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Bernie Sanders prevails in Wyoming, continuing winning streak against Hillary Clinton

With his childhood home in the background, Bernie Sanders greets supporters after he spoke in Brooklyn on Friday. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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NEW YORK — Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders won the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday, continuing a winning streak against front-runner Hillary Clinton as the two head for a key showdown next week in New York.

The senator from Vermont has now defeated Clinton in the past seven of eight states that have held nominating contests.

However, Sanders's margin of victory, which stood at 55.7 percent to 44.3 percent with all precincts reporting, provided no help in his larger quest to catch Clinton in the race for the nomination.

Only 14 delegates were at stake Saturday, and under the party's complicated caucus rules, Sanders was awarded seven delegates, and Clinton was awarded seven.

Sanders nevertheless claimed momentum from the contest.

"It is beyond debate that the momentum in the campaign is with us," he told reporters after a rally in Queens. During the rally, Sanders announced from the stage that he had just won Wyoming, prompting an extended standing ovation.

Sanders has generally performed better than Clinton in caucus states, and the electorate in Wyoming mirrored that of some other Western states where Sanders has done well: It is largely rural and white. Unlike in some other states where Sanders has prevailed, the Wyoming contests was closed to independent voters, who tend to break in Sanders's direction.

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In a statement Saturday night, Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, congratulated Sanders "on a spirited campaign in Wyoming" but said Clinton had outperformed expectations, stressing the tie in pledged delegates.

Heading into Saturday, Clinton held a commanding lead in the overall delegate count. The Clinton campaign put the margin at about 200 delegates, while Sanders's campaign said it was 214 by its count.

Clinton also maintains a huge advantage among superdelegates, the Democratic elected officials and other party leaders who get a say in the nomination and are not bound by the results of their states.

Sanders made a campaign stop Tuesday in Laramie, Wyo, where he held a rally in the college town on the night of his victory in the Wisconsin primary.

Clinton didn’t campaign in the state but dispatched her husband, Bill, the former president, to stand in for her.

Sanders’s wife, Jane, also made some campaign stops on his behalf.

In recent days, both Sanders and Clinton have largely turned their attention to New York, where 247 delegates are at stake on April 19.

To catch Clinton among pledged delegates, Sanders will have to win most states remaining on the nominating calendar by large margins.

Highlights from Bernie Sanders’s campaign, in pictures

WASHINGTON, DC- JUNE 14: Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders arrives at the Capital Hilton to meet with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday June 14, 2016. (Matt McClain/ The Washington Post)