Sanders concedes Missouri Democratic primary; Clinton wins

BY    | Updated: Mar 17, 2016 at 11:50 PM
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Akron, Ohio. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Akron, Ohio. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders said Thursday he will not seek a recount of results in Missouri’s Democratic presidential primary, conceding defeat to Hillary Clinton.

“I think it’s unlikely the results will impact at all the number of delegates the candidate gets and I would prefer to save the taxpayers of Missouri some money,” Sanders said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“Whether we win by 200 votes or lose by 500, it’s not going to impact the delegate selection,” the Vermont senator added. “It’s going to be evenly divided.”

Clinton ended Tuesday night with a narrow lead of 1,531 votes, but under state law, Sanders could have sought a recount because the margin was less than one-half of one percent.

Clinton will get an extra two delegates from Missouri for winning the statewide vote.

The win in Missouri means Clinton won all five of Tuesday’s Democratic primary contests. She also beat Sanders in Florida, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina.

The Republican race in Missouri remains too close to call between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Even though winning Missouri gives Clinton two additional delegates, she remains tied with Sanders at 34, with three delegates remaining to be allocated in the state. Democrats award delegates based on the share of the vote, both statewide and in congressional districts. Clinton was on track to come out ahead with one additional delegate, pending final vote data in two congressional districts.

Clinton now leads Sanders in pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses, 1,147 to 830.

When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton has a much bigger lead — 1,614 to 856.

Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report.

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