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News > World

Sanders Wins in Maine as He Takes On Clinton in Debate

  • U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders takes the stage at a campaign rally in Milton, Massachusetts Feb. 29, 2016.

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders takes the stage at a campaign rally in Milton, Massachusetts Feb. 29, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2016

Maine held its Democratic caucuses and Puerto Rico its Republican primary Sunday.

Bernie Sanders is the projected winner of the Maine caucus as results trickle while the two Democratic frontrunners spar in a heated debate on Sunday evening.

The Associated Press projected that the socialist Democrat had defeated his main rival, Hillary Clinton in this weekend's last Democratic primary.

This means that U.S. presidential candidate Sanders has won two out of the three states on Saturday’s Democratic primaries, both Kansas and Nebraska, along with Maine on Sunday, giving him three wins this weekend, while leaving Clinton with just a victory in Louisiana on Saturday.

Sanders' Maine victory represents the 8th state the candidate has won in his 2016 race for the presidency.

The victory comes just as Sanders faces off with Hillary during a CNN moderated Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan.

The two Democratic candidates are currently debating in Flint, Michigan, the troubled city hit with a water crisis scandal that has shocked the U.S.

Both Sanders and Clinton have tackled Flint’s water crisis as well as highlight the United States' racial barriers while discussing the effects of trade agreements as well as racism on U.S. communities in the in their seventh presidential primary debate.

Florida senator Marco Rubio has also gained a badly-needed lead over his main rival, Donald Trump, in Sunday's Puerto Rico primary after critics questioned the viability of his campaign. Meanwhile, Maine's Democrats are lining up in big numbers for their presidential pick of either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

With around a quarter of the votes counted, Rubio secured more than 75 percent of the vote, according to Reuters. The early results lead media outlets including NBC, CNN, and the Guardian to project him as the winner of the Spanish-speaking U.S. territory, meaning he would take all 23 delegates that were up for grabs.

This is the Republican candidate's second win in the GOP race for the presidential nomination. He also won Minnesota. While it's still unclear how many delegates have been awarded to him, Puerto Rico's three super-delegates have been committed to Rubio. 

But Rubio although backed by many Repubican leaders faced pressure to quit the race.

"I think it's time that he dropped out of the race," Trump said of Rubio late on Saturday, after securing major wins on Saturday. "I want Ted one on one," he added referring to the Republicans' second leading candidate, Ted Cruz.

Maine Democratic and Puerto Rico Republican voters headed to the polls Sunday after front-runners from both parties, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, were dealt blows from the their opponents on Saturday.

In Puerto Rico, 23 delegates are at stake for the Republican candidates. Commentators expect Marco Rubio to secure an easy win in the island. The delegates are distributed proportionally unless one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, then he takes all.

There were no early opinion polls ahead of the race making it difficult to measure the support for each candidate. It was not clear when the polls will open. However, in 2012 the polls opened between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. local time.

Puerto Ricans on the island, however, can’t vote for president in the general elections.

In the Democratic caucuses in Maine, polls suggest that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will secure an easy win, possibly securing three states in total this weekend compared to only one for Clinton.

Polling stations for Democratic voters in Maine are expected to open at 7:00 a.m. and close by 8:00 p.m. local time, while 25 Democratic delegates are up for grabs.

Check out teleSUR's indepth coverage:

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