long and fond ties to the Clintons is that she isn't getting through to voters.
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