Bernie Sanders declared victory early Tuesday night; his home state of Vermont, which he won by an overwhelming 73 points, was one of the first contests to be called. Sanders delivered his victory speech not knowing yet that he would go on to win Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma, and put up enough of a fight in Massachusetts that the race was, for hours, too close to call.
“At the end of tonight, 15 states will have voted. Thirty-five states remain,” Sanders told the crowd. “Let me assure you that we are going to take our fight for economic justice, for social justice, for environmental sanity, for a world of peace to every one of those states.”
He went on to repeat the familiar lines from his stump speech and reiterate to skeptics that no plan is too big “when we bring our people together — when we do not allow the Donald Trumps of the world to divide us up. When we bring our people together and when we have the courage to stand up to the billionaire class and tell them they can’t have it all, that our government belongs to all of us, not just super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.”
Picking up on that egalitarian theme a little later, a jubilant Bernie and his supporters broke out the Sanders campaign equivalent of “Freebird,” leading a sing-along to the Woody Guthrie classic “This Land Is Your Land” — one of five protest songs Sanders, then mayor of Burlington, covered on his spoken-word folk album “We Shall Overcome” in 1987.
Joining the senator on stage are Vermont musicians Kat Wright (to his left), Nicole Nelson and Dwight Ritcher (to his right); the three were part of a group of Vermont musicians who recorded the song in tribute to Sanders earlier this year.
The victory party was over by 8:30 p.m., when Sanders retired to his home to watch the rest of the returns roll in and plot his campaign’s next moves.