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Bernie Sanders forces close race, edges Hillary Clinton in Indiana primary

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a rally in Evansville, Ind., Monday, May 2, 2016. (Denny Simmons/Evansville Courier & Press via AP

The vote was close, but Bernie Sanders beat out Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s presidential primary on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s result was of diminished importance in the Democratic race. Clinton holds a commanding lead, with 91 percent of the delegates she needs to win the nomination. That means she can still win even if she loses every remaining contest.

Sanders has conceded that he faces a difficult path, one that hinges on persuading superdelegates to back him over the former secretary of state.

Superdelegates are Democratic Party insiders who can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of how their states vote. And they favor Clinton by a nearly 18-1 margin.

Sanders called the Democratic primary process “rigged,” noting that he has won 45 percent of the pledged delegates awarded after primaries or caucuses, but only about 7 percent of superdelegates.

Clinton announced $26 million in new fundraising in April, narrowly beating Sanders. His total of $25.8 million last month marked a steep decline from $46 million he collected in March.

Sanders also refused to report how much money he had in the bank, raising questions about whether he can sustain his online fundraising dominance as his path to the nomination becomes less likely.

Shrugging off the numbers, Sanders vowed to “fight hard as hard as we can for every vote.”

He showed no signs of letting up on Clinton, pointing to differences with the former secretary of state over fundraising, Goldman Sachs speeches, the Iraq war, fracking and the minimum wage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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