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Sanders wins in America’s ‘Arab capital’

Published: Updated:

Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist American of Jewish background, has received 7,258 votes in Dearborn, a city dubbed as the “Arab capital” in North America Tuesday night, chipping away at Hillary Clinton’s dominance in the Democratic presidential race.

About 42 percent of people in Dearborn, Michigan claim to be of Arab ancestry.

“Thanks to the hard work of many activists and leaders of conscience in the Arab American community, BERNIE SANDERS won MICHIGAN tonight!” Amer Zahr, an Arab-American speaker and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, wrote on his Facebook page.

Zahr said “a vote for Hillary is a vote that legitimizes Islamophobia. It’s a vote for the Israeli lobby” as she is a “candidate that has returned money to Arab & Muslim donors, a candidate that supports right-wing Israeli policies.”

In comparison to Sanders, Hillary received 4,837 votes.

Meanwhile, real state mogul Donald Trump was in the lead for the Republican candidates, receiving 3,196 votes. Trump also swept to victory in Hawaii.

Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, said Michigan signaled “that we are a national campaign” after wins in different regions of the country.

“As more people get to know more about who we are and what our views are we're going to do very well,” the Vermont senator said in a statement.

Among Democrats, 8 in 10 voters in both states said the country’s economic system benefits the wealthy, not all Americans.

Sanders has sought to tap into that concern, energizing young people and white, working-class voters with his calls for breaking up Wall Street banks and making tuition free at public colleges and universities.

Michigan, with big college towns and a sizeable population of working-class voters, was also a good fit for him, though his victory there was something of a surprise given that Clinton had led in polls heading into Tuesday’s voting.

Even with Sanders’ win Tuesday night, Clinton and Trump moved closer to a general election face-off. Clinton breezed to an easy victory in Mississippi, propelled by overwhelming support from black voters, and she now has more than half the delegates she needs to clinch the Democratic nomination at the party’s national convention in July. Trump, too, padded his lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump entered Tuesday’s contests facing questions about his durability and ended the night with convincing victories in primaries in Mississippi and Michigan and in caucuses in Hawaii. Cruz added a win in Idaho, bolstering his case that he’s the only candidate who can beat Trump with some regularity.

(With AP)