Bernie Sanders gets better of Hillary Clinton in West Virginia

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders celebrated his primary win in West Virginia by telling a rally that 'we have an uphill climb ahead of us but we are used to fighting uphill climbs.'

US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a campaign rally in Salem, Oregon. Picture: AFP/Getty

Sanders said to loud cheers in Salem, Oregon that a host of polls, both nationally and in various states, shows he’d do better than Hillary Clinton in an Autumn election campaign against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The Vermont senator declared that “we are going to fight for every last vote” and will take his campaign to the party’s convention in Philadelphia in July.

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Sanders said his campaign “is generating the energy and enthusiasm that we need to have a large voter turnout in November.”

And he added that “while we may have many differences with Hillary Clinton, there is one area on which we agree, and that is that we must defeat Donald Trump.”

Based on primaries and caucuses to date, Clinton has 1,716 delegates to Sanders’ 1,430.

He still needs to win 66 per cent of the remaining primary and caucus delegates if he hopes to overtake her –a figure that didn’t change on Tuesday.

When including the party officials known as superdelegates who can back any candidate, Clinton has 2,239 delegates to Sanders’ 1,469.

Just 144 delegates short, Clinton remains on track to reach the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination early next month.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has won nearly the all the delegates who were at stake in the West Virginia and Nebraska primaries.

Overall, Trump now has 1,135 delegates, 92 per cent of what he needs for the Republican presidential nomination. He won all 36 delegates in Nebraska in Tuesday’s contest and 31 of the 34 delegates at stake in West Virginia.

Mr Trump still faces a huge task in trying to get the Republican party behind him, as doubts persist about his substance and style.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the party’s highest-ranking elected official, has said he is unable to endorse him because he lacks conservative principles.