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Hillary Clinton projected to win Puerto Rico primary

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-06 16:11

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was projected to win the 60-delegate Puerto Rico caucuses on Sunday night, leaving the former state of secretary within a foot of becoming the first-ever female nominee of a major political party in the United States, according to TV networks.

With 22 percent of the vote tallied in Puerto Rico at 9:30 pm(0130 GMT, Monday), Clinton had secured about 31 delegates, plus six of the island's superdelegates, said a The Hill news report.

The new harvest came one day after her easy win in the Democratic caucuses in the Virgin Islands on Saturday, garnering all seven pledged delegates at stake there and raising her total pledged delegates to 1,776, local media reported. Her rival Bernie Sanders has 1,501 delegates.

Before this weekend, out of a total of 714 Democratic superdelegates -- unpledged Democratic party leaders who are free to support any candidate at the July national convention, 547 had already declared support for Clinton and 46 for Sanders.

Altogether, Clinton now has about 2,360 delegates, very close to the 2,383 needed to win the nomination. Though her nomination would not become official until the party holds convention in Philadelphia, she is poised to become the first female presidential nominee with one more round of states -- California, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Montana -- set to vote Tuesday.

Actually, it is widely expected she will go over the top with New Jersey and be awarded many of its 142 delegates at stake when the polls close there before California ends voting on Tuesday. The latest CBS poll shows Clinton holds a solid lead, 61 percent to 34 percent over Sanders in New Jersey.

However, as many US media are reportedly ready to call the nomination race on the last super Tuesday, Sanders defiantly vowed again earlier on Sunday to take his campaign to the Democratic National Convention in July even if Clinton garners enough delegates to reach the threshold for securing the nomination.

Current polls shows Clinton takes only two-percentage-point lead on Sanders in California, 49 percent to 47 percent, as Sanders has closed a double-digit gap there in recent weeks.

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