Bernie Sanders won his home state of Vermont on Tuesday, taking home 1,501 votes from a diverse electorate of black voters, the first time a Democrat has won the state since President Bill Clinton won it in 1992.
Sanders, who has vowed to fight for universal healthcare and make college tuition free, won more than 20 percent of the vote in a race that featured multiple races and was a tight contest for delegates and superdelegates.
Sanders led Clinton in several polls, including a CBS News/New York Times poll that showed him winning a commanding lead in the state.
The Vermont senator, who was in Iowa for the first Democratic presidential debate, won a comfortable victory Tuesday over the state’s Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sanders also won endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and drew significant support from black activists.
Sanders’ win came a day after Clinton won the Iowa caucuses, and was her second victory in the Hawkeye State in the last two months.
She won in November by a landslide.
Sanders campaigned hard for his victory, telling reporters after the caucuses that the Democratic Party was “looking forward to a lifetime of progress.”
“Tonight, we won a victory, but we have not lost a step,” Sanders said.
“Tonight we got the votes of the working families of our country.”
Clinton, who took her campaign to South Carolina and other states in the early primary season, said Sanders’ victory was a “wake-up call.”
“I think it’s a wake-up for everybody,” she said.
The win gives Sanders his second statewide victory in as many weeks and puts him in a strong position heading into the first presidential debate on Monday night.