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A small island has Hillary Clinton on the verge of making history

By tomorrow night, she may be the first woman to become a nominee of either major party for US President.

Image: John Locher

HILLARY CLINTON OVERWHELMED Bernie Sanders in Puerto Rico’s Democratic presidential primary, putting her within striking distance of capturing her party’s nomination.

By tomorrow night, she may be the first woman to become a nominee of either major party for US President.

After a blowout victory on Saturday in the US Virgin Islands and a decisive win in the US territory, Clinton is now less than 30 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, according to an Associated Press count.

“We just won Puerto Rico! ¡Gracias a la Isla del Encanto por esta victoria!” tweeted Clinton, thanking the Island of Enchantment, as Puerto Rico is known, for her victory.

As the race was called, Clinton was on stage in Sacramento, rallying voters in California.

The results were slow to arrive yesterday, as officials counted ballots by hand and focused first on releasing results tied to the island’s local primary elections, said Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico’s former Democratic National Committeeman.

As the results from Puerto Rico trickled in, Clinton maintained a healthy lead over Sanders.

While Puerto Rican residents cannot vote in the general election, the island’s politics could reverberate into the fall campaign. Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans have left the island to escape a dismal economy, with many resettling in the key electoral battleground of Florida.

Puerto Rico Democratic Primary Source: AP

Though Clinton did not spend much time campaigning in Puerto Rico, the victory is fraught with symbolism for her campaign. Eight years ago, with the presidential nomination slipping from her grasp, she rolled through the streets of San Juan on the back of a flat-bed truck, wooing voters to a soundtrack of blasting Latin music.

She beat then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama with nearly 68% of the vote.

“I’m for Hillary, girl,” said 83-year-old Candida Dones as she cast her ballot. “I can’t wait for a female president. She’s one of us. She wears the pants. If we don’t look out for our own interests, who will?”

Both Clinton and Sanders spent yesterday in California, the biggest prize among the six states voting tomorrow. Sanders shook hands and stopped for photos during a stroll of more than an hour along the shops, restaurants and amusement park rides of the Santa Monica Pier.

Like Clinton, Sanders made little mention of the outcome in Puerto Rico’s primary. He said during an evening rally in San Diego that Democratic leaders should take notice that the “energy and grassroots activism” that will be crucial to the party in the fall “is with us, not Hillary Clinton.”

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Associated Press

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