CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Bernie Sanders was declared the winner of the Indiana primary Tuesday, but Hillary Clinton was already looking ahead to the general election, and Sanders' victory was not enough to change her trajectory toward the Democratic nomination.
Sanders, a Vermont senator, insists his goal remains to win the party's presidential nomination, even if it appears to be mathematically out of reach. Democrats distribute delegates proportionately in all states, so the only way for Sanders to close Clinton's delegate lead is to win all future contests by huge margins and convince many superdelegates — party leaders and elected officials free to support either candidate — to switch their votes to him, even in states Clinton won.
Speaking in Louisville on Tuesday night, Sanders said, "in primary after primary, caucus after caucus, we end up winning the vote of people 45 years of age and younger," proving that "the ideas that we are fighting for are the ideas of the future of America and the future of the Democratic party." His campaign, he said "is a political revolution."
But Clinton was looking past him.
"I'm really focused on moving into the general election ... We're going to have a tough campaign," Clinton said during an interview with MSNBC Tuesday. After Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP race Tuesday night, Clinton's campaign released a statement from chairman John Podesta focused only on Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee. "Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he's too divisive and lacks the temperament to lead our nation and the free world," he wrote. "While Donald Trump seeks to bully and divide Americans, Hillary Clinton will unite us to create an economy that works for everyone."